A Goon
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(postbox type dealie as usual) He who would dance with Hell's fury.

Author: Tridus ()
Date: 2000-05-04 00:00:00

(note: this is a direct continuation to SM's last story)

Reality began reasserting itself slowly upon Tridus... he reaized he could breathe. He realized he was in a large amount of pain... his eyes fluttered open... and then he became aware of his surroundings.

He stood in SM_007's prison, what everybody else called his quarters... he had come to check on SM, to try and make conversation again... and out of curiousity about the package...

He looked down and saw the letter... that damned cursed thing that was full of lies! Rage welled up inside his weary body... he would deal with SM somehow... then find whoever wrote that, and teach them just what happened to people who desecrated his wifes memory like this.

"Cynthia, connect me to the bridge." he called of the computer system.

Bandwidth responded quickly. "Bridge! This had better be important!"

"BandWidth!? Listen... SM attacked me, and now he isn't here... I think he's lo..." Tridus was quickly cut off.

"We know. Where have you been? He's taken over the ship somehow from the engineering room. We don't have much control over anything. In fact,he is probably spying on this conversation right now. Listen, get up here and we'll discuss it."


Tridus walked towards the door and fully expecting it to open, he was pretty surprised when he slammed into it.

"oow! damnit!"

Sashie chimed in over the comm system. "Daddy????"

"Its ok sweetie... the door is just broken thats all... I'm ok." Tridus adjusted his nose slightly and looked at the door. "Cynthia, open this door."

"Its locked uncie Kylin"

"Well then unlock it."

"Ok... its not working."

"ugh... alright... umm... ok, try this. Reverse the magnetic polarity on the left side of the door."

"Ok..." The door slid a few inches open and then stopped. Tridus walked over and pushed on it, slowly opening it a little bit more. Enough to squeeze through at least. Looking in the corridor, he found it fairly easy to follow SM, a path of destruction was cut through the corridor where he had gone.

"Damn... umm, I'll be right up. Tridus out."

Tridus sighed, picked up the box and the envelope, and started walking to the bridge, thinking about the mess that had been created for him.

Tridus stepped out onto the bridge and looked around. BandWidth was alone up here, looking haggard and weary. Sashie was sitting off to the side on a console...

"Ok, what happened when I was out?" Tridus asked.

"Well... from what we've been able to gather, SM somehow got out of his room, mae his way to engineering, and got control of the ship... we haven't heard from rRaminrodt. RStefan01 and Edge went down to try and find out what was happening... I haven't heard from them either."


"There's one more thing... he said that he wanted us to evacuate everybody off the ship and turn it over to him... except you."

"Except me?"

"Yes... he said he... 'wants to deal with you personally'."

Tridus sighed, opened the box, and started looking through it.

"Well, lets see what he's so mad about." Tridus handed BandWidth the letter and started rummaging through the file folders in the box.

BandWidth read the letter and looked visibly shocked. "Is this true?"

"Of course not!"

"Sorry... I didn't mean to imply..."

Tridus continued flipping through the photographs and documents contained in the box... most of it wasn't very interesting, except for the fact that it was all lies. He had never done anything like this... he knew that Sarah would never have done anything like this... he had never...damnit, who had set this up!?

Sighing, he gave up and threw the folder down on the console in disgust.

"Argh! Alright... Sashie, can you take control of the ship."

"No daddy. The mean man has done something, I don't know what. The ship doesn't listen to me when I tell it to do stuff anymore. I sorry daddy." she sounded sad.

"Its ok sweetie, you tried your best... Cynthia, what do we have control of still?"

"Unknown, all systems report normal, except when I try to access something, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't."

"Damnit... alright... umm... well, can we beam him off or something?"

Bandwidth answered that. "Already tried. Unsucessful."

"Put some kind of knockout gas into the air?"


"Damnit.... drop a 2 ton anvil on him?"

Sashie answered that. "No daddy."

"Well.. what if..."

suddenly, SM's voice could be heard surrounding them, as though it were coming from everywhere.

"I'm running out of patience Bandwidth... turn the ship over and evacuate now, or else..."

Tridus yelled at the voice. "SM!? Is that you!? Listen to me..."

"No, murderer. You... Bandwidth, you have 10 minutes. Use them wisely and evacuate."

With that, the voice was gone.

Tridus sighed again. That was turning into a bad habit. "Alright... we don't have control over the ship. If what I've seen of him so far holds true, we won't be able to beat him in a fight. We don't have enough leverage to outsmart him..." Tridus trailed off as his gaze landed on Sashie. His mind flashed back... back to the last time the two of them had been caught in a crisis like this where it was his purpose in life to protect her... and he had failed miserably. The thought had been eating at him slowly for years... today it flared up with newfound vengance... and he found he couldn't fight it this time, couldn't find that calm away from it... it consumed his mind, his soul... and finally, the decision was made.

"No. Listen... he must want revenge for this supposed crime... I don't believe for a second that those people were kidnapped or any of this nonsense... the few poor souls who did volunteer to help in our work and didn't survive were a tragedy.... but we made the risks very clear to all of them... I'm sure of it! They were all honored as the brave souls they were... this... this is just lies. But... he wants revenge. And he has the power to do it. So there's no choice, I'm going to give it to him."

Bandwidth just looked at Tridus. "Your going to do what!?"

"We're going to get everybody else off the ship and to a place where he can't find or harm you ever again... Then I'm going to go down there. Maybe I can reason with him... maybe not. Either way... he obviously is fixated on the idea of revenge. Hopefully, that will distract him long enough that if he does decide to go after the rest of you, by time he can, you'll be so far away that he'll never find you."

