00- Family Gathering
Location: Ashex Oo’s Office, Stardust Social Club
The room was flooded with warm daylight mixed, of course, with the subtle neon glow from nearby signs in the daytime. The office was quiet at this time of day. No music or hum of the crowded bar, just the pitter patter of work being done and the buzz of the street below.
Ashex arrived at 9am, but she was far from the first in the door. The bartender, Felix, was busy training his colleagues on the make of some signature cocktails for the nights event. He looked up, "Morning Boss, espresso?" he asked with a warm smile.
"Doppio." Said the lilac haired woman as she diverted her stride to the bar. She leaned over, watching as Felix worked on the espresso machine, pulling her shots into a demitasse. He set the small cup on a matching plate and Turned to hand it to Ashex. She took it and smiled before resuming her path towards the back office. Climbing the stairs, she passed decorators, technicians, and a few others who's functions she couldn't think of off the top of her head.
Her white leather heels clicked on the polished floor as she finally approached her office. The door slid open on her approach. She looked around, it was far too bright at this time of day. "Lower shades." She said. The shades descended and cast more shadow in the well appointed office space. Ashex sat at the desk with her espresso and began to read the daily news on a datapad.
After Hammer had gotten Felrug straightened out and Detective Risotta's phase regulator returned and re-installed on his transport, Hammer took a quick shower and changed into clean clothes for his 0900 meeting with Ashex.
Hammer stepped through the door. He was dressed in a grey suit with a grey tie as befitted his status as a 'legitimate businessman.' He was still armed, that was a given, but his weapons were discretely concealed. He rarely needed said weapons, but lived by the motto that it was better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them. Anyway, anyone stupid enough to attack the Family's headquarters, well, their death warrant was already signed.
Felix had seen him as he was walking in the door, but Felix didn't need to ask him what he wanted. Felix knew that Hammer drank his coffee, black, as dark and as strong as possible. Felix set the cup on the counter. It wasn't fancy, the only requirement was that it was large and kept the coffee as scalding hot as it could be. He nodded his thanks to Felix when he picked up his coffee cup and headed to the stairs.
Ashex's door opened as Hammer approached, so he stepped inside and walked up to her desk. "Morning."
Ashex didn’t look up from her datapad, she lifted her demitasse and saucer and took a sip of her espresso. “You’re late.” She said setting her drink aside.
There was no point denying it, Hammer didn't make excuses either. He was confident in everything he did, "Five minutes."
She laughed slightly. “Five minutes of my time.” She shook her head, still looking at the datapad. “Well, tell me what’s going on.”
He took a drink of his coffee and savored the rich, dark, and bitter taste for a moment before replying. "I got a call from one of my contacts at the police precinct last night." He paused and took another drink of coffee (Hammer doesn't sip, he drinks). "It seems that one of our 'underlings', for lack of a better word, took something that belonged to one of their detectives. I had said underling retrieve the item and return the item."
“Is that all?” Ashex set the datapad aside and looked at Hammer for the first time since he entered her office.
"I don't think that particular underling will step out of line anytime soon. I made sure he understood about keeping the heat off of us." He took another drink of his coffee. "My friend at the precinct is still our friend."
"What's the underlings name? Who did he rip off?" Ashex wanted the details. She waited for the answer and lifter her cup and saucer again to sip the remaining espresso before setting it aside with a clink.
Hammer took a perverse please by making Ashex ask for the details. "The underling's name is," He paused and took another drink of his coffee, again savoring its flavor. "A little Bajoran worm named Nodre Felrug." Hammer paused again almost enough time for Ashex to speak before continuing, "The aggrieved party was Detective Mario Risotta."
Ashex's face shifted slightly. "Fucking Risotta." She sat back in her chair. "Its all taken care of? Does Risotta know anything?"
"It's been handled. Risotta only thought his transport didn't work, he didn't know why. One of my 'friends' intercepted the call about the missing part. It didn't take me much detective work to figure out who took said part. I made sure my 'friend' was compensated for giving me the heads up."
“Good.” Ashex crossed her legs. She changed the subject. “You’re coming tonight, the celebration of life for Mama, Right?”
He nodded. Family was everything. He didn't have a family before he came to Stardust City. Now 'The Family' was his family. "Absolutely, I'll be there. No matter what."
Ashex smiled, looking rather pleased. “Good boy.” She spun her chair around to face the window, which prompted the system to automatically raise the shades. “Tell this Felrug to come as well.”
He wondered what she had in mind for Felrug, it probably wouldn't be good, but she was the boss. "He'll be there."
Ashex exhaled. “There will be some very important people here tonight, I’m counting on you to keep everyone in check. Understood?” There was a trace of warning to her tone.
He wondered about who the important people were, but then she would tell him if she wanted him to know. "Understood. I'll have a couple of my more able subordinates standing by to help out if needed." He paused for a moment before continuing, "They'll stay out of sight unless I need them."
“Good.” Ashex said standing from her seat. “If you’ll excuse me, I have some other business to attend to.” She gestured towards the door.
Hammer turned and left the room. He also had business to attend too, not the least of which was setting up additional security for the night's festivities.
Ashex watched him leave. She knew that the transition of power was new, but she had to make sure she knew she had everyone's loyalty. She picked up her bag and followed in the steps of her subordinate. This would be a very long day.