TITLE: A Piece of the Action (the Penny Ante Operations remix)

RATING: PG-13, because these gangsters have dirty, dirty mouths.

WORD COUNT: About 8600.

DISCLAIMER: Do not own.

NOTES: It took me forever, but I finally managed to whip out a Brand New Piece of the Action. Many thanks to kradie, who looked it over and gave constructive criticism. 3

Antonín Kalo was none too pleased with the information the bugs had just received. Boss wouldn't like this. Not one bit.

"B-Bela?" he said, cursing himself for an unfortunate display of meekness. Boss still looked absorbed in the Book, again. He would have to try once more.

"Bela. Bela!"

"DAMMIT, KALO. WHAT IS IT, YOU PUNK."

"Now, y'know what they say 'bout shootin' the messenger, right? Do ya, Bela?"

"WHAT IS IT. SPIT IT OUT."

Kalo refrained from gulping.

"…Krako stole the heaters. He's gonna make a hit."

"FUCK."

***

"Boss? He really expects me to call him boss?" The captain laughed, gesturing to his communicator.

"I don't make the rules, Captain," Uhura said wearily, transferring communications.

Kirk looked around and ran a hand through his hair, vaguely amused. The view screen showed the planet thousands of miles beneath them that Chekov had just recently announced was Sigma Iota.

"Put him on." He waved a hand, and the unit beeped in acknowledgement. "Okmyx. Boss. This is Captain James T. Kirk of the Federation starship Enterprise."

"Hey, Captain!" a low voice crackled back over the communicator. "Youse guys the same organization as the Horizon?"

"Yes, sir. We've just recently received the radio report—the ship was destroyed pretty soon after leaving here."

"But that was a…a hundred years ago!"

"Yes, I know. But a hundred years ago we weren't quite as technologically advanced as we are now, and you're just a little bit out of our reach, Mister Okmyx. I'll explain in more detail when I…come down there, but first…"

"How ya plannin' on doin' that?"

"Matter transference beams. First I just need to know where's best."

"Well, I can send my boys out to meet you by this intersection out here, with a yellow fire hydrant out on the corner. Can ya get there?"

"Certainly can. Scotty, we got coordinates?"

"Aye, sir."

"We'll be there in twenty minutes. Boss. Kirk out."

***

The turbolift on the officer's deck placed itself into position as its next two passengers arrived, one sweeping down from the left, the other bouncing on from the right. At the intersection, they regarded one another carefully, hands behind backs.

The door whooshed open, and the two men stepped in together.

"So," McCoy said, bouncing in place once or twice. "Jim tells me you guys down in the labs are working on something I should know about. Something for sick bay."

"Indeed," Spock replied. "It was my intention to brief you at a later period."

"That's…that's nice. Just…let me know."

"I shall do so."

They stood in silence for a moment longer before the 'lift doors opened up to the bridge, where they were accosted by one zealous starship captain.

"C'mon, you guys, it's away mission time," Kirk said as he grabbed them by the arms and practically pushed them back into the turbolift, concluding another quiet day on the bridge.

***

"The Horizon's report stated that they anticipated a quick move towards industrialization in the Iotians. Naturally, this was before the Prime Directive, so…Mister Chekov, are we ready to beam down?"

"Inputting coordinates, sir," he saluted at the three men taking position on the transporter pad. "I will beam you several meters from the coordinates specified, Captain."

"Thank you, Mister Chekov."

"The Horizon's interference precipitates technological and sociological contamination, if that is in fact the case," Spock replied. "Surely in this amount of time they have utilized and imitated the information that the Horizon left for them and advanced their culture considerably. The ship would not have realized the ramifications of their actions so long ago. We must rectify the situation."

"That's exactly what we're here to do."

The transporter beams whisked them away to the planet's surface, where they stood in the middle of a darkened street.

"Well. How's that for contamination?" McCoy quipped, taking in the scene.

"Fascinating."

"Shit."

It was going to be a bit harder than they had thought.

A car that looked suspiciously like a 20th century Earth Model T Ford barreled down the street in front of the trio. Kirk shoved the other two onto the sidewalk, narrowly escaping himself.

"WATCH WHAT YOU'RE DOING, YOU DUMBASS!" a man in a bowler hat shouted back at him.

"YEAH, WELL, DOUBLE DUMBASS ON YOU!" he sputtered back, catching odd looks from the others on his team.

"Eloquent, Captain."

"Thanks. Let's get going. There's the hydrant Okmyx was talking about. Now we just wait for his crew."

Kirk's eyes darted about the perils of the street—a dirty, pulpy atmosphere, dilapidated buildings, a public on edge—every man, woman, and even child out on the streets held—

"Firearms," Spock noted. "Interesting. Was there not an era in Earth's American history notably similar to this environment?"

The trio reached the hydrant, still glancing around in awe.

"Yeah. The Roarin' Twenties. Prohibition, speakeasies, gangsters—"

"Okay, you three," a man in a rather dapper suit approached, cronies in tow. "I wanna see you petrify."

"Uh, excuse us?" McCoy blinked at the gang.

"HANDS OVER YOUR HEADS, 'FORE I BLOW 'EM OFF."

They obliged. The cronies proceeded to manhandle the trio, snatching away their phasers and communicators. A man in a black suit began to fiddle with a phaser. Kirk lunged for it, before being smacked back.

"I wouldn't, if I were you," he said, hand still poised for intervention. "That's pretty dangerous."

"Dangerous, eh?" The man slipped it into his pocket. "Just the way I like it."

"You're not Okmyx's men, are you?" the captain asked uncertainly.

"Damn straight we are."

"So what's with the roughhousing? I'm sure those aren't necessary," McCoy retorted, gesturing at the Tommy guns lounging on the backs of the crew.

