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Old February 17 2013, 03:38 AM   #36
Rear Admiral
Re: Dark Territory: Shadow Puppets (Revised)


Both Dylan and Velen are full of surprises is all I'm going to say.

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Imperial Romulan Cruiser Aidoann

Samson Glover threw a hand over his eyes. The white light stabbing into them was nearly as painful as his headache. His mind felt sluggish and his mouth was drier than a Vulcan desert. His stomach quivered and the old man grimaced, remembering the last time he had been hung over. But he hadn’t drunk that much, Samson thought. However, he hadn’t checked the alcoholic concentration either, he realized. Plus, his tolerance had never been high.

Comprehending why he felt like he had been hit by a shuttle, it didn’t account for the intense light digging into his sockets. “Where…” he couldn’t finish the question, with his throat and tongue feeling like sand paper. Perhaps this was more than a simple case of overdrinking.

“Welcome back to the land of the living Admiral Glover.” A disembodied voice said somewhere above him. Samson’s heart stopped.

No one aboard the Astral Eddy knew his true identity. For someone to refer to him by his name and former title, it meant that the mission had failed and that either he was a prisoner or had been rescued by Starfleet.

If that was the case, what happened to the others? The question jolted his heart. The man sat up, his lethargic muscles protesting. He squinted, “Where…who…” he attempted to inquire.

“Lower illumination,” the voice said. The lights dimmed to a comfortable level. His eyeballs still hurt, but Samson used them anyway. The room was small, unadorned with thick shadows pooling at each corner. The ex-admiral looked up and saw a cone of light beaming down directly on him. At almost the same instant, Samson realized he was sitting on a floor, the thrumming of a singularity engine rumbling beneath him.

“Romulans,” he muttered, his stomach knotting in fear. Glover had been on enough Romulan vessels during the war to know the unique vibration of their main propulsion system.

“Very good Admiral,” a man emerged from the shadows. The Romulan was dressed in dark-gray uniform with a harness running from his left shoulder. He was well-built and would be considered handsome by most humanoid standards. But that attractiveness was marred by a predacious sneer. The admiral eyed the rank insignia glinting on the left side of the man’s black turtleneck.

“Centurion,” Samson rasped. The man nodded appreciatively before coming to crisp stop in front of him. The admiral noticed that the man carried no weapons. Obviously he was a confident sort.

“Excellent,” the man’s sneer lengthened, “Of course I should’ve expected nothing less from the estimable Admiral Glover.”

“Who?” Samson asked. The man laughed.

“I’ve seen you in person,” the man shook his head, “During the war, on Outpost 23. I was part of Admiral Lendak’s security detail.”

“I see,” Samson said, nodding as he searched his memory for the man’s face. He shrugged after a few seconds, recalling nothing. The admiral saw no deception in the man using that as the identifier.

“You really should have done some reconstructive surgery,” The Romulan suggested. “Your face is more famous than you might think.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Glover said, not being able to hide the droll. “Perhaps you could drop me off at the nearest Starbase and I’ll see to it immediately.”

The Romulan laughed again. “I admire your courage human.”

“Thanks…I guess,” Samson replied. He tried to sit up, but the man placed a firm hand on his shoulder and kept him on the ground. “If we are going to hold hands, I would at least like to know your name?”

“Centurion Gakket,” The man almost gleefully replied, “Of the Tal Diann.” Samson’s heart froze again. Gakket took pleasure from the look of unbidden distress on the man’s face. “Though I wondered what could be so special about you and your compatriots-no one told me the truth-I understood it all after I inspected your stasis tube. Once I saw that it was the famous Samson Glover among the personages, it didn’t take much to figure out who the Romulan with you was…”

“Where is he?” Samson demanded, “And the Bolian?”

“They are alive,” Gakket said, “Though it took everything within me not to gut that traitor Ousanas Dar once I realized who he was. Of course you would never venture back into the Empire without your pet Romulan.”

“Benzar is not part of the Star Empire,” Samson forced himself to say it reasonably.

“Not yet,” Gakket smirked. “But that is only a matter of time. The Benzites revere us, especially Commander Volok, the Liberator,” the man paused, his eyes boring into Samson. The admiral cursed himself, the mention of his old enemy’s name had made his countenance recoil.

“So, the rumors are true,” Gakket surmised, “You and the traitor had a role in Volok’s imprisonment,” he fished, but this time Glover wasn’t biting. “He wants you for revenge, don’t deny it.” Samson kept his silence.

“But,” Gakket began, walking around the man, “Why would you traipse willingly into Volok’s trap?” Now back in front of Samson, the Romulan leaned down, almost nose to nose. “Why did you come? Why are you here? And how did Volok know where to capture you?”

Samson glanced down, refusing to answer the man’s questions. Though his mind reeled with questions of his own, chiefly how did Volok know they were here? If he did know, Samson wondered how many other Romulans knew, and what they would do about it. Though he didn’t want to, the admiral had to face the reality that a traitor in the Federation, someone either in Starfleet Special Affairs or Starfleet Intelligence was in league with Volok, and/or the Tal Diann.

None of those prospects boded well for the Federation, not to mention the likelihood that Samson would never see the outside of this cell alive again.

“Suddenly taciturn, I see,” Gakket remarked, resuming his full height. “Of course I have ways to make you talk, and I’m guessing that the commander won’t be too upset with me as long as there are pieces of you left for him do with as he pleases.”

The vise on Samson’s stomach had tightened to a painful degree, but he summoned an impassive look on his face as he glared back at the centurion. “Do your worst,” he challenged. It was rash, perhaps immature, but the admiral would rather give into anger than fear at the moment.

Gakket nodded appreciatively again, “I shall,” he promised, “And first with the female.”
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