6.12.16

Episode 91B

Devil's Leftovers, Part II

The Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X dropped warp at Krios III and took orbit. There, they were hailed by a Klingon facility on the planet.

"I am General Gron. You will tell us your business here, or we will rip out your throats!" the Klingon officer argued from behind his desk.

Seifer stood up. "We're responding to a distress signal, and how would you even have the man power to do what you say?"

"I don't know—" the Klingon stuttered, unsure himself. "I'd line you all up or something? Stop questioning my tactics!"

The Commander shrugged. "Hey, I just want to be sure the logistics check out. Anyway, is there a chance your princess was taken by a group of grifters flying a ship called the Karisag?"

"That's exactly what happened! Although I am a Klingon who only cares for Klingon matters, having the Sovereign Dynasty of Krios Prime constantly bicker at me is more annoying than a swarm of targ flies during mating season."

Nodding, Seifer replied, "Agreed. If you will allow us to investigate, we may be able to apprehend these tricksters and reclaim Bajor VIII's two shipments of quadrotriticale grain."

"Ugh. That bland, one-taste baktag is utterly disgusting! Just do whatever you have to do and stay out of the targ cages. My premium beast is feeding to impress the females," Gron argued before he cut the screen off.

Kayl spoke up. "He seems nice."

"Klingons do not do nice," interjected Red. "Unless it involves some sort of blood-letting. We are all over that."

---

Seifer, Armond and Kugo beamed down the facility to examine its main concourse, which was busy with people. Armond took out his tricorder and began scanning.

"Nothing out of the ordinary here," he stated. "But, then again, this tricorder hasn't been working for weeks."

Looking into the distance, Seifer noticed that, within a group of people, was the same Ferengi who he saw earlier on the Bridge of the Karisag. "It's BOG!"

"Commander, are you saying that in all caps, or standardized punctuation?" Kugo inquired. "Asking for a friend."

But, instead, Seifer moved into the crowds to attempt to apprehend his target. Upon breaching a group of Kriosians, he found no Ferengi. "Something we can help you with?" one of the Kriosians, Carv, asked.

"Uh, yeah, a check on that attitude," Seifer shot back before leaving them and making his way toward the office.

It was then he bumped into the Klingon, Gron, who he had spoken to before. "Watch where you walk, Starfleet! Assuming you represent the organization as a whole!"

"Perhaps, you should watch who you swindle, Gron. Lying comes with more caveats than a cage full of tribble," he replied.

Gron grunted. "You dare accuse me of various things!? In this case, one?!"

"You're working with Ardra's crew, and called me here to cover your tracks," Seifer exclaimed as he reached into the crowd, right next to them, and pulled out the Ferengi BOG by his shirt collar.

BOG tried to scramble free with no luck. "I swear; those Talaxian fur flies were not interbred!"

"Ugh. You insipid Ferengi, and, yes, that was a specist slur," Gron cursed before turning back to Seifer. "I merely looked the other way in order for that crew to complete their princess exchange. You have any idea how annoying I find the Kriosians. Why does the Klingon Empire even have a facility here? Is there a connection, or did we just coincidentally occupy a world with the same name??"

Seifer replied, "I don't have the answers to those questions, nor will I probably ever, but you're going away for a long time, also probably." He then noticed the Kriosians walking over, aiming their weapons to apprehend Gron. "You guys are security? Why aren't you wearing uniforms?"

"The Sovereign Guard," Carv said. "We asked you if there was anything we could help you with! Inquiries are the uniforms of our people."

The Commander nodded. "I guess that works within the confines of your particular grouping. As for BOG, he's got a date with Starfleet; candles, wine, cheesecake dessert; the whole shebang."

"Finally! Please just take the Ferengi already. He's been leaving tube grub skins all over the floors. They're so crunchy under our feet."

---

Returning back to the Phoenix-X, Seifer met BOG who was put into the Brig by two security officers.

"So, what's the prison schedule like? Three meals a day, therapy sessions, and a hot shower? I'm on board!" BOG said excitedly. "But none of those metal cups. You can't get the metal taste out of your mouth."

Seifer activated the force field. "Oh yeah? Well now you'll get two of those cups!! Until then, let's talk Ardra's crew. Where are they? What have you done with them??"

"Nothing! They go where they please. I think you've got your paradigm wrong. Also, I think you should know that I am an expert swindler. I was bred for it, actually," BOG bragged while blowing on his purple nails.

The Commander rolled his eyes. "Fine. Then swindle your way out of this."

"I will! Okay, here goes: To free me, I will give you five cases of tulaberry wine. Oh! And I'll throw in a package of unsealing stembolts. How's about that for swindle, huh?"

Crossing his arms, Seifer replied, "That's not even what a swindle is. Plus, I don't accept, nor was I even tempted to go for it."

"Do you want my point to be made or what? You have to take the deal to make it work!" BOG grumbled. "Okay, forget it. How about if I help you catch Ardra's crew?"

Seifer was taken aback. "After that display of deal-making? And why are all Ferengi just horrible, even at their own jobs?"

"It's a clear stereotyping thing, but, truthfully, I have had enough of the pretentiousness of that crew and how they think they're sooooo great grifting. You know what I mean?"

The Commander shrugged. "Starfleet doesn't do that anymore. Not ever since Kirk grifted all those alien women into his bed and was banned from the Federation for a whole week."

"Well, I've only been with women who've mistaken me for other, more suave Ferengi," BOG replied. "As for catching Ardra's crew, I believe if we offer them a trade deal, based on a swindle, they will accept. I suggest the psy-wave devices of the Prytt Alliance, which Ardra's crew has been desiring for quite some time."

Seifer's jaw dropped. "What!? We'll never be able to manufacture one of those. That's crazy-talk from a crazy-Ferengi with an all-caps name!"

"Unless you borrow actual devices from the Prytt. You see, they would do anything to gain favor with the Federation, since their adversaries tried and failed once."

Commander Seifer nodded. "Fine. But you're still not getting those therapy sessions. The counselor is very busy at the moment."

"But my mental health!? Uggh. You know that's akin to physical health in this Century, right? Never mind. I'll just guess what my value system should be." He then concentrated. "Coming to conclusions without evidence? Yep, that's probably acceptable."

Seifer just looked at him awkwardly as BOG continued and then Seifer slowly backed out of the Brig.

---

Later, the Phoenix-X took orbit of Kesprytt III and Seifer beamed down to the surface to meet the Prytt representatives.

"Oh, this is surely delightful!" said Cargone, a Prytt mediator. "We are more than happy to do anything for the Federation, if it means you would consider us as a part of your vast interstellar empire of goodie-goodness."

The Commander was handed a briefcase of psy-wave devices. "First of all, that's just an assumption you made which I only alluded to in lie form; we'd never consider you, and, second, wow: You guys must be desperate? You once captured our own people out of Romulan-like distrust?"

"We envied their mysteriousness at the time. Now the Romulans are all over the map! In an effort to harken back to that, we've captured some of your very own Klingon exchange officers."

---

Meanwhile, in a Prytt interrogation room, deep, within the planet, Kortos, Amos and Targon found themselves sitting around a long table before a Prytt official.

"Now, you will tell me all your secrets and such!" demanded a Prytt unofficial named Maeke, who held a small whip for posture.

Targon glanced at his other Klingon warriors in momentary confusion before starting. "Well, we once ate the heart of a live Kolar beast right in front of Ensign Dan. He was puking for weeks."

"That was the best!" Kortos added, laughing.

Amos sat, unsettled. "You know the heart of those things are full of cholesterol? We really need to eat healthier."

"Oh, Amos, you are such a food health nut. Just learn to live for once," suggested Targon. He then glanced up at Maeke, honestly unsure. "Pitiful Prytt Representative, is any of this helpful at all?"

---

Forgetting about them, the Phoenix-X left the Kesprytt system and dropped warp back into the Bajor system. The Ferengi bartender BOB flew the Class-2 shuttlecraft Dracon into orbit of the desert world Bajor VI.

"I'm glad we could make an offscreen deal," came the sly complement of Hexagin to an out-of-uniform, robed Kugo who beamed from the shuttlecraft to the inside of a slinky Bajoran bar in the middle of nowhere.

The Vulcan tilted her head in confusion, as she extended her arm with the briefcase. "Screen? You appear to be stuck in a trope's parameters. As for these, I acquired them illegally, of course. I sent you my whole convincing backstory, as well, right?"

"It was very thorough," Hexagin said. "You once rode with Hartcourt Mudd? Honestly, I thought he'd be dead by now for flaunting that curly mustache thing in the mid-23rd century."

Suddenly, Seifer, Armond and BOG stepped out from the shadows holding phasers at Hexagin and two of his men. "Hold it right there, grifty-grifts! These devices were just a lure and you took the bait. Now you're going to jail for being horrible at sneaking around! Oh, and the legal stuff too, probably."

"Oh, am I?" replied Hexagin, smirking. "I think Bajoran Security would have a problem with those claims."

Then, out of the shadows, right behind Seifer and Armond, came two Bajoran Security officers holding weapons at them. "Don't move," said one of them.

"What!? You were in the same shadowy corners as us? Why didn't we see you?" Seifer reacted in shock.

The other Bajoran answered. "It's shadowy. Obviously you couldn't see anything!"

"That's right," continued Hexagin as BOG walked over to join him. "You were grifted by the grifters! And trading psy-wave devices is illegal in this system, thanks to laws and such."

Seifer pointed at Hexagin and BOG. "Hey, Bajorans, you need to arrest those guys! They stole your quadrotriticale and a Kriosian princess! And why did I even bring a traitorous Ferengi on this mission??"

"Hey, that Ferengi's partner just fed us quadrotriticale!" the lead security guy said. "And it was delicious. Plus, we were told you guys had been visiting several worlds in just the past few days including the moon of Baraddo, and the world's of Krios III and Kesprytt III, respectively!"

The Commander threw up his arms in dismissal. "To investigate your stolen grain situation! Why aren't you responding to logic??"

"Pfft! Ever since the Vulcan's destroyed Romulus and Remus, there has been a ban on logic throughout the Alpha Quadrant," the security officer detailed. "We even converted Cardassian labor camps into family day camps! Nothing about them was altered."

Seifer was taken aback. "Are you kidding me?? That's even worse! I don't want to be a part of a galaxy that refuses basic logic. Where did our Prime Spock even go anyway? Some alternate reality?? Just take me to jail. Anything!"

"Very well," said the other Bajoran security officer. "But along the way, you will hear all about our conversions of the Bajoran underground resistance caves into subterranean shopping malls. Oh, the cappuccinos there are to be had!"

The Commander covered his ears in disgust. "No! No more, please! I just want to be shot by your school yard phasers!" He and his crew were then led away, into the desert. They would soon find themselves the grifters turned the grifted.