‘Trust is earned, not given, unless of course, it is bought!’
“I see you could not wait to rummage through my personal files!”
Petra was back in the cockpit, having left just a moment ago, clearly having forgotten something before taking off to the planet.
“Yeah, well, I am not really too good with this cloak and dagger type of thing.”
Mariner immediately defended herself, even if she had no business going through someone’s personal files.
“Well, if you must know, it is Admiral Picard who is funding this operation. His vineyard’s proceeds are the thing keeping us afloat.”
Petra revealed as much to the overly curious Mariner.
“Well then, guess the cat is out of the bag finally and we can move on?”
Mariner did not enjoy secrets, keeping them nor being a target of them either.
“If you can live with the fact the there is nothing nefarious behind this op, then guess we can.”
Petra yielded, as even if Mariner had dug into her personal files, to figure out what was going on with their operation. Then fine, she liked having someone else around. And Mariner surely had potential to be just the one Petra would prefer to have around for a long while.
Mariner had hesitated for a moment before responding, but she had nowhere else to go either and she liked hanging around Petra, so there was that to consider.
“Now, if we can just put this little incident behind us, can we go get those slushies?”
Petra let out a small smile and slapped Mariner on the back.
“Sure! Come on then, number one!”
A few weeks had passed since that conversation had taken place.
The two of them, Mariner and Petra had been an unstoppable dynamic duo pulling jobs for the Artefact Retrieval Project, ARP, as Picard had named it so aptly.
They had managed to get back several stolen historical relics in a short amount of time too.
With Petra’s canniness and Mariner’s somewhat unorthodox skills, they were able to move in fast and get inside whatever fortress or hold the stolen items might have been inside of.
Having been on running gigs non-stop for almost the durance, the two of them were finally having a break.
Even if it had all been interesting and exiting enough, to say the least, it was nice to have a breather every once in a blood moon.
“Can’t believe we’ve been pulling jobs for this long without a day off!”
Mariner wasn’t really complaining though.
“I mean not even the worst ops in Starfleet were ever this busy. Well, except maybe being in the frontlines during the Dominion War. But yeah, it’s nice to have a day off!”
“I know what you mean.”
Petra understood what Mariner was saying, having been part of Starfleet herself and having fought in the war herself too.
“And it wasn’t really this busy before you joined me.”
Petra let out a small chuckle.
“Picard knew you had potential, as did I. And I am glad you are onboard. It is so much easier with the two of us. But, guess having a day off is good for a change.”
Mariner could not help but to smile. It was great to hear for once, that she was good at something and held in regard for doing the job and not constantly reminded of doing something bad while pulling out her somewhat unique stints to get the job done.
After all, how many times had she been reprimanded by her superiors while in Starfleet, even taking to the brig, for doing something worth while, even if it was against the regulations, in a manner of speaking. Even if Mariner never saw that herself. Well, most of the time.
“That… that really warms my chilly little heart, ya know.”
Mariner was all smiles now.
“Because when back on Cerritos, well, I kinda got thrown into the brig for doing good deeds. A lot!”
Mariner was using air quotes there, as one person’s idea of a good deed might not have been the same for someone else.
Petra let out a hardy laugh at the comment knowing well, how rigid things could be in Starfleet.
“I hear ya, my friend, I hear you loud and clear.”
Petra used Mariner’s vernacular, just out of jest.
“I remember the few or let’s just say several reasons, starting to accumulate slowly but surely for myself back then. How restricted it all was while in the ‘Fleet. I mean, guess the old adage, no good deed goes unpunished is apt in whatever you try to do. It’s never enough for those in charge there.”
Petra was being reminded of her time served in Starfleet.
Doing somewhat similar things which Mariner had done. Helping those who could not help themselves, the underdogs of the galaxy. And then being scolded for the very fact.
After all, Petra had gone against the Prime Directive more times than she cared to remember.
Not that it was anything really bad or considered totally illegal. Well, she had been reprimanded just the same even if those people were happy and alive simply because she had helped them.
Because of their similar ideology and background, Petra could easily relate to Mariner and where she was coming from.
But they were different in personalities. Petra still liking to look before she jumped while Mariner completely threw herself overboard, no matter which kinds of beasts she just might have been facing.
“Well, the thing I am glad of, despite my many trips to the brig is, that I made some difference in the lives of those whom Starfleet wasn’t willing to help, or did but with a delay.”
Mariner noted then.
The both of them in a rather solemn mood, the memories shared with each other taking them back to times they could both reflect on with pride and perhaps joy. Simply because of having made a difference.
“Yeah, those were certainly the times.”
It was almost nostalgic for them both, perhaps even having a second thought of leaving Starfleet.
But, they were on their own now, a dynamic duo of bounty hunters of sorts. But never collecting any of it for themselves. The Robin Hoods of the galaxy, as Picard had put it.
Just as the mood was turning to something neither felt too comfortable with, there was a beep on the console. And then, a familiar face appeared onto the view screen.