"Oh, shut up, wouldja? And don't gimme those baby blues."

"…What?"

"Not goin' for that innocent routine."

"Sir…is everyone here equipped with weaponry?" Spock interjected.

"No, dumbass. Of course they are! Where the hell do you think we are?"

"Listen!" Kirk shouted. "Are we going to see the boss, or are we going to see the boss?"

"Kalo! Incoming!" one of the cronies in a blue suit shouted at the man in the center with the brown duds, pointing towards an oncoming brigade of cars. "Krako's gang!"

"Hit the ground! Waco, cover me!" the leader shouted, and they all ducked, Kalo and his men firing back at the hit and run driver. Machine gunfire echoed throughout the street, accompanied by the sound of cars' motors receding, and after a moment the group looked about to survey the damage.

One crony hadn't been so lucky.

"Damn, Juneau!" Kalo hissed, kicking aside debris as he shot up and caught site of his wounded companion, sprawled out on the ground and covered in blood.

"Bela ain't gonna be too pleased," the man in the blue suit said, hitching his gun back onto his back.

"Damn, if that wasn't a welcoming committee," the captain said to himself, watching McCoy scramble over to the body.

"This man's dead, Jim," he pronounced as a glare from Kalo sent the crew kneeling by the body on their way.

"Shit happens," he explained. "You ain't never seen a hit before? Get movin'. Okmyx ain't gonna be none too pleased if we don't get you there like he asked."

The away team trudged along behind Kalo and Waco down through the precarious streets, finding the occasional woman sauntering up to throw complaints at the mobsters, who brushed them apathetically aside.

"That's how you deal with these people? They have to petition for all their facilities?" Kirk asked, stunned as Waco told a woman to shove it when she asked about her laundry.

"Ain't my business," Kalo scoffed. "They pay their percentage, the boss delivers. Simple as that."

They passed the rest of the way in relative silence, the occasional Tommy gun shot disrupting the peace.

***

"Hey, Boss!"

Kalo popped his head in Okmyx's elaborate office as the three he dragged along attempted to get a closer look.

"Got 'em," the man grinned, throwing them all inside. They stumbled into one another in their proximity, looking around the office. It smelled heavily of smoke and tobacco, and it seemed unkempt where it shouldn't have been. Glass bottles lay strewn about with not quite as much languor as the scantily clad women scattered across the office.

A roundish man in a pinstripe navy blue suit with silver hair and a stogie clamped right between his teeth stood at the center of the room. He turned around from his desk and flapper du jour and meandered over closer to the pool table where the three men stood, sweeping up a cue.

"Okay, now," Okmyx pronounced loudly, arms held out in a gesture of welcome. "Welcome to my palace. I'm Bela Okmyx. Now, which one of you's the captain?"

"Mm, I dunno. Depends," Kirk said, looking about nonchalantly. Okmyx roared with laughter.

"I like your style, Captain. Make yourself a drink. It's good stuff—distill it myself."

"No thanks. Not really a fan of moonshine." He gave a pointed look at McCoy.

"What?!"

"Mister Okmyx," Kirk interrupted. "They call you the boss."

"'Cuz I am the boss. Of my territory, that is; can't have any punks infringin' on it."

"'Punks' such as an individual named Krako?" Spock interjected, causing a wave of apoplectic rage to wash over Okmyx's face.

"What the hell do you know about Krako?"

"He hit us, Boss. His gang tore down Juneau," Kalo piped in.

"Dammit," Okmyx hissed.

"And Krako is…" the captain prompted.

"Another boss, that's who that fucker Krako is," Okmyx spat. "Runs the Southside territory. And we're gonna hit him back. Hard. With your assistance, Captain."

"We can use these, Boss." Waco tossed one of the commandeered phasers over to Okmyx for inspection as the Enterprise trio held back gasps.

"A heater? Hey, that's pretty sharp!" Okmyx exclaimed. "But hey. I'm sure there are a ton more where that came from. I want you to get me a big batch of these, Captain."

"Out of the question."

The captain's glare was steely. Okmyx grinned.

"Ah, see, Captain. I usually get what I want. Perhaps I'll give you some time to mull it over. Kalo!"

"Yessir!"

"Take these Feds and bag 'em. Watch over 'em like your life depends on it. 'Cuz it does."

***

"Remind me never to interact with a guy who calls himself 'boss' again. Ever."

The captain, the doctor, and the Vulcan huddled together in the recesses of a dank warehouse. Half a dozen yards away sat Kalo and his men situated on crates and barrels, a rousing game of poker amidst them. In between obscene cheers of glee at having won a hand, Kalo would shoot his eyes back at the trio, finger itching on the trigger of his Tommy gun.

"It's uncanny," McCoy said, stretching back upon the crate and crossing his arms. "I don't think the Iotians did this all on their own. What are the odds that they would have developed so similarly to Earth's history?"

"They copied it. Copied the atmosphere, the dialect, the tension, the concept…"

"The way in which Mister Okmyx operates is not dissimilar to the faction of political machines that plagued the former United States of America in the last decades of the nineteenth century."

"I definitely see where you're coming from, Spock, but I think this is a lot bigger than Tweed and Tammany Hall."

"How do you know so much about Earth's history, Spock? You don't have a reason to have studied any of this," McCoy griped.

"It is not so difficult to read a textbook, Doctor--an experience you would surely benefit from, although with your unfortunate lack of eidetic memory I am not certain how much you could glean from it."

McCoy gaped, all thoughts of how to refute the subject of his intelligence lost.

"YOUSE GUYS PIPE DOWN BACK THERE!" Kalo shouted behind him, waving his gun with reckless abandon.

