Monday, April 20, 2009

Sinclair Chapter 19

John walked down the platform of the Constellation and nodded to Daniel. “We have our orders. Get ready to disembark as soon as possible.”

“Yes sir.” Daniel clapped his chest.

John walked the corridors as unfamiliar faces raced up and down them. His ears flopped down sideways – Daniel did a good job of spending his money. The Constellation will soon have to start working hard to pay off her bills. He was hoping to get back to work gently as his doctor suggested however this was not going to be the case.

He slipped into the captain’s quarters and slid behind the desk. Sighing he undid the heavy commanders coat and growled in frustration at the spots of blood that stained the crisp white of his shirt. He silently redid the bottom buttons to hide the spots and pulled out the envelopes that contained the formal orders. He put it on the top of the desk and stared at it, his eyes unfocused. Alexandrea flashed into the room, “Crew and ship ready for take off sir, destination and orders?”

“Very well,” John responded. He got up very slowly and picked up the envelopes before getting on the elevator. He flipped open one that had Constellation written in fancy script on the front and read the papers held within as the elevator moved it’s way to its destination. The elevator rang telling that it reached its required floor and John folded the letter and shoved it back into the envelope, before stepping out onto the bridge. Daniel looked over from his place at the helm and quickly stood his mouth opening about to say something but John spoke first. “Our destination is Outpost Ten to pick up Admiral Tift, who is currently aboard the Dayflower. We are to bring her here safely.” He paused, walking to the middle of the top level of the bridge, directly behind the helm. “However, according to our sources there were seven Dekedai ships on their way to Outpost Ten.”

Alexandrea shifted, “I’m old. I’m not sure if I can out run the Dekedai. What are they? Scouts, cruisers, dreads?”

“Unknown. If we wait they will be on the Dayflower and her escort. She wants to be our get away and high tail it to Outpost Ten.” John snarled “This is only seven ships. If we don’t have the backing of this admiral we may as well lose the outer quadrant. Get legs Alex!”

“Yes captain!” She straightened and fazed out of sight. Engines hummed to life.

John leaned over the safety railing that came up high on his chest to talk to Daniel. “Daniel please meet with the chief of security and make an invasion plan. Make sure that it is simple. Everyone else is to be armed at all times, especially after we rendezvous with the Dayflower.”

John then went over to a young McGee half breed he had never seen before that was sitting at the communications centre. He pulled out a small envelope out from the one with Constellation written on it and handed it to him. “When we come within distance of the Dayflower we are to send this message.”

The McGee opened the envelope and quickly read the small message contained. “It is a strange message sir, but I shall send it.”

John nodded and left the bridge with the orders he gave, to wrestle the pile of bills that had somehow accumulated in a bin near his desk. He began to sort through them and began the task of administrating everything. When most of it was in neat piles he finally looked up and saw Alexandrea standing opposite of his desk holding a pile of fresh bandages and a fresh shirt slung over her shoulder. “You should change your bandages before our meeting with the Dayflower.” She smiled sweetly.

John smiled back and put down his tablet. He was almost finished and everything else can wait. He quickly piled up the papers and shoved them into his drawer before moving to the couch that also served in the room. Alexandrea helped him out of the coat and shirt and peeled off the bandages. The large wound on his chest oozed as she cleaned the sore. “The wound doesn’t want to heal that quickly.” He said with a sigh.

Alexandrea shot him a stern look, “It’s healing faster than it should. It’s very fortunate for you.” John just shook his head and lifted his arms as Alexandrea wrapped his chest.

Alexandrea was putting away the bandages as John stood and put on his shirt. “There is a lot of prejudices that we will have to overcome with this mission. We have to establish with the public that you aren’t a murder and that we can handle constant runs with success as well as we will accept something with a bit of danger involved.”

“Why this mission?”

John began to tie his tie. “Don’t be stupid. Admiral Tift was one of my sponsors when I purchased you. She is very supportive to us financially and with moral. If something happens to her we may lose ground in the human world as well as a strategician for the war.”

Alexandrea followed John and helped in shouldering on his coat. “But the Admiral is aging isn’t she?”

John smiled secretly. “Age isn’t everything.”

Alexandrea’s eyes faded. “The Dayflower is within range.” She announced.

John grinned knowingly as he entered the elevator, “Alexandrea I want the other entrance to my study sealed. Stage ten lock down.”

Alexandrea fazed beside him in the elevator “If you wish to continue with that request there shall be no entry from the other entrance point. Do you wish to continue?”

“Yes.” Something was nagging at John but he couldn’t put his thumb on it. Was he being too cautious? The showy tassels of the captains’ coat weighed heavily on his small shoulders but what else did he really expect? Squaring his shoulders he stepped out onto the bridge.

