<FWG> (Shadowdancer) "The Hidden Clause"

  • From: Brad Ruder <kylepiercecpa@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2007 01:01:00 -0800 (PST)

From the Shadowdancer...
  "The Hidden Clause"
  by Shane Taggart
  with Trey Onadan
   
  
  Special Guest Writer:
  Jennifer Black as Taella Chendrel
  
   
   
  The Shadowdancer was quiet. It was nice for a change; too often lately had 
the clattering of broken conduits hitting the floor or the sound of what could 
be construed as a potential warp core breach echoed softly in the small vessel. 
It was true what they said: silence is golden. Shane sat in the big chair on 
the bridge, having relaxed into his perpetual duty of running the night shift. 
Trey was at the helm not doing much of anything, autopilot was a wonderful 
invention.

Trey was a good pilot, or at least he had shown that in simulations, but 
maneuvering a vessel in real life as opposed to the safety of the holodeck was 
a lot different. The kid tried, though, and that was enough for Shane. Whether 
or not it would work in the boy's future, that was still uncertain. He tapped a 
PADD, reading up on the latest happenings in the 'Fleet. The Dominion War 
didn't look to be going well for either side, but as long as he didn't have to 
be in the thick of it he was happy.

The Romulans had entered the war. Joy. It was a benefit to the Federation and 
their allies, it was obvious, but Shane had mixed feelings about it. When he 
was a Romulan, and he still shuddered to reminisce to such a time, he wouldn't 
have helped a member of lloann'na if they had captured him and had threatened 
to remove his still-beating heart. Oh, those were good times.

"Shane," Trey started, having looked up from his own PADD to the communications 
console. He tapped the surface frantically as if he had no idea what to do, 
then swivelled in his seat. "We're getting a transmission from No Hope Station 
for you. I don't know why, or who, but it has explicit direction for you. It 
could - "

"Get some sleep Trey." Shane said before the boy could finish. He shrugged off 
Trey's bewildered expression. "I'll take the rest of the watch."

"But, the message..."

"Trey, I got it. I'll handle it. Just... Just get some sleep, okay?"

"I want to know..."

"Trey." His words deadened, their tone serious and authoritarian-like. "I'm not 
going to tell you again."

Looking a bit lost and almost hurt, Trey nodded absently and trudged to the 
turbolift. Muttering under his breath was one of Trey's strong suits and it 
brought a smile to Shane's face as he did so. The kid was finally learning how 
to pick and choose his battles. It had only taken him about two years, but he 
was catching on. 
"'Dancer, activate the message from No Hope and direct it to the main viewer."

The green face of a familiar Orion came upon the screen, a small hint of a 
smile pulling at her lips. "Hello there. Still alive despite yourself, I see," 
she commented drily.

"Are you out of your fucking mind? What part of 'covert' did you not 
understand? If I wasn't the one watching the bridge who knows what kind of shit 
I would've had to put up with." He wasn't worried about the repercussions of 
Nate and Dan finding out about his ploy to scout ahead, hell, they should be 
grateful at his ability to see logical strategy. "Private communique next time, 
got it?" 

Taella became very interested in the condition of her dark nail polish, 
examining the fingertips of one hand while half waving him off with the other. 
"Private, public; prying eyes see what they want to. Why bother encrypting when 
you'll end up with the same results either way?" 

"It's the thought that counts." Shane said sarcastically, eyeing her carefully. 

"No one ever accused me of being thoughtful." 

"Not a surprise." 

She lifted an eyebrow, looking down her nose at him. "Insults? My dear man, you 
disappoint me. Especially after all of the hard work I've been doing for you." 

Shane smirked, "Can we not talk about the other night? I'd much rather talk 
about the job you've been doing on No Hope, if you don't mind." His own 
brilliance was remarkable to him, but he would just chalk it up to one of his 
many endearing qualities. Right up there with unrelenting wit, clean 
assassinations, and a flawless appearance. Okay, and his modesty was renown 
too. 

