SIM:Cogud/Nickels - Honor among Thieves pt 1
This Sim tells the story of how Cogud and Nickels find a mutual interest in the smuggling plot of Rambling Rose on Iotia.
|Chief Tactical Officer|
(( Handsome Bachelor's Quarters, USS Discovery-C ))
- Nickels Luciano was a man who dressed to the tens because the nines weren't
spiffy enough. However, this little affair on Iotia wasn't going to be something that was settled in French cuffs and silk trousers. Nickels was dressed to play rough; rugged dark canvas trousers riveted against heavy-soled black brogans, a thick black leather belt and a loop-stitched silk shirt buttoned over a pearly dark blue Hirogen dispersive armor vest. He had a black leather shoulder holster slung around his shoulders, carrying one of his custom type-2 phasers. His snap stun baton was locked into the spring holster strapped around his right wrist, he had an eight-inch monomolecular edged switchblade in one pocket and his tritanium knuckles were in the other. Loaded for bear, he clapped a porkpie hat padded with woven ceramic armor on his head, and clicked on a pair of heavy ebony cufflinks with their own unique features. ::
ALIBI: Some people go swimming or dancing on vacation. You're going to go find a street brawl with unknown aliens.
NICKELS: It's the life of Riley. ::he cracked his neck side to side in two sharp pops, and began to move to the door of his quarters:: Ya sure ya wanna come? Ya can just hang out in the Arboretum an' NOT get shot at. Ya could even go ta the forest, visit the flippin' motherland.
- The clee preened and rippled his four-lobed blue beak in a rippling sound,
the avian's native laughter. Nickels swung a long dark trench coat off a hook and slipped it on. Alibi landed on the armored left shoulder and balanced there as they moved into the hall, not noticing the Ferengi watching them from a cross corridor as they moved to the transport room. ::
AVIAN: Last time I wasn't with you, you got eaten by a tiger.
NICKELS: Only a little!
- After a quick and casually jovial conversation with the transporter chief on
duty about going to visit his family, Nickels and Alibi rode the beam down to a set of coordinates just outside the lakeside docks in Old Okmyx Chicago. The docks had been Luciano turf since they took them back from the Tarko mob after the Nygma Arcade Massacre. This was the heart of his father's smuggling operation - if Joe Bananas Luciano was in deep with a foreign consortium, the dirty business would be taking place here, in the sprawling maze of salt-soaked warehouses and packing rooms overlooking Lake Efex. Nickels squared his shoulders, cracked his knuckles, and with his gaudy bird at his shoulder like some sort of vengeful and well-dressed pirate, he prepared to face his destiny.
Of course, then the folding communicator in his rear pocket rang. He glanced back and forth, then stepped into the shadows of an alcove and flipped the communicator open. ::
COGUD: =/\= Cogud to Lt Nickels, sorry to interrupt your shore leave, but I need to discuss something... in a private location =/\=
NICKELS: ... what the hell does No-good want? Ya know anythin', Alibi?
ALIBI: Never trust anyone who speaks Ferengi.
NICKELS: Good advice. Raspberries. What could he ... well, fine.
- He tapped the response button. ::
NICKELS: =/\= That'll be fine, Cogud. I was just about ta get a drink, so join me. Quiet place, called the Triple Crown, on McClurg Court. Just beam down ta my coordinates, an' we can ... talk. =/\=
COGUD: =/\= Bring your clee. =/\=
- Nickels' dark eyes narrowed, and he craned his head at Alibi, who flapped his
wings in a dismissive, ruffling shrug. The bird had no idea what the erstwhile Trill thug might want with him, but the clee never passed up a free drink. ::
NICKELS: =/\= Alibi's already down here. But since we're bringin' company, bring yer pet Ferengi. =/\=
- He signed off before the helmsman could respond, and began walking briskly
down the streets towards the Triple Crown, a bar named much more grandly than it deserved. He pushed through the doors and glanced around. The place was empty except for the barman, an old one-eyed longshoreman with tattooed forearms. The dockworkers were still on duty and the place wouldn't be full for hours yet. Nickels moved to lean on the bar, and tilted his porkpie hat back with a friendly grin. He reached into an inner pocket of his coat and pulled out two silver twenty-bela cartwheels, jingling them in his hand. ::
NICKELS: Question, pally. I heard that a coupla boilermakers were pretty expensive in this joint, but that the bartender is deaf, dumb and blind, so that makes up for it. ::jingle jingle:: That true?
- He rested the coins on the bar and drummed his fingers. The barman squinted
at him, checked the coins with a casual glance, then poured two shots of Tiger Whiskey and two heavy drafts of Iron Bear Beer before taking the coins and fading quietly away to the far end of the bar. He turned on the radio at a low, murmuring volume and leaned against the wall, apparently intently involved in the baseball game down at Comiskey. Nickels grinned and took the drinks to the other end of the bar, grabbing a stool that put his back to a wall with a view of the door and the rest of the empty bar, and awaited his guest. ::
ALIBI: You didn't order me a drink.
NICKELS: I'm pretty sure this place don't serve daiquiris, and that's all ya drink, ya nancy.
- Cogud's feet lay uncomfortably on the cobblestone street of McClurg Court, he
was wearing a dark grey pinstripe suite, with a felt pinstripe fedora laying comfortably on his head. Cogud had requested the replicator create the jacket with extra pockets, for concealing anything of value. In a dark brown leather holster Cogud had his Ferengi Energy Whip, a weapon Cogud had mastered when he was eight, Unfortunately his "Partner in Crime" looked a little less discrete, instead of a fedora Zug had chosen a straw boater hat with a red ribbon and his suit was bright white. Being a Ferengi, Zug wasn't going to have a chance of blending in anywhere. On the streets of a gangster planet wearing old Earth-style clothing Zug still screamed Ferengi. ::
ZUG: So Jorus... Where are we meeting the smuggler.
COGUD: A place called the Triple Crown.
ZUG: Okay ... I knew that much, where is it?
COGUD: It's on this street.
- Leading ahead Cogud followed the street until he found the establishment
called the Triple Crown, the place seemed quaint, Cogud entered expecting a large and intimidating crowd of people, a crowd in which Zug would find all eyes on him, but the bar was empty, except for Nickels, a bartender and the singing clee. Cogud approached the bar where Nickels was sitting and took a seat next to him, not making eye contact. ::
COGUD: We know.
- The Iotian grinned and found the saltshaker, adding a sprinkle of salt to his
Iron Bear beer. It helped prevent goiters AND made the awful bitter stuff a little more palatable. ::
NICKELS: Ya know, ya know. WHAT do ya know, No-good? ::he chuckled:: Ya don't know a good tailor, I c'n tell ya that much. Nice outfit, Bug.
ZUG: ::Taking a deep breath:: My name is Zug
NICKELS: Ya sure?
ALIBI: He's right about his own name, boss.
NICKELS: Fine, fine. ::he tilted back salted beer and chuckled:: Bug, Zug, Rug. What's a few consonants between friends?
NICKELS: Sure, we're friends. We're all drinkin' together in a nice quiet bar here in my hometown and youse two scamps are about ta try ta put the squeeze on me. Just like ol' pals.
COGUD: The squeeze? We know your a smuggler if that's what you mean?
NICKELS: There's the squeeze. ::he grinned:: So ya think ya got somethin' on me. What, did ya root around in the cargo holds an' find one of my "special" shipments?
COGUD: Special Shipments, I may have to look at a few of those when I am back on the Discovery.
ZUG: Rule 9, Opportunity plus instinct equals profit, and my instinct tells me there is profit in those special shipments.
- Nickels chuckled a little. Becoming Chief of Security made it a lot easier
to keep track of items aboard the ship that you didn't want disturbed. But Cogud didn't ned to know that. ::
COGUD: We found no special shipments, Zug here claims he as seen you trading in some ... unique places.
NICKELS: Really? ::he shot back half his Tiger whiskey and chased it with a gulp of beer, with a happy shudder, then turned to squint at the Ferengi from under the brim of his porkpie hat:: Ahh, I can't tell. I got no memory f'r four-lobes.
ALIBI: Might've been back when we were on the Independence, boss.
- The clee paced back and forth on the bar in quick little hops, snatching up
bright red fezzik nuts from the bowl on the bar. His harmonious, intelligent voice was disquieting coming from what was essentially a giant gaudy parrot. ::
ZUG: I can't remember exactly where I saw you ... but I don't forget things.
COGUD: ::Muttering:: You forgot that you owe me five slips of latinum pretty quickly.
ZUG: Jorus, your not helping my point, but I don't forget faces.
NICKELS: Have it yer way, then. Ya say ya saw someone who looks like me an' a pretty bird doin' some naughty things. Now let's look at what ya REALLY got, shall we?
- The Iotian tilted the rest of his whiskey into his beer and took a deep
draft. His dark eyes glittered as he set the mug down with a heavy thump and turned to face the two men, the Trill and his nattily-dressed Ferengi friend. ::
NICKELS: We got a known criminal takin' asylum on a Federation vessel, accusin' the Chief of Security of bein' a bad boy. ::he grinned:: Some people would say ya got a problem of credibility right off the bat.
COGUD: ::Smiling:: Well, I am sure the Captain would be very interested in these, "Special Shipments"
NICKELS: True, true. Ya could make things sticky if ya decided ta press the issue. ::he shrugged, tilting back his beer again:: Of course, if I put my mind to it, I could make life pretty unpleasant for ya myself.
ALIBI: Lucky the boss is such a nice guy.
COGUD: A nice guy? Perfect.
