Episode Six- The West Pier- Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight

The moon is high in the sky tonight… or so he’s been told. Windowless except for shafts of light that were punched through the hundreds of miles of soil and rock to the hidden sanctum dozens of years ago. Generations. The Genii underground bunker has survived here for generations. It will survive for generations more. Lives in shadows as deep as a starless night with light supplied by only artificial means. A land and existence of stone, overhead and everywhere else industrial pipes, grated gangways, metal crates as large as houses, and metallic paneling covering practically everything. No plants. No life… other than human.

 

 

A Genii officer walks into Ladon Radim’s bunker office, crosses over the faded but ornately designed and brightly colored rectangular floor rug, and stops in front of Ladon Radim reclining behind his basic designed desk while checking for grit under his fingernails.

“Do you have it,” Ladon asks boredly.

“Yes, Sir,” the officer reports maintaining stiff attention in the face of his leader.

Nothing happens.

“Well?” Ladon prompts. Simultaneously glad and annoyed that he has to do that. If any of his subordinates ever showed such initiative as to know what their leader expected of them before he’d ordered it of them, well, then he’d have to have them removed for his company. Perhaps permanently depending on how many other Genii hold that subordinate in high regard. Initiative and forethought could always lead to the exact same way Ladon had come to power under the employ of Cowen: by being thoroughly indispensable… and knowing his leader very, very well. More so than his leader knew himself. How fatal for the leader.

The officer puts a small ebony jewelry box on the desk top. Ladon doesn’t bother to look at it as he continues checking his nails one by one. And cleaning them as he sees fit, like his right hand middle finger. There was a small speck of black earth at the left corner. He begins to dig the soil out.

“What did you have to give him in exchange for it,” Ladon asks as he grooms himself.

“He still has his life,” the officer answers bluntly.

Radim suppresses a smile.

The soldier adds, “And enough to drink himself into oblivion tonight and most likely wake up the next morning next to some harlot barmaid he can’t remember the name of in the first place.”

Radim nods. Good, not too high a price. Ladon dismisses the officer with a careless wave of his clean fingered hand. The officer snaps a final salute then turns sharply on his booted heels and exits the room. Ladon continues playing bored a few more moments, blowing away the excess dust around his fingertips with soft puffs of his breath. He looks his fingers over one more time. Just on the offhand chance that that subordinate officer suddenly returned, he would find his leader no more interested with what he’s passed along to him than when he initially put it on the desk top in the first place. He had not risen to become leader of the Genii by seeming too eager for the intelligence others provided him.

Finally the Genii leader reaches over and picks up the ebony box. He looks it over, wary of any traps. It looks well constructed but cheap. He opens it… and frowns. Life and money for drink for this. Ladon Radim takes out one of three small ornately-carved wooden buttons that are inside of the little box. He stares at the fashion accessories for a moment. His eyes instantly catch that they’re Athosian made, but that is the least of his concerns right now.

Anger rankles his shoulder blades, tightening them like wound thick cords, but he quickly suppresses it, douses it, before the hairs on the back of his neck bristle like they’re tingling they want to. Such flashes of overwhelming emotion was what had been Cowen’s downfall. And why it had been so easy for Ladon to sway other soldiers of the Genii to his side in the change of power. A calm, cool head was always far more collected and far more effective than any other. People always looked to control for guidance. Hedonism was reckless and won no one anything of value.

Ladon opens his mouth and begins to draw breath to call in one of his guards from the hallway outside his door and ask for the reporting officer back when suddenly he’s taken away by a strange beam of light…

 

 

…Ladon Radim is momentarily stunned to find himself in the new and unfamiliar environment of some sort of ship’s command center, a bridge he believes they’re called. It’s all clean lines and sleek usefulness. Industrial, yes, but not the Genii sort of industrial, this is relatively elegant by comparison. And he has a very good idea of who the ship belongs to. The Genii leader regains his composure as he turns away from the bank of windows he found himself staring out of. His pale blue eyes quickly find the man in charge of all this sitting in a truly simplistic yet commanding chair on a jut of raised dais at the center of the forward portion of the room. He recognizes the confident ship’s commander from captured photographs and descriptions passed along to the Genii over the years.

Colonel Steven Caldwell holds a small circular device in his hand like a coin he’s admiring the shine of, the same one that Schiff had put in his small jewelry box. There’s an amused smile on his face. If only the Genii’s little wannabe spy had entered the bar sooner and been more observant during, Lorne was no wannabe. There’s more to the Major than meets the eye, like being a damn good pickpocket and con artist.

Ladon knows exactly what that means, the Lanteans had hedged their bets on the Geniis’ propensity for coups and that the reporting officer wouldn’t give Radim the good stuff. When he returns to his homeworld, and he will return to his homeworld, he will have the reporting officer removed for the indignity of playing into the Lanteans hands so easily… and for keeping something important from him. The man didn’t need to show initiative, all he had to do was show self-promoting stupidity. Either one gets you killed. Or captured.

Steven Caldwell turns his serious yet ingratiating smile to the abducted Genii leader, “Ladon Radim of the Genii, welcome aboard the Daedalus.” He turns to one of his navigators, “Take us out, Bishop.”

Bishop nods and silently goes to work with a smile on his face.

 

 

In the middle of space far off to the right side of the Daedalus, blooms an eruption of streamers of sea foam colored bolts of electricity then a swirl of sea foam colored light whirlpools from its core and spreads out to the lightning’s farthest reach. The unusual light display holds open its swirling mass as the Daedalus begins to move away from the moon’s dark side. The aircraft carrier in space looking Earth vessel speeds into its curving flight path that takes it directly into the very center of the hyperspace window. With the buzzing sound of searing voltage, the Daedalus slips through the extra-spatial hole. The bloom collapses in on itself. Space returns to its normal appearance as though nothing had ever happened.

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