"Thats crazy."

"You have a better plan?"

Now it was Bandwidths turn to sigh. "No... but I'm sure we can come up with something better then you just walking down there!"

"I'm afraid we don't have that kind of time left... he's gone nuts. He may very well start killing everybody soon... I don't think we can stop him. At least this way ensures that Sashi... that all of you get away. Then maybe I can reason with him, I don't know."

Bandwidth slowly nodded, the real meaning of what Tridus was saying dawning on him. Bandwidth of course believed that actually taking SM's evactuation offer wasn't a real option, since then SM would know exactly where they were and have the ship fully in his control.

Tridus walked over to Sashie. "Sweetie... listen to me very carefully. I'm going to get Cynthia to direct an energy surge to you. Your going to have to act fast, but if you do, you will be able to grab all of the Riptide crew except for me and SM, and take the scenic route through cyberspace to our special hiding place from the bad men. Ok?"

"But daddy, I wanna go with you!"

"You can't this time sweetie, I have to go alone. You have to be a big girl and keep everybody safe for me so I can go try to help uncle SM with his problem. Please?"

Sashie paused... "... ok daddy. I be a big girl!"

Tridus smiled. "Thats my girl. Cynthia, can you track me, and when i get to the engineering section, trigger a small power surge to the outlet that Sashie is plugged in to?"

"Okay uncie Kylin. I can redirect power from the lights, it shouldn't pose a problem."

"Ok, then its settled... wish me luck."

With that, Tridus walked off bridge. As he walked through the bowels of the ship towards engineering, he was filled with dread... what if this didn't work and they couldn't get away? what if he killed them anyway? Hell, what if SM killed him! I mean it was one thing to risk your life in a gamble that you could reason with a madman... but the prospect of losing that bet was very scary indeed.

As the door to engineering slid open and Tridus stepped through, Cynthia whispered "good luck uncie Kylin" and the lights flickered briefly before returning to normal.

Walking towards the warp core, he eveuntally saw SM staring into it, and stopped.


SM_007, lord of evahl and current controller of the USS Riptide, didn't turn around. He did speak however.

"I assume you've come down here to play hero Tridus?"

"No..." Tridus looked around and couldn't see rRaminrodt, RStefan01, or Edge... he hoped they had been transported away successfully... dear god, he hoped the shock hadn't injured Sashie. But now, he had an enraged and confused SM to deal with... "Actually, I came down to surrender. You wanted me and the ship... you've got both. Just leave everybody else out of this."

"I let them go. You didn't have to go through all that elaborate nonsense. I said I'd let them go, and I did. Unlike some people, I haven't been lying all this time." Tridus noted that SM's voice was like ice... no... colder then that.

"I don't know why you put so much faith in an anonymous letter and in those documents without doing any kind of verifcation to see if they're forgeries... After all we've been through, I forgave you. I let you out of that dungeon they imprisoned you in... I went against all of them secretly to help you out. When you were locked in there all withdrawn and depressed, I tried to talk to you... while everybody else just wanted to forget you existed, I didn't do that. And now... now you get an anonymous letter that tells you I murdered your family, and you believe it!? Well, answer me this then... just what makes you believe... with you knowing my nature having been working together for so long and been through so much... what makes you think I could be capable of such an act?"

SM didn't answer, choosing to continue to stare into the warp core.

"No answer eh? Well... thats fine. What makes you believe that letter isn't anything but an attempt to turn us against each other like this?"

SM did respond to that. "The information is feasable. You scientists always need testers. When you couldn't find any, you resorted to less then legitimate means. There is a mountain of evidence in that box."

"A mountain of Forged Evidence! Do you really think we would resort to such measures!?"

"You said yourself what your work means to you. Who knows what you and the other scientists would resort to in the interest of protecting your work."

Tridus sighed... this wasn't going well at all. "Fine. If thats what you want to believe, then fine. If you choose to believe that we murdered your family, then fine. If you refuse to ignore the fact that the documents are probably forged by the same person who planted that bomb as a means of dividing us, then fine. If you want to believe that all those years ago Albatross and the Agents destroyed the lab and murdered *MY* family to come charging to your rescue, then fine. Induldge yourself in your petty fantasy land where they didn't just use you. Go ahead... induldge your anger, give in to it. Destroy the only person left who was alive at that lab at the time. Divide and destroy Riptide so that woman can plant bombs and do who knows what else whenever she wants with nobody to stand in her way. MAKE MY DAUGHTER AN ORPHAN SM!! You have no family, I'm sure you know exactly the kind of hell you'll be creating for her! Go ahead, do it!" Tridus stopped his rant and realized he was getting mad... SM turned to face him, and Tridus braced himself for his fury, and for the cold embrace of death that would no doubt follow...

Well, at least Sashie was safe...

Sitting in her command throne, Tatiana watched eagerly as the two Riptiders stood face to face with each other. Occasionally she recorded notes during the whole matter since SM_007 had opened the package, but now she watched for the pure entertainment value. Truly, this was great scientific research, but it was also damn fine entertainment!

Flashing her impish smile at the display, she recorded another note as she waited with great anticipation to hear SM_007's reply to the tirade Tridus had just thrown at him. Science was really fun sometimes!

To be continued... either by SM while I'm away, or by me when I get back if he doesn't feel like doing it.

If there were no words, no way to speak... I would still hear you... - Martina McBride

(postbox type dealie as usual) He who would dance with Hell's fury. - Tridus - 2000-05-04 00:00:00
-Kewl! I dunno if you're around to read this, but... - SM_007 - 2000-05-05 00:00:00