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Old July 7 2010, 09:00 PM   #136
Mistral
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

TheLoneRedshirt wrote: View Post
Very well. I await your next installment.

Impatiently.
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Old July 9 2010, 10:10 PM   #137
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

And... we're back! Enjoy!

Chapter 15

CargoBay 12
USS Redemption
Ispaoreai Hyps’rat (Onyx Station)


Doctor Keene ran the tricorder over the cargo box for the twentieth time, trying not to think about Kalara, or Astrid Williams, or the disastrous state of his plans.

The tricorder beeped. He checked the readout. Grunted. At least the device seemed to be intact. Seemed being the operative word. He had very little knowledge to base his conclusions on.

The resequencer had been stolen from a Breen science outpost on the edges of Klingon space ten years before. A handful of the Empress’ greatest scientists had been unable to reverse engineer the device. After two years, the Empress herself had ordered three Breen scientists captured and tortured. Four months later, they knew how to work the machine, though not how the machine worked.

It works, he told himself. That should be enough.

Of course it would not be much use now.

An hour before, he had watched through bugs installed in Redemption’s internal security system as Sarine accused Kalara of treason and threw her in the brig. Ever since, the taste of ashes in his mouth had left him sick. That damned fool girl had destroyed all of his plans. Without Kalara, he had no way of gaining access to the Laurentii mission. Without Kalara, he was going to fail.

His dark thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the cargo bay doors opening. He frowned. Few people ever came down here. He took a step towards the alley between boxes, then paused, listening. When no sound broke the silence, he took a further step.

“Hello?”

No answer. Taking another step, he reached the edge of the walls of boxes and equipments. Peering out, he checked the door. Nothing.

“Hello?”

His voice shook. Damn this human body. No Klingon would ever sound like such a p’tagh. No Klingon should.

He stepped into the alley. Still nothing. He must have imagined the sound. Or maybe someone had passed too close to the door and activated the sensor. That must have been it. Shaking his head, he turned back to the device.

A foot struck him on the sternum. His feet left the ground and he flew backwards. He crashed into the boxes behind him.

His head struck the edge of one of them, drawing blood. Bouncing off, he dropped on his front on the floor. Before he could turn over, his attacker fell on him. One hand seized his arm, pulling up at a painful angle. Another thrust his head forward, smashing his nose into the deck.

Bone broke, blood vessels burst. Iron in the back of his throat. Keene screamed.

Lips pressed against his ear.

“Did you miss me, Klingon?”

Williams! A surge of anger washed away the pain and dizziness, giving him a burst of energy. He struggled to turn over. The bitch was stronger than she looked, though.

“Don’t try to get up. I wouldn’t want to have to humiliate you again.”

Keene gritted his teeth, every fiber of his being screaming to fight back, but her hand on his arm and neck kept him subdued. Every time he tried to wriggle free, she inched his arm higher until she reached the point where one more movement would leave him with a broken arm.

“What – do you want?” he growled through gritted teeth. The blood in his throat thickened his words.

She leaned closer, her breasts pushing against his back and her breath tickling his ear. His loins stirred.

“I want to know why Jasto Dax still breathes.”

He stiffened, sending pain shooting up his arm and down his spine. Dax! How could she expect him to have killed the damned Trill already? He had had a few days, no more, and Dax was under round the clock guard.

“You ask the impossible.”

She laughed, and madness lurked in her voice. “Listen to the mighty Klingon warrior, whining that things are too difficult.”

Red flooded his vision. He surged, not caring whether he broke his arm. Taking her by surprise, he managed to break his arm free, lifting his fist and smashing it into the side of her face. Her weight shifted to the side and he took the opportunity, rising to his knees in one single motion, throwing her off.

Her lithe frame smashed into the boxes behind him. Keene jumped to his feet, kicking out at her and catching her in the jaw. She grunted, the impact dropping her to the deck. He pounced, straddling her upper body, ready to break her neck and be damned the consequences.

When he looked down at her, her eyes were open. She smiled. The familiar prick of a knife pressed against his belly.

Williams tutted, pressing the point of the knife a few inches closer. “Now why did you go and do that?”

He hissed, frustration struggling with fury. “Gut me,” he growled. “Come on! If you mean to continue to humiliate me, to rob me of my honor, then kill me now because otherwise I swear I will kill you.”

Her eyes met his. Her pupils flickered as she considered, then tightened on his as she made her decision. He prepared for the sweet thrust of the knife and the cool kiss of his life’s blood on his belly. At least he died a Klingon.