"I cannot help but analyze Mister Okmyx's motives. He struggles in rivalry over the possession of territory when in fact it would be much more beneficial for himself and Mister Krako to combine forces. His goal is essentially the correct one. This society must become united or it will denigrate into total anarchy."

"The Horizon's influence makes it the Federation's responsibility. We have to prevent that. Any answers, Spock?"

"I am afraid not, Captain, or at least not at this juncture, as I do not have access to my computers."

"What good are you?" Kirk smiled and punched him on the arm. "Don't worry. I've got an idea."

He hopped off of his barrel and tugged down his shirt, heading toward the card table.

"Jim, are you crazy?" McCoy hissed, but he only grinned, mouthing "trust me". Spock and McCoy shared a glance before getting up to follow.

As he approached Kalo's table, the handful of men there all came alert and whipped their guns in his direction. He held up his arms in a gesture of peace.

"Gentlemen." he said. "This is a kid's game."

"Who's askin' you?" Kalo shouted.

"There's a planet out there called Beta Antares IV where they play a real game. It's probably beyond, you, though; it requires intelligence."

Kalo glared at the smirk on his face.

"I can handle anything you can give, Captain. Show us how it's done."

"Captain, Beta Antares IV does not—"

"SPOCK. Spock." Kirk made a motion for him to cut it out, and the Vulcan obeyed. "It's called Fizzbin."

"Fizzbin?" Kalo asked.

"Fizzbin." He began to deal the cards. "Isn't that hard. Each player gets six cards. Unless it's the player on my right—the dealer's right. He gets seven."

"Dealers right gets seven…"

"Yeah, yeah, you got it, except."

"Except what?"

"Except on Tuesdays."

"Tuesday."

"Look at you! Learning quick. Oh, what, look what you've got there! You've got half a fizzbin already!"

"So…I need another jack?"

"No, dumbass, another jack would disqualify you. You need a king. And a deuce. Unless it's at night! Then you'd need a queen and a four, but we've still got an hour or two. Wait, what time is it?"

"It's about five thirty."

"Oh, okay, we've still got time. Kings and deuces it is. Hold up, wait just a second, now!"

Kirk dealt one more hand and looked Kalo straight in the eyes.

"Check that out. Look at that! You've got another jack! Damn, how lucky is that! How wonderful for you! You're lucky we've got another half hour left 'til dusk, because you'd have to give it back if it were dark. If you get another king then I give you another card instead."

"Unless it were dark…on a Tuesday."

"Well, yeah, but that's not what you want. You want a royal fizzbin. Y'know, like, a straight flush, or something? Only better. But the odds, well, the odds are just astronomical. Hey, Spock? What're the odds in getting a royal fizzbin?"

"…I have never calculated them, Captain."

"That is how goddamned elusive a royal fizzbin is, that our resident mathematician doesn't even freakin' know. Now, this last card."

Kirk held it out for all the dumbstruck cronies to see. They scooted up closer to the edge of their seats.

"We might call this one a kronk. You got that? Wait, oops." The card slipped from his hand.

"I got it," Kalo said eagerly, and bent down to pick it up. He didn't get the opportunity to resurface; he was locked in a Vulcan nerve pinch and tumbled unconscious to the floor.

The other two men at the table stood up to fight. Waco lunged at Kirk, who gave him a swift uppercut to the face and a jab to the neck with his elbow, and he was out for the count as well. McCoy had succeeded in sedating the last man in the group with a well placed hypospray, and the minions were all out of commission surprisingly quickly.

"Teamwork!" Kirk crooned, reaching down to scoop up the fallen Waco's guns. "We are so awesome. But anyway: we need to get back to Bela's place. I need to get back to Okmyx, actually; you two need to find a way to contact the ship and see what information you can get from the computers."

"You're going alone?" McCoy asked.

"I don't need help. We need to split up if we're going to fix this mess. There should be a place around here centered on communications. Find it, and if you need to head back up to the ship, do it. I'll catch up. Let's go."

Kirk saluted his comrades, who watched somewhat helplessly as he turned and jogged out of the warehouse. After a quick glance, they were on their way as well.

***

"You do that very well," McCoy commented as the young woman operating the telephone board crumpled gracefully into Spock's arms after a particularly stealthy nerve pinch. The lines continued to garble on, and with several deft clicks of switches, the Vulcan had subdued them all as well. "Are you just as good with primitive radio equipment?"

"It should be very simple. Using the telephone lines from this location, I should be able to manipulate them easily in order to establish contact with the Enterprise."

The microphone on the board crackled and hummed.

"Enterprise. This is Commander Spock."

"Spock!" Lieutenant Uhura answered. "Is everything okay? What are you doing on this frequency?"

"A long and complicated story, Lieutenant. At the moment, I need for you access the sociological computers."

"Yes, sir."

***

"No, Mister Krako," Kirk said, face in palm as he shrugged away the flapper assigned to alleviate his tensions. He'd been manhandled enough today—first by the cronies sent by Krako to "put the bag on him" as he was heading back to Okmyx, next by Krako himself as he had yanked him by the neck over to his desk in what he certainly thought was a hospitable way. "I don't think you're stupid, I just think your behavior is arrested."

"I haven't been arrested in my whole life! Listen, Kirk, I wanna make a deal. And if you ain't cooperatin', I can always have a guy we like to call the Knife come in here and take care of some business, if y'know what I mean."

"Listen. This kidnapped thing is great fun and all, but if you've got Okmyx bugged, you already know what I told him. It's no deal for him, what makes you think I'd give it to you? Once again, Krako. No. Deal."

"Fine," Krako grimaced. "Have it your way. Zabo!"

