"Are we your prisoners?" Leah asked wanting clarification of the situation.

"Prisoner is such an unpleasant word..." Tinker smiled as if for a camera, "I'm going to have the gentlemen escorted downstairs for a bit, and you and I can continue this conversation like civilized people Lieutenant Ashby."

Maddox lurched forward and was detained by several of the guards, "You won't get away with this Tinker... my ship'll be looking for us when we don't report in."

"Yes, well..." The network president pressed a button on his desktop console, "...I suspect that by now the Endurance has discovered that they are experiencing 'technical difficulties'. Take them away."

The guards took the male Endurance officers by the arms and removed them forcibly from the office.

The doors closed behind the men, and they were alone.

"Now my dear," Tinker licked his thin lips, "What shall we discuss?"

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