A Fair Deal

The cargo hold of the Tears of Daros was sprawling with merchants of various nature all going about their business. Trading of goods, slaves, weapons and the like were at the order of the day on the Orion ship.

Sliver and Lora emerged from a turbolift, the contents of their discussion lost to the crowd. They often visited the hold, each for their own reasons, all of which furthered their business partnership one way or the other.

Sliver interrupted their chat when she sensed something. A series of emotions of uneasiness from someone, which started the moment the turbolift doors opened.

She bobbed her head once, “Forgive me, would you excuse me?”

Lora responded with a nod of her own.

The Aenar walked through the crowded hold, passing by a few merchants and reaching the gambling tables. A woman, human, sat alone at one of the tables. Sliver decided to sit across her.

“Lena, how are you doing today?” She asked.

The woman looked around her, trying to hide the uneasiness that had now grown.

“I am fine, Sliver, why do you ask?”

The Aenar laid her back against the chair and casually placed her disruptor pistol on the table.

“Come on now, you know I can read your mind.”

“Stop playing with me, I don't know what you are on about.” Lena’s right hand slid carefully on her hip.

“Look, I know how much you are getting paid, it's the first thought in your mind.” Sliver smiled sweetly. “Give me half, and I’ll help you.”

Lena remained silent and inspected the area around her to make sure nobody was listening to the conversation.

Sliver didn't let up. “Look honey, I am not giving you a choice. If you don't take this deal, I will give you up.” She paused. “And if you don't put that knife on the table,” she continued speaking slowly to make a point, “I will shoot you.”

Lena’s eyebrows furrowed while she did as instructed and placed the knife on the table. The left corner of Sliver's mouth was slightly raised by a smug grin. She let her hand travel along the rough surface of the table and reached the knife. She clasped it and ran her thumb along the handle, raised it in the air and felt its weight.

“This is a well balanced blade, one you would want to throw at people.” Sliver shrugged. “I hope you have another one, I’ll take this one.”

The Aenar deposited her pistol back into the holster and stood up with the blade in her hand. She winked.

“Meet me in my quarters in half hour, we’ll talk business amongst other things.” She said before walking away.

Sliver had just left the turbolift and stepped on the corridor when she sensed a few armed Nausicaan brutes were waiting for her, accompanied by Lora – the Tabadi – and Lena.

Lora reached for her pocket, and pulled out a cigarette and a lighter. She put the cigarette in her mouth, lit it up, then casually took a toke.

“I’ve heard the most distressing thing, Sliver.” She began with absolute calm. “Lena here tells me you tried to strike a bargain with my life.” She brought her hand to her chest and feigned shock.

Sliver’s right hand travelled towards the holstered knife. She took a moment to feel its handle before pulling it out and showing it off to the group. She didn't even try to hold back a sigh.

“Yes, in fact, with this knife.”

Lora didn't seem worried in the least. “Well then, you’ve pulled the knife haven’t you? You’re going to have to use it now.”

Sliver shrugged, “I know.”

In one sudden movement she threw the knife at her target. Lena collapsed on the floor, unable to scream, blood escaping through the wound.

The Aenar sighed again, “I wouldn't have even bothered getting out of bed for the sum they promised her.”

She took a few steps towards the human and pulled the knife out of her chest. She grabbed her handkerchief and cleaned off the blade.

“Do you want me to clean that up?”

Lora took another drag before exhaling the smoke, then snapped her fingers at one of the Nausicaan brutes.

“We have people for that, you and I have more important work to do.” The Orion dropped her cigarette haphazardly onto Lena’s fallen body and walked off towards the lift.