To his surprise, she flung her hand back, releasing the knife. The blade sank into the side of the nearest box, quivering. He stared for a moment, confused.

Williams reached up and grabbed the back of his neck. For an instant he pictured her snapping his neck. Instead, she pulled his head down. Their lips met. Her mouth opened and she sucked in one of his lips. The sensation sent shivers down Keene’s spine, moments before she bit down, hard. The shivers turned to flaming lances of pleasure.

The taste of blood filled his mouth, igniting the smoldering flames in his chest. With a growl, he flipped them over. She rose above him, grinding down against him. She reached up, lifting her shift and throwing it down beside him. She wore nothing underneath.

He wondered whether she meant to kill him after, and then there was no more time for thinking.

xxx

Hours later, they lay side by side in the ruins of the cargobay. Scraps of clothes surrounded them, along with shards from the boxes and pieces of hydroponics equipment. The smell of their passions filled the air, too much even for the enviromental controls to counter.

Keene groaned as he worked the cricks out of his neck. Bruises, cuts and bitemarks covered his body. Blood dried on his skin. At least Williams looked the same. He glanced at her, stirring again, remembering her skin against his, his fingers on her breasts, the shadow between her thighs…

Well, maybe not exactly the same.

"That was... unexpected," he said after a moment.

Williams opened her eyes, peering at him. "But not disagreeable."

He shook his head. "Why did you do it?"

As soon as the words left his mouth, he raged at himself. I am a Klingon. I should not need a reason. I saw something I wanted and I took it, be damned the consequences. His sentiments were half-hearted, though. His years amongst the humans had changed him more than he had believed possible.

She seemed to read his mind. Her smile taunted him. "I thought you Klingons were all about the moment, about following your impulses."

"We are. I am."

"Then why do you need a reason?"

He didn't have an answer.

After a moment's silence, Williams stood. She stretched, oblivious as his hungry gaze raked her body. Her full breasts, flat stomach, muscular thighs... He growled low in his throat, eliciting a frank appraisal from the human.

"Down boy," she said, smiling. "I have to be on duty."

And if she didn’t? he wondered. Is this going to become a regular occurrence? A pause. Do I want it to?

Her smile faded. "This changes nothing, Klingon. You have two days to get rid of Jasto Dax. If he is still breathing, I will send a message to Captain Sarine revealing who you really are."

His stomach contracted at the thought, but he forced himself to snarl. "And if you do, you will be revealed."

She shrugged. "Maybe. Trust me when I say, you wouldn't be the first person who thought they could tell the world who I am. My employers have... Let's just say they can arrange things so every test they run, every blood sample they take will show the Federation exactly what we want them to see." She bent down, gathering her comm badge from the floor. When she stood up, she glanced at him, the disdain evident in the wrinkling of her nose and the turning up of her mouth. "Besides, who is going to believe the Klingon spy who caused the Romulus Massacre?"

She was right. He countered anyway. "Then maybe I will just kill you."

A spark of humor lit her eyes. "You could try."

Before he could respond, she tapped her comm badge. "Computer, one to beam to Section 000."

The transporter beam caught her up, surrounded her, and she vanished in a shower of light. He remained there a moment, staring at the empty space.

A few moments later and he began to wonder how the hell he would get back to his own quarters without any clothes.

Deck 9
USS Redemption

An hour after sending Kalara to the brig, Ba’el headed back to Onyx Station.

As he walked towards Transporter Room 3, he took a moment to study the walls, his memory casting back to what the corridor looked like just after the Klingon attack. He walked this same stretch of corridor just after Jasto Dax pulled him out of the Hornet. It seemed a lifetime before. Not a trace remained of the inflicted damage. His crew had done one hell of a job. One hell of a job.

Reaching the transporter room, he walked through the door to find a middle-aged human chief working the controls. The man, his hair a mop of greying curls, looked at Ba’el, looked back at the console, then snapped to attention, his eyes wavering on a point somewhere above Ba’el’s head.

Ba’el smiled. “At ease, mister.”

“Captain. I wasn’t expecting you, I --”

“I had to make a quick visit back to the ship.” He had a sudden flash of Kalara’s enraged face as she came for him. He shook his head to erase the image. “I need you to contact Onyx Station, arrange for me to beam back.”

“Aye sir. I was waiting for an incoming from the Tiberius, but I could transfer to transporter room five if you would –“

“No.” Ba’el shook his head. “No, go ahead. I can wait.”

As the operator returned to his work, Ba’el stepped off to one side. He was in no hurry to get back to Onyx. Once he did, he would have to face Benjamani and explain why he had just placed her liaison officer in the brig. Not a conversation he was looking forward to.

