UT10: Star Trek Dark Territory-Obscura

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DarKush, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Author's Note: I'm joining the UT 10th anniversary party with a reworked story I had written several years ago, but updated and tweaked to fit my current DT canon. I shelved the original "Obscura" because it didn't align with where I had decided to take my characters, but I always liked the story and am glad the anniversary gives me a chance to place it into DT continuity. As always I hope you enjoy
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    UT10: DARK TERRITORY: OBSCURA

    Casperia Prime
    February 2380



    “This was a mistake.”

    He reached for her, but she shifted away, his fingertips just tracing the curve of her back.

    “Why, why would you say that?” He can’t hide his hurt, his emotions still too raw. She turned her head to him, looking down, but not at him. Can anyone look him in the eye anymore? And if they did, could they truly see him, for who he really is, or was, or would they see the other him?

    Do they still see the other man, that thing that had taken over his life and made a mockery of it, leaving so much carnage in its wake?

    “Ivan…Aquiel,” he muttered the name before even realizing it. She tensed, and he knew she had heard it.

    “I’m sorry, so sorry Terrence,” she reached out to him, but now he shrank back. He rolled over and sat on the edge of the bed, unable to face her.

    “Perhaps you are right,” he said, his voice unbearably cold, even to him. “This was a mistake.”

    “Oh Terrence,” Jasmine’s voice cracked. He knew if he didn’t stop this, the tears would come, and then he didn’t know what he would do after. He never knew what he would do these days.

    He stood up, the sheets dropping from his body. He trudged to the refresher. Without looking back, he barked, “Don’t be here when I come out.”

    The door to the refresher closed seconds before he fell against it. “Please,” he pleaded, “please don’t be here.”

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  2. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Merak II

    One week later…

    Terrence Glover swatted away a large insect that distressingly resembled an Earth mosquito. He then wiped beads of sweat from his forehead, for the fourth time. “Forget how you can live here, but what about T’Prell? This environment is totally different than Vulcan.” The jungle planet had been a Vulcan colony for centuries.

    Samson Glover smiled, lifting the squirming baby into the air. Despite her twisting in his grasp, the child laughed, and it tugged at Terrence’s heart. The pointed tips of the little girl’s ears seemed at odds with the unrestrained joy she was expressing. T’Cyan…his sister…he thought, still amazed at the reality of it. He had grown up without siblings and now he had had two.

    As if sensing his thoughts, his other sibling entered the room, quietly and hanging to the corners, the shadows, which was something that was natural to her, being a former member of the Tal Shiar.

    Now, like him, Colonel Decia was twisting in the wind. She had chosen with her heart, and so far it had betrayed her personal prospects, if not her newfound family.

    Decia was his half-sister, a product of a forced union between their mother and a Romulan senator when Deitra had been a captive of the Romulans. A painful secret she had never shared, even with his father. Decia had only learned of her mother and her human heritage later in life.

    Similar to Deitra both Samson and Glover had fallen into Romulan clutches. Without Decia both of them would still be prisoners, or worse.

    Samson shifted in his seat, and nodded at Decia. Terrence couldn’t stop from wincing. Neither man had escaped unscathed. Terrence’s scars were internal, but a Kolaran sand scorcher had melted part of the man’s face. It was a horrific disfigurement that he refused to change with cosmetic surgery.

    Terrence knew the man still felt guilt over the death of Ousanas Dar and the dubious mission that had led to Dar’s death and Samson’s capture. Terrence had been taken while searching for Samson.

    Decia, tall and stately in a tan, flowing Vulcan tropical soft suit, her dark skin, pointed ears, and short hair created a striking visage. Samson waved her forward, handing the baby to her. Decia tilted her head, drawing a chuckle from both men.

    She looked at them curiously. “You’re adapting to Vulcan mores quite quickly,” Samson said.

    The woman frowned. However she did gingerly take the baby from the elder Glover. The little girl reached out for the tip of her older sister’s nose. Decia brought the child in, their noses touching. The little girl giggled and Terrence saw Decia relax, one of the few times he hadn’t seen his older sister on edge.

    “Has T’Prell returned from the market?” Samson asked, looking around Decia.

    Decia, playing with T’Cyan, replied, “Your mate has not Samson.” He nodded, patted his knees, steadied himself and then stood up slowly. Terrence had to restrain himself from attempting to help his father. The elder Glover had repeatedly rejected any assistance.

    He puttered around a moment, finding his footing, before motioning to Terrence. “If you would be so kind Decia, could you watch T’Cyan while I talk to Terrence?”

    “Of course,” the Romulan dipped her head respectfully. Terrence followed his father out to the curved balcony. Samson walked over to the edge, and leaned against the railing. He sighed.

    “It’s breathtaking, isn’t it?” Despite the heat, Terrence had to agree as he settled in beside his father. The domicile was high up in the trees, a part of a grouping of similar tree homes, spread across the planet. Terrence looked out and saw the thick, green, lush canopy all around them, and kissed by the bluest sky above. He had spent so much of his life in space, aboard starships or stations, born on the USS Houston even, that always spending time planet side was disconcerting after long stretches. But here, with his family, he felt some semblance of peace, the first peace he had felt in a long time.

    “How did things go son?” Samson dispelled that peace, though unintentionally and carefully, “With Jasmine?”

    “They-they didn’t,” Terrence said, his chest tightening. “It started out…good, but then, by the end…it was like neither of us knew why were there, not anymore.”

    “You were there because you love each other,” the older man declared, placing a surprisingly still strong grip on Terrence’s shoulder.

    Terrence shook his head. “Yes, I love her,” he declared, “And I think she loves me. But it’s been too long, too much. Too many mistakes, like a galaxy of them.”

    “So you work through them,” Samson urged. “You endure them. Look at me at T’Prell.”

    “Yes,” Terrence’s heart warmed at the mention of his step-mother. She had never given up on either of them, and she had put everything on the line to help save them. Samson’s voices lowered, “And even your mother, what I would give….”

    Terrence turned to the old man and squeezed his shoulder. While they were prisoners his mother had actually returned, a former Borg drone, arriving in the rush of refugees from the Delta Quadrant. After helping save the planet Aaamazzaria, Deitra had stayed with her fellow ex-drones, and sought out a part of the galaxy that hadn’t been benighted by or feared the Borg.

