Chapter Two: Kovor

“Why can’t you be a little more reserved in your expeditions?”

I looked at Dejar.  I knew he was simply trying to keep things safe and simple, but I couldn’t stay on the ship when there was an entire space station I could explore.  

There were places to go, drinks to drink, and there were far too many women that had yet to be charmed.  

And it wasn’t just the usual delights of a new, different place calling me.

I needed to be out there.  

“I’m just trying to find information and make us some contacts.  What’s wrong with that?” I asked as I kicked my feet up on his desk.

He arched his eyebrow and tried for an overbearing, fatherly look. “Do you mind? This is still my office,” he said.

With an exasperated breath, I took my feet off his desk and did my best to get comfortable in the chair he had offered me.  “Look, all I’m trying to do is make sure we have everything we need for this noble mission of ours.”

“And we appreciate that,” he said as he indicated himself and Aavat.  I looked over and nodded to Aavat, his copper skin so much darker than my own hue.  Of course, my own golden skin wasn’t as deep as Dejar’s, but I liked having the paler skin.  It helped to emphasize my chiseled features and let my red hair be the center of attention it deserved to be.

Dejar was still talking.  “We would just appreciate it if you were a little more hesitant with your gallivanting, that’s all.  You know as well as us, we’re not exactly in favor with the Dominion right now, and if they’ve already sent…”

“Someone to chase us down, and they found us here, yada yada,” I interrupted.  “I know. But, how can I be something other than who I am? That’s how we have this ship,” I waved my hand around.  “And how we have as many contacts as we do.”

I could see Aavat shaking his head at me as he stood up from his chair and began pacing.  It was annoying, hearing his footsteps clump clump behind me.  Dejar let his head drop as he shook his head as well.  “You’re right,” he signed. “You have gotten us numerous contacts, and have helped us with many things, but this isn’t just a standard job here.”
I waved him off.  “I know that. Believe me, I do, and I support what we’re doing.  It’s not right what’s happening with the women around the cosmos,” I hesitated a second, unsure if I’d phrased that entirely correctly. With a shrug, I continued, “and I want to make sure that we do the right thing, especially with the female members of the crew.  That’s why I do what I do.”

“Is there any way,” Aavat started asking from behind me.  “That you could, maybe, possibly, at the very least tell us where you’re looking for information and what you’re finding?”

I shrugged, again.  I knew it aggravated the surly Chief Mate, but I couldn’t really help it.

Besides, it was too much fun to tweak him, just a bit.

“I’d love to fill you in, but I haven’t found anything yet.  The only information I’ve found so far is that some people claim to have heard a rumor or something of the like.  That’s it.”

“So, you’ve gone out every day and night since we returned, and you’ve learned…” Aavat started behind me.  

I got to my feet and turned to face him, chest tight with worry at the entire situation, despite my light words.  “Nothing. Okay? I’ve found nothing so far. Then again, I’ve also been talking to people that either live off their parents’ money or are too busy to pay attention.  I’m trying not to look too obvious.”

Aavat threw his hands up and looked behind me to Dejar.  “I…you know what?” he asked as he pointed his finger at me.  “You do whatever you want to do. If you cause problems for us, we’ll leave your golden posterior behind, just like any other member of the crew.”  He looked back to Dejar. “He’s your problem. I’m done.” With that, he left.

I turned back, a bit surprised at Aavat’s outburst, only to be more surprised to see Dejar visibly angry.

And at me.

“If you screw this up, or cause trouble for us, we really will take the ship and leave you behind,” he started, face hard.  “You’ve always known that was our way. We won’t risk the women.” His lips twisted. “And with their skills, I’m not sure if anyone would realize you were the legal owner of the Rogue Star, anyway.”

“I’m not planning to cause problems.” I forced a smile, despite the growing ball of anger in my gut. “Look, the girls need some more stuff for their disguises, and since I can get the best deal from Madam Ora, I’ll go replenish their supplies.”  I headed towards the door, then stopped and turned back. “Unless you think that’s too much for me.”

“Don’t be an ass,” Dejar replied.  We had been around the women enough for me to know that being an ‘ass’ meant I was being troublesome, so I returned the favor with another gesture I had seen the women using.  Apparently, holding only the middle finger up to someone was basically saying that you wanted them to kout themselves.