Kalara. Again he saw her charging at him from across the office. For a moment, he had been convinced she was going to snap his neck.

Why did she betray us? He couldn’t make sense of her actions. At the same time, he squirmed inside at the choice he had made. Much to his own surprise. The evidence was clear and damning. However, he couldn’t shake the little voice in the back of his head whispering he had made a mistake.

The hum of the transporter pad broke his reverie. He turned. The pillar of light scintillated into existence, shimmered and danced in the air before coalescing into the solid form of Commander Gemma Turner.

Get out! His first instinct was to bolt. He forced himself to stand still, though, plastering a smile on his face.

He hadn’t seen her since their kiss on the FSD, too busy with the negotiations to handle that side of his life. He had replayed the moment a lot over the past few days, wondering whether he had made a mistake, how he would react if he bumped into her again… I’m about to find out, he thought as she finished materialising.

The transporter effect faded. She blinked, then turned to the transporter officer. Her eyes met Ba’el’s and she froze, her mouth open.

“Commander,” Ba’el said, to snap her out of her surprise.

She blinked. “Ba- Captain. This is… a surprise.”

Ba’el held back a wince. A mistake. I knew it.

“I’m on my way back to Onyx Station. I wasn’t expecting to see you.”

A hurt expression flitted across her face. This time, Ba’el did wince. Well done, Bay. Smoothly done.

“It is good to see you,” he added in a hurry, trying to make up for his first statement.

She brightened a little, then realised she still stood on the transporter pad. To her credit, she didn’t blush. Stepping down, she took a step towards him, glancing behind at the transporter operator.

“How are the negotiations going, captain?”

Ba’el took the hint. He turned to the transporter officer, who wiped a smile off his face. “You’re dismissed, mister.”

“Sir.”

He looked disappointed. Ba’el held back a sigh. The doors slid shut behind him and he turned back to Turner.

“Commander… Gemma. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t expect to bump into you like this.”

“It’s fine,” she said. She laughed. “Have you been dreading this as much as I have?”

He breathed a sigh of relief and nodded. “I know we said we would be friends, but we haven’t had time to see one another since, so I was worried that…” He forced himself to stop talking. He shook his head. “Listen to me. I feel like a rookie pilot just joining the Rebellion again.”

“I know what you mean.” Her voice dropped. “I meant what I said, on the deck. All I want is to be your friend. I’m not going to start asking you why you haven’t called. We both have jobs to do. The best thing we can do is carry on the way things were.”

I don’t want to. The thought surprised him. Still, he nodded. “You’re right, of course.”

“So. How are the negotiations going?”

“Horribly.” He would never have imagined discussing the negotiations might become a nice change of subject. “I fear either they will fall apart entirely or Ambassador Benjamani will give away so much that the Federation will end up lapdogs to the Hegemony.” He was only half joking. Benjamani seemed so determined to get her treaty she would say yes to anything.

“Which would be worse?”

Ba’el smiled. “At this point, I’m not sure.”

Turner went to say something but a beeping from the transporter console interrupted her. She walked past him, standing where the transporter officer had been, her fingers dancing over the controls. “Onyx Station have confirmed your coordinates.”

He sighed. “Back to work, then.”

“Looks like it.”

He smiled, then turned and walked up on to the pad. Turner watched him, her gaze a palpable pressure on his back.

Turning back to her, he nodded. “One to beam over, Commander.”

“On your mark, captain.”

They stared at one another for a brief moment. Ba’el fought a sudden urge to get down off the platform, the Laurentii and the negotiations be damned, and go to her. Then go. Just… A deep undercurrent of guilt welled up inside like a cold river. Ilyria… Pain flared, sharp and immediate.

Turner’s smile faded. “Ready to beam over, captain.”

He gathered himself, then nodded. “Energise.”

Her hands danced over the controls. Energy surrounded him, filled him with light, wiped him clean and whisked him away.

He rematerialised in a dark room. What the -- ? He reached up to hit his comm badge. Turner must have made some kind of mistake.

“Sarine to --“

“They can’t hear you, captain.”

He spun round, adrenaline surging.

The weapons’ aperture glowed in the dark. He darted to the side. The weapon tracked him and a blast of energy engulfed him. Pain snapped through his synapses, his body stiffened, and he tumbled into the dark.
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Old July 10 2010, 01:19 PM   #138
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

The liaison between Keene and Williams was as visceral as it was unexpected. Strange bedfellows, to be sure, but each is a fierce warrior in their own right so their pairing makes sense in that respect. They’d still try to kill on another in an instant, of course, but then that’s to be expected.

