Lunch: Knuckle Sandwich
00- Family Gathering
Location: Stardust City.
Timeline: MD05- 1000
The skimmer offered a smooth ride all the way from Ashex’s building to the dockyards where the Family owned a number of warehouses. There were several dockyards on the coasts of Stardust City, many of which were controlled by the Family.
The vehicle stopped just outside of a particularly abandoned looking warehouse and the end of a dock. “This is it.” Ashex explained to Tiala.
Tiala exited the vehicle to look around. She made some mental notes about the building, the dock and the access by water. It would take some work to make it home, but she was ready for the challenge. She would leave the outside alone, letting it look abandoned and run down. She would build a new house inside the shell of the warehouse. She nodded to herself and then returned to the skimmer . "Good. Ready to go when you are."
“You don’t want to look inside?” Ashex asked, exiting the vehicle as Tiala returned.
Tiala shrugged. "If you want," she answered. "Anything of interest I should be looking for?"
“It’s your future home.” Ashex said with a shrug.
"Well, then, let's open her up and see what she has to say," Tiala smirked. "You did clean it out first, right? I'm not going to need maid service right off the bat, will I?" She was teasing, of course.
“Well it hasn’t been used for some years now.” Ashex looked around the docks. “We do most of our business at the East End harbour these days.” The lilac haired woman surged forward leading the way to the entrance of the warehouse. “It’s not much, but it certain has potential.” She reached the door. “Detached dwellings are few and far between in the City.”
"It's what I'm looking for," Tiala said. "It's definitely easy to secure from all sides. Roomy. Any rodent problems? Not that it's an issue, really, but I'd like to know beforehand."
“I wouldn’t know.” Ashex shook her head. “I’ve never been in this warehouse before.” She shrugged. “I have a few contractors on hand who owe us favours and could more than likely get things done in quick order for you.”
"No!" Tiala responded forcefully. "I don't want anyone else in here after I get the keys. I'll take care of anything that pops up." She was annoyed and anxious. She hadn't really gone through the proper procedures for leaving Starfleet, which meant they could come looking for her if they really wanted to. They hadn't so far, but that could change. Security of her home would be a number one priority. No outsiders could be allowed inside once she had everything set up. Much calmer, she said, "I'll take care of it. It's fine. We can go now." She could sense Ashex was a bit amused by her reaction, but mostly she was just indifferent.
The Cardassian hostess guided Ashex and Miraya to a private table towards the back of the restaurant. “May I get a drink?” She asked as her patrons sat. “We have a lovely Kanar, 2346 vintage.”
Ashex nodded and the hostess departed. For a weekday at lunch the restaurant was quite empty. “Have you ever had Cardassian sushi before?” Oo asked of Tiala.
"I have. Can't say it's all that enjoyable. I prefer my food cooked to the appropriate temperature," Tiala said, looking around at the empty chairs. "Quiet place," she offered. "So now do I get the info on who you're meeting and the threat level? I can't say working in the dark is going to help me protect you."
“The proprietor of this fine restaurant pays for the services of The Family, and is quite behind on his dues.” Ashe sat back, impressed with the go-getter attitude. “This whole area of the city was mine when Mama was alive, so I’m taking it on personally until I make some changes to territory.”
"Understood," Tiala responded. "This proprietor have any muscle around I need to know about? Anything you have in mind if there's a failure to understand the obligations of paying on time?" She was definitely trying to feel Oo out on her way of doing things. What is acceptable to some is not to others. She didn't want to go busting heads if the Family leader was more subtle.
"Ekaaj Demur keeps a troupe of former Guls around in case things go south. But I'm sure they know better than to start anything they wouldn't be able to finish with us." Ashex sounded confident. "I think that our appearance here will reassure Ekaaj that he is not forgotten." She watched as the hostess led a rather portly Cardassian man to the table the two women occupied. He had the look of someone who had formerly been rather grand to behold, possibly with a Military background. But that was far behind him.
"Madame Oo." He said in greeting, a solemn smile painted on his face. "My deepest condolences, Mama was a truly formidable woman. No one can compare." He took up her hand as he approached and brought it to his scaled lips.
Ashex pulled her hand back, not so fast as to be rude but fast enough to mark an end to the niceties. "Thank you Ekaaj. But you know that isn't why I've come."
The hostess left a tray with Kanar and three glasses and departed quickly.
Ekaaj sat. "Who's this?" He asked, quite gruffly.
"No one to trifle with," Tiala answered with a steely glare. "Address your questions to Madame Oo." Tiala looked at Ashex and refused to look at the man again. It was unfortunate Ashex had not given her directions for dealing with lowlife persons. She felt like taking out some of her aggression on this Cardassian. She kept a keen eye out for anyone else who might cause trouble, though.
Ashex smirked at the spunk of her new employee. "Ekaaj, it's time to stop talking and pay what you owe."
The Cardassian man didn't take his eyes of Tiala, and ignored Ashex's statement. "You insolent swine." He said to the Haliian. "I would take great please in making you my bitch." He spat his words with a level of contempt that was indicative of a Cardassian. He redirected his gaze to Ashex. "And you, I did business with your mother because she was a formidable woman. She commanded respect and held the city in her fist. You, are a little girl. I should take you both for my own pleasure." He said standing.
Ashex shot a pointed look to Tiala. "Help Mister Demur back into his seat. He seems confused."
Without looking at Ekaaj, Tiala sprung from her chair and placed her right hand around his throat. She put enough pressure on the trachea to cut off almost all air. She used her other hand to push down on his shoulder, seating him with a thud. She kept her hand on his throat. She spoke in a calm manner. "You owe Madame Oo an apology. I suggest you make it quick and sincere."
“Like hell!” Ekaaj spat.
Tiala tightened her grip on the throat so that almost all air was cut off. She kept her hand on the shoulder to keep him firmly planted on his seat. "You sure?" she said, smiling. "Sincerity is important."
Two rather rough looking Cardassian men charged towards the table.
Tiala smiled at the approaching Guls. "That's quite far enough if you want to see your leader survive the next few seconds." She had a hard steely gaze fixed upon them, but still smiled.
"You'll get your money." Demur looked very uncomfortable. "Hekal, get it." He called to one of the approaching former Guls.
"Still waiting for that apology. Make it quick, and sincere," she spat at Ekaaj. "My hold doesn't loosen until you play nice for Madame Oo. You will learn respect, even if it's the last thing you do."
"I....apologize..." He wheezed under her grip.
"Good boy," Tiala smirked. She loosened her grip just a bit to make him more comfortable. She wasn't letting him go until Ashex had her money and was safely back in the car. "Madam Oo, is there anything else you require of these.....gentlemen before we depart except for the money owed?"
Hekal returned with several slips of gold pressed latinum. “No I think that will be all.” She said taking the payment from the Cardassian man. Ashex then stood and smiled. “Was that so hard Ekaaj?” She asked before stepping past him and departing the restaurant.
Tiala squeezed Ekaaj's windpipe hard so no air passed. "Next time, you better remember your manners. I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to you. Accidents can be so...unfortunate. Pass on the word to the rest of the servants of Madame Oo." She looked hard at the Guls before releasing her choke hold. "Have a pleasant day gentlemen." She backed out of the restaurant and joined Ashex at the car. She made sure Ashex was safely in the car and no one was coming after them before getting into the car herself.
"Remind me to choose the restaurant next time," Tiala said, smiling at Ashex.
Ashes was impressed with how Tiala handled herself and the situation." Shall we actually go and eat?"