“Can I send that message sir?” Called the messenger officer.

John nodded as he stepped onto the clear bubble of space in the front of the stations. Suddenly a human in a similar uniform appeared out of thin air. “We have the seedling but we refuse to hand it over to you.” He said defiantly.

John couldn’t hide his shock, “Reason?”

“We cannot risk something so delicate to someone of obvious inexperience.”

John snarled slightly “Dayflower, are you aware that you are well out paced and out fire-powered?”

The Captain was taken aback for a moment, “What is this that you speak of?” His face a mask of confusion.

“Our intelligence shows that there are seven Dekedai ships on their way here. Our orders are to meet you here and pick up Admiral Tift. You and your escort are to make a run for Outpost Ten and we are to be off on our own merry way.” John pulled out an envelope and shook it before him. “I’m tired of this official crap and time is running out. We’re faster than you and the Dekedai don’t attack the Outposts so your ships are safe there.”

The other captain weighed John’s words then crumble before them. “Dock with sequence 32 on Port side. Dayflowers A.I. is named Destin.” With that he clapped a fist on his chest and fazed off the bridge.

John flattened his ears on his head. “I dislike that man.”

Daniel did the same, “I would have to agree with you sir.”

John walked off the bubble and walked towards the far elevator. “Daniel find your command jacket and meet me in the docking bay. Alexandrea hook up with Destin and get lined up with the Dayflower. I want out of here ASAP if not sooner. You,” he pointed at the communications officer, “I want you to get a hold of the guys at Outpost Ten. See if they can get any confirmations on our information and give us some more accurate distances.” He was feeling better about his power and authority.

“Yes sire I will get on that right away.” The McGee turned back to his station.

John stepped onto the elevator and travelled to the docking bay. Alexandrea appeared next to him dressed the ships blues. “Destin and I should be hooked up momentarily.” She shifted. “I really don’t want to be in this position Captain.”

John glanced her way. “I know, but it pays well.”

“Then it pays well again and again. The Dekedai have stated that they will attack and board any ship they find in space or have you forgotten that Captain?” She had a flare of anger in her face.

“I have forgotten nothing Alex.” He focused on plucking a string from his sleeve.

“Then we shouldn’t be sticking out our necks for money.”

“I wouldn’t let what happened at the North American Sky Tower happen again.” He pulled his shoulders back and straightened up.”

“How do you know about that?” She looked at him with a mix of surprise and wonderment about her.

“It was my suite that you crashed into, as well as many others, of course.” He glanced over to her. “I’m older than I look.”

Behind them the elevator door opened and Daniel strode forwards, his tassels on the shoulders moving with his stride, “How much longer?”

“Last locks inciting.” Alexandrea said officially.

Daniel stepped beside John and smoothed his shoulder tassels. “Dumb things. I guess I made here just in time. Hopefully the Dayflower isn’t into dilly-dallying, the Dekedai give me a bad feeling.

“You and me both.” John pulled down the front of his coat down just as the door opened and a preppy girl in orange appeared and bowed. Behind her was the captain of the Dayflower and Admiral Tift. Alexandrea approached the girl in orange and the two began to speak in computer data language. John cleared his throat, “Welcome to the ESS Constellation. I am…”

“So they are letting children captain ships in the half-breed division.” The other captain interrupted with a sneer.

“At least this child captain understands the danger when he sees it.” Admiral Tift smiled sweetly at the captain as she pushed past him. “I see Captain Sinclair here with his second in command, both armed even in their commander’s jackets.”

John stepped forwards “Nice to see you again Admiral.” He pulled out the orders envelope from his coat and handed to the Captain. “Captain your orders are to take your escort to Outpost Ten. I’ve delivered them so kindly remove yourself from my ship.”

The captain ripped the envelope from John’s hand, then saluted with a fist onto his chest. John returned with a salute of a hand being brought up to his forehead and a half grin. Frustrated, the Captain strode off the Constellation. Destin disappeared as well. “I’m actually surprised to see you here Sinclair. Weren’t you still on Earth three weeks ago?” Admiral Tift handed her bag over to Daniel.

“Yes we were. Now we are here.” John bowed slightly, gesturing her towards the elevator.

“Are you trying to bid for a route to this sector from Earth?”

John reached over and touched the panel on the elevator. “Perhaps Admiral. At the moment there are more important things on our plate.” He flashed a childish smile. “I never got to give a lovely lady like yourself a drink for your help in the bid for the Constellation.” The elevator stopped at the bridge. “Daniel, please escort Admiral Tift to my study.”

Daniel nodded and carried the bags to the other elevator across the bridge. In her presence the other half breeds stopped in the middle of their work and stood in attention for the Admiral as she passed. “This is much better reception than on the Dayflower.” She glanced at the weapons strapped on the persons of the half-breeds. “And better armed for that matter.”

