A letter to Dr Cole

My Dearest Elisha,

Life here in the colony has been much harder than I ever expected. I arrived with a group of people, mostly Klingons, and was beamed into the town square of Xebec’s Demise. They warned us about the air, which is laced with high concentrations of ammonia. Though prepared, I was hit hard and my eyes and lungs burned terribly. One of the Klingons, a towering monster named Grog, fell to his knees and screamed in agony moments after we arrived. Later I discovered that he had a severe allergy to ammonia. Looking around the place I could see gallows with three people hanging by their necks. A Romulan named T’shon said he was our guide and led us into a tavern called the Dancing Dwarf.

The Dancing Dwarf was an interesting place with good music and even better air filters. The air smelled crisp and clean and had a taste of ozone in it. T’shon introduced us to the room and we could see dozens of eyes staring at us, appraising us, sizing us up. It was strange for me to be on this end of the table. I had given the same looks to hundreds of people over the years but to be the one being appraised, I felt uneasy. The house gave each of us one drink for free and T’shon explained to us that the Areinnye-Kaleh ran this place. He went on to say that the AK’s ran everything in the colony. After our drink we were led back to the town square with about fifty people following us. They were laughing and speaking in a dozen different languages. T’shon announced that the ‘Hunt’ was about to begin. Grog looked wary and the other people just smiled, not sure what was happening. I edged towards Grog and said, “Let’s work together and maybe we both will see a brighter tomorrow.” He nodded and we started edging towards the alley I had seen. T’shon shouted, “survive the night and you are all members of the colony. Otherwise you will be dead or enslaved.” I broke into a run down the ally with Grog right on my tail. I could hear T’shon as he finished, “The Hunt begins now!!!” and then I could hear the screams of those who failed to run. I would discover a few days later that other than Grog and myself, only three people survived the night.

Me and Grog ran like hell with a dozen goons on our tail. When we turned onto one of the streets, we discovered it was a dead end. Grog turned to face our pursuers while I continued to look for a weapon or a way out. None was found and they were on us in seconds. Grog smashed the head of the first one – a huge Nausicaan. Then he snatched up the knife the Nausicaan had been wielding and stuck it right into the chest of a Romulan chick. I grabbed the girl by her hair, slammed her face into the curb, and stomped on the back of her head. She was armed with a meathook and I picked it up as two Orion bullies began beating me with clubs. I hooked one in the eye and then brought my knee up into his nose as I dragged his head down. The second one cracked me in the side of the skull and I saw stars as I fell to my knees. I swung the hook violently and it found purchase in the back of his knee. He screamed like a little girl as he fell, and I jumped onto his chest pummeling his face until it looked like hamburger. When I looked up Grog had killed all of the rest. He laughed and shouted a victory roar.

We looted the bodies gaining us some local currency, weapons, breathing masks, and goggles. Then we started looking for some shelter as night was upon us and the cold was fierce. After an hour or so we found an abandoned building and soon enough had a fire. I had flashbacks of my time on Bajor during the Cardassian occupation. Grog wasn’t terribly bright but he became a great friend over the next few days. We went house to house, looting and soon enough we had amassed a small fortune. What we didn’t know was we had made enemies too.

I think it must have been a month into my time here when my friend, Alyr Torin showed up and was put through the same crap. Lucky for him I knew what was coming and Grog helped me get him away from the rest of the noobs. It’s funny that we got busted by the Romulans together but his trial took longer. I guess it was because of his fame as an actor – who knows? With Torin I had a powerful ally that could work the numbers with me while Grog worked the badass angle. Jemma Sentira owned this bar called the Grinning Vulcan. It was a on the edge of the Klingon and Jolets zones. The AK’s seemed to stay clear but a lot of fights over the bar seemed to be the norm.

Jemma is a crazed gambler who thinks she is the best. So I used the money I had stolen with Grog and we set Torin up to play her. 16 hours later she put the bar up and lost. Guns and knives came out from everywhere and the fighting was intense. In the end we had taken the bar and after splitting the loot, I kept the bar and Torin got all the coin and a few other things. While cleaning the place up we discovered that Jemma had escaped. I know that will come back to haunt us but for now she is in hiding.

I told Grog we needed girls to set up a brothel and he went out and got us a dozen Romulans, but I still needed someone to manage them. That is when I found the hidden dungeon under the bar. It was an old medical facility and in it was cells made out of solid steel bars. In one of those cells was a Twi’lek and I took her under my wing. She proved to be quite capable and we made her the Madam of the establishment.

I truly like owning a bar and finally understand why Quark runs one. It is safer than pirating, more profitable than not, and best of all it is confortable. I have hired a couple of bouncers including Grog and another Klingon named Karr. Karr even does tattoos and piercings on my slaves. We have three bartenders but the human one seems most capable. I think he has some dark secret but haven’t figured it out yet. With help from Karr, a truly incredible engineer, we have hooked our medical facility into the EMH system for the colony. This has brought us Kate who is a fine doctor even if she is a machine. I often catch Jacen, the bartender, down in the infirmary talking to her like they were old friends. We set up part of the bar as a casino of sorts and Torin is running that for me. All in all the place is booming. Next week we even got a live band moving in. They have agreed to play nightly for room and board and better yet I get half their tips.

I think it was about a year into my time here when the AK’s sent their man to collect. I knew it was coming but we are also paying the Jolets for protection so this was a bit insulting. Well I was a bit angry and said some things that I probably shouldn’t have and then the taxman I was talking to got stabbed by a nasty skinny alien that was in the bar. The Skinny’s name was Kel and he ran like hell out of the place, but now I had to explain why an AK was dead in my bar.

I went to the Castle alone, to see Tal Sharesh and was a bit scared. His men let me in and this nasty human named Gunner walked me through the castle, the whole time sticking me with a nightstick. Sharesh is a typical megalomaniacle Romulan. He thinks he is a god so I acted accordingly – my cringing and downcast eyes left him feeling superior. I released my pheromones to pacify the room and to engender trust. Soon enough I had him dancing on my strings. He forgave me for the transgression and accepted my bribe with a smile. He then told me he wanted me protected and assigned a deranged Vulcan to act as his man in my place. Tu’Sutok was in a pit and as we watched he was ripping the arm off a human woman and giggling like a giddy school girl. I can honestly say I have never been so unnerved. After a night of partying with Tal’Sharesh I was allowed to go home.

For a time I hunted the streets for Kel and even put a price on his head, but he has vanished into the shadows. If I ever see him again, I will kill him for what he did. You do not break hospitality like that and get away with it. I think I may even have his head mounted on the wall like the grinning Vulcan that hangs above the fireplace – and gives the bar its name.

About a month ago Tal’Sharesh summoned me. He needed to find someone and his people were having no luck. Initially he tried to use his position to intimidate me but by the end of the talk I agreed to find his lost puppy but he would owe me a favor. What he didn’t know, was that Grog had captured his puppy a few weeks earlier and that we had her in a cage under the Grinning Vulcan. In the end he got what he wanted and I earned a favor from the most powerful person on Denchar. When we turned her over to him he slit her throat which truly was a waste. I felt bad about that but you know that business is business and it’s not like I had the power to save the girl. Turned out that the girl was one of T’Shon’s people and this sparked a rivalry between us. Now he keeps trying to out do me in his Dancing Dwarf but even with the midget dancers, his place isn’t even close in quality to the one I am running.

I don’t want you to worry about things here. I am certain that we will find a way to escape but these things take time. I understand that the USS Neptune is in orbit and several Romulan ships are in system. This presents signifigant difficulties for our plans.

Oh, I nearly forgot, I discovered a number of the people who work at the Grinning vulcan play Juggers. This was great news for me and I convinced them to start a team. I even got us registered in the Xebec’s Juggers League. Perhaps we will win the Xebec’x Cup.

I hope things are well for you. Remember that Starfleet is really cracking down on people like you, so stay clear of them. If I were you I would head into the Uncharted Territories and get away from the Federation altogether.

I will write again when I can. Getting this message out to you is costing me a fortune.

Your Friend
Tarak

A letter to Dr Cole

Star Trek Late Night StephenWollett