Matt's Personal Log - Episode 25
Well, the gang’s back together – at least most of it. After we failed to get the trade deal, we decided to split up for a while, and then meet up back at DS9. Everyone but Alyr made it to Quark’s – I’d originally figured Cutter and Thuku would’ve been at Galaxina’s, but Thanos had already been there – no Alyr. Ah well, Cutter’s never been the most reliable on rendezvous.
We all caught up over a few drinks. Turns out we all had scraped together ships and small crews of our own – Karr’s of course was primarily Klingon, but hey, whatcha gonna do? At one point during the libations, someone brought up something about the Templar Sect on Ferenginar. That sparked my curiousity of course – it isn’t every day one hears about an ancient religious sect from one’s planet’s past having been transplanted to an alien planet!
Rouggo, a Ferengi crewman on my ship, verified that there were some stories attesting to the fact. What with the stories of Templar gold-hoarding and the Ferengi love of money, I could easily see the possibility of cultural cross-contamination. The puppeteers (the species thought to have transplanted the Templar Knights) obviously had no equivalent to the much-vaunted Starfleet Prime Directive.
So, being scientifically-minded individuals with no thoughts whatsoever about the possible mountain of gold in an undiscovered Templar fortress, Thanos, Karr, and myself mustered our crews and set out for Ferenginar. We had a few missteps but got there eventually. We paid the required fees and transported down with a small away team to see what information we could find. That’s when we discovered that the Sebacean Peacekeepers – basically a mercenary police force hired by planets that felt they needed additional security forces, or that they couldn’t trust their own security forces – had staged a coup and had conquered Ferenginar. Business was still being run as usual, only with a strong presence of jack-booted soldiers in our constant awareness.
After Karr contacted our old comrade Tarak (which yielded little workable intelligence), Rouggo made some calls and managed to get us a meeting with one of the high muckeemucks of the Ferengi Syndicate, a joker calling himself the Grand Mulah. (The Ferengi Syndicate is alot like the Orion Syndicate, only with greedier guys in charge and a whole lot more naked women laying about – I kinda prefer it to be honest.)
Anyway, the meet with His Grand Mulah-ship went pretty smoothly – that’s the thing about working with guys who are mostly interested in money; all you gotta do is keep promising them more and expect them to try to screw you out of your share. Keep that in mind and negotiations are easy! The Mulah had some info we needed, and we had the expertise in these matters that he needed. We eventuall settled on a 56-44 split, in the Mulah’s favor. (That’s a split of the profit, and I’ve been telling everyone to keep meticulous financial records to recoup all that we can before we split any money up – basically, if you’re gonna work with a Ferengi, you better act like a Ferengi!)
The Mulah gave us a map of Ferenginar’s underground labyrinth, but the long and short of it was that no matter what path we took, we’d have to deal with a Peacekeeper barracks. We also had three of the Mulah’s people with us, but since two of those were twin Trills, I didn’t mind so much (did I mention Ferenginar’s strict dress code regarding females of any species? Nudity is mandatory). We transported back to our ships and started to make plans, but after all the drinking with the Mulah, I hit the sack pretty quickly (alone unfortunately).
I was awakened by an early morning call from Karr – seems he’d been up all night tinkering on some tools to get us through the obstacles in our way. Things like mines, holoemitters, even a phaser modified to drill through the two walls we’d have to get through. He’d even worked out a way to scramble the internal sensors he imagined the PK security forces would be using – or might be using! You know, I don’t mind planning for eventualities, but since I’m not some evil criminal mastermind, I don’t try to plan for every contingency that might come along – basically I prefer to improvise, adapt, and overcome as my old friend Tony used to say.
Still, because Karr’s such an anal-retentive stick-in-the-mud, our passage to the hidden Human temple went unbelievably smooth. His modified drill worked like a winder, with no seismic distrubances and little heat. His mines could’ve been better thought out, I think, but they didn’t cause any problems I imagined they would. Even the holoemitter worked exactly as the distraction he said it would, although Cutter might be a little pissed at his newfound notoriety.
The ‘temple’ turned out to be nothing more than a small, dusty, decrepit room with a control pylon in the middle. We managed to work out the controls, and lo to our surprise, the treasure was revealed. We were treated to a holo of a planet as the starting point for a journey to a distant singularity that had some time ago (we’re talking aeons here) collapsed upon itself to form a planetoid. My suppositions are that this is the first clue in a series of them that will eventually lead us to the Templar’s hiding place for their treasures. (Yeah, I know it sounds like a movie plot, but really, what are the odds?!)
And if anything seems to be missing in the text above, that’s ‘cause I left out a whole buncha clues that are were and are still relevant to this treasure hunt! After all, I don’t wanna make it too easy for someone else comin’ along later if I die while making my attempt at finding the lost Templar gold!
And don’t think for one instant that I’ve forgotten about that ring world out there, but an expedition like that’s gonna need some funding after all!