"Yes, Boss!" the man in the bowler hat who had personally escorted Kirk so lovingly to the office of JoJo Krako—the venerable boss of Southside territory—hopped to attention.

"Put this man on ice."

Kirk sighed as Zabo gleefully manhandled him some more.

***

Back in the warehouse, Antonín Kalo awoke with a mild headache, slowly taking in the state of the place and the cards strewn all over the floor.

"Shit," he said, shooting up to grab his gun only to find it wasn't there. "Shit."

He stood, taking in the other unconscious men around him. He began to kick them awake.

"Wake up, you bastards; those idiots got away!"

As they groaned themselves back into sentience, Kalo stopped, looked around himself once more, then took off towards his car.

***

"We must return to Bela Okmyx's office."

Spock and McCoy emerged from the telephone station and walked along the darkened late evening streets.

"What?" McCoy shouted, "Why? We just left there. Your damn computers just told you there's no solution."

"We must make negotiations regardless. I have my suspicions that he will prove stubborn. The captain may be in need of our assistance. In the meantime, I have alerted Mister Scott to set the ship's phasers on stun, provided something should occur."

"What, you don't believe in Jim?"

"My faith in Jim is quite solid. It is Okmyx I am concerned about."

"Then I guess we'll go."

"Wait a moment." Spock stopped on the sidewalk, listening for the noise that had caught his attention. "I believe someone is approaching. It would be advantageous to be as subtle as possible."

They crept along the path warily. The sound of a car became unmistakably louder. In a moment, Kalo's cream colored old style convertible had pulled up in front of them, Kalo himself making steely eyes at the two men who had just stopped in their tracks. Kalo cocked his gun at them.

"Youse guys are comin' with me," he said, not leaving much to argue about.

***

Kalo and Waco stood guard, guns poised, at the couch in Okmyx's office where Spock and McCoy had so unceremoniously been dumped. The doctor had his arms crossed in frustration and lips pressed in impatience.

"Why are we just sitting here?" he mumbled, agitated.

"Incredible as it seems, Doctor, we have been captured," the Vulcan replied, cool as ever. "We are awaiting for Mister Okmyx to comply with our negotiations, as well as conditions to re-obtain our captain."

"Conditions which for some reason you refuse to listen to me about," Okmyx cut in, moving to stand in front of them. He tried to be intimidating by putting his arms on his hips and looking generally big and intimidating. "Don't your captain's life mean anythin' to you? 'Cuz for a pack of heaters, me and my boys'd do the trick and spring 'im."

"We should like for you to consider another possibility than violence, Mister Okmyx. Unification of all this world's territories might be in your best interests."

"And work together with that slimeball Krako?"

"We're trying to help, you, Okmyx," McCoy interjected in frustration.

"Nobody helps nobody but himself!" Okmyx cried.

"…Sir, you are employing a double negative," Spock, ever the grammarian, felt he should know this.

"What the hell are you talkin' 'bout, you freak, who gives a damn?" Okmyx exploded at him, clearly not appreciating the value of grammatical correctness.

"I fail to see why you do not understand us. You yourself have stated the need for unity of authority."

"Yeah, but I got to be the unity!"

"You would eventually reach cooperation, it could easily—"

"The most cooperative man in this world is a dead man. Shut up, or you'll both be cooperatin'."

Both men obeyed promptly, if grudgingly. There was another moment of silence as Okmyx turned to take care of business in another corner of the room. Then the door slammed open with a loud burst, and the guards standing in front of it flailed for their bearings a moment as they took defensive positions. In the doorway stood one Jim Kirk, with two gigantic Tommy rifles in his hands, a machine gun strapped across his chest, and several pistols shoved in his belt.

"Drop the fucking guns. Drop 'em, I said drop 'em!" he screamed, fully into character. The guards had not much choice but to obey. The ones by the entrance were still rubbing their faces where the door had hit them. Spock and McCoy moved swiftly, regaining their phasers in addition to a plethora of other weapons.

"Well, well, well, Captain," Okmyx said, sounding impressed. "Y'got away from Krako. That's a big deal." Kirk ignored him pointedly but for turning his gun to him; the other was fixed on Kalo. The other two members of the away team trained their weapons on the remaining guards.

"How did you manage to do so, Captain?" his first officer asked.

"It's a very long and complicated story." To this, McCoy sighed. "But how did you two manage to get caught again?"

"The computers onboard have no information with regards to the rectification of this culture," Spock subverted easily. "Logic and practical information do not seem to apply here."

McCoy's eyes lit up. "You admit that?" he said gleefully.

"To deny the facts would be illogical, Doctor."

"Then you don't mind if I play a hunch?" Kirk asked, guns still on targets. The guards shuffled an infinitesimal bit. Okmyx kept cool.

"I am not sanguine about hunches, Captain, but there seems to be no alternative."

"So what now, Jim?"

"Well, we've got Bela." He waved the gun aimed at the boss around for emphasis. "Now we need Krako. I've got a plan."

"Last time you said that, Jim, you got your ass kidnapped. Just what do you think you're planning?"

"You'll see." He dropped the rifle aimed at Bela on the floor, signifying that he was still watching him, and swept over to Waco. He grabbed him roughly by the suit. "That's nice material you've got there," he said sweetly.

"Oughta be," Waco spat, "it cost me a shit ton o' cash."

"Strip."

"What?"

"Out of the clothes!"

"Now just what do you think is goin' on here?" Kalo shouted.

"You too!" Kirk barked at him in a roguish slur. "I want you in your skivvies. Hand 'em over."

"He quite seems to be enjoying this," McCoy whispered over to Spock, who slowly nodded once in agreement.

"Hey, Spocko! Get outta them clothes yourself. We're goin' out on the town, y'hear?"

"Hey, what about me?" McCoy asked.