    Neither Glover had gotten to see her, but Terrence was happy that she was alive, and he knew that Samson was as well. The decision to marry T’Prell hadn’t been an easy one for Samson, but it was the logical choice, Terrence realized, the word making him chuckle.

    Samson raised an eyebrow, in imitation of T’Prell. “I did something funny?”

    “No, no sir,” Terrence said. “Just…thinking…I guess the absurdity, the wonder of it all.”

    “Yes,” he nodded. “The universe is a very confounding, yet thrilling place, especially when you find your place in it.”

    Terrence’s stomach clinched. He wasn’t ready for this conversation yet. So he deflected, “And what of Decia?”

    “I had encouraged her to join Starfleet, but is resistant,” Samson didn’t hide his disappointment. “Though for decades now she was raised, conditioned to see Starfleet as the enemy, so I understand. Unfortunately, T’Prell has had similar luck convincing her to join the V’Shar.” He leaned closer, lowering his voice. “Though truthfully the V’Shar officials are distrusting of her.”

    Terrence frowned, but he understood. The Vulcans and Romulans had a long, tortured history. Trust was something both sides were going to have to learn how to give. “What about the Romulan expatriates?” Terrence asked. It was an old question.

    The Romulans who had now resided in the Federation, there was a community that might welcome her, but so far Decia had not sought them out, nor had she accepted any of their entreaties.

    “I think it’s the conditioning again,” Samson said. “She likely saw those people as traitors, who knows what guilt she is dealing with for what she might have done to some of them or their families while she was in the Tal Shiar.”

    Terrence shook his head, hurting for his sister. “She’s lost right now.”

    “So are you,” Samson pointed out.

    Terrence winced, feeling himself twisting in the wind. “I don’t know what to do,” he admitted, immediately berating himself for confessing such weakness, even to his father.

    “I know son,” Samson patted his shoulder. “You don’t have to stay in Starfleet.” After their rescue, the elder Glover had officially left it all behind, and settled down on Merak II, writing books on Federation and Romulan history, and teaching subspace courses for the Academy.

    Terrence had returned to the Fleet, expecting a hero’s welcome, but instead was confronted with the awful truth. There had been no effort to rescue them because a Vendorian shape shifter, in league with the Romulans, had taken over his personage, even becoming an admiral, a position he had longed for years. And this “Admiral Glover” had wreaked all kinds of devastation, the worst for Terrence being the deaths of his long-time friends Ivan Cherenkov and Aquiel Uhnari.

    The doppelganger had almost delivered schematics for Operation Vanguard’s dreaded Alpha-Weapons to the Romulans before he was stopped. If only Terrence had been the one who got to pull the trigger.

    But he hadn’t, however he did have to deal with the cloud of suspicion, doubt, of fear even hanging over him, some of it coming from even long-time colleagues. And its poison had infected him. He wasn’t the man he once was, and he feared he would never be that person again.

    “How is the therapy going?” Samson asked. Both men had undergone therapy, though Terrence’s had been more intense. The Romulans had done quite the number on him, toying with his mind, making him believe that he was a Corillian drug addict, when it was all just part of their mind control. However he believed he was an addict, even though he had never touched one vial of the garbage.

    They had broken him, something he never thought possible, but the Romulan bastards had accomplished it. So now he was just pieces, a fractured man.

    “I heard that the Aries was available,” Samson said. You can take the man out of the Fleet, but not the Fleet out of the man it appeared.

    Terrence scoffed. “That old rust bucket.”

    “You got to get your feet wet again somewhere,” Samson scowled.

    “So far they’ve wanted to stick me on a starbase, one preferably far away from Earth,” Glover said. “My story is too newsworthy for Starfleet to just get rid of me, but I’m considered too risky for a major command now.”

    “You’re going to prove them wrong,” Samson stated simply. “You always have, and you will again.”

    Terrence turned away from his father, lowering his head until his chin touched his chest. He closed his eyes, wishing to shut out the universe and quiet his demons. “I’m not that man…not anymore.”

    “Nonsense,” Samson declared. “This is not my son talking, not Deitra’s son.” The mention of his mother, and his memories of her fierce example, lit the embers inside him. It allowed him to push back the demons, at least for a while.

    “Command has offered me the Rushmore,” Terrence said. Samson tilted his head, pondering, his eyes glazing over as he accessed his memories.

    New Orleans class?” The former admiral asked.

    “Yes,” Glover said.

    “Hmm,” Samson replied.

    “Hmm?” Terrence repeated.

    “While New Orleans are good ships, contributed mightily defending the Federation and exploration, it…it seems like a step backward.” On his climb to the captain’s chair Terrence had served aboard the Starship Renegade, under rising Captain Tryla Scott, nearly two decades ago. The Renegade had been of the New Orleans-class.

    “What do you mean?” Terrence couldn’t help but feel defensive. “You just said I need to get back into the game.”

    “True,” the elder Glover nodded. “However, you’ve always gone forward, you’ve always moved up. Command should be offering you a Galaxy or Sovereign class. Absent that, an Akira or maybe another Nebula or Prometheus.”

    Terrence shook his head. “Not ready for that yet.” He winced, the wounds over the destroyed Aegis still unhealed. Samson patted his son’s hand.

    “Sorry son,” Samson said. “But I know you.”

    “I’m not sure you do,” Terrence sad, pulling away from his father and looking off into the thick forest, which felt as impenetrable as his own choices and desires at the moment. “I’m not sure I do.”

    “If you’re feeling that way…I hate to say it, but maybe Command is right, maybe you do need to dial it back and take more time.” Samson ventured.

    Terrence shook his head again and looked at his dad. He tried to smile. “And then what I do? Who would I be?”

    “That’s a good question,” Samson said. “Only one that you can answer.”

    “I have to see,” Terrence began. “I have to see if I still have it, or even want it even more.”

    “Terrence commanding a starship is too big a responsibility if you’re not ready for it.” Samson said.

    “I know,” Terrence grated.

    “And you’re putting a lot of lives, not just yours on the line…if you are not ready…if you have doubts.”

    “I know that too,” the younger Glover said.

    “So, are you sure you want to do this? I mean while we…we were…away, the Talarian Incursion, the simmering tensions with the Alshain, all the Delta Quadrant refugees, and now the chaos with the Romulans and Klingons, new dangers like the Drai, Cha’lav, and the Kothlis’Ka.”