As for Ba’el’s sudden predicament… not good. Not good at all.

Glad you’re back, and you haven’t missed a beat!
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Old July 10 2010, 03:04 PM   #139
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Astrid Williams is effing crazy. She's the scariest person in the story to me just because she's so totally unhinged! She reminds me of a more lucid version of Angelina Jolie's character in "Girl, Interrupted." Weird comparison, I know, but I can just picture the blond hair and hot body and crazy gleam in her eye that makes Keene wonder -- is she going to kill me, or have her way with me, or both? And then he goes for it.

(As an aside, I laughed out loud at your divider between the foreplay and afterward scenes ... "xxx" indeed. )

As for Ba'el -- well, that was a sweet, kind of awkward scene, there -- right up until he wound up in the dark being shot. Of course, since this is YOU writing, I'm still not 100% convinced Turner didn't purposely send him somewhere bad. But I'd like to think she's not involved. So we'll see.

Great stuff, and I hope we don't have to wait too long for more!
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Old July 11 2010, 03:18 PM   #140
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Gibraltar

I'm glad that Keene and Williams' liaison was unexpected - I wanted it to come out of left field slightly, since Williams did not plan it. How much of it was down to her acting on instinct and how much was due to her manipulating Keene is up for debate, of course. However, it makes a weird twisted sense that the two of them would "hook" up - both are forced to hide who they are from those around them and only when they are together can they actually be themselves.

No, Ba'el's predicament is not good. Of course the big question now is - who attacked him, why and what will happen to him next!

Thanks for the comment, glad to be back, and happy to know you feel I haven't missed a beat!

Kes7

Astrid Williams is effing crazy.
LOL! Yeah, she is kind of. As this volume progresses, we'll start to get hints as to why, hints from an unexpected source...

Angelina Jolie as a crazy Astrid Williams? I tell you what if you can put a blond Angelina Jolie in a Starfleet uniform, I will not only post it here, I'll use it as my avatar!

Yeah, Keene may not have made the smartest choice by 'going for it', as you said - however I think at that point he had a choice between letting her have her way with him or having his neck snapped. And now that I'm imagining Angelina Jolie in the role - I can totally see why he made his choice!!!

LOL for the divider as well - hadn't noticed that at all.

Ooh Turner purposefully transporting him to the wrong place? Intriguing...

Glad you enjoyed it, more coming by middle of the week hopefully!

Joel
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Old July 13 2010, 08:35 PM   #141
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

An excellent return to your saga-I await more.
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Old July 13 2010, 10:01 PM   #142
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Intense. Awkward. Alarming.

Nice job of pushing several emotional buttons in this chapter! The, um, intimate scene between Keene and Williams caught me somewhat off-guard (as it apparently did Keene). Nicely written in its sudden surprising intensity.

Equally well-done was the awkward encounter between Ba'el and Turner. I felt bad for both of them, but very much enjoyed listening in on Ba'el's internal comments. He didn't handle that very well, did he?

And out of the frying pan and into the fire with Ba'el. He just thought he was having a bad day up to the point he got shot. As to his assailant, I'm sure there's a lengthy list of possibilities.
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Old July 14 2010, 12:37 PM   #143
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Mistral

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the new chapter. I'm hard at work on the next chapter, hopefully have something up by the end of the weekend.

LoneRedshirt

Thanks for the kind words! Glad that the buttons were pushed as they were supposed to, I really wanted to create these two different impressions on both of these encounters, so it is cool that that came across. And pleased to have caught you off guard!

The Ba'el/Turner encounter came as quite a surprise to me, actually. Initially he was supposed to be with Prin in this scene, but then that transporter turned on and there was Turner! Ba'el is still struggling with who he is or who he wants to be, and Turner represents a definite step in one direction, a direction he is reluctant to go in.

Yes, a length list of possibilities as to who shot Ba'el. If anyone has any ideas, don't hesitate to post them in the comments, I'd love to see what you think. I'll even make it interesting - If anyone gets it right, they can request anything they want to happen in the story (character to appear, character to die, etc.)

Thanks again for the comments!

Joel
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Old July 14 2010, 01:40 PM   #144
kes7
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

CaptainSarine wrote: View Post
If anyone gets it right, they can request anything they want to happen in the story (character to appear, character to die, etc.)


You're either brave or crazier than Astrid.
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Old July 14 2010, 02:56 PM   #145
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

kes7 wrote: View Post
CaptainSarine wrote: View Post
If anyone gets it right, they can request anything they want to happen in the story (character to appear, character to die, etc.)