She sat back, smiling innocently. "Of course. No Hope is, after all, your 
typical station in that it has scoundrels and would-be scoundrels, like 
yourself, aplenty. No one's accounting for all of them. But major crime 
organizations? Big trouble? Sorry, darling, but you're not going to run into 
much fun with your crew. And I know how much you clearly adore trouble." 

"You would know, wouldn't you?" Shane stared at her suggestively. "So, as of 
now, there is no big bad? I don't have to worry about the Syndicate or Dominion 
forces? Nothing that's going to pop up and take out half of our already-ragtag 
crew?"

"Nope. You're safe from everyone except me. And then only unsafe if you want to 
be." Chendral grinned at him ferociously.

He nodded absently as the arrival procedures ran through his head. "Okay. So, 
as of now, I don't want any further contact with you until we arrive unless 
it's dire. Understand? No calling, no saying 'hello', and no forwarded calls. 
I'll meet you at Clive's Cantina, second level, when we arrive. Okay?"

"No contact. And don't be slow getting to the cantina. I hate people who keep 
me waiting."
Shane perked an eyebrow, smiling, "You didn't have that complaint the other 
night."

She dismissed him idly, a hint of a smirk on her face. "That's different. And 
assuming our relationship stays on that same 'businesslike' level that it did 
the other night... I am sure we can continue solidifying... professional 
relations for the future."

"Indeed," he agreed coyly. "We should arrive within 24 hours. I'll see you 
then. Shane out." The channel clicked closed.

Shane's face disappeared from the monitor. A hand reached over the top and 
deactivated from Taella's side. There was a sinister smile followed by an even 
more insidious chuckle. 

"There," the evil voice said, looking at her, "That wasn't so difficult. And, 
it'll be worth it in the long run, I'm sure. And, next time, I'm only going to 
have to ask you once. Isn't that right? For your followers' sake, it better be."

The man motioned to the floor, where a downtrodden body lay in a pool of its 
own blood. He had had to ask her twice. He didn't like to have to ask people 
for something twice. And, because of that, he made sure that his words got 
across the first time. The only time.

"I didn't want any part of this. And I still don't," she said, crossing her 
arms defiantly. "I make no guarantees."

The man tilted his head, sighing as he did so. Why did they always have to be 
so fucking difficult? It was a simple yes or no question, a simple yes or no 
answer would've done quite nicely. "Perhaps you didn't hear me." He raised his 
phaser and blasted a hole the size of a shuttlecraft into another one of her 
followers' sternum. 

The man staggered backwards, a look of shock and bewilderment covering his 
face. The same face that slowly drained of color. He slumped to his knees, pain 
tainting every labored movement, and he crashed to the floor lifeless.

Another sadistic smile spread over her captor's face. "One time I ask. 
Understood?"
  
She met his eyes, swallowing hard. "Crystal clear."

"You say that this ship is crippled and under-manned. Is this correct?"

"I think so." Her mouth dry, she licked her own pursed lips. "If he's telling 
the truth."
   
  "No worry." His hand folded behind his back. "When they arrive, he'll invite 
you aboard, and if he doesn't, you'll ask. Scout it out and get back to me. 
Otherwise the rest of your crew is going to have a rather nasty accident. I can 
see it now." His eyes went to the wall, his hand tracing the outline of the 
vision, "Well, all I see is blood, but you get the picture." 
   
  "I don't have much of a choice, now do I? I'll scout whatever you want. But 
leave your filthy paws off of the rest of my colleagues. And off of him."
   
  He smiled again with vicious intent, "Oh. Sounds like you and him are close. 
Or is it in a relationship where the main business is just dancing - the 
horizontal mumbo. Regardless, as long as you do as I ask I'll let the rest of 
them live."
   
  A man walked in briskly, eyed Taella briefly, and then leaned in to whisper 
something into the ear of his boss. 
   
  "If you'll excuse me, pet," He said to his hostage sweetly (with the tongue 
of a snake), "I have some business to attend to. Since it'll be a day before 
your new mark arrives, I suggest you get some rest. Oh, and I'll have my people 
bring in some things for you to clean the floor with. Blood has a habit of 
staining practically everything." 
   
  He chortled again as the door to her cell sealed behind him.

 
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