    “Had to bring up the Kothlis’Ka,” Terrence tried on some grim humor.

    “Without that invasion,” Samson’s mirth was darker than a black hole. “It wouldn’t have given Decia, T’Prell, and the others a chance to save us.”

    “Yes,” Glover said, pushing back his memories of his captivity at both the hands of the Romulans…and the Kothlis’Ka.

    “And now the Romulans are feeling the after effects of it,” Samson replied, his expression somber. His father had long been fascinated by the Romulans and despite the several years of horror they both suffered at the hands of Patrin Volok and others, the elder Glover was still concerned about the Star Empire. The Romulans were struggling in the wake of Shinzon’s assassination of the entire Romulan Senate, his brief reign as Praetor, and his decisive defeat by the Enterprise and anti-Shinzon Romulans in the Bassen Rift a year ago.

    Terrence knew it was selfish and cruel for him to think so, but he was glad that the Romulans were suffering. They were getting back some of what they had inflicted on others, including his mother, for centuries.

    Still, the situation along the Romulan Neutral Zone was intense as the Romulans vied for power among themselves while at the same time seeking to fend off the Klingons and others who wanted to exploit their weakened condition.

    Terrence shifted the conversation back to what continued to bedevil him. “I’ve got to see if I’ve still got it Dad,” he admitted. “There’s a part of me that wants it, always has, but it feels weaker now, more like an echo, a shadow of what I used to be. I have to play through that, I’ve got to see if the drive that has guided me my entire life has extinguished or not.”

    “And you damn well can’t do that sitting behind some desk,” Samson nodded. He smiled. “It was the opposite for me son. I never cared much for starship command. I was fine parked behind a desk, doing my part, but also reading, studying.”

    “Sedentary,” Terrence joked, and Samson grinned.

    “Well, I wouldn’t have used that word,” the former admiral said, “but yes. Something slower paced. Now your mother…” He paused, his expression growing wistful, then sad. Both men had not been here for Deitra when she returned…now a member of the Borg Collective. It had been the false Terrence, the doppelglover that had been there to receive his mother, had spent time with her. It was such a violation, one that Glover couldn’t do anything about, and his powerlessness galled him.

    “I know what you’re thinking,” Samson said. “I can read it on your face. It’s not your fault son that that thing took your life.”

    “But-but he defiled everything,” Terrence replied, smacking the balcony’s railing with his fist. He ignored the pain. It was minor compared to the agony his soul had gone through and continued enduring. “I-I used to dream of seeing Mother again, sometimes even imagining I would access the Guardian to see her…at least one more time.”

    “You know about the Guardian of Forever?” Samson asked, with a raised eyebrow, in a good imitation of T’Prell. “Now how did you come by that information?”

    “We’ve all got our secrets now don’t we?” Terrence grinned. His father shook his head in mock consternation.

    “Well son, the one thing, the positive thing was, if that…shapeshifter hadn’t been there, Starfleet would have destroyed Deitra’s sphere.”

    “Yes,” Terrence shook his head, in confusion. “I mean he protected her…as if he was me, as if he really cared for her.”

    “Perhaps on some level…he did,” the old admiral said. “I’ve been reading what scant information we have on the Vendorians. The Enterprise, Kirk’s ship, encountered a Vendorian infiltrator in 2269. Before that, the use of Vendorian spies to lure ships from either the Romulan Empire or the Federation across the Romulan Neutral Zone as an act of war was codified by treaty.”

    “So that explains why the Romulans, before Shinzon’s coup, denied having anything to do with the impostor,” Terrence surmised.

    “Yes, talks were still ongoing before Praetor Hiren’s assassination,” the older Glover said.

    “And now the Romulan Empire has more trouble than lying about their agents,” Terrence said.

    “Which we are trying to help them with,” the admiral said. “Captain Picard is leading the diplomatic talks for our side. Jean-Luc contacted me just the other day,” Samson said. “He wished that I was there on hand, but of course he understood how emotionally vexing that would be.”

    “Yes,” Terrence didn’t hide his annoyance. “It was presumptuous of him to even ask.”

    “He was doing his duty son,” Glover said, now looking his years, beyond them. “However sometimes our duties change. Perhaps it is something you have to consider.”

    “Perhaps,” Terrence said. “Tryla said something along the same lines.”

    Samson brightened. “Tryla? How is she?”

    “She’s doing well. She suffered some grievous injuries while in the Delta Quadrant. After recuperating she finally accepted promotion. She’s in charge of Point-Station Zayin along the reconstituted Alshain border.”

    Samson nodded. “That’s a good thing. A steady hand is needed to keep watch over the Alshain. Despite their war ending, the situation is still tenuous.”

    “I agree,” Terrence said.

    “You know Terrence, I always liked Tryla. She reminded me of your mother. Very beautiful, very ambitious.”

    “Yeah,” Terrence repeated, gloom hanging over his fondness.

    “Just saying,” Samson trod carefully, “If things are completely finished between you and Jasmine, it would not be the worst thing to see if you can reconnect with Admiral Scott.”

    The younger man rolled his eyes. “You’re bound and determined to get me married off, aren’t you?”

    Samson shrugged. “Sue me. But you’re not the only one. I’m scouring all my contacts, as well as keeping an eye out at all my Vulcan and Romulan refugee circles to find a suitable mate for Decia.” Glover chuckled. “So far she has rejected all my attempts.”

    “Smart sister,” Terrence grinned. Samson laughed again. “So what are Decia’s plans?”

    “You could go ask her,” the old man suggested. “I want you two to bond. She’s your sister.”

    “Of course I know that, but…these kinds of things take time,” Terrence parried. “You know that.”

    “Don’t I?” Glover backed off.

    “We’ve all got our issues to work through,” Terrence said.

    “Yes,” Samson grew somber again. “Decia left behind her life, all that she knew, to save us, the family of a woman she had never known. And what that Vendorian with your face did, to your friends, to the Federation…what I did to the Federation, to Ousanas.” Samson’s ill-fated attempt to prevent the Benzites from joining the Romulan Empire had been exposed after Samson’s capture, and it had led to the Benzites rejecting both the Federation and the Romulans. Now they were going it alone.

    Samson’s capture and seeming execution by the Romulans, and then his heroic return were the only things that had staved off a court martial. Starfleet Command had let the man quietly retire and the elder Glover had been more than willing to take off his uniform.

    Terrence reached over and clasped his father’s shoulder. He pulled the man in close and hugged him. “Dad, the time for judging yourself is over.”

    “You should listen to your own advice,” Glover riposted.

    “Easier said than done, I’m afraid,” Terrence admitted.


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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
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  3. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    June 2380



    “Samson Glover,” the phantom voice got more serpentine each time he heard it. “You have been charged with crimes against the Romulan state. Do you wish to present a Right of Statement before your sentence is carried out?”

    The older, brown-skinned man shook his head. His face was a mass of welts and bumps.

    “I do, you maggots!” There was Lt. Daneeka, her blue, battered face contorted in rage. “I’ll see you all of you in Hell,” she screamed, attacking two guards holding her. Eventually one cuffed the woman on the back of the head and she sagged to the ground.

    “Samson Glover,” the voice began again, completely unfazed by the Bolian woman’s outburst, “if you do not wish to submit a Right of Statement, we shall commence with the dispensation of justice.”

    “Justice my ass,” Glover retorted, standing tall. Daneeka’s guards dragged the unconscious woman out of the field of fire, while two more guards placed Samson against a wall. They offered him a blind fold, but he refused.

    Samson blinked several times before a dazzling bright green beam pierced his chest. Captain Terrence Glover always woke up before his father’s lifeless body hit the ground.



    For the first time in a long time, he felt slender, though strong arms wrap around him, holding his trembling body tight.

    “Another nightmare,” the female voice was laden with concern. He had many nightmares, of varying horrors, some based on real life atrocities, some concocted from the depths of his imagination, while others were an infernal mix of real and most feared. This one he had just endured was real, or so Terrence had thought at the time. The Romulans had faked Samson’s execution as part of their propaganda campaign against the Federation, for the botched machinations on Benzar.

    With Terrence missing and Samson supposedly dead, it gave Volok and the Tal Shiar free reign to torture the Glovers at their pace. Tragically, people who helped them like the proud Klingon warrior Krastil and Lt. Daneeka had been deemed less valuable and treated as such.

    “Yes,” he said, his voice ragged. “I’m sorry if I woke you Jazz.” There was a heavy pause, and Glover winced. “I’m…sorry Tryla.” He turned around to glance at his reacquainted lover. Propping her elbow on a pillow, her head in one hand, Captain Tryla Scott smiled sympathetically.

    “It’s okay,” she said. “Really. I know it’s going to take some time for you to rebound. But believe me; you did the best thing giving her the divorce and now her space. Especially now, after…everything that’s happened…you needed to start fresh, not leave loose ties.”

    “I suppose,” Glover said, unconvinced. His feelings were a maelstrom. He knew his father would be quite bemused if he knew Terrence was here, with Tryla. He hadn’t intended to follow the old man’s advice, and he really hadn’t. He hadn’t offered marriage or anything deeper, and Tryla hadn’t asked, and he knew her well enough to know she would have expected. This was what it was, as deep or momentary as time or each person was willing to allow. And Terrence was so grateful to Tryla for that. Admiral Scott gently cupped his cheek with her free hand.

    “You’ll see what I mean…in time,” she smiled again. Glover kissed the palm of the woman’s hand.

    “Thank you for being here for me Tryla, you really don’t know how much this means to me,” he said before grabbing the woman’s hand and kissing her fingers. Tryla sighed.

    “Just returning the favor,” Scott managed between deepening sighs, “You were there for me after the neural parasites, even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time.”

    “Water under the bridge,” Glover dismissed.

    “That being said, I came to realize later what a mistake I made,” Scott said. “One of the few I might add.” Terrence laughed.

    “Now that’s the Tryla I like to see,” he said. In response, Scott sat up and unbuttoned her pajama top. The magenta Triaxian silk top fluttered around her hips.

    “I thought that this was the Tryla you liked to see?” She coyly asked.

    “You’ll get no arguments from me,” Glover quipped, pulling Tryla on top of him.

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  4. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Starbase 514

    Sector 97

    July 2380


    His style of dress was the only eccentricity Admiral Walter Toddman indulged. He had entered Starfleet as a noncom, a security guard and he had remained with the security branch even after switched to the officer’s track. He loved the branch so much that he had had his gold and black uniform modified to fit his elevated rank. He knew many of his peers thought it was a silly conceit, or some angle that he was working on Starfleet Command and the Federation Security Advisor to get a shot at running Starfleet Security, but Walter had never been so Byzantine in his thinking. He was more of a straight shooter, or so he liked to think.

    That’s why the murkiness of the report on the datapad he held in his hand unsettled him. Something didn’t add up, the Breen were lying he was certain of it, and he relished the chance to expose them, despite the consequences. Unfortunately, his time riding herd had passed. He sighed wistfully, handing the pad over to the younger man sitting anxiously across from him.

    “This is all the information we culled from the Protea’s message buoy,” Toddman said.

    Captain Terrence Glover quickly ingested the information. He frowned. “If I recall sir, the Breen had several outposts in this sector prior to the war, correct?”

    Toddman tersely nodded. “You’re correct Captain.”

    “And yet they claim no knowledge of the disappearance of the Protea?”

    “Correct again,” the admiral’s voice tightened. He smiled at the incredulous look on Glover’s face. “I think its hogwash too Captain, but the Breen do have precedence on their side. In 2268, the Enterprise-D investigated an attack on the S.S. Vico, which we had originally thought had been assailed by the Breen. It turned out the ship had encountered a strange phenomenon inside this system’s black cluster that had turned its own shields into a weapon against the ship.”

    “Hmmm,” Glover pondered, glancing back down at the pad. “The Protea was sent to explore the black cluster,” he said, looking up. “Could it be a case of lightning striking twice?”

    “Before the war,” Toddman shrugged. “I might’ve accepted that answer. But not now,” he shook his head vigorously. “The Breen presence has dwindled significantly in this sector, and now the black cluster serves a natural buffer between the Federation and Confederacy. But they’ve been too quiet lately, too compliant with Federation inspections and treaty stipulations. You know what they say about the Breen?”

    “Damn right I do,” Glover laughed. “I’ve got the scars on my back to prove it.” Toddman joined in the laughter. Suddenly his expression turned morose.

    “Captain, Terrence, I’m really sorry to hear about Samson. He was a good man, and a damn fine Security Head. He deserved better treatment from Command.”

    Glover swallowed, his eyesight wavering. “Thank you sir,” he said tightly after a few minutes. “Dad would be pleased to hear you say that. He often said that you wouldn’t give a compliment even under torture.”

    Toddman laughed again. “That Samson,” he said after calming down. “Starfleet’s loss definitely.” Terrence merely nodded, unable to speak.

    “Listen,” the admiral said. “I hope I didn’t bring back too many bad memories. I just want you to bring the Protea home, or the truth about her demise.”

    “I will sir,” Glover promised. “Count on it.”



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    USS Rushmore

    (Observation Lounge)



    Captain Terrence Glover propped his elbows on the table, his focus slipping as past and present collided. For a minute the faces of the crews of the Cuffe and Aegis overlaid those of his current senior staff, a cacophony of voices, and a host of similar crises all merging into one confused mass.

    He had been the master of the Rushmore since March, almost five whole months, and yet there were times when he still felt like a novice. It had been ten years since he had achieved his first command, of the Starship Cuffe, yet he was re-experiencing anxieties he hadn’t honestly felt in decades, since he was a junior officer or a cadet even.

    His father had been right though. Honestly, the Rushmore was several steps down for him. Glover had commanded both a Nebula-class and a Prometheus-class ship. He should’ve been in command of either a Galaxy or a Sovereign. He had once dreamed of standing on the bridge of a Galaxy. And a billet for one of the Galaxies, the Starship Olympus, had come up during Terrence’s long, futile quest to find his missing father four years ago, before he fell into the Romulans’ clutches. Now that he was back, but with the controversial baggage of his father’s actions on Benzar and his own doppelganger’s transgressions, Command was loath to put him in a high-profile post. But at the same time skittish about kicking him out of the Fleet. They were worried about the negative press. And with all that befallen the Federation even after the Dominion War had wiped out loads of talented officers, Command still thought he might be useful, that there was some glimmer of the old Terrence Glover left. Glover hoped there was, and wished he could find it himself soon.

    The tall, lanky Science Officer Lomar stood at the master systems display, inset into a wall, and just off from the head of the table. Terrence had moved his chair over to get a better look at the screen.

    The Kelvan officer droned on, his expression blank, his human guise unremarkable, except for the unsettling silver eyes. Lomar, the first Kelvan to serve in Starfleet, had been an ensign aboard the Aegis. At least the man’s voice wasn’t as unnerving as his eyes anymore. In the years since the Aegis’s destruction Lomar’s voice now better approximated humanoid inflections, and no longer seemed detached from his vocal cords. Now, if only the man could work to infuse his face with more expression.

    Glover had thought to suggest that more than once, but always restrained himself. The captain had seen the man’s true form and knew how much of a struggle it likely was to maintain just the humanoid guise, in addition to relating to humanoids that were so different in biology and often mindset than his people.

    “The black cluster was formed by the collapse of a multitude of protostars within close proximity,” Lomar was saying, carefully taking time to blink. Since Aegis the man had learned how natural blinking was for many other humanoids, which heartened Terrence that the man was adapting. If Lomar could, perhaps that was good news for everyone else, including Glover. “The result of this collective collapse was an expanse of space that absorbed energy and had deleterious effects on spacecraft systems.”

    As the man continued detailing the history of the black cluster and its unique scientific properties, Glover’s mind wandered.

    He chided himself for the lack of focus, but his mind wasn’t as sharp, as clear as it once had been. He had spent just over a year in therapy, physical and psychological. Medics had repaired his mind, altering his brain chemistry to remove the desire for Corillan acid, while others had worked to restore his scarred, damaged, and malnourished body.

    Still Glover wasn’t back to where he had been, and he knew it. And he suspected, feared that they all knew it. That all his crew was thinking it behind their feigned interest in Lomar’s recitation. Terrence closed his eyes, repeating mantras to drive out the bad thoughts.

    “Sir? Is everything alright?” The question thankfully brought him out of the swamp of his thoughts.

    “Yes, why yes, of course,” Glover said. The Tygarian who had prompted the question, looked skeptical, but he wisely didn’t press the issue. “You were saying Mr. Nemr?” The security officer dipped his long, horned head respectfully before continuing.

    “Sir, I was discussing the presence of Breen outposts near the black cluster. You’ve had some up close experience with the Breen have you not?”

    “Yes,” Glover said after a moment, “I…did. Yes, four years ago. The Aegis took part in a mission to retrieve stolen Breen eggs. We were unsuccessful, but still a wider conflict was avoided.”

    “Lt. Lomar was also part of that mission, he could doubtlessly provide greater detail as to the Breen,” Terrence nodded in the direction of the Kelvan. The science officer merely looked at him, either not understanding he had been complimented or not knowing how to display appreciation.

    “The Breen, as many of you know,” Unbidden he looked at the youngest member of the senior staff, the helmsman, Ensign Yamasaki; the captain had wanted the young woman to sit in on the meeting because she would have the unenviable task of navigating them through the cluster and he wanted her to be aware of how dangerous that patch of space was. The ensign caught him gazing and blushed. “Well, some of you encountered them in the war. You know how fierce they can be as fighters. They were no less so after the war ended.” Yamasaki entered the Academy the year after the war ended.

    It was hard for Glover to fathom anyone wearing the uniform that hadn’t been seared by war with the Cardassians, Tzenkethi, Klingons, and Dominion. Yamasaki had even not participated in the battles against the Talarians, Cha’lav, Drai, and Alshain. This mission could be her first real experience with combat.

    It was hard to grasp, yet at the same time heartening that Yamasaki represented the future, and hopefully a more peaceful one than the one Glover had been born into. “We should be on guard and at our best if we encounter Breen warships inside the cluster,” Glover warned. “The Confederacy is vast and though there has not been a major conflict between the Breen and the Federation since the Dominion War ended, Breen mercenaries were active during the Alshain-Son’a war and the Alshain civil war. We don’t know what to expect if we encounter them.”

    “Or who even,” Dr. Carolyn Eaves chimed in. Eaves had been a medical technician on the Cuffe early in Glover’s captaincy. The woman, a seasoned combat medic, had only grown more cantankerous over the years. Despite her brusque manner he had come to trust her during his time recuperating at Starbase Three and she was the first person he picked for his Rushmore crew.

    Terrence nodded in agreement. “And Lieutenant Lomar can speak more authoritatively on that point. Please proceed Mr. Lomar.”

    The Kelvan nodded before touching the master display screen. The image shifted from the starless, nebula clouds of the black cluster to a tall armored figure, with a glowing green visor set in a mask with a snout. “This is a Breen.”

    The chief medic snorted, and Glover shot her a hard look. Eaves merely shrugged. “Go on Mr. Lomar,” the captain encouraged.

    “This is the standard environmental suit that all Breen thus far encountered have worn. It completely obscures their actual appearance.”

    “Tell me something I don’t know,” the surgeon muttered again. Glover grunted with disapproval.

    “There have been many stories, often conflicting regarding the Breen and their physiology.” Lomar went through a listing. “Some contend that the environmental suits are in fact refrigeration suits, but other information we have gleaned disputes the need for the Breen to utilize such technology to interact with our species at all. As do reports about the Breen homeworld, it is either a frozen wasteland or a temperate planet. As for physiology it has been reported that the Breen possess no liquid circulatory system, yet do have four-lobed brains that prevent empathic probing.”

    “What are we to make of all this then?” Eaves pressed, reading to throw up her hands, Glover could tell.

    “Our best scientific minds, coupled with Starfleet Intelligence reports, surmise that all these contradictions regarding the Breen are nothing of the sort,” Lomar replied, completely unperturbed by the doctor’s consternation. “That the Breen are not a single species, that the Confederacy in fact is composed of multiple species. Each seemingly contradictory trait is just a description of a different variety of Breen encountered.”

    “I had never considered that!” Yamasaki said. When her exclamation drew looks, her cheeks spotted red and she looked down. Some of the senior officers shared smiles at the woman’s enthusiasm and greenness. Glover was among them. It seemed he had never been that young.

    “We don’t know how many species comprise the Confederacy, but Starfleet has concluded that the Breen who participated in the Dominion War and the Aegis encountered shortly after that war’s conclusion belonged to what has been termed the Echid subspecies.” The image shifted again to a tall, furred humanoid with a long tubular snout. “This is a conjectural Echid sans environmental suit.”

    “Echid,” Dr. Eaves said, “Short for Echidna?”

    “The Terran anteater,” Lt. Nemr nodded in understanding. “Apt.”

    “A bit lame if you ask me,” Eaves opined.

    “Which no one did,” Chief Engineer Aydin Savas riposted gleefully, incurring a fearsome scowl from the woman. Glover stifled a chuckle. “Continue Mr. Lomar.”

    The Kelvan nodded in acknowledgement, before starting again. “The Echid practice strict sex segregation, using an involved artificial insemination process for procreation. And the Echid would then be sent to either the Patriarchy, which we had mistakenly termed the entire Confederacy or the Gynarchy, the community of female Echid. The aftermath of the Dominion War strained relations among between the two genders, which was exacerbated by Breen involvement in the various conflicts involving the Alshain, with Breen mercenaries and privateers active on all sides of the conflagration.”

    As the science officer began deeper into the history of Federation involvement with the Breen and then the black cluster, the captain forced himself to pay attention to the ongoing discussion. “Why would the Federation send another ship into the black cluster after the Vico tragedy?” Dr. Eaves asked. “Who knows what other kind of damaging phenomena are coiled inside that morass?”

    “We’re explorers,” Lt. Commander Savas shot back, “It’s our job to find out.”

    “No, it’s not,” Eaves replied, “It’s not our job to be guinea pigs, even for the benefit of science.”

    “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made,” Operations Officer Eman quietly weighed in. The beautiful, ebon hued Argelian had a habit of tapping a finger against her full lips as she contemplated. “But my chief concern is the Breen and if they played a role in this.”

    “I concur with Lt. Eman,” Lt. Nemr said, punctuating the affirmation with a terse nod. “The Rushmore is a sturdy ship, but even with the upgraded shields and weaponry leftover from the war, I have doubts about our ability to survive a sustained fight with a Breen warship, especially with their energy dampening capabilities. Though the Breen say they haven’t improved upon the dissipater technology since the war, I don’t believe them.”

    “None of us do Mr. Nemr,” Savas said to the brownish green, leathery-skinned Tygarian. “The Rushmore under Captain Angelopoulos participated in some of the initial inspections of Breen armaments shortly after the war. If anyone can counter any tricks the Breen has up their sleeves, or whatever they wear that is equivalent to sleeves, it’s us.” The Turkish engineer was one of the holdovers from the Rushmore’s previous captain. Glover had met with woman shortly before she retired.

    Saffi Angelopoulos had been pressed back into service due to the Dominion War and had even stayed around a few more years after the war’s conclusion. But she had recently decided to hang it up and return back to New Crete, a colony established by some of her ancestors. Saffi had known when it was time to quit, but Terrence was bothered by the idea that he himself didn’t know.

    “Don’t you mean you,” Eaves smirked. Savas’s swarthy skin darkened slightly. He opened his mouth to respond then closed it, smiling guiltily. Though Dr. Eaves had arrived on the Rushmore the same time as Glover, the crusty old medic had fell into a repartee with Chief Engineer Savas that made it seem like they had known each other for years. Of course, Glover sensed a strong sexual tension from the two, more so from Savas for the older woman than vice versa. But most of the old line Rushmore crew had seemed more accepting of Eaves than Glover and the other officers he brought along with him, especially his first officer and the socially off putting Science Officer Lomar.

    Glover had to admit that he hadn’t done much to bring the divided crew together. He had left that in the hands of his Executive Officer, hoping that if she was the main one being seen leading efforts to bind the crew that the hostility against her would lessen. Terrence turned to her now. “Commander Haas, your thoughts?”

    The attractive blonde pursed her lips as she gathered her thoughts. “Whatever fate has befallen the Protea-whether it was nature or the Breen-doesn’t matter much. What does is that some of the Protea’s crew might still be alive and in desperate need of help. Endless debate won’t do anything but imperil them further.”

    “My thoughts exactly,” Glover replied. “So, you have your assignments. Get to them.”

    The captain noticed that Dr. Eaves hung back as the rest of the senior staff filed out of the conference room. The querulous sawbones hadn’t opined as much as usual during the meeting, which was unusual. Glover had noticed her glancing at him several times, appraising him.

    He took a deep breath and wished he could will away the knots starting to tie in his stomach. “What is it Carolyn?” He decided offense was the best way to go.

    “Captain…Terrence…this is your first rodeo in a very long time. Ten years since you sat in the big chair,” the doctor began.

    “Tell me something I don’t know,” Glover snapped. There was a flash of anger in the medic’s eyes but the woman didn’t fire off a retort, another unusual response.

    “This place we’re going, the Black Cluster, its damn near a starless void, and we’ll be inside it for months. Seeing all that darkness, that abyss, it can stare right back at you.”

    “And?” Terrence prompted.

    “Are you sure you’re ready to see that reflection?” Eaves asked.

    “This…is just another assignment, nothing more, nothing less,” Glover replied, thought with less certainty.

    “Now that we’ve got our provisions and marching orders at Starbase 514, we’re on our own now, out here, in the vast…abyss,” Eaves shook her head. The woman trembled, which surprised Terrence. Eaves had gone into the teeth of war, all manner of hell, during all the major wars over the last three decades. She had even helped defend Starbase Three against the Talarian Incursion. “I’ve already spoken with the ship’s counselor to design light therapy treatments for anyone who might be affected by that much exposure to the darkness. I think you might need to take advantage of one of them.”

    “I’ll be alright,” Glover scoffed.

    “I’ll be keeping my eye on you…just in case,” the medic said. It wasn’t a request. As ship’s surgeon, Eaves was perfectly within her rights, by Starfleet Order 104 Section C, to relieve Glover of command if she deemed him medically unfit to perform his duties. Terrence knew the order by heart because Carolyn loved bringing it up during their frequent jousts.

    “Mr. Amias is concerned that some members of the crew might experience some form of seasonal affective disorder. The youngster had suggested placing the crew into suspended animation…”

    “Out of the question,” Glover said. “I’ll need the crew conscious and alert to address any spatial anomalies we might encounter in the cluster. Why didn’t Lt. Amias bring this suggestion to me?”

    Eaves grinned. “Because I shot it down already.”

    “Still,” Terrence warned. “I want to be made aware of any and all suggestions. I want this crew to feel they can trust me. I am the captain after all.”

    The medic’s nostrils flared. “Well, after talking with Amias I did run it by Lt. Commander Haas.”

    “And?”

    “She agreed with me.”

    “I do too, but still, that’s not the way I handle business,” Glover pointed out.

    “I’ll keep that in mind…Sir,” the doctor said tightly.

    “See that you do,” Terrence was terse. He was still working out the kinks with this crew, in forming a working relationship with them, and though he had a special bond with Carolyn, the woman did have a tendency to overstep at times, and it was only so far that you could pull back a rubber band before it snapped back into place.

    “Is there anything else?” Glover asked.

    “No, no Sir,” the medic huffed.

    “Then you’re dismissed,” the captain replied. He had already turned away from the woman, hearing the soft swish of the doors parting as she left. By that time he was already looking out the window, watching the stars twinkle as the ship slogged at impulse. Glover did his best to commit the stars to memory, to retrieve once they were in the black cluster where there were none.

    *****************************************************************
     
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  5. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    *****************************************************************



    USS Rushmore

    Captain’s Quarters



    Captain Glover had already gone through the well wishes for the mission from several people, including his father, Elizabeth Shelby, Amaya Donners, Meera Prabhakar, and to his surprise Nandali Kojo. Things had not ended well between him and the fierce Kriosian, so Terrence was very pleased to receive the terse “Qapla!” message from his former first officer.

    There were two messages he hadn’t opened. Terrence was steeling himself for both. He sighed, resolving not to even look at the message from Rieta Cole, Aegis’s former chief medical officer. Glover had hammered the final nail into his marriage when he and Dr. Cole had succumbed to their mutual attraction. He hadn’t heard from the woman in years, hadn’t wanted to, and was curious why she would seek him out now. His return to the Federation and to Starfleet had made some news, but he didn’t expect Rieta to be so moved as to call on him. Perhaps she still cared for him…He didn’t want to consider it, or put any oxygen on that fire.

    His feelings for Jasmine and whatever was occurring between him and Tryla was enough romantic entanglements for him to grapple with.

    Terrence knew he should delete Cole’s message, to keep the break clean, but he hesitated. Exhaling with frustration, the man saved the message and then pondered whether he should do the same for the other unanswered communique.

    No unresolved romantic stirrings stayed his hand this time, instead it was the guilt coiling around his heart and slithering up his arm, arresting his fingers. Juanita Rojas had left a message for him.

    It wasn’t Juanita he was dreading at all. She had always been a steadfast friend and had been one of the first people who contacted him when his return had been made public. Juanita had even offered to take leave from her assignment on the Aldebaran to help him during his convalescence.

    Terrence had had to beg the woman off. Juanita had eventually relented, but still she kept in contact with him as much as possible, despite being on the other side of the galaxy, in the Delta Quadrant.

    From what Juanita had told him, Aldebaran had gotten off to a rocky start, but Starfleet Command had eventually given them another shot, placing them in Taskforce Vanguard which was exploring the Delta Quadrant.

    He listened to Juanita’s message and then returned her call. It took nearly an hour for her to reply. By the time his desktop alerted him, Glover had finished a plate of fresh gagh. Admiral Toddman had gifted him with the live serpent worms. Terrence quickly wiped his hands on his napkin and rushed over to the desk. He activated the feed, the royal blue screen and golden laurels of the Federation vanishing to show a smiling Juanita Rojas.

    “How are you doing sir?” She asked.

    “I’m fine Juanita,” Glover nodded. “How are you?” He was proud to note the three pips on the woman’s collar. While part of the taskforce Juanita had become Aldebaran’s first officer. It had been a battlefield promotion, Juanita had told him, after the ship’s previous exec had died during vicious assaults from an aggressive power called the Krowtonan Guard. The ship had lost many crewmembers, including the first officer. Thankfully Juanita and the ship’s captain, Banti Awokou survived.

    Despite the tragic way Juanita had ascended, Glover thought the promotion was well deserved. “I’m doing well sir,” Juanita replied.

    “Please Juanita, call me Terrence,” he offered. “We’re almost at the same rank. By this time next year? Who knows?”

    The younger woman laughed, with her whole core, and in that moment she reminded him so much of Pedro, her older brother and one of Terrence’s closest friends. Pedro had died saving them all toward the end of the Dominion War. That hole would never be filled in Glover’s life and he knew it was even worse for Juanita and Verda, the mother of Pedro’s son.

    Thinking of the son, Glover smiled, his face flushing with embarrassment. “So…how is little Terencio doing?” He still couldn’t fathom it when Verda told him that Pedro’s intention had been to name his son in honor of him and she had followed suit after the man’s death. It was the greatest gift anyone had ever given him.

    “He’s not so little anymore sir. He’s ten years old. Quite the scamp, loves taking things apart, but is not so great at the putting them back together part.” Juanita laughed again, and Terrence joined her. “He’s always asking me about Starfleet and other planets to too few times I get to see him. The last time I saw him he had built a working model of a Nebula-class.”

    “Like the Cuffe,” Glover said, a bit wistfully. Juanita’s answering smile was sad.

    He made a mental note to stop by Troyius to visit Verda and Terencio when he got the opportunity. Verda had left Starfleet after the war to return to the Troyian aristocracy. “He’s quite the little terror around the Troyian royal house,” Rojas added as if reading his thoughts. Juanita was no telepath, but she did always have a sense of his mood, and how to elevate it.

    “How is Banti?” Glover asked. Awokou was his old mentor. He had known the man for decades. Awokou hadn’t turned his back on Terrence like some others did, blaming him for the impostor who had taken his place. Neither Banti nor his wife Rozi had done that, however Terrence had detected a distance there. He hoped to close that gap in time, but Glover was willing to allow that time to happen; something he wouldn’t have been tolerant of in his younger days.

    Juanita blew through her teeth. “Just as demanding as you and Pedro used to say. But a good man, a fair man. He asks me about you all the time.” Why doesn’t he just contact me like you did then? Glover thought, but didn’t voice. Instead he let Juanita talk and she obliged, feeling him in all manner of species, flora, fauna, and cosmic phenomena that Aldebaran and other members of the taskforce had encountered as well.

    “It truly is the final frontier,” Terrence said in wonder.

    “Well there’s still the Andromeda galaxy,” Juanita offered. “What I wouldn’t give to take a crack at that egg.”

    “Yes,” Glover said, his thoughts turning somber. “It could be a good opportunity to get away from it all, to reassess.”

    “To heal,” Rojas offered. Terrence nodded. Damn it, the woman had read him again.

    “Tai will come around Sir, I promise,” she said, without him needing to inquire. “It’s just…Ivan was a brother, a brother-in-arms, in life.”

    “I understand,” Terrence dipped his head a moment. His doppelganger had murdered both Ivan Cherenkov and Aquiel Uhnari, ostensibly after they had discovered who or what he was. Tai Donar, who had served with Cherenkov longer than he had served under Glover, refused to speak to him.

    The Angosian blamed Glover for Ivan’s death, and on some level Terrence did as well. He shouldn’t have gotten captured by the Romulans, he should’ve been able to avoid that trap, and then all the havoc wreaked by his counterpart would not have happened. “These things…take time,” he weakly offered.

    “No,” Juanita’s eyes flashed with anger. “Tai is being unreasonable. Blaming you for something you had no control over.” He could tell by the woman’s voice that she had made her beliefs known to the Angosian.

    “Listen Juanita, I don’t want this coming between you and Mr. Donar,” Glover said.

    “Too late,” Rojas rarely interrupted him.

    “No, it’s not too late,” Glover said with a spike of emotion as an image of his last night with Jasmine knifed through him. “It’s not too late, if you both believe, and are willing to sacrifice for it.”

    “Sir,” Juanita’s voice was soft, her eyes moistening. “Terrence, you’ve always been there for me. You always supported me. For a while, when you were missing and then that impostor was revealed and I thought you were dead, it was like I had lost two brothers, Pedro and you. I won’t turn my back on you. I’m not going to lose you again.”

    “You won’t lose me,” Glover promised. “I just don’t want you to miss out on having a life with Mr. Donar…with Tai. He’s a good man. He has his demons…but then again, don’t we all?”

    “Amen to that,” Juanita muttered.

    “Promise me you will make things right with Tai,” he said.

    “I will,” Rojas said, “on one condition.” She placed a hand against the screen. It took Glover a moment to place his over hers.

    “And what’s that?”

    “That you take care of yourself out there,” she said. “And that you come back in one piece.”

    “That’s two conditions,” Terrence pointed out.

    Juanita blew through her teeth. “You know math was never my favorite subject.”

    *****************************************************************
     
  6. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Yes! Terrence Glover is back!

    Clearly a lot has happened since we have seen him last and there is no doubt this is not quite the Terrence of old. This is a changed man, and not for the better. A real shame about his marriage falling apart, but that had been on the rocks for quite some time, so perhaps not surprising that it wouldn't recover from a blow like this.

    Looking forward to the journey into the abyss here (I loved Voyager's void episode and this feels somewhat similar) and curious to see how this will affect an already unbalance Glover. I also find myself quite curious to learn more about the T. Glover doppelgänger and the things he's been up to. Not sure if you get a chance to delve into that in this tale but I would love to read about them at some point.
     
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  7. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Location:
    Here and now.
    Good stuff, DK! Glad to see the Glovers back. Looks like Terrence's re-entry into Starfleet is going to be a challenge at best. The journey ahead promises to be (to borrow a term), fascinating!
     
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  8. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Need more of this, please! This new, bruised and humbled Terrence Glover is fascinating. Seeing the once imperious TG, ever so confident in his own abilities, second guessing himself is both refreshing and unnerving.

    Now that the universe has brought him down a few pegs, Terrence is discovering what it's like to be a human being with feet of clay.

    Now this is a guy who could share an ale and some tall tales with another much put-upon captain we both know. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  9. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Thanks Mthompson 1701, Gibraltar, TLR, and CeJay,

    I never responded to any of the comments or thanked you for reading or commenting. I had started this story and then stopped it to write what eventually turned into "Conspirata". I might return to this story, but it will be altered from what I've written here. "Conspirata" changes some of it, and I'm in the process of looking at the whole Samson Glover-Romulan arc from the vignettes to "Dearest Blood" again and rewriting it to make it more cohesive. So, the things that I described here in this story might not happen by the time I've rewritten out Samson's arc, or might happen in a different way or for some characters.

    The Benzar story never quite gelled for me so I'm determined to finish that story and it will change some things for Samson and Ousanas, among others.
     
  10. pio1776

    pio1776 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    That was some deep stuff there :adore: