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Old May 19 2013, 07:14 PM   #78
Rear Admiral
Re: Dark Territory: Shadow Puppets (Revised)

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Imperial Romulan Cruiser Aidoann

Oallea glared at all the pretentious finery that Gakket had surrounded himself with. He noted that many of the statuary had been crafted by Reman hands. It intensified his hatred for the arrogant Romulan even more. He crowed about Reman inferiority yet stuffed his office with the products of their labor and imagination.

He flexed his hands, eager to wrap them around the Romulan’s throat. But he had forced himself to save the crippled Centurion. Oallea had even made sure that the Romulan medic aboard had been spared in order to keep Gakket alive. Oallea wanted the man’s death to be slow and excruciating.

After that he would dispatch of the Romulan doctor. As for the fates of the Romulan, the human, and Bolian captives he was at a loss. He knew the case they were eager to get back and one that Gakket beamed about was of great importance. He was certain it was a weapon of some sort. He had been privy to some of Gakket’s interrogation of the Bolian and had seen the brave woman eventually give out, spilling some information.

Oallea knew they were from the Federation Starfleet. It was that fact that had kept them alive thus far. He wasn’t privy to all of the plans of the partisans fighting for Reman and Benzite freedom, though he knew that agents of the Federation were being sent to help them.

Oallea was certain that those agents were the people aboard his ship. And whatever was within that case was their means to help in that effort.

Though he could also be wrong, the Reman realized. The human and Bolian could be traitors and the Romulan could be Tal Shiar for all he knew. He needed to divine the secrets of the case before he decided their fate, but before that he needed counsel.
The Reman leaned forward in the disgustingly soft chair and activated the triangular computer monitor. He waited patiently until an image resolved through a storm of static.
A pallid vision, with sharp cheekbones, smiled at him. “Oallea,” she said, touching the screen. His heart fluttered as he mimicked the gesture.

“Vibeke,” he said, “It is agreeable to see you again.” The woman was pleasingly gaunt, with a cascade of night-black hair hanging over her shoulders. She wore the iridescent uniform of one of the Reman units that had been pressed into war to fight the Dominion and now combatted the real enemy: the Star Empire.

“Likewise,” she said. The woman sat back, her countenance becoming severe. “What do you have to report?” Oallea gave her a brief recap of the mutiny.

She nodded, “It was long past time since those Romulan slavers received their just punishment.”

“I agree,” Oallea said, “But that is not all.”

“Oh,” Vibeke raised an eyebrow. “Please proceed.” Oallea quickly told the woman about the prisoners. Vibeke’s eyes widened with excitement.

“They must be the assistance we were promised,” She said, “You must bring them here at once.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Oallea said. Vibeke frowned.

“Not this again Oallea,” she sighed.

“Whatever resides within that case is a weapon, one that must have great power,” Oallea ignored her. “Why should we fight to be exiled from our home? Remus is our birthright!”

“Why would you want to stay there?” Vibeke asked, her face scrounging in disgust. “The Romulans have stripped Remus down to its core. It’s a barren wasteland. We can have a greater, brighter future here, in Federation space, unmolested by the Empire.”

“Ha,” Oallea chuckled, “Do you really trust the Federation? Sure they want the Romulans off their doorstep, but do you really think they will accept us?”

“There are reports that they have done just that, for Romulan refugees,” Vibeke countered.

“Because that’s all part of their propaganda,” Oallea snorted, “Once we have done the hard work of removing the Romulans for them, they’ll abandon us.”

“Starfleet Intelligence has proven trustworthy thus far,” Vibeke pointed out.

“We share a common enemy,” Oallea replied. “But once that enemy has been removed, they will have no incentive to honor their agreements. In fact, they might pack us up and send us back to Romulus to assuage the riled feelings there.”

“You can’t mean that?” Vibeke was aghast.

“What is a Reman life, or lives really worth to them?” Oallea asked, “As far as they know we are nothing more than chattel, a savage people, monsters that would haunt their dreams. Who knows what stories the Romulans have filled their minds with?”

“Then perhaps it is doubly important that we show them we can be honest partners,” Vibeke replied.

“I’m tired of counting on the goodwill of other beings,” Oallea declared. “Only we can insure our future!”

Vibeke shook her head, “You sound like the deluded Vkruk now, or the upstart, Shinzon.”

“Both speak with great truth,” Oallea stated.

“Both are madmen,” Vibeke shook her head, “Fools. They think that they can forge an alliance with sympathizers in the Imperial Fleet and that there will be some grand alliance between us and the Romulans. It’s insane. In order to be whole we must start over, somewhere new, in fresh soil.”

“With this weapon in our possession we can insure that the Romulans comply,” Oallea said confidently.

Vibeke laughed, “Well I certainly don’t love you for your intellect.”

Oallea seethed, “I’m serious Vibeke.”

“As am I beloved,” she said, “And that is why you need to forget your dreams of returning to Remus and come to me instead.”

“I’m sorry my heart,” Oallea said, “But I must put the needs of our people first.”

“If you truly meant that, you would heed my advice,” Vibeke challenged.

“What do you mean?” Oallea asked, both perplexed and intrigued.

“Erebus Station,” Vibeke intimated, “We have found its location.”
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