You're either brave or crazier than Astrid.
I'm going to go for crazier than Astrid!

So, no guesses?
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Old July 14 2010, 03:18 PM   #146
kes7
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

CaptainSarine wrote: View Post
kes7 wrote: View Post
CaptainSarine wrote: View Post
If anyone gets it right, they can request anything they want to happen in the story (character to appear, character to die, etc.)


You're either brave or crazier than Astrid.
I'm going to go for crazier than Astrid!

So, no guesses?
Benjamani.

(And that's just that -- a guess. Not even a terribly educated one, but it's the first thing that popped into my mind.)
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Old July 14 2010, 03:37 PM   #147
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

Hmmmm.

Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see, then...
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Old July 15 2010, 07:58 AM   #148
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

New reader onboard - lucky enough to have the backstory read before embarking on the Couples Episode.

That opening certainly wasn’t one anyone could have been expecting; it really was fireworks and nicely opposed the sputtering candles of the Sarine/Turner encounter. Good contrasts; the “wrong” couple are burning up the wick while the “right” couple can barely get it lit. Amongst the grippingly keen Keene/Williams moment & the emotion turning Turner/Bael moment it is easy to miss the thread keys but they are there — set against the romantic backdrop like gems in their settings. Keene has a deadline to kill by and (even before being shot) Bael has forebodings about the talks; then there is the gene resequencer. Great gripping stuff.

Doesn't surprise me too much that Keene got taken by Williams. He seems to insist too much how this would never happen if he was still a Klingon, how being human too long has softened him. Most like he never was much of a Klingon and would have been airlock fodder on a starship very quickly. He seems the sort of guy who would stand behind the pack Alpha saying « Go on hit them, give them a good one » .

Umm as just a reader, not one who actually goes out and writes do you mind a minor stylistic gripe? Just a pet peeve of mine — repetitious phrases, like the one of Turner dancing across the Transporter controls.

Last thing — Shy’at shot Sarine; the Kruin & his minion must be desperate to get their plans back on track.
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Old July 15 2010, 09:28 AM   #149
CaptainSarine
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

tau136

Hi! So cool to have a new reader onboard and glad you were able to catch up. And wow, what an extensive comment! Thanks.

That opening certainly wasn’t one anyone could have been expecting; it really was fireworks and nicely opposed the sputtering candles of the Sarine/Turner encounter. Good contrasts; the “wrong” couple are burning up the wick while the “right” couple can barely get it lit. Amongst the grippingly keen Keene/Williams moment & the emotion turning Turner/Bael moment it is easy to miss the thread keys but they are there — set against the romantic backdrop like gems in their settings. Keene has a deadline to kill by and (even before being shot) Bael has forebodings about the talks; then there is the gene resequencer. Great gripping stuff.
Like I said above to LoneRedshirt, I really wanted to create that juxtaposition between the two couples, though I hadn't thought of it as the Couples Episode (lol). I'm also glad that the 'threads' of the story were not lost in the middle of all the "lovie-dovie" stuff, as this chapter really sets up what is about to come next.

Doesn't surprise me too much that Keene got taken by Williams. He seems to insist too much how this would never happen if he was still a Klingon, how being human too long has softened him. Most like he never was much of a Klingon and would have been airlock fodder on a starship very quickly. He seems the sort of guy who would stand behind the pack Alpha saying « Go on hit them, give them a good one » .
The part of me that is Keene is growling in a very Klingon-like way at the moment... I agree with you that Keene seems to protest too much, but to defend him slightly (as I must since each of these characters are my babies - even Benjamani! ) he is a paradox in the Klingon Empire: a spy. Honor would seem to dictate that spying and espionage is not a warrior's way. He seems himself as doing his duty to the Empire in the best way he can, though.

Umm as just a reader, not one who actually goes out and writes do you mind a minor stylistic gripe? Just a pet peeve of mine — repetitious phrases, like the one of Turner dancing across the Transporter controls.
I hadn't noticed those repetitious phrases, so thanks very much for the headsup. I'll watch out for them next time.

Last thing — Shy’at shot Sarine; the Kruin & his minion must be desperate to get their plans back on track.
We shall see whether you are correct in a few chapters time

Thanks again for the comment, great to have a new reader onboard!

Joel
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Old July 15 2010, 05:06 PM   #150
tau136
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Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx

CaptainSarine wrote: View Post
tau136
Last thing — Shy’at shot Sarine; the Kruin & his minion must be desperate to get their plans back on track.
We shall see whether you are correct in a few chapters time
A few chapters
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