Diziara picked up a blue medium sized pyramid, and peered at it intently. "So, we're doing what with this, exactly?" She tilted her head to the left and looked at Svetlana. She rolled the piece between her fingers.
"Move where you want, but remember the rules." Svetlana smiled.
"You know me and rules," Diziara shook her head, looking at the board for a long moment. She finally set the piece down, leaving her finger on it a long moment as she looked at Svetlana to see if her friend betrayed any thoughts about her move.
"This is easy variation. When I am playing with my friends from home each piece has a meaning. We use them to leave messages." Svetlana studied the board, "You just said 'I penguin your shuttle.' but you are learning."
"Hey, penguin is a hard maneuver to pull in a shuttle. Don't knock it," Diziara grinned as she took her hand off the piece.
Svetlana immediately picked up a red piece and placed it between three blue ones, then laid each of them on their sides pointing away from the red piece. "Also you need to remember to relax. Is not about winning or losing, especially when I am winning."
"Especially when you're winning," Diziara repeated with an amused snort. She stacked a small orange piece on top of a green one. "Your modifications to my quarters certainly perplexed Spiegel."
Svetlana shrugged, "They probably shouldn't, he is clever enough. I suppose Starfleet doesn't teach the suspicion you would need in the real world." Svetlana replaced the three blue pieces with purple ones.
"Oh no, he gets why you did them... he's just unsure how they're so effective." Diziara tilted her head sideways again. "And he's rather annoyed that I won't let him inspect them."
"If he likes I can do them to his quarters, but he has to ask me nicely."
"This is Spiegel we're talking about. Nicely is offering booze along with his heavy dose of sarcasm."
"Still, he should be coming to me, not to you. I might be teaching him a few things."
"I think he's afraid. He surrounds himself with strong women, but he doesn't know what to do with them." Diziara moved her hand over the board as she considered the array in front of her. "I have no idea what I'm doing here."
Svetlana leaned back in her chair, "I'll give you the same advice I'd give him. Make it up as you go along. It's what I do."
"Oooo, so we're playing Calvin ball. Gotcha'." Diziara grinned, and knocked over her tower of the orange and green pieces, laying them on their sides pointed towards Svetlana's purple ones.
"I suppose we are at that." Svetlana placed a clear piece on top of each red one, "Everyone plays by their own sets of rules. The winner is determined by who surrenders their own rules and plays by another's. In Icehouse, and in life."
"There is something to be said for subverting someone else's rules though." Diziara smirked, switching the clear pieces Svetlana just placed with yellow ones.
Svetlana smiled, "it's all about when you admit defeat." She placed a black cap on a piece in the center of the board.
"If I admitted defeat, I wouldn't be in the fleet anymore." Diziara picked up the black piece, then the piece it was on top of, a white one. After tucking the black on inside the white one, she set the two down where they had been previously.
Svetlana looked out the window for awhile, "There are versions that have strict rules. There are also versions with no rules at all. They all have their purposes." She looked back at the game board, "Sometimes you get a mess, and sometimes you get something pretty." The game pieces were a lopsided swirl, an abstract nebula. "You still want to play?"
"Are you asking because you're trying to trick me into letting you win, or because you're tired of the game?" A smirk and a wink accompanied Diziara's question. Her combadge chirped at her.
"Rogers to Diziara."
"In the middle of girlie bonding time, stud, what can I do for you?"
"Are you up for a field trip, darlin'? I could use someone fluent in Klingon."
"Klingon, huh? Stace is fluent."
"You know I don't like that man."
"I thought you'd gotten over that."
"I'd also like someone who can hold a weapon."
"Mmm, well, if you drag me along... you should take V too. She's handy."
"She's also sick of being on the ship." Svetlana muttered and started packing up the game.
"V?" There was a pause as Tom seemed to consider this. "That's your Russian friend, Churni-churna... er, Swet-" As Diziara started to giggle at him, he stopped attempting to say Svetlana's name. "She's got engineering and intel background, right?"
"Also cooking!" Svetlana piped up, "And she is tired of fixing junction 403 every time someone thinks they know better."
There was a full minute of silence, with Diziara grinning and biting her lip. Finally Tom coughed. "I didn't realize she was listening in," he muttered, and Diziara laughed.
"He's probably a bright tomato red right now," Diziara assured Svetlana.
"I reckon that even if I weren't inclined to bring her, I'd have to owe her the spot on the team to make amends for the dung heap I made of her name a moment ago."
Svetlana grinned like a predator.
"When're we heading out?"
"We're about an hour out from the station, yet. Unless you ladies would like to take a gander at our guest of honor, I don't need you for another forty-five. He's sitting in a holding cell at the moment, insists he's innocent and wants asylum. The captain's indulging him for the moment, but she sounds skeptical."
