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Old July 4 2009, 10:16 PM   #346
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Okay! I'm all caught up.

I must admit, you write action scenes pretty well!

Also, I like the wit you tend to inject into a lot of the scenes. Really helps bring the reader more into the story.

Hmm...still wondering about The Look that Speros gives Spiro. Could it be a bitter You don't have the STOMACH to respect a voluntary sacrifice for duty and country?--or a look of begrudging respect, a la perhaps there is hope for you yet, human....?
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Old July 4 2009, 10:33 PM   #347
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

^Probably both, really. He was willing to do it, but he hesitated...
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Old July 4 2009, 10:44 PM   #348
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Thanks--definitely glad to know the action scenes are coming off convincing!

BTW, Rush...I couldn't resist changing my avatar. I think you'll like this...

And cool to see your thoughts on Speros! Won't spoil it yet, but I really like seeing how different people perceive him.
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Old July 5 2009, 04:05 AM   #349
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nice!

Glad you disposed of Dukat. And this new one is more appropriate--it's Legate Ghemor, right?
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Old July 5 2009, 04:08 AM   #350
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

It was actually Legate Ghemor in my previous avatar, too.

And that's also who it is this time.

But I figured you'd like the message!
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Old July 5 2009, 07:40 PM   #351
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Aye. That I do, lass!
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Old July 6 2009, 04:40 AM   #352
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

OK, guys! In celebration of my recently breaking a MAJOR logjam in writing The Thirteenth Order, I'm going to give you guys another section! Hopefully for awhile, anyway, I will be back on my old schedule of posting once every two weeks, on Sundays. We'll see what happens!

I'm going to be mean and make you wait to see what's going on aboard the Sherouk. But now, the continuation of the last section's cliffhanger...

(And hopefully also some cultural stuff you'll like.)

===========

Mike Spirodopoulos took aim at the Cardassian soldiers as Lieutenant Haeruuh applied his Caitian strength to the sealed door—but Ragoç Nedav batted his rifle down at the same time as his target reeled back, wide-eyed, shouting, “Hold your fire—it’s me, Ador!”

They’d been in comms silence almost the entire time; though Iymender had disabled the planetside base’s internal commnet, even on a secured channel too much signal activity would show up like a glaring beacon to the Jem’Hadar in orbit. As such, though Macet and Spirodopoulos had discussed the seizure of the command center as an alternate target in the event the pilots couldn’t be immediately reached—the Starfleet officer had no way of knowing for certain which course of action the infiltration teams had taken.

And then there was the embarrassing realization that he still wasn’t all that good at distinguishing Cardassians—at least, those he hadn’t spent much time with—on the fly. That would come with time, his diversity professor had assured his students back at the Academy, as long as you made an effort.

Still, the disturbing fact remained: he’d come within a hair’s breadth of shooting one of his allies. “I’m sorry!” he breathlessly exclaimed.

“Forget about it!” Ador replied in much the same tone. Spirodopoulos prayed Nedav and the other Cardassians would be as forgiving as the young officer. Ador delivered a rapid-fire summary: “We’ve taken the command center and Glinn Uradnen as our prisoner. Dalin Zopreg is being held prisoner with the pilots—we’re on our way to free them.”

“Any word from Gul Rebek?”

“Still waiting,” Ador replied.

“Speros!” By now Macet had pressed his way forward. “Gul Speros!” he called over Spirodopoulos’ head, almost making the human wince. Haeruuh, on the other hand, did exactly that at the same time as his protruding felinoid ears flattened to his head. Macet’s no Klingon—he doesn’t realize how loud he is, the Starfleet leader reminded himself. These people were far from deaf, as Va’Kust had said—but especially in the heat of battle they sure had a tendency to compensate for the relative deficit in hearing with lungpower.

Thankfully, Macet switched strategies as soon as he made eye contact with Speros, who was all the way on the other end of the thirty-meter-long corridor from him. The bearded gul’s hand signals were so quick that even though Spirodopoulos had seen some of the base vocabulary in a tactics refresher just before deployment to AR-558, he could barely read a word of it. For just an instant he thought he caught a command gesture he recognized—but Macet was onto something else so fast he wondered if he’d just imagined it.

Speros, judging from his expression, comprehended perfectly. This was far more intricate than the simple range and directional gestures soldiers had employed on AR-558…even more so than what Spirodopoulos had seen special ops teams use in the field. And as the older gul responded in kind, at one point voicelessly mouthing several syllables at the same time as the hand signals, the human officer got the distinct feeling he was watching more than a mere order-and-confirmation: it looked like an actual conversation.

Macet nodded and signed one more rapid sentence, ending with a closed fist where the human heartbeat was felt—and where the Cardassian legate’s sigil was worn. That gesture Spirodopoulos recognized: Macet had chosen his course of action and closed the debate. “We’re going to free the pilots,” Macet summarized. “Speros is taking a team to the ships.”

“‘De’ek’?” Spirodopoulos echoed the Cardăsda pronoun without a thought, exactly as he’d heard it. ‘We’? Macet nodded and the Starfleet officer continued in Federation Standard. “Which team am I on?”

“You’re coming with me…it’s best Dalin Zopreg see the two of us fighting side-by-side.” Spirodopoulos’ gaze flitted towards Speros. “He already knows—it’s agreed.”

“You actually said all of that?” Spirodopoulos half-whispered as they started a double-time march down the corridor.

Macet gave that wry, near-smirk of a grin Spirodopoulos had seen in so many pictures of Dukat. “In terms rather less verbose than that—but yes.”
“I had no idea—”

“We ordinarily keep that from the view of foreigners, but attired as you are—”

Both men turned. There was an awful racket in the corridor again, and Spirodopoulos had the sinking feeling it wasn’t Rebek’s team—or at least, if they were part of it, they certainly didn’t have the upper hand.

Something lavender-grey streaked along the side of the corridor, weaving around bodies with a speed and grace far beyond human—or Cardassian—reflexes. The quadruped pulled alongside Spirodopoulos, easily keeping pace with the humanoids: for Te-Mae-Do, this was no more than a leisurely jog. “Rebek’s coming!” the Mathenite snapped. “Two hurt—shattered ankle for Iymender, now a head injury for T’Ruveh.”

“Was Iymender successful?” asked Macet.

“Think so,” she said. “The Jem’Hadar are closing. Speros turned some of his men back—says to keep going; he’ll take them.” In a flash, Te-Mae-Do doubled back towards Rebek and bolted out of sight.

His stomach clenched—two injured soldiers, neither able to walk…if Speros’ men failed, Rebek’s entire team would surely perish. Losing Iymender and Rebek would be a serious blow, and the loss of Lieutenant T’Ruveh…if they survived this, he had the feeling that would catch up with him later.

“Almost there,” Ador warned.

“Spirodopoulos—drop back to Daro’s position! Ra’agouç,” he gestured at Ador and Nedav, “take point.” Then a grim smile spread across his face. “Zetayl, Burakgazi—bring me the former glinn.”

Something flitted across his face just before Spirodopoulos moved out of range; the shadows under his eye ridges seemed to deepen and he pressed his lips together. Then he turned around to face the captive and his demeanor shifted. But for his beard, Hăzăkda complexion and eyes, and that brief flicker of unease he would have been a dead ringer for his cousin. “Uradnen—I want your access codes. Now.”

That’s intelligent, Gul. They require voice and handprint authorization—you know that.”

“Of course I know that! And that’s why you’re going to open this door for us.”

Uradnen’s voice flattened. “My codes have been revoked.”

“Traitorous liar!” Macet hissed, grabbing the upper rib of Uradnen’s cuirass and pulling her within centimeters of his face—which though Uradnen was quite a bit taller than Gul Rebek, involved lifting the woman clear off her feet. “You had nowhere near enough time to purge yourself from the system and we both know it! Now I strongly suggest you comply or I won’t just kill you when this is through—I’ll put you in cold storage and bring you out when this is over, just in time to let you see the disgrace I inflict upon your husband and children. And then I’ll kill you.”

Macet dropped the glinn back on her feet—hard. She glowered. “Make haste, Uradnen.”

Finally, the disgraced officer pressed her hand to the keypad as the forward soldiers readied their weapons. “Computer—enable silent entry, authorization Uradnen-çec-rhakam-çec-văhar.”

“On my mark,” Macet ordered, “we enter with overwhelming force. I want as many of our people through that door in as short a time as possible.” The gul lifted one beige-grey hand and signaled a countdown—though the way he did it was quite unlike Spirodopoulos had ever seen it in Thessaloniki or San Francisco. Instead of extending his fingers, Macet brought the tip of the thumb to each finger, counting off the ring, middle, and index finger in succession.

With a closed fist—the count reached zero and Macet slapped the keypad.
And the Thirteenth Order surged forward through the opening like a rush of water through a fire hose.

Quite unlike that inexorable force of nature, however…the Federation and Cardassian soldiers found themselves hard-pressed to dislodge the Jem’Hadar from the doorway. The first two inside—Cadet Diarra and Garheç Zetayl, it seemed from Spirodopoulos’ vantage point, were immediately felled by Jem’Hadar polaron blasts. If they weren’t already dead, barring swift medical intervention aboard one of the Gălor-class ships, they would be dead soon thanks to the anticoagulant pellets that accompanied each bolt.

And still soldiers streamed forward, shoving the bodies of the injured and dead aside like sacks of flour. The horror would come later. All they had was now—all they had was survival.

Worse yet…the Jem’Hadar at the far end of the room had turned on the pilots and were methodically picking off every one they could reach. The pilots were giving a good account of themselves, especially considering they’d been stripped of their sidearms—but in the chaos too many of the thirty-nine were still dying.

Suddenly a golden disruptor bolt streaked over Spirodopoulos’ head at a disturbing, downward angle that no humanoid should ever have been able to aim from without standing on an upper-level overlook this corridor lacked. His head whipped around and for just an instant he caught a glimpse of Gul Rebek. She had reunited with the group, and now stood holding her rifle all the way over her head as if about to throw a spear, eyes focused on something only she, through the hunter array, could see. Helmed and armed thus, she looked for all the world like a strange, tiny Cardassian avatar of Athena Promachos.

He focused forward again. It would soon be his turn.

By now the battle had already turned. Three Jem’Hadar remained, one with a gaping hole in his side—and the Thirteenth Order still surged in. And then—just as Spirodopoulos was lining up the last Jem’Hadar in his sights, one of the Cardassian pilots snatched a fallen kar’takin, plunged it through the base of the Dominion soldier’s skull, and withdrew it with a sharp yank. Spinal cord severed and brain tissue compromised, the Jem’Hadar dropped to the ground.

After a few seconds of staring at his handiwork and the bodies of his fallen comrades and those of the Thirteenth Order in turn, the Cardassian released a slow breath through the nose and stuck the kar’takin, still bloody, in his belt. Then he turned towards Spirodopoulos—and doubled over with laughter so powerful that it almost choked him.

Spirodopoulos gave no reaction; he made a strange sight, of course—but some men and women reacted that way as the shock wore off and their minds finally allowed them to register the degree of peril they had been in. It was a natural stress release and the best thing to do was stand aside and let the man work it out of his system. As the Cardassian soldier made an effort to straighten himself, Spirodopoulos thought he caught a glimpse of the man’s rank on his cuirass.

Dalin Zopreg?”

Ve’, ve’…” the soldier managed between breaths, just barely forcing out the final glottal stop as he tamed his laughter. “I…apologize. It’s just…it’s just that you—”

Hokrol edek!” the human replied with a knowing grin. I understand!

Zopreg’s eyes widened and for just a moment, Spirodopoulos feared the dalin was about to dissolve into uncontrollable laughter once more. “You even speak Cardăsda!” he exclaimed.

“Not that well,” he admitted in Federation Standard, “though I’m learning. Veçok edikouv Spirodopoulos,” he added before switching languages again. “Lieutenant commander. I’m the ranking officer.”

“I’m afraid we don’t have much time,” Macet interrupted as soon as Spirodopoulos had identified himself. “We need to get spaceborne as quickly as possible.”

“Of course, Gul,” Zopreg assented with a bow. The chief pilot cast one final glance at the eighteen dead Cardassians that had once been his comrades, and the twenty who remained standing—though a third were walking wounded. To them he simply said, “Let’s go.”
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Old July 6 2009, 04:39 PM   #353
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

"...Now I strongly suggest you comply or I won’t just kill you when this is through—I’ll put you in cold storage and bring you out when this is over, just in time to let you see the disgrace I inflict upon your husband and children. And then I’ll kill you.”
AWESOME! Macet being bad-, and engaging in dark humour!
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Old July 6 2009, 07:18 PM   #354
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

The sad part is, another gul, like Dukat, would actually DO what he's describing. Macet just wants her to BELIEVE he will. In fact, he intends to give her a fairly clean death--and he will definitely leave her family out of it. (I think he's actually going to tell a little lie about the way she died exactly so that the family is spared.)
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Old July 6 2009, 08:20 PM   #355
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

^DON'T SPOIL IT NERY--

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, DANG!



--Wait...considering how she DOES talk, he wouldn't have had to make that choice anyway....

My bad.
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Old July 6 2009, 10:27 PM   #356
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Oh, she's still going to die--treason, after all. But he was never planning on giving her a nasty death or messing with her family.
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Old July 7 2009, 11:36 AM   #357
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

This is great stuff.

The tide is turning in our heroes' favour and war continues.
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Old July 7 2009, 05:10 PM   #358
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Thanks...glad you're enjoying it!
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Old July 9 2009, 10:15 PM   #359
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

!!!! A new section??
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Old July 9 2009, 10:25 PM   #360
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Marie1 wrote: View Post
!!!! A new section??
Indeed...hope you liked!
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