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20th-Sep-2007 12:11 am - A Fine Line Chapter 2
Title: A Fine Line(Chapter 2)
Author: Cinnamon Herrera
Warning: Gen

Takes place five years after DI so contains some spoilers throughout.

The character do not belong to me but rather to Lois McMaster Bujold. I hope I do her proud. The plot on the other hand is my own creation. Enjoy :D

A Fine Line
Chapter Two

Ivan yawned and rolled on to his side, his hand fell across the sleeping form of Amanda Vorsteiner. A small smile played across his lips as he remembered the previous night. Surprisingly enough Ivan felt very relaxed lying there with Amanda at his side. A sudden, loud comconsole chime awoke Amanda and made her stir. Ivan cursed the machine silently and went over to answer it grudgingly. A slight panic rose in his throat…what if it’s my mother…he took a quick glance backwards to see if Amanda would be visible to the com when he answered. She had turned back the opposite way with the blanket over her. Ivan took a deep breath and answered the com, and exhaled in exasperation. He really should not have been surprised at all about who was on the com…as he was the only one who would bother calling him...better than my mother but still....

Miles looked in a good mood. Ivan swallowed nervously, when Miles was in a good mood it usually meant that Ivan wouldn’t be shortly. “Good morning, Ivan.” Miles looked past his cousin’s shoulder and saw a lump in the bed. He raised his eyebrows but didn’t say anything.

Ivan reflexively glanced over his shoulder at what Miles was looking at and sighed. He should have known Miles would notice. “What do you want?”

Miles smiled slightly at his cousin, “Why, is that anyway to greet your cousin, your mother would be ashamed….” A wolfish grin had spread across Miles’ face.

Ivan growled lowly, wishing Miles was in the room so he could lunge at him. Not that he would of course but the thought had occurred more than once in recent months as his cousin was always, either in such a damn good mood or trying to pass hints that he too should settle down. He was beginning to get on his nerves as much as his mother did at times. Ivan sat down in the chair by the desk and glowered at Miles. A quick glance at his chrono told Ivan that it wasn’t nearly as early as he thought it had been. “It’s rather late in the morning for you to begin wrecking havoc on my life today, coz.” Ivan looked at Miles piercingly trying to figure out just why he had called. It was then that he noticed the gray uniform draped over a chair in the background. Oh hell… Ivan took in Miles’ current gray suit that he was wearing and exhaled, maybe he’s just cleaning out his closet.

“I’ve just come from a meeting with Gregor. He’s given us a little task,” Miles said with the grin still on his face.

A noise in the background told Ivan that Miles was not alone. Ekaterin walked behind Miles and said hello to Ivan in the com with a little wave of one hand. In her other was a suitcase. “Um…us?” Ivan knew it was a stupid question. If Miles was calling him of course he was to be going, probably as Miles’ pack-mule.

Miles smirked at Ivan’s uneasiness. “Yes, us.” He looked over his shoulder at Ekaterin who was packing and smiled. “All three of us have a shuttle to catch as soon as we are ready.”

Ivan frowned, “I would say you have finally gone off your rocker but you wouldn’t drag Ekaterin with you. So where, pray tell, are you dragging me this time? Or should I even bother asking…” He trailed off studying his cousin’s enlightened face. This isn’t good at all.

“All shall be made known in due course, coz. Now pack a bag I’ll have Pym pick you up in an hour.” Ivan made a face and Miles smiled. “Come now, it’ll give you a chance to get out of that dreary office of yours.”

“Perhaps I like my dreary office. What if I say no? I will not be dragged off on anymore of your hair-brained schemes.” He eyed the gray uniform still draped over the chair warily.

“I don’t see how you could like it, there aren’t even any windows.” Miles sighed then smiled evilly. “And if you say no…? Well I should tell you, I guess, that it is not my hair-brained scheme.”

“Wh-What do you mean not your? If anyone could cook up something as idiotic as I think this is going to be, it has to be you. And why Ekaterin would go along with it…”

“Perhaps because it was not my idea at all, that blame falls on Gregor.”

The spark still ignited his eye, which scared Ivan even more than his black depressions. Ekaterin walked past again and pursed her lips at Ivan, probably for that remark I made. He found his thoughts floundering. But…but…I don’t want to. Ivan sat back and thought about how many times things that he did started with ‘I don’t want to’ and how many times he did it anyway, too many. He frowned thoughtfully and shook is head with a sigh, “I’ll be ready in an hour.” Miles nodded and cut the comm.

Ivan turned and looked toward the bed. Amanda was still sound a sleep. Ivan got up and headed toward the bathroom for a shower. Blighted midget always knows how to ruin a man’s day. It really was unreasonable for him to be mad at Miles because if he was telling the truth, which he didn’t see why he wouldn’t be, it was technically Gregors’ doing not Miles. But then again it was always easier for him to get mad at Miles as he was sure he had a hand in Gregor’s decision. Not a midget at all, more like a blighted manic train instead it's get out of his way and let him do what he wants or get run over.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Quinn awoke feeling very groggy and very much like she had a hangover. Her eyes seemed to not be able to open or see anything. Then it dawned on her why, it’s completely dark. She tried to call out but found her throat unnaturally dry. When she tried to lift her arms she found she couldn’t. A brief moan escaped her lips. A stirring sound coming from beside her drew her attention. She stayed completely still hoping that it was someone from her crew.

A whisper sounded from the direction of the stirring, “Admiral? Admiral, are you awake? It’s Captain Menner.”

Quinn shifted towards the voice in hopes that she could make out something in the darkness. She moaned wordlessly. Getting frustrated she tried to make a coherent sentence. “Me’er? Wha’ happe’?”

Menner choked out a laugh of joy. “I’m not quite sure. I woke up in here just like you. The last thing I remember is the ship blowing up and you yelling of course.”

Quinn laughed joylessly as she tried to scramble her thoughts together. It just didn’t make sense though. They had jumped into their space shuttle…hadn’t they…? Of course they had to have. A little voice in the back of her head that usually spoke in Miles’ paranoid voice spoke, if you were going to set up a trap what would you do? She tried to stop this progression of thought and failed. Come on Elli what would you do? Her thoughts seem to escape from her grasp. Think, Elli. If you knew that the enemy would come looking for their crew, wouldn’t you find a way to intercept them? Quinn’s eyes went wide as it finally dawned on her what had happened, but more with the surprise about how she didn’t see it before. The little voice seemed to sit back and smile smugly as the pieces started to fit together. It wasn’t our shuttle at all we jumped into. We went out the wrong way. Our shuttle was on the other side. But with the need to get out no one had noticed since when they had first docked their shuttle was the only shuttle there. Her stomach felt like lead. And for some inane reason she couldn’t help thinking that Miles wouldn’t have fallen into this trap. Miles, who was thousands of light-years away probably poking his nose through some high Vor’s dirty laundry, would definitely not have fallen into this trap. But who by? This cycle of thought and the endless possibilities of who could be behind this catastrophe; spun itself in an endless cycle until finally darkness took over again.
12th-Aug-2006 03:37 am - A Fine Line
Title: A fine line (chapter one)
Author: Cinnamon Herrera
Warning: None as of yet.

Takes place five years after DI so contains some spoilers throughout.

The character do not belong to me but rather to Lois McMaster Bujold. I hope I do her proud. The plot on the other hand is my own creation. Enjoy :D






A Fine Line

Chapter One

Darkness surrounded Admiral Elli Quinn, commander of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet, as she walked down the corridor. What the hell happened? It had been two weeks into the mission when she lost contact with the squad sent to Vega Station for supply replenishment. The squad’s ship now sat dark and empty at an old docking bay on the space station. She continued to walk down the corridors with two of her squad members ahead of her and two behind, while her engineers went to try and find out what was wrong with the engine.

A voice sounded over her combat headset overriding the general murmuring. “Uhhh…Admiral Quinn…you might want to come into the cargo hold.”

“I’ll be right there.” Shit. What has he found? “Move it guys. Double time.”

They arrived at the cargo hold, which was lit by her soldiers’ cold lights. It was empty. Well, almost empty. A large black box sat in the center of the room, her men walked around it. “Back up. What do you think you’re doing? Do you even know what it is?” The soldiers backed up without any hesitation. “Wagner, get down here. I’ve got a surprise I need your help with.”

The chief engineer’s voice came back over her headset sounding rather curious and fearful at the same time. “Is it a good surprise or a bad surprise?”

“Now if I could answer that, one, why would I need your help and, two, it wouldn’t be a surprise now would it. Let’s hope its good.” A very loud beep came from the box and a soldier jumped back. “What the hell did I tell you, Menner? What did you do?”

The mercenary looked rather scared and stumbled over his words. “I…I…There was this gap you see…and I thought that…maybe I could try and get it open. I didn’t even touch it, I swear.”

The color drained out of Elli’s face. “If…if you didn’t touch it and it went off when you walked…oh hell. Get out everyone now! Get into the shuttle!” Elli stepped away from the doorway and ushered everyone out of the room, shouting all the while. When everyone left she ran as fast as she could back up the ship. She had just rounded a corner when a very loud and sharp boom sounded. She ran as fast as she could to the hatch and jumped in as the ship began to give way beneath her.


________________________________________________



Miles was sitting in front of the comconsole in his office with Ekaterin looking over his shoulder. “So you see it couldn’t have possibly happened the way he said. It just doesn’t make sense. There is no way Aral could have been the one that broke that mirror.”

Ekaterin laughed. “Dear, you have absolutely too much free time.”

Miles grinned up at her. An emergency override code came across his comconsole and all smiles faded. Emperor Gregor appeared on the vid plate looking more somber than Miles had seen him in awhile. “Hello, Gregor. I was just showing Ekaterin my plot outline from the mirror disaster the other day.”

Gregor smiled a bit bleakly. “Miles, Ekaterin.” He nodded to them both. “Um…Miles I have some rather disturbing news about the Dendarii that I have just been told. I would like you to come over here as soon as you can.” Rather belatedly he added, “Bring Ekaterin if you want.”

“Yes, sire. We’ll be right there.” Gregor nodded and cut the comm. “Come on Ekaterin. Mother will watch the kids.” Ekaterin nodded and followed Miles down the stairs.

They arrived at the Residence and were escorted to Gregor’s private office. Inside Gregor was sitting with his back toward the door staring out over the garden where it was starting to rain. The room was dark and somber. Miles entered first, holding Ekaterin’s hand and cleared his throat politely, “Sire.”

Gregor turned away from the window and his dark thoughts. He gave both of them a nod and walked over to his desk. He tapped in a code on his comconsole and an image played to life in front of them. Miles helped Ekaterin into one of the leather chairs and sat on the arm of the chair. “This is the Peregrine two and a half weeks ago docked at Vega Station on a routine supply run for the Dendarii, who were running delayed from a mission.” He tapped in another code and the image faded to be replaced by what seemed to be, another, badly damaged ship. On closer inspection Miles noticed it was the Peregrine, his face went white. Gregor continued on, “This was the scene as of thirty-six hours ago. We are not sure what has happened but I can definitely say that it was not an accident. General Allegre tells me we lost contact with the crew two weeks ago….” His face set in what one who did not know him would take as indifference, Miles read it as anger.

Ekaterin looked at the image in shock. “How can a whole crew just disappear without anyone noticing before hand?”

“That…is the one question which ImpSec will be asked to give an answer to within the hour. I had a very long briefing with Allegre, very early this morning,” Gregor said. “The other thing that bothers me is….” He took a deep breath. “According to the ImpSec operative stationed aboard the Ariel, Admiral Quinn took a squad of some twenty troops in one of the shuttles to find out about the Peregrine since it seemed they could not be reached at all. The operative says that neither Quinn nor the squad has been seen since and that was a week ago. Damn time lags…All communications have been cut off and if it hadn’t been for the Vega Station security we might not have got these images. This, Miles…” He looked him in the eye. “Since it was once your specialty and since you have a special connection is why I asked you here. We need to know what happened, why, where the crew is, and most important of all, is this a plot on the Imperium or just the Dendarii?”

Miles studied the image thoughtfully and looked at Ekaterin then at Gregor. “Sire, as much as I can think of the worst possible scenarios. I don’t like to guess wrong…I’m afraid that if you want to know exactly what happened I will have to go off-planet.” He gripped Ekaterin’s hand harder.

“Yes, I am fully aware of what this calls for, which is also why I invited Ekaterin in on this private discussion,” Gregor looked at Ekaterin.

Ekaterin who had been wondering why she was being permitted to sit in on a matter of Imperial security, sat up straighter and with wide eyes. “But…I don’t understand.”

Gregor sighed, “Oh but you do. I’m afraid that there is no other option but to have him go topside which will render many consequences. He can not logically go up to the Dendarii as Imperial Auditor Lord Miles Vorkosigan because they do not know him as that. Now if he goes up as Admiral Naismith…”He looked over to Miles to check the reaction he had. Miles’ eyes went wide. Naismith? One more chance…One more chance for Naismith.... “Naismith’s cover has been blown for years. Everyone who he has ever wronged knows his true identity and who his family is. General Allegre seems to think that you should go topside with Miles. I…am not so sure that is a good idea.”

“Surely it can’t be safe. What was Guy thinking exactly? Why don’t you just put a target on here and say here she is.” Miles’ voice rose with passion as he talked. Gregor and Ekaterin both knew that in a moment he would get up and start to pace.

“I know, Miles. I think his concern is in a more personal area,” he looked Miles in the eyes. “Miles last time we took Naismith away from you, you sat in your house for days in one of your moods. Guy Allegre is generally worried about you, and also he wants to make sure that I get my Imperial Auditor back with no delays in his mindset.” Gregor’s face was serious but his eyes crinkled with amusement. “Personally, I think he’s over reacting. We aren’t going to go through that again, right Miles?”

Miles held Ekaterin’s hand tighter and grinned at her. “No, sire.”

“Good, but just to appease Allegre I give you permission to take Ekaterin. But she has to stay with the main fleet if you go off with a squad. Preferably with our Barraryan intelligence officers or Elli herself when she is found." Miles noted that Gregor did not use the term, if, but grimaced nonetheless. "Allegre has a list of all our operatives with the fleet and he will meet you at the shuttle port. There will be a fast courier awaiting your arrival when you are ready.” Gregor opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out two wrist comms. “These are for you. They will keep you in touch with one another and ImpSec. Good luck you two.” Gregor rose and walked around his desk to give Miles a handshake. “Take care of him Ekaterin.”

Ekaterin still shocked could only nod. Miles smiled, “We’ll take care of each other, Gregor.”
28th-Nov-2005 11:22 pm - Weekend Recap
Ok so its not Sunday, my bad. Anyways, today was very......boring. I hate Mondays. This weekend was alright, shoulda been a lot better. Went to see Harry Potter again on Friday and no matter what Jodi says I like it. Watched Rent on Saturday, man let me tell you what, Jon would just not shut up, every time I looked at him he was making gestures or saying something stupid, and then he could not understand why I was mad. I could not believe it, I had been waiting for months for that movie to come out and he could not just sit still. Thats all I asked, was it too much? Anyways, I am still kind of mad and I do not know what else to say. This is one of those days where if I drank I would need a good stiff drink, so instead I am going to go watch a mindless movie. Peace.
23rd-Nov-2005 11:44 pm - The day before Thanksgiving
It was the day before Thanksgiving and all about town,

People were swarming and running around.

Trying to find last minute turkeys and dressings,

for their big families whom they are impressing.

When suddenly they come to a stop,

the spices they need are not in stock.

They run around to more and more stores

getting frustrated a little bit more.

Finally they come to that store that has more,

and find the item they need at the door.

They go back to their house all cozy and lovely,

and realize that Thanksgiving is about more than just money.

Its not about running around to the stores,

but maybe, just maybe a little bit more.

And so to all on this Thanksgiving eve goodnight,

and remember that Black Friday will give us a fright.



I won't be able to post again til Sunday, so every one have a happy Thanksgiving and a good weekend shopping spree.
22nd-Nov-2005 11:31 pm - another day
Another day, another dollar. Oh wait I didn't work. So I have been tearing my hair out for four days over this English paper, I get to class today (late) and we look over the paper for only 15 minutes. Ok usually this would be good, but damn I spent all that time for nothing since my peer editor didn't even look at the whole thing. Other than that nothing exciting happened at all. Man I need a life, can't wait til Thanksgiving when I get to see my boyfriend whom I haven't seen in a month and a half. YIPEE!!!!!! :)
Anyways goodnight all, sleep calls,
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