"Innocent of what? Some details would be helpful." Svetlana stood up.
"Mmm, I think we'll be meeting you at the holding cell shortly," Diziara responded as she stood also. "See you shortly." She closed the channel and looked at Svetlana.
“Should be more interesting than fixing Junction 403." Svetlana snapped her fingers to wake up Toolbot and led the way to the door.
"Oh, no doubt about that. So, do you think we should see how long it takes Tom to figure out how to spit out Svetlana Chernyshevski, or should we save him the trouble and tell him to call you V?" Diziara grinned, her eyes flitting to Toolbot for a moment before she followed Svetlana out the door.
"I am always a fan of letting people find their own way."
Diziara grinned wide.
Svetlana and Diziara reached the security office after a short walk, and Tom met them outside the room with the holding cells. There was still the remnants of the blush that Diziara had guessed (correctly) had afflicted him earlier, and it flared up again as he made eye contact with Svetlana. He didn't say anything, and instead elected to jump into explaining what was going on.
"We received an emergency call from a station just across the border in Klingon space, requesting we collect a fugitive wanted for murder, who had stolen their only shuttle craft on their station. When confronted, Marloth insists that he's innocent. He requested asylum, claiming that he would not get a fair trial. We're currently in route to the station, but have not informed Commander K'Etra of Marloth's request."
"Who is he supposed to have murdered?"
"A human by the name of Marcus Rivera. Marloth insists that he was framed, though he isn't sure who did it, but he does admit that Marcus was also vying for the affections of a woman named Rosalie, with whom Marloth works."
"Why doesn't he think he will get a fair trial?"
"He's in Klingon space, how the hell would he get a fair trial?" Diziara rolled her eyes at the question. "Sounds like he's working for some civilian company, if he's got a human for a coworker. If you're not an honorable warrior, a lot of times you're a second class citizen."
"Half-human," Tom corrected. "Rosalie's mother is Klingon."
"Even worse," Diziara insisted with a snort.
"I suppose that makes sense. Why does he think he is being framed for it?"
"I haven't had near enough time to talk to him. Most of this information I got from sitting in when he was talking to the Captain."
"Let's have a go at him then."
Tom took a step towards the door in, close enough to trigger it, then stood aside with a small nod. "After you," he insisted. Diziara shook her head slowly, but walked in. Svetlana followed, Toolbot scrambling after her.
Tom started to follow Svetlana at first, then suddenly looked down to notice Toolbot just before his boot landed on top of it. After an awkward half-hop to avoid stepping on it, he followed slowly behind, his eyebrow raised as he watched it carefully.
In the only active holding cell was a Klingon. About average height for a Klingon male, his build was unusually slight for his race. He sat quietly on the bench in the cell. Two guards stood to either side, and when they saw Tom enter, they stood at attention.
Diziara strode right up to the holding cell and looked in at Marloth. Noticing that people had come in, he looked up. His eyes went to Diziara and he stared at her for a long moment.
"You are Kaith's sister?" he asked her in Klingon. She tilted her head to the side as she considered him.
"You know my brother?" she returned, likewise in Klingon.
"I will not talk to this treacherous petaQ," Marloth directed at Tom, speaking in English this time.
Svetlana raised an eyebrow at Tom, "Making friends then?"
"Don't ask me," Diziara muttered, her gaze staying on Marloth. Tom stepped forward with a frown.
"What's the problem with Diz?" Tom asked, stopping next to her. Marloth's gaze moved between Tom and Diziara a couple times before his focus landed on Tom. "Traitor is not a word I'd associate with her."
"Of course not, she was on your side of the war."
Diziara growled, and her fists clenched. "Kaith and I have come to terms over that," she snapped, and Marloth laughed.
"He probably only did so to keep your mother happy."
Svetlana looked at Tom and shrugged her shoulders almost imperceptibly. "Mothers like their children to get along." Svetlana said, "You have a choice, talk to her, or talk to your friends back at the station."
Marloth looked past Tom and Diziara to Svetlana, his eyes darting downwards to the Toolbot at her heels before his eyes traveled back up to hers. "They won't talk. They all hate me."
"I'm sure for other reasons than your winning personality. Or your ability to make friends wherever you go." She crossed her arms, "Talk, I like a good story."
"Didn't she used to have a heavy accent?" Tom asked Diziara quietly, provoking a smirk out of the red-head.
"If I had a good story, do you think I'd be sitting here?" Marloth demanded, standing up. He strode forward towards the force field, a harsh look directed at Diziara for a moment before moving his gaze back to Svetlana again. "I have a bit of a record, though I've not actually done anything wrong. Rosie keeps falling back in with the wrong crowd, any more convictions and she'll likely lose her job, so I've taken the fall for her more than a few times."
"What kind of wrong crowd?"
"Marcus, for example. The two of them grew up together, he lead her into the petty theft, the lies, the property damage. When she took this job, she was trying to move away from all that, then he followed her out here and got himself an on again, off again, job with the station bar."
"This Marcus is the one you're supposed to have killed?'
"If I'd killed him, they wouldn't have found a body, let alone had witnesses," Marloth growled.
"Statements like that won't help your case any," Diziara insisted with a snort. His eyes darted back to her.
"Says the dishonorable bitch who tried to kill her brother!"
"Who specifically left him alive when I could have killed him," she snarled back, stepping closer to the forcefield.
"Children." Svetlana said in a stern voice. "So if you didn't kill him who did?"
"I don't know," he admitted, then growled at Diziara before he made himself take a step back.
"So why would anyone want to frame you for killing him?"
"Sounds like a lot of people don't like him," Diziara observed. "I don't know why though." Tom laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Diz," Tom said to her quietly, and she looked at him. "Perhaps you should stop stirring the shit?"
"Well without knowing more there's not much we can do." Svetlana looked the Klingon up and down, "Unless you have some evidence to help your case that you're just holding back because of your personal feelings for my friend here."
Marloth considered for a moment, sitting down on the bench in the cell again.
"There's something not right going on with the company Rosie and I work for. I caught the Boss collaborating with some Ferengi, but when I tried to tell someone about it, the Ferengi were found floating dead in space. That was a couple months back now."
"Do you think he has something to do with it?"
"I don't know. I've noticed when people make the boss angry, they tend to have more run ins with the orions in this sector."
"Orions?" Tom's eyebrow rose this, and Diziara tensed up.
"You could say we're a juicy target, all the high value cargo in our holds. But it seems like after someone pisses off the boss, their runs usually get hit more. Rosie says I'm being paranoid, but I've been running the numbers. That's what lead me to the Ferengi to start with."
"So maybe the boss is behind it?"
Marloth considered this for a long moment, then his eyes lit up. "Maybe."
"Do you have any of those number with you?"
"A virus wiped out the computer on the Barracuda last week, and I can't find the backup. I thought I gave it to Rosie for safe keeping."
"Barracuda?" Diziara asked quietly. Marloth looked at her.
"My ship." He explained, oddly confused by her tone.
"There's a fist sized dent, in the cockpit, starboard side wall...?" She added, and Marloth nodded slowly.
Svetlana looked at Diziara, "Something we should know?"
"That was my ship," she said. "That fucking hunk of bolts, where the port aft thruster was always a half a percent lower powered that all the rest... No matter what Travis did-" She stopped suddenly.
"Back to you." Svetlana glared at the Klingon, "What were you hauling?"
"We haul a lot of stuff, I think we had wobbly headed Kahless dolls that time..." Marloth made a face. "The most hideous things I have ever seen. Rosie stole one and left it in our bunk." He frowned.
"Our bunk" Svetlana raised an eyebrow, "Were you involved?"
"There's only one bunk in the ship," Diziara explained even as Marloth answered, "She's my girlfriend."
"Do you think she might be in danger?"
"Why would she be in danger?" Marloth asked, confusion clear on his face.
"She's involved with you, she was supposed to have the backup, she has a criminal history." Svetlana ticked them off on her fingers, "She might know something, she might be involved." Svetlana examined her fingers and then made a fist, "We'd like to know what we're getting into here."
"Clearly he doesn't understand what he's drug himself into," Diziara observed.
"We can take her into protective custody when we reach the station, if she wants it," Tom pointed out.
"The Orion Syndicate doesn't get involved with Khaless bobble heads. Unless you can think of anything else that we might be able to use to help you then you should probably try to record as much as you can remember."
"Orion Syndicate?" Marloth's eyes went wide. "Why do you even think it's them?"
She shrugged, "Always prepare for the worst. You're the one who mentioned Orions. If you'd mentioned the Gamma Quadrant I'd be worried about shapeshifters. I think we're done here until we can get access to some evidence."
"Get him a PADD, and see that he records everything he can think of," Tom directed one of the officers standing guard.
"If we're going on a Klingon station, I should probably arm myself," Diziara murmured to herself as she turned towards the door. Tom snorted.
"Darlin', I know what sort of inventory you keep on yourself when you're just on standard duty," he pointed out, following her.
Setlana went with them, "Zere is alvays being room for surprises." She drawled, staring Tom in the eye.
Tom raised an eyebrow, looking at Svetlana carefully. Diziara giggled.