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Old November 22 2012, 11:36 PM   #68
Rear Admiral
Re: UT: Refugee Crisis/Dark Territory-"Stealing Fire"

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Outside The Burning Claw

Lt. Shashlik wanted to break from the tether that yoked her to the accursed pirate ship, and use the cord to choke the woman floating beside her. She had been holding back her rage, quietly stoking the fires within. Only Ramlo being held hostage by the brigands aboard stayed her hand, as it had since they had first been accosted, but the Kaylar didn’t know how much longer even her concern for her friend could still her warrior’s blood.

“I know what you’re thinking,” the Capellan’s voice sounded smug, even though the helmet’s tiny receiver. “I can see your body twitching, your muscles tensing, you want to strike at me, and you want to kill us all.”

Shashlik said nothing; instead she kept her eyes on the device drifting before them. Even though the device was roughly the size of a photon torpedo, yet far more crystalline in appearance, she found it hard to believe that it contained the kind of power Gedrik gushed about. But she had no reason to doubt it, far too many people had died because of it, and Shashlik knew that she couldn’t let a weapon fall into the hands of outlaws.

The Capellan, Nadeen, chuckled. The harsh sound made Shashlik wince. “I know, I know,” she said, “You’re a warrior like me. And to do the bidding of one such as Gedrik…” She slid beside her, “It curdles the blood. I promise you though that when this is over, I will give you the warrior’s death you deserve.”

“Should I be grateful for your promise?” Shashlik couldn’t help but scoff.

“No, just prepared,” Nadeen replied, before roughly pushing off Shashlik’s shoulder. The Kaylar fell back while Nadeen shot forward. She reversed the thrust on the ill-fitting space suit to stop her descent. The Capellan grabbed the tip of the regulator, to stop her forward momentum. Shashlik reached her moments later. She didn’t hide her glower. Nadeen laughed. “Oh, our battle will be one for the ages,” she declared.

“You can count on it,” Shashlik promised.
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The Burning Claw
Command Deck

This was going far easier than Gedrik had anticipated. “I told him all along, that the honest profit that could be made from becoming heroes would be far more than what we could get from the Orions, Valerians, or other scum,” Mavaar said smoothly, the picture of sincerity.

If Gedrik had any sense he would knew it would be best to unload another disruptor bolt right into the center of her gentle forehead ridges. But the woman offered no challenges to him, her words might even convince the still skeptical among them. Plus she practically was prostrating before him, the zipper of her skintight violet tunic parted just so tantalizingly.

And it had been so lonely since his wife…Gedrik cleared his throat, as well as thoughts of his beloved Berae. He stood up, to better look down at the supplicating Nuvian. “As always you speak with wisdom Mavaar,” he said charitably, “and I look forward to you…serving me…as ably as you did the previous ship’s master.” If he could afford her, he did intend to keep Mavaar with him. He didn’t care about the rest, though he said loudly, “Continue to do your duties as you have before and I promise we will all continue to reap profit, in fact, more profits than you could dare dream to imagine!”

Not known for being a boaster, his words dissipated the fog that had enveloped over the bridge in the wake of Deoch’s demise. The crew went back to repairing damaged stations with renewed vigor.

“Mavaar,” Gedrik said, with a shot of new confidence himself, “Move your things to my quarters, and I will be there when I can.”

She gave a curt bow, making sure her cleavage was prominently displayed, “Of course my captain.”

Satisfied, he sat back down and swung his head opposite of the departing Nuvian. A morose Lt. Ramlo stood beside him, his anxiety evident. His iris less green eyes were glued to the main viewer. Before them both Nadeen and the Kaylar clung to Gedrik’s glittering jewel. The horned Venturi smiled, hoping it would reassure the man, but certain that it wouldn’t.

Pleased that at least the grapplers still worked, Gedrik ordered, “Haul them in.” His stomach fluttered as the device was slowly reeled back in. Unable to sit still, or bear his excitement, Gedrik leaped from his seat. “We have to go down to the cargo hold, to see it with our own eyes,” he said, grabbing Ramlo’s arm and pulling him forward.

The Arkenite’s boots remained planted on the deck. Gedrik gave another encouraging tug, and then a frustrated snort. Whipping around to glare at the recalcitrant fellow scientist, he made certain the man saw him reaching for his disruptor. Still unmoved, Ramlo matched his stare.

Gedrik didn’t need this test of wills, not after he had just scored a major psychological victory with Mavaar. The Arkenite needed to be reminded of his place. “You will accompany me to the cargo bay now.”

“Or what?” Ramlo asked, disdain reeking from his pores. “You aren’t going to vaporize me like you did Deoch, you need me.” After the Starfleet officer’s brazen admission, Gedrik realized his mistake. He had been too kind to the Arkenite, he had treated him too much as an equal, and that simply wouldn’t do on a buccaneer ship. There had to be one law, one voice of authority, and it must never be questioned.

“I do need you,” Gedrik admitted, “but not in one piece.”

“What?” Ramlo blanched, a terrible recognition dawning in his verdant eyes. He took a step back. Gedrik advanced on him, issuing orders.

Ramlo looked around him, realizing he was cornered. Two colossal Venturi were closing in on him. “Vorvi, Nolun,” Gedrik said softly, smiling all the way in spite of himself, “Grab the good scientist by the arms, and one of you, hand me a knife.”
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