SFR Flash Fiction / Command Decision Part 2
Writing Prompt: No Writing Prompt
A Note from Kit: Some days short stories turn into novels and flash fiction turns into ‘(etc)’. This is one of these days. If you haven’t read SFR Flash Fiction /Command Decision and you want to, please click here.
Kate raised an eyebrow at that but sighed accepting the hit and crossed her hands over her chest. “So, we’ve come to the portion of our program where you explain the details of my mission to me and then send me on my way.” She intoned. “What can I do?” She asked Thea not really expecting a response and simultaneously wondering how much she cared. She hadn’t known Junnet very long—no more than a couple of weeks really— but she liked him. He was a competent, dependable Executive Officer; the kind that kept to himself both on and off the bridge. She wondered to what extent him being her Exec made him her responsibility off the bridge.
Thea shrugged eloquently. “Give him someone to lean on when he can’t hold it together any longer? There’s nothing more for you to do here at the moment and this is hitting him like a freight train.” Thea glanced over her at the subject of their conversation. “He could probably use a little empathy, or, failing that, a little protection from the hostile, prying eyes of the locals.” She indicated with a nod the various clusters of civilians who were eyeing the commander with varying levels of hostility and fear.
“Have you ever been given reason to think he would welcome any such intrusions into his private affairs?” Kate asked her friend incredulously. “And from me?! The man has barely spoken two non-work-related words to me since we met?”
Thea shrugged. “Can’t hurt.” She said blithely. “No time like the present to start making changes.”
Kate rolled her eyes at the platitudes. “Are you negotiating an alliance?”
“Just calling it like I see it.” Thea replied calmly. “Besides, you’re senior here, so he’s yours to protect.”
Recognizing defeat, Kate sighed and held up her hands. “Message received.” Glancing over Thea’s shoulder she studied the way the commander had his arms wrapped around his abdomen. Not good. “Is there anything we can give him?” She asked even though she was already half anticipating the answer.
“Aside from sex?” It was only half a joke.”Nothing we have on us is compatible with his physiology.” Thea confirmed Kate’s suspicions.
Kate sighed again. “When we get back—”
“The med kits need updating.” Thea tapped her temple with one neatly manicured fingertip. “Got it noted right here boss.”
Kate rocked back on her heels, resisted the urge to sigh and then gave herself a mental smack; no more sighing. Sighing was not something those of her rank engaged it. She nodded instead. “Good. What have we got?”
“We have water and blankets.” Twisting around Thea grabbed the afore mentioned items and turning back offered them to Kate. “We also have forty-two trapped local civilians on the verge of a freak out and only six crew members.”
“One of whom is down for the count.” Kate inserted dryly.
Because they were being watched, Thea frowned only with her eyes. “Don’t underestimate him Kate. He’s strong. He can control this.”
Kate raised a skeptical brow. “If he’s so strong, what does he need me for?”
“For the same reason people with headaches take painkillers.” This time it was Thea who was all dryness.
Kate blinked, opened her mouth to respond, but halted when Thea raised her hand. “I don’t think I have to tell you that there is a mood in the room Kate, one we don’t want to contribute further to with the The Crimson Tide still hours away. These people have every reason to hate Recs.” Thea’s expression was grim. “Trust me as an empath, when I tell you that we need him up on his feet looking more like the alliance officer he is and less like the full-blooded Recs who run wild on the surface of this planet terrorizing the local population.”
Aware of being watched, Kate carefully refrained from looking at the subject of their discussion. “Surely they don’t know—“
“No. Not yet. But they know enough to suspect.” Thea huffed at a stray bit of hair that fell into her eyes. “These people know about Recs Kate and they’re watching him; waiting. He’s only half Recessive and he has phenomenal control over most of the symptoms of the Rut but there is going to come a point when he is going to be exposed because he will no longer be able to hide everything. That can’t happen here; both for his sake and ours.” Thea’s voice was intense now and Kate nodded her understanding.