While Grace was getting Wolfgang, Allison approached Yuri.
“So,” Allison began “I couldn’t help but notice that you’re anatomically correct.”
“My physical structure is designed to mirror a human’s, yes,” Yuri answered.
“Tell me,” Allison said. “Can you… how to put this delicately… can you orgasm?”
“Allison!” Kat cried.
“What?” Allison asked. “I’m curious. It’s a purely scientific question.”
“You can ignore her,” Ophelia said. “Our Allie can get a bit personal.”
“It is all right. I am capable of experiencing sexual release,” Yuri answered. “However, I have not been able to explore that function fully since I have never had a partner to engage in sexual activities with. The only other people around were my father and bother.”
“I could be your partner,” Allison said, winking.
“It was my understanding that intimacy is best experienced between two people with an emotional connection,” Yuri said.
“Sometimes you don’t need intimacy,” Allison said. “You just need to get laid.”
“I have no idea what kind of conversation I just walked into,” Grace said. “But I think I might need to hit Allison.” Allison grinned and hurriedly backed away from Grace’s piercing gaze. Grace turned to Yuri. “Presenting the fabulous Baron Wolfgang Andres Von Erstein.”
Yuri examined the tiny white dog. He sniffed her for a moment before licking her nose.
The party was starting to wind down when Ophelia excused herself to answer a transmission. It was audio only. “You’ve reached Captain Ophelia Wester of the Cerberus,” she stated. “How may I assist you?”
This is Madame Prudence of Liberty Station. A feminine voice answered. We’re having a problem over here. I understand that you take jobs like this?
Ophelia winced when she heard the station’s name. “It depends on the job,” she answered, cautiously. “I’ll need some actual details.”
The figure on the other end laughed. Don’t worry, we don’t need you to supplement our girls or to murder anyone. But I do need an outsider’s perspective. Madame Prudence’s voice lowered. I’m afraid that we may have some heat.
“Did some government lay claim to your area of space recently?” Ophelia asked.
No! The answer was as harsh as it was quick. We still answer only to our own law here. But we’ve also noticed some strange things. Things that show we’re being watched.
“Such as?” Ophelia inquired.
Well, Sweetie, I can only tell you that in person. Will your lot take the job?
“We charge a grand up front, a hundred per extra day past the third plus expenses for investigation work,” Ophelia said.
That’s great, Sweetie. We’ll see you lot soon. Madame Prudence ended the transmission.
Ophelia sighed and activated the ship’s internal comm system.
“You’re really dragging us to Liberty Station?” Kat asked.
“Better prepare all the VD vaccinations,” Allison muttered, nudging Paul.
“I apologise,” Yuri said, she was holding Wolfgang in her lap. “I do not know what Liberty Station is.”
“It’s a casino, brothel & drug den,” Lucy explained, without opening her eyes. “They set up shop in an open area of space outside of any jurisdiction.”
“So, why investigate them?” Farah asked.
“It could be a rival group,” Kat suggested. “They sometimes like to scope out their competition using undercover operatives.”
“We won’t really know until we get there,” Ophelia said. “For this mission, Paul, Grace and I will stay on board the Cerberus. Grace and I will look through their transmission data to look for suspicious messages. Paul, go ahead and work on your experiments but I want you ready if there’s an emergency. Lucy will lead Kat, Leon, Farah and Allison to search for clues on board. Yuri, since you’re new I’ll start you off easy. I’ll have you monitor the away team and keep me apprised of developments.”
“May I hold Baron Wolfgang Andres Von Erstein as I do my duties?” Yuri asked.
“Go for it,” Ophelia said. “Remember, Liberty has its own set of rules. Be professional over there.”
The Cerberus eventually arrived at Liberty Station. Allison made a quip about putting protection on the docking links and the ship safely docked. The away team moved into Liberty’s bay. They were greeted by a slightly chubby blonde woman with bright blue eyes. There were three armed guards flanking her.
“Welcome!” She declared. “So lovely of you all to come. Please, walk into my office. I’ll sign for the cargo. We can’t unload it right away, but you can engage our services while you wait.”
She led the group to a large room and dismissed her entourage. “Sorry about that,” she said. “I’m quite at my wit’s end over who I can trust. Now, let’s get down to business.” She passed Lucy an envelope. “There’s your pay up front. Rest assured, you will have the rest when the job is finished. I do run a proper business here.”
“I know,” Lucy said. “You couldn’t keep things running if you didn’t.”
Madame Prudence nodded. “Well, let’s get right to it. Over the past month, Me and several of my most trusted executives have had our rooms broken into. Whoever’s doing it has left a right mess.”
“So, you have a thief,” Leon said.
“that’s what we thought too at first,” Madame Prudence said. “But nothing’s gone missing. Jewellery, high end electronics and other valuables have all been left right where they were.”
“It seems like someone’s looking for a specific thing,” Lucy said. “You might be right. They might be looking for information on your operation or it could be something else. It would help us immensely if you have the layout of the station and you can mark down the places that have been hit.”
“Of course,” Madame Prudence said. “I’ll get that right for you, Sweetie! Just hold tight.”
She excused herself to get the requested item.
“You don’t really believe this is about information, do you?” Kat asked.
“It seems too sloppy for that, doesn’t it?” Farah added.
Lucy nodded. “Yes, but it doesn’t hurt to be polite to our client. We’ll let her have her theory until we find out what’s really going on.”
“Could be a shitty spy,” Allison said.
“Whatever, let’s just find the culprit, kick their ass and get this over with,” Leon said, gruffly.