Artists, Assassins And Pirates

Artists Final

Title: Assassins, Artists and Pirates
Fandoms: Star Trek: AOS, Star Trek
Characters/Pairings: James T. Kirk, Leonard, McCoy, Spock, Nyota Uhura, Pavel Chekov, Hikaru Sulu, Sybok, Jaylah, Christopher Pike, Number One, Phil Boyce, Jonathan Archer, Hoshi Sato, Montgomery Scott, Gaila, Alexander Marcus, Original Characters
Ratings: PG-15
Word Count: 12,604
Summary: Federation Bureau of Investigation agents are trying to take down Nero but can’t find a chink in his armor until a new player enters the scene. Why do they keep finding Nero’s enforcers with their throats cut? What is Spock keeping secret from his team? Fusion with Assassin’s Creed Black Flag
Disclaimer: Except for the work noted as being originally mine, all works of fiction and characters thereof belong to their original creators/studios/producers/publishers. No money is being earned, and they are used without permission. I apologize for any typos I missed.

Artists Assassins and Pirates 2 final

Federation Bureau of Investigation Senior Special Agent Leonard McCoy stepped into the conference room where their latest case was scattered across the room. A chorus of “Mornings.” Came from the other occupants.

Giving a grunt of acknowledgement, Leonard headed for the coffee pot, and was nearly bowled over by their curly-haired Tech Analyst.

“Sorry … Sorry.” He scrambled to get set-up as the rest of the team gave their young genius indulgent smiles.

“Updates on our trafficking case.” Unit Chief Spock stood with his hands clasped behind his back.

“I picked up last night’s surveillance on Nero.” Nyota Uhura flashed a set of photos on the viewscreen. “It seems we have a new player in the mix.”

Photos appeared of a handsome young man with sun streaked brown hair, and eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea. Several of the photos showed him with a beautiful Orion woman on his arm.

“So, who are they? Did facial recognition give us anything?” Hikaru Sulu started scrolling through last night’s transcripts.

“I have zhem!” Chekov put a copy of their Federation of Planets ID next to their pictures.

“Ze Orion vomen is called Lalun Morren. Ze man is a Human known as James Davis. Wery vealthy, recently came to Earth, wery little on his background. It says Lalun is his Executive Assistant.”

“I’ll bet she is.” Leonard snarked.

Spock gave him an arched eyebrow for his judgmental comment. “Is there any evidence they are involved in a personal relationship, Mr. Chekov?”

“No, Sir.”

Leonard rolled his eyes at the Vulcan. “Anything else pop up? No one just shows up on Earth looking like something out of a design house advert without some kind of public record.”

“I have checked all my sources, zere is nothing.”

“What about …?” Leonard wiggled his fingers in a typing motion.

Chekov’s face turned red. “It vould not …”

“What sources, Mr. Chekov?”

“From my time before the Bureau, Sir.”

Everyone looked at the young Russian. The former black hat hacker ducked his head.

“I admire your restraint, Mr. Chekov. For this case, I will give you permission to search for James Davis and Lalun Morren.”

“Yes, Sir.” Chekov headed back to his computers.

“Before everyone returns to their tasks, I have additional information that will need to be verified. Child Protective Services and the police were called to the Mission District at 0200 hours. When they arrived at what they believed to be an abandoned warehouse, they found six dead from knife wounds including having their throats cut … Three Romulans, two Humans, and one Orion. Also found was a cage holding thirty young Humans of varying ages, most of which had been living on the streets. Nyota and Hikaru, I am tasking you to liaise with both agencies. With Romulans involved we should look for ties to Nero’s syndicate. I will go update Deputy Director Archer and attain proper documentation for Mr. Chekov’s search.”

Taking a last look into blue eyes that seemed to cut through him from inside the photos, McCoy followed the others to their desks to keep looking for a way to bring an end to Nero’s criminal organization.

~~}~~

James Davis was currently laying on his back across the king-sized bed of his penthouse suite. His assistant was in the living area ordering room service while he tried to work up the gumption to get dressed. The shower and nap he’d taken after his early morning activities did little to clear the exhaustion from his mind, but today’s schedule allowed no time for additional rest. Pulling on a black t-shirt and slacks that clung to his frame like a second skin, he padded barefoot into the living area.

Lalun Morren, handed him a cup of coffee with a wide smile and his PADD. Aware that Nero’s people had installed listening devices in the room, he sipped his favorite coffee, hot and strong, while he scrolled through the news.

“Any ‘Oh my god what do I do’ emergencies I need to handle this morning?”

“No. Everyone’s doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. There is one interesting set of queries coming across this morning. I turned it over to your security team.”

“You’re too good to me.” He crooned for the listeners and gave his partner a wink.

The door chime signaled the arrival of breakfast. After the waiter set-up the table with their breakfast, he passed a PADD over to James. “Your signature, Sir.”

James looked it over, wrote something with the stylus before handing it back to the waiter.

“Thank you, Sir.” The waiter left the room smiling.

~~}~~

The next morning, new pictures of the beautiful couple hung on the Organized Crime Unit’s Cast of Characters wall. They were standing with a group of known slave and contraband smugglers along with pillars of San Francisco society surrounding several 21st century automobiles belonging to Nero. The Romulan crime boss was auctioning off a day with the antique cars to raise money for the city’s displaced youth. McCoy snarled at the irony.

Chekov’s efforts had brought them little … His DarkNet searches came up with a slave auction site for their dead Romulans, but only dead ends and wild rumors about James Davis and is Orion Second.

: Who are you James Davis? : Leonard stared at the pictures as he sipped a fresh cup of coffee. Nobody just shows up on Earth with few Federation records … No sign of where he lived or came by his money. Rumors from his sources said Davis’ credits rivaled Nero’s bankroll. With a sigh, he settled at his desk and pulled out his personal communicator.

Only Director Archer and Spock knew his family was old Southern gentility. His marriage had been an arrangement between two old families and had ended when Leonard went into law enforcement after college instead of following the family tradition of working for the family’s law firm or medical practice. Financially, his ex-wife took him to the cleaners because she was embarrassed to have the first divorce in their family in 100 years … Emotionally, they never were close. He thought about calling his ex, but he didn’t want to lose a pound of flesh to rehashing HER loss of social standing, so he decided to call his mother. Though his parents lived in Georgia, his mother always knew everything about everyone who’s net worth was a million credits or more.

“Hey Mom, it’s Leo.”

“Leonard, we just had our weekly call, has something happened? Are you alright?”

“Mom, everything’s fine. I’m calling to pick your brain.”

He could almost feel the change in her demeanor through the communicator. “I don’t know how I could possibly help a Federation investigator with all his fancy tools and whatnots.” 

He chuckled at her teasing. Federation databases had nothing on the network of old monied Gran Dames. “You know everyone who’s anyone in the Federation, I was wondering if you knew anything about a James Davis … Has an Orion woman at his right hand.”

“Oh yes. Such a polite young man. He was the majority sponsor for a mixed species and mixed media exhibit at the High Museum of Art. Some very interesting pieces by a Montgomery Scott and Keenser. I purchased a beautiful piece of jewelry made by a Vulcan … What was his name … Sybok. I still have the program somewhere. I can’t remember all the artists’ names. I remember there was a striking young woman with white skin with black markings. I’ll send you a copy.”

Leonard nearly dropped his communicator. If he remembered right Spock had an older half-brother, Sybok. “I appreciate you doing that for me, Mom. Was there any talk about Davis, where he came from or where his money comes from?”

“Well, there’s always gossip and speculation, especially about such a handsome young man.” His mother practically simpered. “He has impeccable manners, but has this air about him … He’s right there with you, but almost like he’s not. Like he’s listening to something the rest of us can’t hear.”

“It sounds like you’re quite the fan.”

“You know I’m a sucker for old-fashioned manners. It’s what attracted me to your father. Anyway, Rowena Dunlea told me he’s a certified genius, but his story is so tragic. His parents were geologists killed on some planet they were exploring for some mining company no one can remember. There was a lot money paid to keep the whole thing quiet that was placed in trust for James that he turned into a fortune.”

“So, he’s been travelling with his artistes around the planet?”

“Oh yes. Mister Scott told me that while they were in India, James was out trekking through the jungle searching for some ancient legend or other. Scotty, that’s what he told me to call him, was very verbose when’s he’s been drinking. I believe San Francisco is his final stop. Mister Scott said they were all taking a break to work on their new creations.”  

“Did he say where?” Leonard had been searching through the art exhibits in San Francisco while his mother was talking.

“Something about grape vines and wine.”

“Grape vines … Napa, Sonoma?”

“Napa, I believe, but he was a bit into his cups and was expounding on some of his new ideas.”  

He finally found the exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “Mom, you’ve been a big help. Thank you.”

“Always happy to help my son. It’s good to know all that small talk is good for something.” She chuckled at the irony. Take care of yourself, Leonard. We love you.”

“Love you, too. Talk to you in at our usual time.”

Grabbing his PADD, he headed for Chekov’s office. It was the barest crumbs of gossip, but Pasha had done more with less. After putting their baby-faced analyst to work, he would beard his boss in his den.

~~}~~

Watching Nero work the room, James wanted to roll his eyes at the fools simpering around the Romulan mining mogul. He watched as Alexander Marcus practically shoved his daughter into the tattooed arms. The ends of his lips curled as Lalun swooped in to save the girl from her father’s machinations. A tiny whiff of Orion hormones and Nero forgot Carol Marcus was even in the room.

When Carol realized she was free of Nero’s attention, she bolted for the corner of the room farthest from the Romulan. She grabbed two flutes off the tray of a passing server and had downed them both back by the time her father caught up with her.

Marcus opened his mouth to chastise his daughter, but James stepped out of the shadows before he got out the first words.

“Nero doesn’t do Human women.” He took a sip out of his tumbler.

“What?!”

“It wouldn’t have mattered if you stripped her naked and presented her on a platter. He doesn’t do Human women. Besides, he’s married, and by some miracle he actually loves his wife. I can think of several places he could sell a beautiful blonde for a nice piece of change.”

“How dare you.”

“Nero’s not looking for a rich Human wife, he’s looking for rich Humans whose money he can take through fair means or foul.” He kept an eye on Lalun while he talked to Marcus. “You name a vice, he can hook you up. You want to invest money in his legal business he’ll use your vice to make sure you stay in business until he’s used you all up.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Let’s just say I’m a student of Nero and those in his orbit.”

“Why are you telling me this?” The red had finally drained out of the older man’s face.

“I think you’re an asshole, but your daughter seems like a nice person that doesn’t deserve to be dangled like bait because you’ve made some questionable investments.” James smirked.

After dropping that tidbit on Marcus, James decided to check and see if he needed to rescue Nero from Lalun.

~~}~~

Leonard tapped on frame of Spock’s office door. “Got a minute?”

“I do.”

McCoy shut the door before taking a seat. “You have a half-brother named Sybok?”

“I do.”

“Know where he is?”

“I do not. Sybok does not adhere to the teachings of Surak. It has caused many disagreements with my father though my mother did her best to mediate and make Sybok feel welcome in our home. We have communicated through the years, but I have not corresponded with him in 4.3 years.”

He handed Sp0ck his PADD with the announcement of the exhibition of extraterrestrial artists. Both his eyebrows raised toward his hairline as first Sybok and then James Davis’ name caught his attention.

“It would seem we need to attend a museum exhibit. I will contact Mother and inquire about tickets for opening night. It is interesting father has business in San Francisco the same time as my brother’s exhibit.”

“Taking Uhura as your plus one?” Leonard leered.

“Yes, I am afraid you will have to find your own date, Agent McCoy.” Seeing the twinkle in Spock’s eye, Leonard left the office in search of a plus one for Saturday night.

~~}~~

James came out of the bathroom to find Lalun curled in one of the master suite’s overstuffed chairs.

“I see you needed to wash off the stench, too.” His lips curled with distaste.

“You got Marcus, I got Nero. About the same difference.” She gave him a bright smile.

“Help yourself to a cup. It’s some kind of herbal mix Sybok concocted. Better for relaxing than liquor.” He took his cup and wondered out on the veranda. Settling on a chaise with his cup, he watched the night sky. “I need to get back in the black.”

Lalun tucked herself along his side with her own cup. “You just hate wearing your own face on a mission.”

“Not quite my own face.” James rubbed the three white lines that marked the right side of his face.

“You’re still the prettiest man I know.” The Orion teased. “Where’s Sybok?”

“Studio. Finishing up some new pieces for Saturday. He was inspired by all the flowers in Atlanta. We’re going to the museum tomorrow to make sure Scotty, Keenser, and Jaylah’s pieces are properly staged.”

“Long day tomorrow. At least I can wear my sensible shoes.” Lalun chuckled as she climbed over James’ lap.

“Goodnight.”

He sat watching the night sky until he heaved a sigh and headed for his own bed.

~~}~~

The Organized Crime Unit sat fascinated as their Tech Analyst pounded his keyboard and prattled on in Russian. No matter how fast he typed, or how much he cursed, the didn’t appear to be making any headway. Finally, he stopped.

“I am sorry. Zhere is no back door, or any door to crack. Zhere is no server attached to their website. Zhey literally have to physically sign on to that server to retrieve any messages. Zhere is no footprint zhat vill lead us corporate files.”

“How can any company be that insular?” Sulu was using the Federation Network trying to find any sign of Fiontar Enterprises. He started on Earth and worked outward trying to find a hint of where the company had been incorporated.

“Sulu, what was the name of Davis’ company?”

Fiontar Enterprises.”

Nyota Uhura was their language wizard, but Leonard couldn’t see what Davis named his company should matter. “He called his company Enterprise Enterprises?” She practically squeaked.

Everyone stared at the beautiful agent. “What does that matter?”

“It’s Irish. Does he have any holdings in Ireland or some planet that speaks Irish?”

That got everyone sorting and typing.

“Nothing in Ireland.” Chekov sang out.

“Nothing among Federation planets.” Sulu was even more frustrated.

“Do we have any kind of database outside Federation space?”

“One. It belongs to Starfleet.” Pavel reminded them.

“Can we get in?”

“Not in zhis lifetime.” The ex-black hat shivered. “Zhey are not kind to zhose zhey catch trying.”

“Dammit. Y’all causing me to have to wear a monkey suit Saturday night.”

Nyota finger combed his hair from where he’d been running his fingers through it. “And you’re making Christine a very happy woman. She’s wanted to see this exhibit since she saw the first announcement. I think she has a fangirl crush on Jaylah.”

“So glad I can help facilitate her fantasies.” McCoy growled. His expression turned sly. “Got your dress picked out to match the hobgoblin’s tux?”

“More like he’s matching my dress. I’ve been waiting forever to wear it.”

“You do remember we’re working.”

“No reason I can’t enjoy my job.” She gave her ponytail a flip as she headed back to her desk.

~~}~~

Hating this part of the job, James smiled sweetly at the reporters gathered in the foyer of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The head curator stood off to the side smiling like she’d just invented the cure for the Rigellian measles. Some of the questions were well thought out, most were redundant. How many ways can you ask the same questions? A few were so stupid he dismissed them with a glare. When he felt he’d given his pound of flesh, he turned and climbed the stairs behind him. Museum personnel shuffled the press out the door. His exhibit took up most of the second floor, and as he walked through, he had adjustments made here and there so every piece was in the perfect light for both day and night. Finished with his tinkering, he called for his car. As much as he wanted to return to the quiet of the Napa house, he had business in the city, so he directed his driver to drop him at his hotel.

Wanting to make sure he was seen spending the evening at his hotel, James had dinner at the Pied Piper Restaurant. A note slipped to him by a waiter who gave him a wink and a whispered ‘Nothing is true’ made it appear he was setting up a rendezvous for later. James answered him with a flirty smile and the phrase, ‘Everything is permitted’ as he signed his tab. Returning to his suite, he ordered dessert, a pot of coffee and a tray of finger foods from room service. He caught on the everyday tasks required when you captained an enterprise the size of Fiontar. Once finished, he settled down for a nap before his date.

Dressed in the fashion of his ancestors, James was thankful for the lightly armored material and protected him from elements and minor injuries. Hood hiding his features, he pressed a tooth on the skull decorating the baldric designed to hold his phasers. As he ran up the stairs to the roof, cameras flickered long enough for him to pass by undetected. He blessed Keenser and Jaylah for his array of toys that allowed him to exit onto the roof without setting off any alarms. He could have hacked the camera and doors himself, but his little helpers were time savers.

A lovely fog bank had rolled in over the city that would further mask his movements across the city’s rooftops. The covering fogbank allowed him to make it to the top of Coit Tower before whoever he was meeting. He was listening to the ships’ horns calling across the Bay when he heard someone enter the roof.

“Long time, Brother.”

“I did invite you to the party.” James clasped the muscular forearm in a warrior’s greeting.

“And have your Vulcan giving me the stink eye the whole time … No thank you.”

“Nothing I can do about the eidetic memory thing. I tried to explain it wasn’t your fault.” The two men shared a chuckle. “What’s so important the old man couldn’t wait until Saturday. I’m supposed to be on my way to one of Nero’s server farms.”

“That’s part of the message. Nero’s decided to make that building his base of operations this trip. You’d have been dropping in on a bunch of cranky Romulans.”

“I definitely appreciate you stopping me from that, what else?”

“The FBI’s been nosing around your files.”

“Terrific. Which unit?”

“Organized Crime.”

“Spock’s unit? That’s rich.” James chuckled. “Figured out what they want?”

“Trying to suss out your connection to Nero since he seems to be following you around Earth like a lovesick fool. Shows up in the same cities as the exhibit. You don’t help by leaving his traffickers lying in pools of their own blood. They’re looking at Fiontar and trying figure out how you got to be rich.”

“I’m just that pretty everyone wants my ass.” James rubbed a hand over his scars. “We’ve about got what we need on Nero with the added bonus of Marcus trying pimp his daughter out to him. I really don’t need to be tripping over the Federation Bureau of Investigation.”

“Spock got tickets for opening night from his mother. He’s bringing Uhura. McCoy’s bringing Chapel from Forensics.”

“Hail, hail, the gang’s all here.” James muttered. “I will be so glad to get back in the black. I’d much rather have people shooting at me. Chapel’s one of ours?”

“Yeah, she’s been in place a little over a year. You have to stop by Ireland before you get back to the real love of your life. The old man’s getting some new crew ready for Enterprise.”

“Am I going to be pissed?”

“More aggravated than pissed. He’s throwing me in the mix to reduce the irritation factor.”

“Thank the Gods for small favors. Since my date cancelled, I’ll go back to The Palace and actually get a few more hours sleep.”

“No, you won’t. You’ll go back to your room and spend the rest of the night looking up the people in Spock’s unit.”

“I can do that over breakfast. I’m moving up to the Presidential Suite plus the two connected rooms today, so we can be close until this exhibit is over. I’m certainly glad this is the final show and it’s only two weeks.”

“James Davis chafing a bit.” He smirked at his boss.

“Giotto, you know I can replace you with your cousin Giovanni. He’s much better looking. I don’t care about whatever name they call me, I miss my girl. I keep having the urge to thank Marcus for letting me steal his ship.”

“Careful, James, your pirate is showing.”

“Yeah. Yeah. You playing bodyguard for the old man?”

“Me and Giovanni.”

“Stay sharp. Wouldn’t surprise me for Nero to have Ayel try something. Boyce and Una coming as plus two?”

“Oh yeah. You’d think it was prom night. We’ll take care of them. You just watch yourself.”

“You have seen what Lalun can do with her shoes.”

Giotto laughed as he dived from the top of the tower. James waited a few minutes to give Giotto time to get out of the area before doing his own dive off the tower just because he could. He really would be glad when this mission was over. Taking out the west coast branch of Section 31 and Nero at the same time would be a good year’s work.

~~}~~

Nothing. There was absolutely nothing that was not squeaky clean about James Davis and Fiontar Enterprises. Even his investments were good solid investments. There was absolutely nothing to explain Nero’s obsession with James Davis and his Final Frontier art exhibit. Chekov had found a tidbit of information from their human trafficking case. The Human that had been killed was affiliated with something called Section 31. That had added to piles of shell companies and shadow corporations to dig through. Everyone’s frustration level as their case spread out further had the agents close to the boiling point. If they didn’t get a break Saturday night they would have to move on to their more active files. When it got so Spock could feel their emotions within the confines of his office, he sent everyone home for the weekend.

Saturday dawned bright and clear, the sails on the Bay making it a postcard day. Leonard used his breakfast time to read any information he could find about the exhibit and the artists involved while he finished his morning coffee. He couldn’t wait to see how a Vulcan family dealt with the black sheep of their family. A Vulcan that didn’t follow Surak ought to make for a fascinating encounter. Leonard finally stirred himself to take care of his usual Saturday chores. By the time he put away his groceries and laundry, it was time to shower and dress.

Picking up Christine, McCoy had the cab drop them at a restaurant near the museum for a light supper before the exhibit opened. Chapel had only been with the FBI Forensics lab for a little over a year, so they exchanged stories about some of the odder cases they’d worked. The short walk to the museum was perfect for settling their supper.

Making their way to the second floor after picking up their programs, Leonard saw Spock and Nyota speaking to a Vulcan with black hair hanging nearly to his waist, looking like an extra from pirate holo-vid. Next to him stood the Orion, Lalun wearing a stunning emerald green gown that was a perfect foil for the necklace of blood red stones set in silver metal. The entire piece reminded him of his mother’s azalea bushes in spring. So, this was Sybok. McCoy was shocked when he bowed over Nyota’s hand and kissed Lady Amanda on the cheek when she and Sarek joined the group.

To keep from rudely staring at the group, Leonard looked at his program. He did a double take at what he read. That’s when it hit him like blow to the head … The reason Nero was panting after James Davis. Every item in the exhibit was made from something from space whether it was Jaylah’s sculptures, Scott’s odd machines, or Sybok’s jewelry. Precious stones and metals … Salvage … The Romulan wanted Davis’ resources.

He left Christine ogling one of Scott’s machines as he strode across the room to pull Spock and Nyota away from Sybok.

“I know Nero’s motive. I know what he wants from Davis.”

Before he could continue, a voice broke into their group. “I, too, would like to hear what conclusions you reached Special Agent McCoy, and I must say you’re looking exceptionally well turned out this evening Agent Uhura.”

The three FBI agents turned toward the voice. A handsome man wearing an exquisite midnight blue tuxedo, white banded collar shirt with gemstones studs that matched startling teal colored eyes. Full lips and a closely trimmed beard framed the handsome face that was placidly waiting for an answer.

Leonard flushed at being caught being so unaware of his surroundings. “Romulus Mining. He wants your stones, your metals. His mines no longer produce the high-quality stones and metals wanted by the high-end market. His stuff is strictly mid to low end.”

“I’m glad to see my tax dollars have netted me insight to my business rivals, but I would rather they went toward abducting criminals.” Davis’ tone was droll. “Enjoy your evening, Agents.” He moved away toward Lalun.

“Smart ass.” Leonard grumbled.

“Your idea has merit, Leonard. We will look further into these ideas Monday.” He arched an eyebrow at his agent.

“Fine.” He huffed. “I better go find Christine before she dissolves into a fangirl puddle.”

Showing her program to Spock, Nyota lightly laid a hand on his sleeve. “I would like to see this piece by Sybok.”

If Spock didn’t know it was a piece of jewelry, he would have sworn he was looking at a magnolia blossom. “I believe it rests in the case beside Jaylah’s depiction of Vulcan’s Forge.” He thought the delicate piece would be perfect against Nyota’s tawny skin.

~~}~~

James was very pleased with his evening so far. Wrapping Lalun’s arm through his, he escorted his Executive Assistant around the room when Sybok was distracted by his family and other patrons asking about his pieces. A slight widening of blue eyes caused James to look over the balcony to see the Old Man step out of his car along with his Number One and doctor.

Curses in several languages were muttered when he saw Nero and his right hand, Ayel, come through the door as the Old Man stepped off the elevator.

“This is getting to the point of a fatal attraction.” Lalun grumbled.

“He only wants me for my mines.” He smirked and headed to the opposite side of the room. Let the Old Man deal with Nero’s brand of crazy.

He acted as Lalun’s escort until the Orion signaled him to leave her with a Fortune 500 CEO who expressed an interest in the necklace she was showcasing, or maybe it was an interest in Lalun. Whichever it was the curvy blonde was not shy in her interest. Cursing the lighting that perfectly highlighted the exhibits but allowed very few shadows, James found a quiet spot behind one of Scotty’s monstrosities. Hearing the scuff of a shoe against tile, he fought the urge to growl at whoever was disturbing his quiet.

Blue eyes snapping, he pinned Leonard McCoy with a glare. “You keep stalking me and I’ll have grounds for harassment or a restraining order.”

Taken aback at the anger, McCoy paused before remembering he was an FBI agent. “You’re a hard man to get alone for a word.”

“I didn’t have this exhibition in order to answer questions from the FBI. The FBI has no reason to ask me questions.”

“You keep company with Nero.”

“He wants my mines. Not a secret.”

“Who’s the man with the cane?”

“How should I know. You’re a perfect example that anyone can buy a ticket.”

“Wow. Everyone says how easy going and even tempered you are.”

“I am with people that aren’t harassing me. Plus, I’ve had some bad luck with stalkers. Makes one a bit paranoid. If you’ll excuse me, I have to mingle with my guests.”

“But I’m not …”

“Any further questions can be asked through my attorney.” James growled before stalking across the room toward Sybok.

“Who’s your lawyer?” Heads turned as McCoy raised his voice.

“You know everything … Figure it out.”

Flushing with embarrassment, Leonard headed for the bar where he was met by Spock and his arched eyebrow of disapproval.

“Agent McCoy …”

“I know. I screwed up. He was just so … Aggravating. I lost my temper.”

“He is an extremely rich and intelligent man. There was a very low probability that your questioning would reap any positive results.”

“It was also rude.” Uhura added her two cents.

“No doubt I’ll be getting a call from my mother. She knows everyone who’s anyone.” He muttered as he ordered a double bourbon. He looked up in time to see Lady Amanda hug Davis. “How do your parents know Davis?”

“Through Sybok. James took him into his group when few wanted to take a chance on him. The stones in the necklace worn by Lalun were mined deep in the Vulcan Forge on property owned by our Clan. It has been a very profitable enterprise, and James’ people are very conscientious. They even found some pre-Reformation ruins and artifacts that are extremely fascinating.”

“Marvelous. How are we supposed to get information from beings that are all fans of Davis?”

“Ask.” Nyota’s musical laugh broke through Leonard’s sour mood. “Surely not everyone is enamored with Davis.”

“Maybe on the outer rim.” Leonard grumbled into his drink.

~~}~~

When Lalun returned to the suite, she found James sprawled in a chair, drink in one hand, PADD lying forgotten in his lap. She darted a look around the suite for a reason for his mood. They had cleared these rooms of any electronic surveillance.

“James?”

He waved off her concern. “I’m just tired. Ready to go home.”

“What about tall, dark and intense you were talking to when I went off with the lovely Millicent.”

“Federation Bureau of Investigation. Like everyone else, he was only interested in my relationship with Nero, Sarek and Amanda, and what I knew about the Old Man. No one wants me for myself.” He pouted as he emptied his glass.

“I’ll be glad when this is wrapped up … Being dirtside so long is making you maudlin.”

“It depends on the planet. I’ve got no good memories on Earth.”

“What about …” Lalun stopped when eyes like an Andorian glacier met hers. The look reminded her of who she was really dealing with. James was right, they had been on Earth too long. She was forgetting who they were.

“You don’t have to go back. You have enough credits to retire.” James tilted the decanter to add more whiskey to his glass. Lalun snatched the glass and threw back the liquor. “That’s no way to treat fine sipping whiskey.”

“You’ll thank you me in the morning.” She moved the glass and decanter back to the bar.

“We’ve only got two more pieces to sell. Jaylah’s Altamid sculpture, and Sybok’s carved rosewood and opal broach.”

“I’m surprised that monstrosity of Scotty’s sold.”

“Some rich guy is going to donate it to MIT or some such. He was gushing about feats of engineering, and Scotty was eating it up with a spoon.” James finally found something humorous about the evening.

“Now that you’re cheered up a bit, the Old Man wants to have lunch with you tomorrow. Grill Restaurant at the St. Regis, 1 o’clock. Something about unfinished business.”

“Lovely. I keep reminding myself I just need to get through the next two weeks. Now I have to deal with something from before this mission started.”

“We’re right behind you, Jimmy.” She slapped him on the back.

“You just want to be in front when we turn around and run.” He chuckled as he headed for his room.

Watching her boss head for bed, she hoped they all got out of this intact.

~~}~~

James’ butt had not even warmed his chair before the Old Man was at it. “Have you made a decision about what I asked?”

He waited until the server had brought their drinks and taken their lunch order before he answered. “I’m not sure I want to give up my ship. I need to be in the black. Being planetside is suffocating.”

“You just don’t want to give up your ship to Edison.” The older man’s tone was dry as he doctored his cup of tea. “Make your base of operations on the space station. It can be his home base.”

“We are not fucking my First Officer. As drool worthy as he is, he would have used sex between us as a power grab. That’s why he’ll always be a blunt instrument.”

“I don’t need to know about your sex life, James. Number One will beat an answer out of you if you don’t give me one by the time this mission is over.”

Conversation paused until the server delivered their lunch. He knew the Old Man and his partners worried about him, and after almost dying at the hands of a rogue Federation undercover operative working for Marcus out of Section 31, they’d been after James to take a promotion out of the field.

He looked across the table at the man who had rescued him from the nightmare his mother had condemned him to when she sent him to a school for gifted students on Tarsus IV because her new husband didn’t want any reminders around of her dead husband. Christopher Pike started investigating rumors coming from Tarsus IV when Governor Kodos had banished several families he considered ‘undesirables’. Then came a communications blackout. It took almost a year before Pike had enough evidence to send ships and agents to confront the Governor. He was immediately arrested and executed for crimes against humanity. He’d ordered the murder of 4,000 colonists and the starvation of 1,000 more. Pike got a promotion and James out of mission. James’ grandfather refused to return his grandson to his negligent mother. The incident had been whitewashed when his mother died in an avalanche while taking core samples for the establishment of a new mine.

“I barely have time for my sex life, unlike some people who have TWO partners, but I’ll put everyone out of their misery and take your job, but I’m working out of the space station. Once you make the announcement, my face will be splashed across every intergalactic news service, so no more undercover work. James Davis can finally be put to rest.” He grinned as he took a bite of burger. “Before you ask, I’m promoting Edison to captain of the Franklin, and moving Tom Riker from the Franklin to the Enterprise. I need Riker’s finesse working new contacts, and I think pairing them up will smooth out some of Balthazar’s rough edges.”

Christopher enjoyed his lunch as he listened to his adopted son’s plans once he became Chief of Operations. Pike would be taking a position on The Council with three retired Admirals and the Chief he had replaced. The Council, like a board of directors, had oversight of the organization, and worked with the Chief on future plans and missions for the organization.

James Davis is one of your best legends. I know you don’t mind his credit balance.” Chris teased. “Number One and Phil will be thrilled you’re taking the promotion, so we can go on vacation without work interfering, and I agree with your decisions on Edison and Riker. You and Riker were the only ones that seemed to be able to get through that thick skull of Edison’s. You keeping your Orion friend with you?”

“Yeah, but I’d rather Davis hadn’t come to the attention of FBI. Spock’s wasted riding herd on his merry band of agents, but he won’t leave Archer. They’re good agents, but we’re better. You should be trying to recruit that whole unit. Scotty would probably lay some miserable Gaelic curse on me if I kept Gaila as my Chief of Staff. She’s his best engineer next to Keenser.”

“Archer would never forgive me if I stole his best people.”

“He never forgave you for getting to Number One before he did. You two could have ruled Alpha Quadrant.” James laughed.

“He got the partner he deserved.”

“Hoshi was my favorite linguistics professor.”

“She was your only linguistic professor. She ruined you for any other. I never knew college professors had so much trouble dealing with kids with big IQs.” Chris complained.

“We just did a tour of the mining properties, so I guess first on the agenda will be meeting our clients and visiting the agricultural properties. Maybe take out a few space pirates along the way.”

“Leave the space pirates to your fleet and concentrate on those first two items. I recommend you keep Rand as your Executive Assistant. She’s come a long way since she was hired, but seriously, I need to be putting names through security clearances, so who’s going to be your Second.”

“Who’s been beside me since I pulled him out of that dive before someone drugged his ass, and sold him as slave labor?” James saw Pike start to open his mouth, so he interrupted him before he could object. “Just because he doesn’t live his life through logic doesn’t mean he didn’t receive one of the finest educations in the Alpha Quadrant.”

Pike paused to consider what James said. “You’re right, and he’ll make excellent security when you go home at the end of the day.”

James groaned at the idea of a security detail. “Do I get to pick my own people?”

“Of course. The members of my detail want to get back out in the field when you take over. It won’t be so bad when you’re staying at Fiontar.

“Giovanni, Syl, Kalara, and Manas. That way they can get living arrangements settled before we take off on our tour.”

“Trade Giovanni for Giotto. Giotto thinking of asking Tamina to marry him, and Gio needs a bit more seasoning.”

“Fine, you do remember I’m highly trained at what I do.”

“So was I.” Chris tapped his retractable cane that lay between them.

“Point.” James huffed. “Jaylah’s talking about wanting to take the training. I’ve been teaching her a few basics.”

“She’ll be a good addition.” Chris sat back waiting for their server to appear with a fresh pot of tea. “Kalara completed her certification for First Officer.”

“If you had this figured out, why am I sitting here wasting my time?” James growled, ready to leave the table.

“I’m sorry, Son. I’ve been looking forward to you taking over so long, I was making plans. I forgot my plans may not be your plans. Sit, relax.”

“I’ll give Kalara a trial on our ‘introduction tour’. Since I’ll be the captain, I can evaluate if she’s ready for placement on one of the cargo ships to start.”

“A sound plan.”

Checking the time, James stood once more. As much as I would like to sit here and drink tea all afternoon, I’m meeting Sybok at our corporate offices. He wants to pull a couple pieces out of the safe to add to the exhibit, and I believe he’s gifting one to his step-mother.” He paused before leaving. “You could have someone pack my quarters on the Enterprise, and apartment. Get it all moved to the Chief’s quarters at the Ireland compound.”

“I’ll have all your things moved in as soon as our stuff is moved to one of the cottages. Phil will be thrilled. He’s wanted one of those cottages since we had them built.”

“You coming to the last night?”

“Wouldn’t miss it. Now that you’ve made your decision, I’m ready for this to be over.”

“I guess we’ll see you then. Give my love to Una and Phil.”

“James … Be careful. Don’t get over confident. We don’t want a repeat of the incident that nearly took your life.”

“I will, Old Man.” With a two-finger salute, James left the restaurant for Fiontar’s San Francisco office.

~~}~~

Walking off the turbolift Monday morning, the first thing McCoy noticed was Archer in Spock’s office with the door closed. Catching a look from Uhura and Sulu, they didn’t have any more information than he did. That the Director had been in Spock’s office before office hours did not bode well. Before he could ask the obvious questions, the office door opened, and McCoy was summoned. The door had barely closed when Archer lit into Leonard.

“Agent McCoy, this office is not in the habit of harassing this city’s business owners because of one meeting with someone we ARE investigating. We are especially not in the habit of questioning them at a public event where it becomes fodder for every gossip monger on the planet.”

: Oh shit. : Leonard thought as Archer continued his dressing down. He hadn’t wanted to look at the news this weekend after the stinging call from his mother expressing her disappointment in his having forgotten the manners she’d spent long hours trying to instill in her ill-mannered lout of a son.

He was pulled out of his memory when it seemed the Director was winding down. “McCoy, you are to go nowhere near Davis without being accompanied by Spock or Uhura.”

“But, Sir …” Leonard started to object.

“Disobey me on this and you’ll be suspended. I spent my Saturday night and Sunday fielding communications from the Mayor to the Curator of the museum and everyone in between. Davis’ exhibition has raised a lot of money across the country for every city and museum they scheduled including San Francisco. The money they raise at the silent auction the last night of the exhibition will fund a lot of organizations that take care of the disadvantaged in this city. If your actions cause him to pull out early, your name will be mud in this city. Are you reading me, Agent McCoy?”

“Yes, Sir. Loud and clear.”

“Good. I don’t want to have this conversation again.”

“I assure you, Director, my Second In Command will adhere to your orders.” Spock’s frown was not something Leonard wanted to deal with this morning.

With a curt nod, Archer headed for the turbolift. The entire office breathed a sigh of relief when the door closed behind the Director. Leonard turned back to Spock to justify his actions when the Unit Chief’s expression changed his mind.

“I’ll be at my desk.”

“That would be wise.”

Before he could leave the office, Chekov came rushing through the door. “Mister Spock …” The tech analyst was nearly breathless. “I found Davis staying in a suite at The Palace hotel with his artists. I vatched the footage from Sunday until I see him take a cab to The Regis. He had lunch with this man, Christopher Pike.”

“He was at the exhibition Saturday night. Davis said he didn’t know him.” Leonard injected. “So, who is he, Kid?”

“He is the Chief of Operations at Starfleet.”

“Starfleet?” Leonard looked at his boss. “You know him?”

“I have not made his acquaintance, but I make it a point to know who heads the organizations we may come across in our investigations.”

“Right. Privatized interstellar law enforcement and security. High dollar thugs if you ask me.” McCoy grumbled.

“They are not thugs as you intimate, Leonard.” They are highly trained and skilled individuals that has the backing of the Federation and a number of other planets who use their services to handle problems the FBI is ill-equipped to handle.” Spock corrected.

“Keep telling yourself that, they’re more like the 20th century Cosa Nostra with Pike as the Don.”

“Why are you surveilling Mr. Davis, Mister Chekov?”

“Uh, I thought he vas a person of interest in ze Nero case.” The young agent stuttered.

“Did the cameras catch anything from their meeting?” McCoy jumped in before Spock could intimidated the kid into silence.

“No. They had a private table.”

“Private meaning a privacy screen or no cameras in the restaurant?”

“Ze only cameras in ze restaurant are at the door and ze employee areas.”

“Damn. Where’d he go after lunch?”

“He vent to the Fiontar office vhere he met Sybok. No cameras I could access in the building. Zhey left after two hours and returned to ze hotel.”

“There is no further need to keep track of Mr. Davis’ activities, Mr. Chekov, but I thank you for your dligence. Perhaps you could be as diligent with Nero and his associates.”

“I always am running programs searching for zhem. I vill have a report on the veekend by ze end of ze day.”

“Very well. Dismissed.”

“Why would he …?”

“Not our business why Mr. Davis would need the services of Starfleet, Agent McCoy.” Spock practically growled.

“Of course, Sir. Did not mean to sound as though I was becoming obsessed with Davis.”

A brief flash of disbelief crossed the stoic face. “That is good that you are admitting an awareness of a possible problem.”

McCoy practically marched back to his desk, spine stiff with anger. : Obsession … I am not obsessed with Davis. : He snatched up his coffee cup and headed for the break room.

~~}~~

Arms three times stronger than any Human wrapped around his ribs as lips covered his own. “Of course, I’ll be Number One to you being the Old Man.” Sybok whispered in Jim’s ear. “Do I have to call you James?”

“Good Gods, no. It’s bad enough I can’t break Number One and Sarek of calling me James. I look forward to being Jim after over a year of being ‘James’. I’m just glad Spock and your folks agreed to go along with my undercover role. Spock’s team is going to pissed he didn’t read them in, especially McCoy.”

“Above our paygrade, Lover.” Sybok grinned. That was between Pike and Archer.”

“You’re the only one I’m telling until this mission is over. I need everyone to stay on point until it’s over.”

“You got it, but we can still have a private celebration until time to go to the museum.” Sybok’s tone turned coy as he pulled James toward their room.

He readily agreed with his Vulcan’s logic.

~~}~~

Friday morning Spock called his team into the conference room. He waited patiently while everyone settled.

“Director Archer has informed me that he and his spouse will be attending the closing night activities of Mr. Davis’ exhibition. This team along with the Director’s regular security detail will be stationed around both the Final Frontier exhibition room and the room containing the silent auction.”

“Are we expecting trouble that Archer’s beefing up his security?” Sulu asked.

“Chief of Operations Pike passed on a report of chatter coming from Romulus. It seems a transaction between Fiontar Enterprises and members of Nero’s wife’s Clan has come to Nero’s attention. The reports tell a tale of a Romulan in high temper over the perceived betrayal of his Clan. Also, Alexander Marcus was able to undercut one of his shipping contracts.”

“Dammit, can’t the man just stay home that night?”

“Apparently, his wife has decided there is something at the silent auction that she must acquire.”

“I bet it’s Sybok’s cherry blossom torq.” Uhura gushed. “The picture hardly does it justice.”

“Regardless, we have been given our orders. Director Archer has been in contact with Mr. Davis who has assured the Director he has increased his own security as Mr. Pike and his spouses will also be attending.”

“He’s got two?” Sulu shook his head. “I have a hard enough time keeping up with Ben.”

“Do we have an idea of what Davis’ security plan looks like?” McCoy looked at their tech specialist.

“I do.”

“Mr. Chekov, please place the museum layout and Mr. Davis’ plan on the wall monitor.”

They spent the rest of the day looking for gaps in security, making their own plan.

~~}~~

“Ah, Laddie, you couldna waited until tomorrow to leak out the information about the deal with Nero’s Clan?” Scotty frowned into his tumbler of Scotch.

“I want this over. I want to get back to my life, and the only way that happens is when Nero is dead or in prison.”

“This puts Archer and the Old Man at risk, too.” Jaylah reminded.

“And they will be well protected. We have already increased security, and James’ team will be present. I have it on good authority that Director Archer is tasking Spock’s team to back up his own security detail.” Sybok informed them. “We, as the exhibiting artists shall be present, but held in reserve.”

“There are changes coming once this mission is complete. Fiontar will be entering a new phase, and we have to be ready to roll with those changes.”

“So, the Old Man is finally going out to pasture? Who’s takin’ the big chair?” Lalun tapped her emerald nails against the table top.

“That’s up to him to announce.” James dodged the question. “There won’t be any announcement if we don’t take down Nero’s organization. We’ll have an opportunity to pick the carcass clean once Nero’s dealt with, but I want everyone on their toes, Saturday. We need to keep watch for Marcus to try and pull a fast one when Nero goes down. I tried to get Number One and Phil to stay at the hotel, but there’s something at the auction they’ve decided they can’t live without.” James sounded exasperated.

“Even after all these years you have not learned how to win an argument against an Illyrian.” Sybok teased.

“I probably never will. It’s why I’d rather she not have play dates with T’Pau. Those two women could rule not only my life, but the known universe.” James pouted.

“A positive sign of Ko’mek-il’s deep regard for you, Ashaya.” Dark eyes gave his bondmate a soft eyed look.

“I believe that’s our cue to find somewhere else to be … Like lunch.’ Lalun herded Scotty and Jaylah toward the door.

“Oh aye. The restaurant downstairs has an excellent selection of sandwiches.”

“Shame we don’t have time to act on their assumptions.” James gave Sybok a teasing kiss. “Places to be, members of the ‘hood to brief.”

“Give my regards to Giotto. I have been inspired by a patch of California poppies and Jimsonweed near the Napa house, so I will be working on new designs.” The Vulcan settled in a plush chair with natural light shining over his shoulder.

Captivated by the sunlight teasing bluish highlights from thick black hair, James shook his head to clear his mind, and with a sigh headed to the museum.

~~}~~

The festivities for the final night of Davis’ exhibition was in full swing when the limousine and black agency car pulled to the curb. Director Jonathan Archer handed his wife, Hoshi Sato out of the long black car, and was immediately surrounded by members of the Organized Crime Unit. McCoy and Uhura took point while Spock and Sulu acted as rear guard. Archer’s usual security handled clear the doorways. Leaning insolently against one of the pillars in the foyer was James Davis. Dressed in tight leather pants, vest, and knee-high boots … He looked like he was going on a bar crawl instead of hosting the premier event in San Francisco. He straightened as Hoshi practically danced toward him.

“Hoshi, my sweet, when are you going to get rid of this relic and run away with me?” James enveloped the petite woman in a hug.

“You forget I know how possessive Vulcans can be. Plus, I see you have been branded for the evening.” She teased as she rubbed her lipstick off his cheek.

“Just showing off my telsu’s talent.” He touched the pendant at his throat. “Jonathan.” He drew the man into a one-armed hug.

“James. You’re looking better than the last time I saw you.”

“Helluva a way to get a vacation.” James chuckled. “The pieces are in the front room, and the silent auction in the back part of the floor. We have eyes everywhere tonight.”

“I see you dressed for the occasion.” He took in all James’ black leather.

“Phasers are such crude weapons. I prefer something more elegant.” He gave the Director a wink. “Enjoy you evening. Let loose of some of those rusty credits for charity. The Old Man should be here soon.”

The team was surprised at the relationship between the Director and Davis but held their questions until a more appropriate time. They resumed their places as Archer escorted his wife up the stairs. A blinding smile from Davis was the only answer he gave all the arched eyebrows from the FBI team.

If Leonard thought opening night had been crowded, tonight the scions of San Francisco were nearly shoulder to shoulder as they made their bids on items in the silent auction and spoke with the artists about commissioning custom pieces. Stationed at the top of the stairs, he watched as Davis followed Pike and his two spouses up the stairs. He soon lost sight of Davis in the crush of bodies. He listened as Spock indicated Davis had left Pike talking to Archer and was mingling with his guests. He began to relax as it appeared the most exciting thing was going to be announcing the winners of the auctions. The curator of the museum had announced five minutes until no more bids were going to be taken with the winners announced at the top of the hour. All the agents breathed a sigh of relief, but the other watches all went on alert.

~~}~~

James watched from third floor of the museum that had been closed while his exhibition was happening. He’d added his hooded topcoat and swords, leaving his phasers packed away. The last thing they needed as phaser fire ricocheting through the crowd. He hid Sybok’s pendant under his shirt, changed his vest for his usual armored vest and pulled his hood up to obscure his features. He fidgeted with his red sash as he settled his clothing and weapons.

“Enough, Princess. Your petticoat’s not showing.” Giotto teased him.

“I’ll be glad when I can stop doing all these quick changes. Most of the guests are too stupid, drunk or distracted to put together the clues, but Spock’s team … Not on that list.”

The two friends leaned on the wall that blocked the sight of the third floor from the rest of the museum and watched the guests and the door as they waited for Givens, the curator to make the announcement of the winners. Givens was standing next to one of Scotty’s machines, as she drew a breath to start her announcements, the entrance doors were thrown open to admit Nero and a half dozen of his people. They moved quickly up the stairs, leather coats flapping like wings. Spock’s team circled Archer and Hoshi while James’ people moved toward Pike, Number One and Phil. Guests had moved to the stairs trying to escape only to be blocked by three of Nero’s people. To escape the reach of the Romulan, everyone moved to the edge of the room. Pike and Archer remained in the middle of the room surrounded by their people.

“Bah. I have no use for you old lions.” Nero snarled. “But, you …” He pointed at Pike. “Can tell me where your cub is hiding. He goes behind my back to take what is rightfully mine from my Clan.”

“Your Clan got a better offer.” Pike voice was calm as he stared Nero down. “Jim dealt with honor with your Mate’s Clan.”

“It was not his place to deal with any of my Clans.”

“There was no announcement that you had taken over leadership of the Clans. Jim was perfectly within his rights to deal with them.” Chris took a step back when he saw Nero drawing this hand back to strike.

The sound of phasers being drawn stopped the Romulan’s instinctive move. “Where is your little prince, Pike?”

“I don’t know. You know how hard it is to keep track of kids these days. You give them a ship and they never call … Never write.” Pike smirked.

Trying to control his temper, Nero threw his head back and taking a deep breath bellowed out a name. “KIRKKKKK!”

The crowd gasped as two hooded figures landed silently as they jumped from the third floor. One faced the men on the stairs and one faced Nero.

“Now why did you want to go and ruin all these nice people’s evening.”

“I want those contracts.”

“No.”

“You will give them to me or I will start gutting these sheep until I get what I want … Starting with you.”

“You realize you just threatened to kill me in front of Federation Bureau of Investigation agents.”

“They can’t arrest me if they’re dead.” He pulled his disruptor and a sword.

~~}~~

Leonard couldn’t believe his eyes. Davis’ security people had pulled their phasers, but no one fired on Nero and his flunkies. He started to move forward but was stopped by Archer.

“Let Kirk handle it. This has been a long time coming.”

“Sir, he’s a civilian.”

“Did you notice the symbol on Kirk’s belt?”

“A Romulan maniac wants to kill a room full of people and you want me to look at some guy’s belt buckle?” Disbelief colored his voice.

“Yes, I do, Agent McCoy.”

“I think you’re out of your cornfed mind but …” McCoy caught sight of the triangle and a skull. “He’s a Black Flag?! Hell, we ought to arrest both of them.”

“He’s Starfleet.” Pike hissed at McCoy. Now, shut up and let my boy work if you want to get all these people out of here alive.”

Before he could snap back at the Chief of Operations, the FBI agent noticed another hooded figure facing the three Romulans blocking the doors.

“Looks like a Mexican stand-off, Chris.” Archer teased his old friend.

“Not for long. Nero’s starting to twitch. I’ll put 20 credits on Kirk.”

“Sucker bet unless you throw in Ayel.”

“Deal.”

“That really is in bad taste, Christopher.” Phil scolded his spouse. “People will think we’re uncivilized out in the black.”

“You have enough money people call it eccentric, Dear.” Number One rolled her eyes at both men.

The banter finally had the desired effect as Nero raised his disruptor toward the two men. A kick sent the disruptor flying toward the FBI agents as Nero had lost track of Kirk. The Romulan turned his attention back to his main target.

The Human and Romulan came together with a clash of steel. Nero was stronger, but Kirk was faster and more agile. They traded stabs and slashes until Kirk disarmed Nero. The Romulan grabbed him in a bear hug and started to squeeze. Unable to break the Romulan’s grip, blades hidden under Kirk’s sleeves shot out of their hidden sheaths and he thrust both blades through both shoulders. With a howl of pain, Nero released Kirk who landed on his knees sucking air deeply into his lungs. He was able to grab up the sword he dropped as Nero’s Second, Ayel charged across the room from the elevators. Using his short blade and his sword, Kirk was able take Ayel down in half the time he’d taken with Nero. Sheathing his weapons, he turned to the FBI agents.

“You want to cuff them or are you going to wait until I have to take them down again.” Kirk snapped as he moved toward where his partner had made short work of his opponents. The men looked over the wall. “Okay?”

“Clean up in the lobby.” Archer’s security detail scurried to her assistance.

While everyone was occupied with the Romulans, the three hooded figures disappeared.

~~}~~

Slipping up to the third floor, Giotto and Syl took off while James slipped into the curator’s office. Sybok was waiting to help him out of his weapons, coat, damaged shirt, and back into his original vest. His telsu made a sound of distress when he saw the wounded body under the shirt.

“Slap some quick dressings on the wounds. We’ve got to get back downstairs before we’re missed.” James prodded.

“Of course. We can take care of them when we get to the hotel.” He covered the wounds still bleeding and used butterfly bandages on the small cuts. James pulled his pendant from under his shirt and buttoned his brocade vest. “Down the back stairs.”

The two men were able to slip into the crowd in the auction room without anyone taking notice. Givens announcing auction winners was the perfect distraction.

“Did you win what you wanted.” James kissed Number One on the cheek.

“It has not yet been announced. Hoshi got her cherry blossoms.”

“They are perfect for her delicate beauty.” Sybok smiled at Archer’s wife.

“Don’t look so sour, Jonathan. It’s not like the money went in Starfleet’s coffers. It’s for charity.”

“Our last lot of the evening … The artist’s rendering of the planet Illyria … The winner is Una Pike.”

Chris frowned. “Jaylah would have given it to you, Number One.”

“I know, but as you say, it’s for charity.”

“Since it looks like your security detail has abandoned you, Sybok and I will be happy to see you home, Director Archer.”

“No need, James. My usual detail is waiting downstairs.”

James pulled a charm off the watch fob decorating his vest. “I believe this will come in handy with your prosecution of Nero and his happy bunch with a little something extra.” He handed a skull charm to Archer. “Consider it a retirement gift from Chris.”

“Seriously.” He looked at the charm.

“It’s a data drive. Contains everything we’ve collected on Nero and a few other players that are trying to rise to the top.”

“Well then, I believe it’s time for us to head home so I can review this tomorrow before turning it over to my Organized Crime Unit on Monday.” Archer grinned.

Jim and Sybok walked Chris, Number One and Phil to their car. “Phil, can you come by our suite?” Sybok asked while Jim was occupied with Chris and Number One.

“How bad?”

“Numerous cuts, one stab wound.”

“I’ve got my bag in the car, so I’ll grab it and ride to the hotel with you.”

“Thanks, Phil.”

Jim frowned when Phil climbed in the car with them but seeing the concern on his bondmate’s face he didn’t complain. After a quick shower, he let Phil take care of his wounds.

“I don’t have a dermal regenerator, so I had to put stitches in your shoulder. Try not to pull them out before they heal.” Phil admonished. “Same goes with those slashes and cracks on your ribs.”

“Now that Nero’s in jail, I’m thinking I need a vacation.”

“I think that sounds like a good idea. You have a lot of reading to catch up on to take over from Chris.”

“Don’t remind me.” James groaned. “I’ve already started.” He hugged the older man. “Thanks, Phil. Sybok’s going to take you back to The Regis.”

“I don’t …”

“As long as they’re still rounding up Nero’s crew, you need to be careful.”

He was going to complain until he saw the worry in the bright blue eyes. “If it’ll keep you from worrying.”

“Thanks, Phil.” He held out two fingers to Sybok. “I’ll probably be asleep by the time you get back.” Sybok slid their fingers together as he followed Phil out the door.

~~}~~

Monday morning found the Organized Crime Unit getting their reports ready for the Federation prosecutors. Work paused as Director Archer visited their floor long enough to hand something to Spock. The Unit Chief called everyone including Chekov to the conference room.

He handed a trinket to the Tech Specialist. “Oh. A data drive. Wery top shelf.” He plugged it into his computer. “Zhere are hundreds of files all about Nero. I vill start sorting zhese right avey.”

“While everyone is here where are we on our reports?”

“I’ve got everyone’s reports from Saturday. The museum is sending over the video. Archer called in people to take witness statements after we left with Nero and his crew.”

“Did we find the three people in the hoods?”

“No. No one saw their faces and the only name we have is Kirk. The only record of the name Kirk are George and Winona from Riverside, Iowa, both deceased.” Sulu read off his PADD.

