[Shadowdancer] Readable Version: "What the Future Holds..."
- From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: shadowdancer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 22:55:05 -0700
by Shane Taggart
& Trey Onadan
The walk back to the shuttlebay was an awkward one. He had clearly forgotten that he was carrying a hydrospanner and had sufficiently lost himself in his thoughts. The meeting with the Romulan was something that had upset him greatly. It wasn’t the man’s presence that bothered him, it was the fact that Shane could’ve sworn they’d met before.
“He was no doubt running from someone, but who?” Shane said aloud to no one in particular. He paused outside the shuttlebay doors and twirled the hydrospanner around in his hand absently. “But who could a Romulan be running from?”
The possibilities were truly endless. After all, having served in the Tal Shiar for a long time, Shane was well aware of the complexities of people’s violations against the Empire. At the same time, however, he was still under the impression that people could make enemies for doing tedious things. One of his assignments had been to knock off a senator’s son for flirting with another senator’s daughter. It was all quite horrible, politics were.
“Still,” Shane continued, “If he was running from someone, the best place to hide would be on the Romulan homeworld. If he’s not there, then he has to be running from them. And, if he’s not on another Rihannsu planet, then he must be running from the Tal Shiar.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Shane turned, coming face to face with his younger companion Trey. “I’m thinking aloud.”
“No shit, I heard you talking to yourself from down the corridor. What’s up?”
“Nothing. Someone I met seemed oddly familiar. It was probably nothing.” Shane gauged his counterpart up and down briefly, “What are you doing back so soon? Shouldn’t you be on the bridge getting underfoot? Or did they find you as useless as ever and tell you to go home?”
Trey smirked, knowing Shane was talking only in jest, “We docked on Luna if you hadn’t felt it. So, I’m deciding whether I want to stay on board and attempt getting beating by a bunch of leaving ‘Fleeters, or venture onto the moon of the heart of the Federation. Neither seems very promising.”
Shane nodded, albeit not really caring about what he was saying. “Right. Well, whatever you choose, have fun.”
“Are you drunk?” Trey said, looking into Shane’s eyes as if to look for dilated pupils. “Have fun? When have you ever told me to have fun? It’s always been ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’,” his impression of Shane was impeccable.
Trying to brush him off, Shane walked into the shuttlebay. “He had to have been running from the Tal Shiar, he had to have been.” But why? The Tal Shiar would never have let him get past the borders before blowing up the ship he was on, Shane was sure of that. Then how had he managed to get out of Romulan territory?
Perhaps he was a Tal Shiar member himself? His eyes searched the floor, but his mind was racing for comprehension. “If he was a member of the Tal Shiar,” Shane began again, drawing another baleful look from Trey, “they would’ve kept tabs on people they thought would desert. There’s always signs of it.”
“Are you going to start talking in tongues?” Trey asked, hoisting himself onto a cargo container. “Because if you are, I’ve got other things to be doing. People who talk fast in foreign languages give me the creeps.”
His words didn’t affect Shane, and even if they did there was no outward appearance that they had done so. He continued to ramble, now pacing back and forth across the shuttlebay’s deck, “I mean, no one just slips away from the Tal Shiar. Especially during the middle of a war.”
That was it. The Dominion War.
With ships going to and fro across the borders to assist the Federation and the Klingons, it would’ve been easy to steal a transport during a fight or transport to another ship and stowaway. Why hadn’t he thought of it before? Shane was still reeling about the whole thing when he realized that the man’s face still didn’t jog a thought.
“No doubt someone was sent after him the minute they realized he was gone - if they have yet, that is.” Shane finished the last word and a searing pain shot through his head. He grabbed at his temples, the pain increasing in severity as he staggered around.
“I knew you were drunk,” Trey said, a smile on his face. The smile soon faded as he came to terms with the agony that Shane had found himself in. He slid off the cargo container and attempted to support Shane by the waist. “Shane, you all right?”
His mind suddenly became hollow. He heard echoes from a far off place, but the moans and the murmurs were all but audible. Shane’s ears almost stretched to hear it, but found nothing but incomprehensible gibberish. Then, as if the clouds had parted to allow the light in, he heard it...
He blinked, trying to focus, but found it to be even harder than to hear. There was more, much much more, but it was all in random blurbs that he didn’t have time to compile into recognizable fragments.
Shane could almost see now. A large chamber, lit by lights on the walls, and a large half-moon desk sat in the center. Tall chairs built for tall people lined the rim as several dozen others sat on stone slabs looking on. Cloth robes, valiant speakers, and the image of fear above them all. Two worlds clutched in sharp talons, blue and green highlighting her wings; a glorious eagle overlooked them all.
The Romulan Senate.
He must be taken care of...
A woman’s voice. Allea! God, how he longed to hear her voice one more time. To hold her and to care for her one last time. The Elements had a different path for her. Shane wondered briefly, between spouts of intolerable pain, if she ever thought of him.
Send Tavik, Praetor, he’ll find him and dispose of the wretched Jud’Quis!
There was a pop and another horrible shooting spasm blasted through his skull. He felt the presence of blood on his upper lip and then another around the side of his mouth. His nose was bleeding, double barreled, and he was powerless to stop it. “Oh, Elements...”
Trey knelt down as Shane slumped to his knees, “Shane, stay with me, what’s going on?” The panic was evident in his voice. “You’re bleeding...” He tore off the sleeve to his shirt and put it to Shane’s nose.
Shane said something, muffled under the shirt scrap.
“What?” Trey said, removing it and allowing a fresh gush of blood to flow forth.
“I kill him. Varon. He was one of my targets.”
Trey’s eyes searched Shane’s for an explanation, but found only unfocused babbling. He wanted to talk to Shane, get some answers, but he knew his friend was in no position to talk about anything. Trey put the sleeve back on his friend’s face and cradled his head on his arm.
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