- Zug quickly pulled Cogud away from the Iotian Security Chief. Nickels
innocently leaned against the bar, raising his eyebrows and draining off the rest of the boilermaker, and smiled a friendly nice-guy smile. ::
ZUG: ::Whispering:: Rule 48, the bigger the smile the sharper the knife.
COGUD: Zug I know the rules, let me handle this one ::Turning back to Nickels:: If your such a nice guy you won't mind telling us of the cosy little smugglers operation going on here?
NICKELS: oO Quick little bunnies, aren't they? Oo What makes ya think anythin' is goin' on here? This place is a museum. Practically a friggin' theme park. An' what would a straight arrow security man like myself have ta do with any sorta crim-
ZUG: We want a cut.
COGUD: Wait Zug, we don't know what it is and if he is even involved,
- The Ferengi in the spiffy boater turned to regard Nickels again. The Iotian
was struck with the magnetic force of the old smuggler's personality - Zug must've been a serious player in his day. ::
ZUG: ARE you involved?
- Sighing, Nickels slid his empty mug down to the end of the bar, where the
silent bartender was, to all appearances, totally engrossed in his radio program. Nonetheless, the scarred old gin slinger caught the glass one-handed, and slid back a fresh beer, followed closely by a shot that Nickels catched smoothly and dropped into the beer glass. That bit of business bought him a little time to think. ::
NICKELS: There IS somethin' goin' on down here. An' I'll be honest - as painful as that is - I could use some people of low moral character that I don't gotta pay by the hour ta help me out. Ya look inta the game down here with me, an' I'll let ya take whatever cut ya want off whatever we take before I turn it in.
COGUD: Do we know whats being smuggled? Who is involved? Zug has quite a little data bank of smugglers collected in that four lobed Ferengi brain of his.
ALIBI: ::hopping to stand in front of Cogud and Zug:: We have no idea what is being smuggled, but it seems to be at least two separate chains of product from different locations, being exchanged one for one through Sigma Iotia. As far as who is running the operation, we have no idea who is receiving or who is overseeing, but the operation here is being run by -
- The clee glanced at Nickels, raising his purple crest and making a curious
chirrup. Nickels drained his boilermaker and let out a ragged sigh of contentment, nodding at the avian. ::
ALIBI: Joseph "Joe Bananas" Luciano. Nickels' father.
COGUD: Father, well... what's the human expression?
NICKELS: ::chuckling:: It runs in the family.
COGUD: ::Smiling:: I can relate to that.
ZUG: His uncle's a conman. Not as respectable a smuggler, but...
COGUD: Zug, save the propaganda, So Lieutenant are you trying to make a small profit out of this?
NICKELS: ::shaking his head, he thumped the empty mug down:: No, I ain't tryin' ta get in on the action. For once. I just need ta shut Joe down. He's got the gangsters tangled up with offworlders, which means that my friends an' family are payin' f'r my father bein' an idiot. Payin' in blood.
COGUD: ::Cogud froze at the statement, thoughts came back to him of Krax and Krull, almost choking him looking for Zug, how all of Zug's old crew - many of whom were friends of Cogud - had been killed by the syndicate looking for his godfather and how his grandfather, whom Cogud did not know, was killed in cold blooded murder because he said the wrong thing:: Oh
- Nickels glanced curiously at the man. The Trill sounded oddly contemplative,
and Nickels found himself wondering what kind of a past Cogud had come from. His files had been oddly - clean. ::
ZUG: Got any more information?
NICKELS: I dunno the details, just what my Ma told me. Whoever's workin' with Joe Bananas doesn't like somethin' about the way he's doin' business - knowin' the old gorilla, he's probably skimmin' off the top - an' they're killin' the gang, one at a time. The Feds are freakin' out an' lookin' ta shut down the Museum. We made it here just in time before the bubble came down.
COGUD: ::Snapping out of his daze:: Lucky thing the Captain scheduled shore leave here.
ZUG: ::Locking his eyes onto Nickles and smiling a sleazy, sluggish smile:: What a... happy coincidence.
NICKELS: ::grinning in return:: What c'n I say? The captain's a hell of a guy. Anyway, here's what I got - I ain't gonna tangle the Discovery up in this if I don't gotta.
- He chuckled, and flapped a hand dismissively. ::
NICKELS: Any more than I already have, anyway. But I DO need someone wit' me while I find out what's goin' on. You an' Zuggy here cover me an' help shut down whatever cockamamie operation this is, an' I'll help ya get a cut off whatever the goods are before I file any reports.
- He extended his left hand, elbow resting on the bar. ::
- Cogud grabbed Nickels' left hand. There was honor among thieves, after all.
COGUD: Mister Nickels, you just got your henchmen.
NICKELS: ::with a wink:: Let's say "associates". Sounds fancier.
ALIBI: Am I an associate?
NICKELS: Yer a bird.
Thanks to Nickels for most of the quality of this sim.