“That’s just wonderful.” McCoy muttered.

“Zhese are vonderful files.” Chekov gushed. “Zhey are werv vell organized. Ze dates are from over a year ago. They vill be helpful to follow ze credits.” Chekov loaded the files so everyone would have access.

“Here’s a file loaded with pictures.” Sulu transferred several to the big screen. The were several exclamations when Alexander Marcus and several of his top executives began to show up on the screen.

“There’s audio files in this one.” Uhura sounded confused. “How could someone get close enough to record meetings that didn’t even take place on Earth.”

“Director Archer gave me a micro drive shaped like a charm.” Spock answered.

“It is most clever.” Chekov gushed. “It is shaped like a tiny skull.”

“A skull?” McCoy turned from where he was studying the pictures Sulu had projected. “Starfleet Black Flag?”

“It would seem the logical answer. It appears that with Nero’s demise we have been given a new target.” The Unit Chief indicated pictures of Marcus.

The team settled down to make as many connections as possible to Nero’s crime network. Everyone had to take a break when they got to the files dealing with slave trafficking.

“This is going upset the whole apple cart of the Alpha Quadrant.” Word gets out we have these files the rats will start to scurry.” Leonard threw his stylus down on the table. “I could use some lunch.”

“We need to distribute these files to the pertinent field offices, so they can begin to make arrests.” Spock stood to relieve the tension of sitting in one place too long. “Lunch is a good idea. “Let us adjourn for an hour. Mr. Chekov secure the files and the drive.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The uplifted mood at seeing how they were going to be able to dismantle Nero’s network and a relaxing lunch got the team through many of the horrific things they found in the files. Nero would spend the rest of his long life in prison.

~~}~~

All the pieces from the exhibition had been crated and shipped. Leases had been cancelled and properties closed up in preparations for James and his crew shaking the dust of Earth off their boots. Everything was loaded on the yacht, and they would be lifting off for Fiontar Space Station tomorrow at 0800.

James had shed most of the James Davis persona, and was almost back to his true self. As soon as they were in the black, James Davis would go back in his safe, and Jim Kirk would be back kicking ass and taking names … Except he would be doing it as Chief of Operations instead of Captain of the Black Flag Starship Enterprise.

His telsu was thrilled they wouldn’t be zipping from planet to planet settling disputes and making deals to expand Starfleet’s power base. Once Jim finished his tour to introduce himself to the leaders of the Federation and Starfleet planets he’d never met in person most of his time would be spent at Fiontar Station.

When Pike had succeeded Tiberius Kirk as Chief, he had thrown an introduction weekend and ball. After the penalties for breaking the neutrality of the space station, and the month it took to repair the damage, it was decided the new Chief of Operations would do the visiting. The Enterprise and the Franklin would serve as his honor guard on his tour. He could hear Edison bitching already, but it would be good practice for the new captain.

James settled into bed next to Sybok. “Working on your next collection?”

“No, I am simply relaxing and participating in what Humans refer to as doodling.”

He rolled to the middle of the bed, so he could see the sketch. “That’s quite the doodle.” He was awed at the drawing of Spock and Uhura. It looked like they were about to turn their heads and talk to him. He ran his finger over the pointed tip of the green tinged ear. “Why don’t you send that to your brother, and let me do a little doodling of my own?” James waggled his eyebrows at his bondmate as he skimmed fingertips over Sybok’s psi points.

“That sounds like an excellent idea.” Sybok tapped several controls before he slid the PADD in the nightstand. Pinning James to the mattress, he began tracing his designs on his telsu’s tanned skin.

“Do we have clearance, Mister Sybok?”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Take us out of orbit.”

“Helm, lay in a course to Fiontar Space Station, best speed.”

“Aye, Captain.” Jaylah flashed a wide smile over her shoulder. They were all glad to be heading home.

“We have cleared orbit.”

“Mister Scott, you, Keenser, and Gaila ready?”

“She’s rearing to go, Captain.”

“Take us home, Mister Sybok.”

“Aye, aye.”

James grinned happily as the stars became blue/white streaks as the yacht jumped into hyperspace.

~~}~~

Friday morning found the Organized Crime Unit in the conference room still sorting through files off the micro drive.

“Where was Davis when all the fancy knifework was going on at the party?” Leonard looked around the table with pictures of James Davis and Nero on the large monitor.

“You’re not going to start that again are you, Leo?” Uhura frowned.

“Just an observation, Uhura.” McCoy growled.

Spock handed Uhura a PADD. The beautiful African gasped in delight at what she saw. Everyone was curious, but she refused to share. “It’s personal … A gift from Spock’s brother.”

“So, where was he?”

“I saw him go into the Curator’s office to help Ms. Givens with the results of the silent auction. I am sure his security was relieved that he was out of harm’s way.” Spock retrieved his PADD from Nyota.

“The Black Queen lifted off from its landing pad Monday at 0800.” Sulu offered.

He looked up from his PADD to see everyone staring at him. “What? I have a deep appreciation for beautiful ships.” He flipped the monitor to a picture of the yacht.

“Did you notice a destination?” Leonard pushed.

“Nope. She didn’t file one.”

“Typical.” He growled.

Something on one of the office monitors caught Uhura’s eye. “Quick, flip it to Interstellar News.”

“We’ve just received a special announcement from Starfleet Headquarters based on Fiontar Space Station. Chief of Operations, Christopher Pike, has announced today that he will be stepping down from his position. He will be taking a seat on The Council, which acts as oversite for Starfleet.  

For those of you who are not familiar with Starfleet, they are a private organization whose ships and crews help the Federation maintain peace among the planets outside the Alpha Quadrant. The organization doesn’t often make it onto our newscasts, so they must be doing something right.” The perky reporter chuckled.

“Has there been any announcement of who will be the new Chief of Operations?”  

“There certainly has, Jerry. Chief Pike named James Tiberius Kirk as his successor. Kirk presently serves as Captain of the starship, Black Flag Enterprise. His grandfather, Tiberius Kirk was one of the founders of Starfleet. His parents were killed while working for Starfleet. Christopher Pike and his partners raised James after their deaths.”  

“Sounds like some big shoes for the new Chief of Operations to fill.”  

“Sources have revealed Chief Kirk will be making a tour of their allies and clients to introduce himself to the planets where he’s not widely known. He has a bit of reputation around the uncharted territories for being Pike’s best troubleshooter.”  

“Any word when or if he’s coming to Earth?”  

“I haven’t heard anything official, but rumor has it he recently completed a mission on Earth that lead to the arrest of the head of one of the Romulan syndicates … Nero.”  

A picture flashed on the screen.

“Son of a bitch.” McCoy snarled.

“Keep us posted if you nail down those rumors, Marisa.”

The anchor went on to the next story, so Sulu muted the sound. “That man has scars on his right cheek. James Davis didn’t have any scars.”

“Scars are easy enough to hide.” McCoy slammed his coffee cup on the table. “He played us.” Leonard glared at Spock. “You said you weren’t in contact with Sybok for over four years. I thought Vulcans didn’t lie. You had to know. He’s your damn brother-in-law.”

“I did know, I did not lie. I said I had not corresponded with Sybok.” McCoy snorted at Spock splitting hairs. “Our Clan has been doing business with Starfleet since its inception. Chief of Operations Pike asked Director Archer and I to conceal our knowledge of Kirk, so they could finish their investigation. Jim has been undercover for 15.4 months gathering information. As you can see they allowed us to make the arrest and turned over all their information. Jim is quite the undercover specialist.”

“Not anymore.” Sulu snarked.

“You would be surprised.” Spock arched an eyebrow.

In the Nob Hill section of San Francisco, Alexander Marcus paled as he watched the Special Bulletin. He began punching codes into his communicator as a hunted feeling settled between his shoulder blades.

“We have a problem. Call the managers ASAP.”

On the edge of uncharted space, a sleek black yacht flashed a Black Flag across her hull as she approached home.

~ Finis ~

 

 

 

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