"What are you talkin' 'bout, Sawbones? Somebody's gotta stay here and keep an eye on these dumbbells," Kirk said as he yanked on Waco's blue suit.

Once again, McCoy sighed, watching the newly dressed command duo dash out a moment later after recollecting their armory.

"So," he drawled to the room in general, "How about them Red Sox?"

***

Kirk and Spock burst out of Okmyx's headquarters, looking around in search of transportation to JoJo Krako's offices. Lucky for them, a kind of ritzy looking car sat on

the curb across the street. A look of scary glee dawned over Kirk's face as he pointed at it, and they both crossed over to reach it.

"To use an Earth colloquial term…what is it? Oh, 'shotgun'," Spock said as they approached.

"We've got wheels, Mister Spock. Tell me, have you ever had to hotwire a car before?"

"I find I have never had the occassio—"

"That's okay, I've got it," the captain grinned, and propelled himself into the front seat after tossing his weapons in the middle. The Vulcan copied, watching as the captain dipped down near the brakes to adjust some wires. The car revved into life, and he popped back up with a massive grin. "You might want to put your seatbelt on." He put it into gear, and it made an attractive purring noise.

"I kinda like this," Kirk said, grin as wide as ever. "I'm going to get one myself."

"It is what they call 'old-school'."

"Indeed it is."

And with that, he took off from the curb at a speed rivaling something the warp core might have produced.

Meanwhile, inside Okmyx's office, Kalo looked mournfully out the window, clad only in his undergarments.

"Those motherfuckers stole my car," he sniveled, watching the two take off in his most prized possession.

Back in the car, Spock looked hesitantly about himself, a bit concerned about their course of action. "Captain!" he finally shouted.

The wind generated by the pure speed the cream colored car was making had the effect of mostly obscuring the Vulcan's words as they recklessly tore down the darkened city streets.

"Yeah?" Kirk finally shouted back.

"Are you certain of the location of Krako's headquarters?"

"Yeah, pretty much! Well, relatively sure."

"Now, I am aware that expedience is optimum, but—"

"I am absolutely certain that we should be going this fast, Mister Spock. How are you ever going to get anywhere if—"

The captain was interrupted by sound of machine gunfire ricocheting dangerously close. The duo risked looking behind them for a moment to see a black car speeding up to them, dangerous looking men aiming guns in their direction.

"Shit!" Kirk swore as he pressed harder on the gas. "Krako's men!"

Zabo and Krako's other cronies were gaining rather quickly. More shots discharged, echoing across the buildings in the streets. Something had to be done.

"Do you remember what you were saying about being shotgun earlier?" Kirk shouted over the gunfire and rev of engines. "I'm pretty sure I just figured out why they call it that!"

Spock understood immediately and mounted one of the larger Tommy guns on the seat to face behind. With one quick glance at the captain, he clicked the magazine into place and began to fire.

Their car veered down a corner, fortuitously avoiding the shots from their pursuers. People in the streets had begun to realize the conflict and were steering clear of it by disappearing into buildings.

"It seems we are at a slight disadvantage," Spock yelled as he ducked down to avoid enemy fire while efficiently replacing his expended gun before reaching back up to fire again.

"No, y'think? We've got to get out of here fast!"

"I am afraid that I am out of solutions!"

For a moment, the noise coming from the other car stopped. Kirk stole a look behind again. The cronies in the car were pausing to restock their weapons, obviously unharmed.

"You are not that bad a shot, I've seen you! Why are they still in commission?"

"My intent is to incapacitate, not to kill. I wish to avoid murder if at all possible, especially considering the circumstances."

The captain sighed.

"Tires! Aim for the tires and see if—"

They both ducked as Krako's gang finished reloading and began to shoot again.

"See if you can stop them that way," Kirk concluded.

The Vulcan nodded, and took precise aim. With one shot, the tire on the other car exploded, causing it to careen chaotically towards the sidewalk. As Zabo swore and attempted to right the car, the cronies shot on as much as they could—but the duo was already long gone.

After speeding and curving all throughout the city, Kalo's appropriated car came to a screeching halt a few blocks down from Krako's headquarters.

"Captain." Kirk turned around to meet the gaze of his first officer, whose face was almost imperceptibly tighter with stress than he would usually like to admit. He held with one hand his weapon so hard that it almost bent, and his other hand gripped the side of the car for support. "You are an excellent starship commander," he breathed, "but as a chauffer you leave rather much to be desired."

Kirk grinned. "You really think I'm good?"

"…At this point, I am revising my previous opinion."

They climbed out of the car, surveying the streets. Krako's rule didn't seem to be much more effective for the infrastructure than did Okmyx's: everything was just as dark and dirty over here. Guards lined the door that lead to the entrance of Krako's headquarters, the pinnacle of the Southside territory.

"Those guys aren't going to take us just meandering in very lightly. We need a distraction."

"Agreed."

They pondered in silence a millisecond more before a tiny voice directly in front of them made them jump.

"It's a hit, ain't it?" a scruffy looking young girl in a newsboy hat had materialized before them, brandishing her tiny little knife and staring at the duo with eager determination.

"What?"

"You're gonna hit Krako, I know it! Why else would you tear up here with all those heaters? I wanna watch! Can I watch? I can help!"

Kirk and Spock exchanged an uncertain glance.

"Kid," the captain responded, "this isn't playground stuff."

"Y'think I don't know that? I wanna see Krako go down just as much as you do! I know you need my help 'cuz you'd be dead in the water if you so much as tried to get over there. Krako's got snipers in every window."

The two men took a cursory look around, just to be certain. There were. The captain sighed, and sat on the car bumper. The young girl hopped up right next to him, wiping her brown hair out of her face, and Kirk motioned for the Vulcan to follow suit.