I’d always thought cultural exchanges were useful.

“Go,” he said with a shake of his head.  I kept the smile pasted on as I left the office and made my way to the hangar bay.  I hated the door Orrin and Maris had installed but understood the necessity for it.

I hated the threat to the crew, to my new, makeshift family. And there wasn’t any cosmos that I wouldn’t be trying to solve it.

I punched in my code and headed into town.  

Madam Ora was a beautiful woman that loved to give me discounts on things, as long as I was willing to give her a good time.  I didn’t mind, she was fun to be with. But first, I was hungry. While the food carts in the market had fantastic food without any of the refinement, after the dressing down by Dejar and Aavat, I was in the mood for something soothing.

Which usually meant something expensive.

I found a quaint little place, barely big enough to seat the crew, and made my way in.  I was only slightly under-dressed, wearing my red Genstad silk shirt with a gray Genstad silk vest, gray slacks, and my gray coat made from the softest materials found on the planet Dalu.  After I was seated, I ordered a meal the likes of which I hadn’t had in months and sat back with a glass of the finest liquor the establishment had to offer. The bottle wasn’t far away.

Sitting at the table next to me was a gorgeous complement of women. Five ladies, four species, and three of those species I’ve enjoyed numerous times in various levels of…well, everything.  

I asked them to join me and the light-hearted conversation helped soothe the last of the sting of Dejar’s words.

What did he know, anyway?

One of the women, a voluptuous, blue-skinned vixen that I recognized as one of Madam Ora’s girls, had her hand on my leg, slowly making its way up.  I wasn’t complaining as I leaned in and whispered nonsense in her ear. She giggled, gave me a playful squeeze on my inner thigh, letter her fingers lightly brush against me.

I was having fun.  The other patrons weren’t entirely thrilled with me, but I didn’t care.  These ladies were sensational.

“Oh, Baiviel,” one of the girls cooed.

Despite Dejar’s thoughts about my competence, I did know better than to use my real name.  “I want to go dancing. Will you go dancing with us?”

The other girls chirped in, and the one squeezing my leg moved her hand and gave me another squeeze as she smiled at me, adding her own silent persuasion to the verbal pleas.

“I would be honored and thrilled to spend more time with you beautiful ladies,” I laughed as I flashed a promise to my squeeze-friend.  I called for the check, paid for the food and drinks—we had gone through three bottles?—and retrieved my coat as we left.

“So,” I asked.  “Where are…” I had to take a deep breath as the ground swam away from me for a quick moment.  “Where are we headed? I can’t wait to see how you ladies move.” I wrapped one arm around my little blue friend and the other around the Pronarian goddess that had been licking her lips and batting her eyes at me all evening.  

Madam Ora’s establishment would wait. The idea of these two women, maybe three or all four of them—and the effects of the liquor—had me imagining so many things to do on this fine evening.

“I know a place,” the Pronarian answered.  “How about The White Hole? Z is working the music their tonight.”  The girls all squealed at that and started dragging me down the street.  After a block or so, we arrived and were waiting in line. As we waited, I felt two hands on my backside and returned the favor.  I leaned over to nibble on the Pronarian’s ear a bit when I saw something that snapped me entirely to attention.

At the end of the street was one of the women from the Rogue Star.

While the human women were good at disguising themselves, I could pick them out easily in a crowd.   

And no matter how she dyed herself, I’d recognize Aryn.

She was doing her best to keep attention off of herself, trying to be as nonchalant as possible.

I’d watched her for far too long to not recognize her anywhere.

And she wasn’t supposed to be out here. It wasn’t safe.

“I’m so sorry, ladies.  I just remembered that I have an appointment that I must attend to.”

“Aww, are you sure?” the blue one asked as she grabbed my face and kissed me, hard. A quick wave of revulsion at myself passed through me as I gently detangled my limbs.

But I could see Aryn out of the corner of my eye. She was going to get into trouble. Or be trouble for someone.

Either way, she needed me.

Even if she didn’t know it.

“I’m sorry.  How about we get back together later?  Deal?”

At their sad little nods, I left to go follow Aryn, shoving down the growing worry.

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