Daniel stepped on the second elevator and programmed it to the study. “Captain Sinclair has issued an order for all of us and Alexandrea strictly enforces it. Any of us caught without an arm during their waking hours will be facing her wrath. As for your reception it comes from our backgrounds where anything less will come with a severe penalty.”

The doors slid closed. “Seems like I should slide a few humans onto this crew to be taught some manners.”

Daniel sighed. “Permission to speak freely?”

“Of course.”

“If a human was treated with half of the torment that most of us had to go through, most would not be well adjusted.” The doors reopened and he placed the bags near the elevator door.

“That may be true.” She said finally after settling onto the couch in the room. “But some may learn respect and orders.” She paused thinking. “See if Sinclair has a wine on this little tub of his.”

Daniel pulled his ears back and closed his eyes. Learn respect? What respect do you have? “Yes sir.”

Meanwhile John leaned over his communications officer. “That is too close for comfort.”

“Dayflower wouldn’t detach any sooner.” Alexandrea complained. “I’m still trying to get away from her but she keeps dogging me. I can’t get my main drive online until she is out of my way.”

“According to Outpost Ten those Dekedai hounds are on our tails.” The communications officer tapped the screen.

John tapped on a calculator with another Sinclair looking over his shoulder. He finally looked up like he was considering for a moment, then nodded. “Alright it’s risky but we have to get away from the Dayflower.” He pointed at the screen. “We are in danger of being caught here while this stupid escort is hanging around us. Drop from the plain that we are at and break free of the escort. Once we are free we can burn hot and hard for Outpost Seven, Eight if we can’t make it. We can get back on this plain once we get free of our escort.”

“We could do that but it will take our thrusters some time to break free of this plain. Will the new engines make it in time and take the strain?” The tall Sinclair looked down overtop John.

John looked up and smiled. “I hired you and your crew to look after those engines. If the drones can’t keep up then you and your men pick up the slack.”

“Yes Captain.” The Sinclair straightened up.

“On that last note, I don’t want Admiral Tift to know how close the Dekedai are to us. I have the feeling that she knows that they are near but I don’t want her to know that they are in fact nipping at our heels or that we are still currently half staffed. With this bunny hop such things are better left unknown.”

“Yes Sir!” Sounded the chorus of voices.

“I’m going to relieve Daniel. Please fill him in whenever you can, but you know what to do.” He nodded and squeezed out of the group of people wishing he could get out of the heavy coat.

He went down the elevator and found a laughing Admiral with a not so pleased looking Daniel pouring another glass of wine. “I’m pleased to see you are enjoying yourself Admiral.” He pulled up a padded seat and settled himself down.

“You should have some of this wine Johnathan, it is fantastic.” She took a long drink from the goblet.

John took the bottle from Daniel and scanned the label. “I would love to but I am on duty.”

She looked at the empty glass forlornly. “When did you become such a hard ass John? You have drunk me under the table so many times at the academy; I don’t think you can feel the alcohol in your system.” She looked at the empty glass forlornly.

John smiled and refilled her glass. “It just means that there is more for you Admiral.”

“You two seem to have known each other for a long time.” Daniel commented casually.

John rolled his eyes as he pulled the cork out of a new bottle. “Oh goodness yes! If John was human he wouldn’t be just a captain, but a fleet admiral!” The Admiral smiled drunkenly

“I doubt that I would be that capable Admiral.” John placed the bottle on the bar to breathe.

She smiled like a devil. “I know what you are capable of John. If you weren’t as capable as you are you wouldn’t be standing here today, as well as many of my colleges.”

Daniel looked at John with a question on his face but the young man was retreating into himself, the blue eyes looked out to the world with a burning hatred. “I…I’m going to go check on things topside.” He left in a rush.

“Did I bring something up that I shouldn’t have?” Admiral Tift giggled. “You should be proud of your accomplishments.”

“Would you be proud of doing what I had to do?” John frowned.

“Perhaps not, but I try to get as far from the Dekedai as possible, you on the other hand always play dangerously. Makes me wonder why you and I are together on this ride.”

John smiled brightening up his face “I need the funds to pad my pocket Admiral, nothing more. Well, perhaps to have a beautiful lady admiral pass out on my couch to make the boys jealous.”

The Admiral yawned, “I’m willing to comply with that as long as you wake me in time for Outpost Seven.”

“Of course Admiral.” John smiled as he took the glass from her. “One short nap and we’ll be there.”

The admiral laid down on the couch, her eyes closed before her head landed on the soft padded arm of the couch. John turned away his features twisted to dark hatred. Stupid drunkard of a woman! However she got to be an Admiral I will never contemplate.

No comments: