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Imperial Romulan Forward Logistical Base 37: Syrcanis Belt, Romulan Star Empire

"Move! Move!" a Romulan legionnaire shouted as he herded the last of the slaves onto a personnel transport. The loading of the fleet was almost complete. The High Command ordered all slaves removed from critical areas once they were no longer needed to prevent sabotage of any warship. The final twenty warbirds were getting ready to push back from their berths in the ordnance bays. The other fifty D'Deridex of the assault fleet were guarding the station perimeter in a tight circle facing outwards. Everyone was on edge and no one wanted to see a rebel attack delay the departure of the Battle Wings to their assembly areas along the Neutral Zone.

There was so much chaos in the final few minutes before the last slave transport's departure, no one noticed an older Sarinid man slip away from the group and into a service corridor. He waited until the transport left and then made his way to an auxiliary shuttle bay. He boarded a Romulan naval security skiff. Then, it took off and blasted towards the stars.

"Security Skiff," a controller in the logistical base's command center shouted at them through subspace. "No launch from your shuttle bay was authorized. We have a lot of traffic in the area and you're getting in the way."

"Acknowledged Control," Valaa said into her headset with perfect Romulan elocution. "We were getting some anomalous readings from one of the perimeter sensors. We got told to go check it out and make sure it's not someone trying to sneak through the security screen."

"I wasn't notified," the controller replied.

"Well, it's probably because everyone's been going full throttle on no sleep for four days. Don't worry we'll give the big cruisers a wide berth. They won't even know we're here."

There was a pause on the other end.

"Roger," the controller finally replied. "Go check it out and return as soon as you can."

"Acknowledged Control," Valaa said with a grin as she piloted the skiff away from the base. "We'll be right back." She disconnected the transmission and looked up to Rellas standing behind her. "Too Easy," she said.

Esrak looked over to the Sarinid man.

"Were you able to get it done, Tubango?" he asked.

"Yes," he chirped back through his stubby beak. Before his rescue from slavery, Tubango Gustyl had been a maintenance worker on a Romulan industrial drilling derrick in the Schlass cluster. He was an expert in large fuel distribution systems.

"The real question is," Rellas asked with concern, "will they discover your modifications?"

"By the time they discover my modifications," Tubango replied, "it will already be too late…"

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