"Well, kiddo, you got any plans?"

"Yeah, I got plans! But only on one condition. I gotta get something in return."

"Oh? Well, what do you want?"

"A piece of the action!"

The command team exchanged another look.

"A piece of the action?"

"A piece of the goddamned action!"

"Hey, watch your mouth. We'll give you a piece."

"Shake on it?"

"Of course." Kirk and the spunky little girl shook hands. She grinned, and tossed herself off of the bumper. With a salute, she skipped across the street and down to the entrance of Krako's. The duo watched from behind the car, tensing up a little.

"What do ya think you're playin' at? You lookin' at me? Why, I'll have you so fast you won't know what hitcha!" she shouted to no one in particular as she pantomimed doing battle with big bad gangsters in the street. The guards couldn't help but grin.

"Cute kid, huh," one remarked, which seemed to get her attention.

"Hey, you guys! Do you wanna piece o' me?"

The guard on the left feigned ignorance, looking around exaggeratedly until he stared at her, big eyed, and pointed to himself. "Me?"

"Yeah, you!" she whipped out her little knife and pointed it in his direction. He whipped out his large gun, pretending to look scared. They remained in false stalemate for a moment before he said "gotcha!" and yanked his gun back.

"Why, I oughta…I thought you were gonna gimme a real fight!" She dashed up the steps, but while reaching the second one, she tripped and scuffed her knee. She placed herself on the ground, rolling around and gripping her leg as if she'd just had a dagger shoved into it instead.

"OUCH! Ouch, dammit, that smarts! Dad! Daddy!"

"Pretty sure that's our cue," Kirk said, dashing out from behind the car with his first in tow. "So, who's the father, then? You wanna be the father?"

"Jim, I don't believe this is the time to argue paternity."

"I mean, it's okay, you can get custody on weekends. Hey, kiddo!" he cried upon sighting the young girl on the ground, "I thought I told you no foolin' around? Did they hurt you? Was this you?" he pointed at the guard, who shook his head vigorously and held his arms up in surrender, wide eyed. "Did you do this to my daughter? Did you? Speak up! I said, speak up!" Each of these last words was punctuated by a jab to the gut and then a slap to the face that sent the man spinning. Directly next to him, another elegant nerve pinch put the other guard into submission.

Job done, Kirk placed his hands on his hips and surveyed their handiwork. Satisfied, he turned back to the kid and saluted her. "A piece of the action?" He reached down to give her a high-five.

"A piece of the action!" she said as she returned it, waving goodbye as they slipped into the headquarters.

They crept through the lobby, looking for signs of anything suspicious as they went.

"We've gotta be fast. Krako should be right up those—"

"Well, look what we got here!" Krako announced from the top of the stairs, looking triumphant. "It's Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Here I sent Zabo to go fetch Kirk and the dumbass delivers himself right back at my doorstep. How convenient. It would prob'ly be a good idea for you to put down your guns now."

"Oh?"

"Captain, we might find it wise to comply, I just heard—"

"The sound of a machine gun bolt being pulled back."

They glanced at each other, then behind them to find an army of guards with guns aimed at their backs.

"Krako," Kirk dropped his Tommy on the floor, hands up in surrender, "we need to talk. Now."

"Y'finally gettin' the picture? Well, let's do it in my office. Boys, stand down."

The guards in the back put down their guns, and Krako gestured for the duo to follow him. They climbed up the stairs to the privacy of his office.

"So, you change your mind?" he asked once they were safely inside. "Gonna help me get my heaters for a piece of the cut?"

"JoJo, JoJo," Kirk admonished. "I'm not sure you know precisely what you're dealing with. The Federation doesn't need any of your flimsy cuts. Right, Spocko?"

"…Unquestionably."

"Riiiiiiiight, Spock?"

"Riiiiiight."

"So look, Krako. We're taking over this whole messy ordeal. You can just hope to get a piece of our cut."

"A very miniscule piece, that is," Spock interrupted.

"What makes you think you can just take over like that?" Krako demanded.

"'Cuz we can! Y'know, we've got the guns. We've got the will. Check?" Kirk asked again.

"Riiight," Spock answered, almost, almost rolling his eyes.

"You and Okmyx, Krako—hey, Spocko, siddown." They both took their places behind the desk. Kirk put his feet up. He glanced at his first with a grin, and he nodded and did so as well.

"But Krako," he began again. "We would take over, but we would have to leave a coupla guys in charge. You and Bela'd be good for the job."

"Y'mean, work together?"

"Well, yeah, baby, why not?"

"Y'really think so?"

"Naw, I'm brain dead and I can't make decisions. Just listen, JoJo. We're gonna all head back to Bela's right now."

"Head to Bela's right now?" Krako asked, confused.

"Yeah. But you can go on ahead."

Kirk pulled out his communicator and buzzed back in to the ship.

"Eh, Scotty, sweetheart!" he called.

On the other end, Scott, slightly puzzled, shrugged and responded, with a grin, "Didn't know you felt that way, Captain. What can I do for ya?"

"We've got a man over here needs transportin', to the coordinates in Okmyx's office. Y'got that, baby?"

"Um, yessir. Sweetheart."

"Good job, Scotty. Kirk out. Hey, Krako. We'll see you in a bit."

He waved goodbye as a bewildered Krako dematerialized. The captain stood up, clapped his hands together once, and held out a hand to help Spock out of his chair.

"Captain," he asked, "why not have ourselves transported back to Okmyx's headquarters as well?"

"Well, somebody's gotta bring Kalo his car back. 'Sides, you don't get an opportunity to drive a car like that everyday."

"Drive? Must we?" An expression of horror appeared for just a moment on the Vulcan's face before being replaced again by his stoic mask.

"What do you want? You afraid of cars?"

"Absolutely not, Captain. It is your driving which alarms me."

Kirk laughed out loud, giving him a slap on the arm. "Don't worry, I've got it covered. Let's get. Right?"

"Check."

"Now that's the spirit."

On their way back to Bela's at breakneck speed, Kirk and Spock ran into Zabo's gang, still trying to fix their flat.

"Hey, you guys!" Kirk pulled over and called out to them. They pulled their guns, but he shouted, "Hey, youse guys, I've gotta figurative white flag over here. Just lettin' you know: there's a hit down at Okmyx's place. Be there or be square!"

Zabo and his group looked around at each other with confused expressions, leaving their guns as the duo sped off again.

"Well, then!" Zabo shouted, "Let's go!"

***

McCoy paced the floor of Okmyx's office, the only gun in the area closed tightly in his hands. Okmyx paced too, a drink in his hand, and Kalo and Waco continued to shift restlessly on one of the couches, trying to shake off the discomfort of being in only their underwear. Earlier there had been a minor shock when Krako had spontaneously materialized, but for the most part, McCoy had everything under control. His concerns lay elsewhere.

"Where are they?" the doctor demanded.

"If my gang's got anythin' to do with it, not in one piece, I can assure you," Krako answered, sipping from the drink Okmyx had poured him shortly after his arrival. McCoy swallowed the fear heading through his chest. Jim Kirk and Spock, plowed down by gangsters on a planet with development gone awry? Not in this lifetime. Not in any.

As if to prove him right, the duo in question chose that moment to burst in the doorway, making them all jump. The doctor hid a sigh of relief.

"Oh, good," Kirk announced in his worst slur yet, "the gang's all here. Krako. Okmyx. Lemme tell ya, I'm so damn sick and tired of playin' around with you penny ante operators."

"Who you callin' a penny ante operator?" Okmyx shouted, striding over to confront him.

"I'M CALLIN' YOU A PENNY ANTE OPERATOR, SIDDOWN!"

The boss obeyed.

"Now Krako's already heard the plan, but lemme reiterate. We're gonna get to unifyin' this world, here, see? And I want you to call up the other bosses so we can get 'em in here to play a part too. Alright, you guys?" Kirk pulled out his communicator and flipped it open. "Scotty! Hey, baby, what's crackin'?"

"Um…nothing is cracking, sir, I—"

"Scotty. We're gonna make some old-school telephone calls. You're gonna track the coordinates of the men on the other end and give 'em a ride over here. Can do, sweetheart?"

"Er…"

"Just…transport them to this location when I say go, okay?"

"Yes, Captain."

"Well, I'mma call up this guy Tepo," Okmyx said, reaching over to pick up the receiver of the old-style telephone. "He's the Westside boss…"

He dialed him up. "Listen, wait, it's Bela. Whoa, Tepo, be cool, be cool, those weren't my boys makin' a hit…"

"Got 'im, Scotty?" Kirk half-whispered into his communicator.

"Yessir," the man on the other end replied.

"Lock on and energize."

In the middle of the room appeared one sparkling boss, still carrying out his conversation.

"—that shit, Bela, I know damn well what your boys—"

Tepo suddenly realized he was not where he had been only a moment before.

"Holy shit!"

"Hey, Captain! That ain't bad!"

"Yeah, that ain't, ain't it?"

Spock, gun trained on Okmyx, suddenly shoved it violently into his arm.

"I would advise youse to keep dialin', Okmyx," he said with the most Vulcan of glares. Officially scared shitless, Okmyx scrambled to dial the next boss. McCoy gaped; Jim getting carried away he could definitely understand, but this was an entirely different story. Kirk wore a massive shiteating grin. Spock looked around, as if embarrassed to have slipped so thoroughly into the role. After a moment of the three men glancing gat each other uncertainly, transportation of the bosses commenced smoothly.

"Jim," McCoy walked over to him after a few moments and touched him on the shoulder. "I found something I think you might wanna see."

He pulled him over to a stand close to Okmyx's desk that held a pristine bound book. Its title read Chicago Mobs of the 1920s. A bookmark was placed towards the center of it.

"Looks like we found the source of our contamination." The captain picked it up and began to flip through it. "Wow, it's got everything. Anything you ever needed to know about gangsters, it's in here."

"An entire culture based off of one textbook," Spock said as he approached them quietly, completing the trio. "The Iotians essentially leeched their way of life from one tome. The Horizon inadvertently caused mass destruction."

"What year was this book published, anyway?" the captain asked, flipping to the information in the front. "1992. Ah. A good year for literature. At least one of the premier authors of the 21st century was born in that year."

"Interesting."

The place had filled completely with gangsters at this point. Kirk gently replaced the book upon its stand and headed over to the pool table, pushing a few of the bosses aside to climb up onto it.

"All right, all right, all riiiiiiiiiight!" he shouted loudly, the usual command to his voice slightly overshadowed in his ridiculous attempt to sound like a g. The mobsters quieted, looking up to give him their attention. "The Federation is taking over this scattered excuse for a planet. Everything's gonna be done all from one station, y'hear? You're gonna run it right—like a business. Business means profit."

"But does profit means we gotta give some to you?" Krako shouted, and the bosses erupted into anxious, angry conversation.

"HEY!" the captain shut them up, "Yeah, we get a percentage. Forty percent."

"Forty percent?" one boss screamed. "Who the hell you think you're kiddin', forty fuckin' percent?"

"I ain't kiddin' nobody!"

"Who the fuck says you can boss us around like that?" a woman shouted. "Where's your proof?"

"Yeah!" Okmyx called. "I ain't seen nobody but these three! Maybe they ain't got no more!"

This really made the crowd erupt. Kirk shot a worried glance at his two other officers before grabbing the group's attention once again.

"Hangonaminute, hangonaminute! SHUT UP!"

"Where are your men, Kirk?" Krako asked. The captain lunged and grabbed him by the lapels of his fancy suit.

"Up there, over four hundred of them."

"And how the hell are we supposed to believe ya?"

"Do you really want me to break out the big guns to prove it to ya?"

At that, the noise of a gunfight resounded from outside.

"It's a hit!" one of the bosses cried, and they flocked to the windows, stampeding in eagerness to see whose boss's men were gonna get it.

"It's my boys!" Krako shouted with pride, the first in line.

"Them, and everybody else's!" Okmyx replied. "Dammit! We're screwed! Nobody knows whose boss is where."

The fight outside had reached epic proportions, with more gangs arriving by the second to take revenge on their bosses' kidnappings.

"It's all you Feds' fault!" Okmyx turned and pointed at the three men who had beamed down and caused all the trouble.

"Hey, wait a minute, wait a minute! I got this!" Kirk shouted over the noise.

"Oh?"

He flipped out his communicator once again.

"I'm about to demonstrate to youse guys why we've got the right to be takin' over. Scotty!" he shouted into the device.

"Enterprise, this is Scott."

"I need you to put the ship's phasers on stun."

"Already done, sir."

"Good. Fire in a one-block radius around these coordinates—make sure you don't catch us."

"Right away, sir. Scott out."

The communicator beeped, and the captain shut it. "Watch," he said, pointing outside, and a moment later, a brilliant light enveloped the street. When it dissipated, every single one of the cronies had collapsed on the ground.

"What the hell have you done?!" Krako shouted.

"Cool it, Krako, they're not dead, they're just knocked out. But if I had called for it, they'd be vaporized, hear?"

The bosses were all shocked into silence.

"Well, we've got the message," Okmyx admitted quietly, still a little stunned. "Maybe you're right. Maybe we do need to syndicate. I'm sick and tired of all these hits. I've lost too many good men—I hit Krako, he hits me, Tepo hits Krako, Tepo hits me, Stasia hits Tepo, and it's just an endless fuckin' circle. We can't get anything done, there's too many of us."

"He's right," Krako sighed, and everyone mumbled their agreements. "We need a top boss, someone to call the shots. Kirk, you seem like the man for the job."

The captain grinned, pointing at himself with a false air of incredulity.

"I'm sorry, you guys," he responded. "The Federation can't get mixed in with a small-time operation like this. I was thinkin' more like, Okmyx, you'd be leader. You would run everything."

"Me?" Okmyx replied. "On my own?"

"No, not just you. You'd work with Krako as your second in command. Make it a real clean organization, see? And we'd have no trouble from none of ya, got it? We'd be back once a year to collect our cut."

"Forty percent?"

"Sounds about right to me."

"Then it sounds good to me," Okmyx called. "Sound good to you all?"

There was a raucous chorus of agreement from the many bosses gathered in the room.

"Then we're cool!" Okmyx tossed both hands up in the air, and the others cheered.

"And that's what I like to hear from youse guys," Kirk shouted, reaching over to hold up Okmyx's drinking glasses. "We're cool!"

***

A day or so later, when the ship was long gone from Sigma Iota, the bridge beeped and bustled with its usual operations. The turbolift doors shifted open, and McCoy arrived on the bridge, glancing nervously around.

"Captain," Uhura announced from her station, "We have just received a communiqué from Starfleet Command. Admiral Pike has just received your debriefing, and would like for me to relay this message to you: 'WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?!'"

"Um," Kirk responded, trying to keep a smile off of his face, "Let him know that I will get back to him on that later." He hopped out of his chair and glanced at McCoy, who had taken to hovering next to the captain's seat, then bounded over to the science station where Spock put forth his best effort to ignore him.

"You two have been moping ever since we got back," Kirk leaned against the station and glanced at them both as the doctor arrived, still looking anxious. "Wanna tell me why?"

"Well—" McCoy began softly.

"And don't think I've forgotten your little episode, either, Mister Spock," Kirk didn't give him the chance to finish, pointing accusatorily at his first officer.

The Vulcan remained silent.

"Oh, c'mon, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You're pretty good at this role playing thing."

Still silence.

"Jim," McCoy tried again, a little bit louder this time.

"C'mon, Spock, pleaaaase? I wanna hear you do it again!"

"I think not, Captain," he finally responded in an exasperated tone. "I do not wish to submit myself to such undignified practices."

"Jim!" McCoy had stooped to desperation.

"Oh, c'mon, why not? It was incredible. I'd give real money to hear that again."

"JIM!"

"What is it, Bones?"

"I…I have something to tell you."

"And?" the captain prompted.

"And…and I…I'm not sure…"

"Whenever you're ready, Bones. Just spit it out."

"I think I left my communicator in Bela's office!" the doctor finally shouted, making the other two gape at him. If the Iotians had adapted so well to the culture of gangs from a book, then a piece of hyper advanced technology…

***

"Bela," Kalo said, scooping up a foreign object from underneath the pool table, as he'd been assigned to cleaning duty after the wild party the bosses had held in Okmyx's office. "Looks like those Feds left somethin' behind."

"Whassat, 'nother heater?" Krako asked as he and Okmyx walked over to inspect it.

"Nah, it's that thing they used to contact their ship with." Kalo twisted the dials, and static came up from defunct communications lines.

"Oh, really?" Okmyx grinned. "Kalo. Take it apart, see how it works." He took a long draft from his noxious cigar. "Maybe the next time this Federation comes circlin' round, we can get a piece of their action."