Disclaimer: The E:FC universe belongs to Tribune and Roddenberry-Kirschner.

Author's Notes: Another shortie. Hopefully things'll catch fire sometime in the future with her saga.

Brief Conversation in Pub
by Estirose
copyright 2000

Darla Bennington had always been proud of her organizational abilities. When Pete Fram had agreed on meeting at luch, however, Darla was in a flurry putting together everything she had heard and found out together for his perusal. And she wanted to get this right. After all, Pete was the only person outside of her own industry that she'd heard talking against the Taelons. He might be her key to more evidence against them.

Taking a few minutes more to fret over herself, her outfit, and her files, she finally managed to depart for the pub. The data that held her combined file against the Taelons was safely ensconced in a data disc that went into her global; it was coded so that she, and she alone, could decode it. She felt a little bit silly about that, but quickly reminded herself that she didn't want to get on the bad side of the Taelons.

Once arriving, she found Pete already there, by himself, hand around a drink. She slid in across from him, and he nodded gruffly as he sat down. "About time. So, what have you got?"

Darla slid her global open, and keyed it to decrypt the data. Handing the data she'd found to Pete, she waited in silence. He wordlessly scanned her files, and then handed the global back to her. "Is there anything similar happening in your field?" she asked.

"Not much call for the Taelons to go for supressing florists," he replied. "I have a relative in govenment; she's the one who brought my attention to the information. I didn't know about the problems people in your profession might be having, but it makes sense."

"If there were only more people around here who thought the same way," Darla said. "That the Taelons may not be as benevolent as we thought."

"And what do you think, Miss Bennington?" Pete asked. "What do you think?"

"I'm very disturbed," Darla answered. "I dislike anyone who curtails the flow of information, and it's not just because it harms my business. I was raised to think that a certain freedom of speech is precious, and it's dangerous to let anyone take that away."

"There are others who think it's more than that. I don't suppose you've been paying attention to the newspapers?"

"Other than the locals and the Times, no," Darla responded, feeling suddenly foolish.

Pete motioned towards her global. "It's obvious that you've been listening to the ravings of obvious lunatics like myself," Pete said. "You just haven't been reading the right papers." He withdrew a paper from his briefcase. "I think that the tabloids might help you in your search. In the meantime, if you're interested in other people that share your views have been affected, I can give them your global number."

"Thank you, Pete," Darla replied. "I'd be grateful for any help you can provide."

"I hope you can thank me later," Pete said, finishing his drink. "I will see you at the next meeting." With that, he walked off, leaving Darla to order lunch.


Earth: Final Conflict fics