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Market Research

Posted on Wed Apr 18th, 2018 @ 3:48pm by Danaea
Edited on on Thu Apr 19th, 2018 @ 1:56pm

Mission: The Junk Heap
Location: Mess Hall

"Mind your head ma'am"

Ma'am, Danaea remarked inwardly, do I really look that old now?

Danaea gave a wan glare at the Engineer as her shuffled past her, carrying a bunch of metal rods on his shoulders.

Danaea always did her homework before moving to a new premises. What Ferengi in their right minds wouldn't? How could she resist a chance to sell her wares to some a rag-tag bunch of Feds, with so much stress and anxiety to drink away, drink that her bar would undoubtedly supply!

She ambled silently down the corridor, her cases in tow on a grav-lift, operated by a begrudging young warrant officer she'd manage to wrangle upon boarding. As she approached the doors to the mess hall, she was forced to duck beneath a deep protrusion hanging from the ceiling. While to most, the idea of running a successful business on the decks of an ageing Starfleet vessel was as ludicrous as it sounded, Danaea's intentions aboard this ship were unclear at the moment, even to her. What had compelled her to uproot everything and ship her wares halfway across the quadrant? A mess hall and an apron?

No. It was the opportunity to trial her new collection of Earth recipes she'd been compiling for the past decade. Danaea was fully aware of the value the Hewmons placed on their culinary tastes, and she would capitalize on that. At least, that's what she hoped. Either way, she wasn't overly fussed - at her time of life, she was more interested in indulging the finer pleasures in life than earning yet more profit. Besides, she was already sitting on a mountain of latinum tall enough to reach her in the afterlife.

As she'd made her way through the bowels of the ship that day, she had truly had experienced the age of this ship. Almost immediately after leaving the transporter pad, she had narrowly missed the collapse of a door frame, but was engulfed in a cloud of dust that still clung to her long, black robes.

But despite the trauma, she'd made it to the Mess Hall on Deck Thirteen in good spirits. After allowing him time to unload the crates, she dismissed her squire and entered the room alone; it was surprisingly spacious for such a utilitarian ship, several tables with chairs were spread out. Pastels and navy blue were the predominant theme, she noted as she glided into the room. To her left, the bar area stood, a wide, metallic counter with stools, ready and waiting for their first patrons. As she looked about her, she was pleased to note the condition of the place, at least compared the rest of the ship. Danaea gave silent thanks to her predecessor; whoever they were had left an enormous array of utensils. She even stumbled across a Martini kit in the alcove behind the bar.

Not bad, she mused, vaguely impressed at the tools which she had been given. The kitchen itself was vast, with a fully functioning range (Danaea spent a good ten minutes trying all the valves and dials), an array of storage spaces along with an industrial sized sink in the corner.

The cupboards and shelves were naturally devoid of sustenance, but she'd taken the liberty of acquiring her own stocks of preserves, spices and vegetables at the markets of Orion, before making the long voyage the Federation space. Hence the crates.

Grabbing the smallest one, she hurried over to the bar like a child in a candy store, placing the small, wooden box onto the surface and carefully unclasping the lid. Almost with reverence, she slowly lifted the metal spoon from within; it was ornate thing, with a bear-claw handle set with huge white opals. She had originally won it in a bet almost twenty years ago. Since then, it had become her favoured tasting instrument.My baby, she crooned to herself as she placed it lovingly back in the box, stowing it within the folds of her robe.

Danaea stood for a moment, her hands resting on the bar; silent and alone, she began to envisage with glee the room filled with people, laughter, the chink of latinum, or rather the bleep of her datapad as the credits came rolling in. It was a known fact that the Federation's experience with currency was far below that of the Ferengi. It was also a known fact that illegal Romulan ale was frequently drank by most of it's flag officers. Thus, Danaea was certain that this crew would have a chest-full of latinum between them. Credits were enough to sustain her business, but it was the cold, smooth feel of gold-pressed latinum that drove her crazy.

She shook herself from her daydream, taking a deep breath as she began the arduous task of unpacking the crates. Baskets of onions, garlic, chives and a whole range of other Hewmon flora came forth, as well as a wide variety of extra-terrestrial ingredients. Danaea was pleased to find the kitchen more than large enough to fit everything, with room to spare. Other items included tubs of seafood, ears of corn, a wide range of sour-dough breads, as well as a huge keg of wine from a place called Sham Pane.

After a solid hour, she came finally to a wooden cage, almost hidden beneath a pile of crates. She picked it up by it's handle, and placed on a nearby table. Unclasping the hatch, she withdrew three eggs, set in midnight blue, along with a bundle of twigs that clattered to the floor.

Seeing the eggs reminded her of how easy their acquisition had seemed. One of the market sellers, a blue-robed, veiled character with a whisper of a voice, had practically given them away to her for a measly four credits each. The trader had wheezed that they were Tarkalian emu eggs, said to contain a highly flavourful yoke. None the wiser, Danaea had hurriedly made the exchange and added them to her already bursting ship inventory. She had then forgotten about them, until now. And as she stared at the sapphire eggs, she felt a rush of compulsion, and she found herself cradling them.

They were warm, she could feel. Almost hot. Unmoving yet as if something were stirring silently from within. As she held them, her sense of trepidation grew, like these eggs were suddenly the most important things in the universe to her.

"Pfft." she rasped out loud.

As if these eggs were even edible. And didn't the trader say something about keeping them warm? The Mess hall was cold right then, and the eggs had been kept in a badly strung together wooden cage. They'd surely gone bad by now.

Shrugging her shoulders, Danaea simply carried them back over to the kitchen, depositing them on a high shelf upon a small bed of twigs. She would definitely need to read up about those eggs.

Danaea then suddenly felt drained, from all the excitement, she supposed. Making a mental note to have the crates removed first thing in the morning, she departed to her quarters with the swish of her shawl. Behind her, she left a cool, dim silence broken only by the soft hum of the ship.


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