SFR Flash Fiction / Command Decision Part 6

Writing Prompt: No Writing Prompt

A note from Kit: This is rapidly turning into a novella I think, so if you’d like to read this story in order, please use the links below.

Command Decision Part 1

Command Decision Part 2

Command Decision Part 3

Command Decision Part 4

Command Decision Part 5

 

*****

Shocked, Kate felt her jaw drop at his quiet pronouncement before she caught the wry amusement in his gaze.

She gaped at him in utter astonishment; opening and closing her mouth several times as she scrambled to recover from the shock of humour from an unexpected source.

“The Great Captain Arpád at a loss for words.” He smiled outright; the first time she could recall ever seeing him do so; and it transformed his face; made him look younger more… well, if not human… more dimensional… as though he had another layer.

She opened her mouth to reply, but was interrupted by the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps. “Captain, Commander,” Lieutenant Tim Brandon dropped into a crouch in front of them. “A Stryker class shuttle is requesting permission to dock. According to station logs, the shuttle is scheduled to run the regular station to planet route. Preliminary scans show two life-signs aboard.” He reported quietly.

“ETA?” Kate leaned forward in anticipation of getting her legs under her.

“Fifteen minutes.” The Lieutenant answered and gave her an enquiring glance. “Ma’am we could significantly reduce our time—“

“—if we commandeered this shuttle.” Kate finished. “I know LT but there are other factors to consider here. “This crowd isn’t going to be pleased if we steal their ride.” She nodded discreetly at the civilians.

“We are armed.” Brandon pointed out.

“Likely, so are many of them.” Junnet put in. “It’s a rough planet.” He added when she glanced at him. “Stationers are drawn from the local populace and since they know the score they’re pretty lax about enforcing the no weapon’s on-station policy.”

“We could take them with us?” Brandon sounded uncertain.

“This many civilians on a battle-cruiser during an active conflict? Recipe for disaster.” Kate answered.

“They’re safer here.” Junnet confirmed.

“So, if we don’t want to cause excessive damage, or undue casualties…” Kate glanced at Junnet briefly and thought from his neutral expression that he might not object overmuch to damages or casualties. “We’ll have to stun ’em and run.” She narrowed her eyes. “I assume nobody else knows of the shuttle’s approach?”

“No ma’am, our eyes only.” He confirmed. “We control the boards.” The last was said with satisfaction. As was appropriate for someone with his hacking skills.

She gave him a look. “Just as long as you work for us LT.” Kate murmured and her signals officer turned red to the tips of his ears.

“Aye Ma’am.” He managed in a strangled tone and dropped his gaze as his colour intensified.

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