|Aurora Dancing With The Sky|
The Admiral of The Fleet, Admiral Periclius, took a few more days before he called for Sky to come to the flagship of the fleet. The Flagship was the HSS Zeus, a Capital Ship class. Capital Class ships were the largest warships in the Hereclisan fleets. When it came to fleet against fleet combat they were usually the deciding factor of the engagement.
Sky had insisted in travelling to the Flagship alone, despite many protests from his crew. He would take the pressure of the interrogations and accusations alone. Captain Nether would not make this easy, but Sky would not be defeated.
He was welcomed aboard with all the ceremony that was expected for a lieutenant commander, how he left the ship depended on how the meeting with the admiral went. Sky was guided to the admiral's conference room by his adjutant officer. The man's look of utter distain was an annoyance to Sky, but he bore it for the sake of his plan. He must seem defeated when he joined Admiral Periclius and Captain Nether. The evidence must take Captain Nether completely off guard. He must have no chance to put up any extra defences.
As expected Captain Nether had ensured his presence at the hearing. "Take a seat Lieutenant Commander Praetora." Sky keeping his sullen expression sat in front of the Admiral. "Lieutenant Commander you are here to give your account of the action in which the vessel under your command was lost." Sky took a deep breath and began to recite the report Captain Nether had given to him. He was bound by orders of a superior officer to give the report he'd been given. He had no choice but to recite the false report. However he hadn't forbade him from giving an extra report on the conduct of his crew during the engagement. He told of how his ship had dark shifted into the nebula and with being confronted by two enemy harbingers had ran back to the co-ordinates where the Demi-God was to Dark Shift to. He then stated that it had been due the swift actions of the crew of the Demi-God that the two harbinger's had been captured. With the false report complete and without waiting for further instruction he then launched into his own report on detailing the heroic actions of his crew detailing the ways in which they dealt with the situation as it happened. Then he handed over both reports the second containing all the sensor data from the battle, which he had been given by Azlynn Dara.
Captain Nether was on his feet and outraged. "How dare you spout such ludicrous lies boy!" All pretence of showing any kind of respect was gone. Captain Nether grabbed the hilt of his sword "I should fillet where you sit." Admiral Periclius raised his hand to silence Captain Nether. The gesture was only slight, but somehow it held absolute authority. "What is the reason for the difference in your reports?" Sky held back his smile; all that was left was to seal the victory without breaking the wording of Captain Nether's orders. "I read the initial report as my own as per the orders of Captain Nether, sir. The secondary report was made due to the fact I felt that the conduct of my crew during the engagement was worthy of note." Admiral Periclius looked down at the reports and the scans that had been recovered from the Tongalin harbingers. "Captain Nether, what is your explanation for this situation?" Captain Nether's face held a look of utter rage. "This little bastard is trying to save his own skin by trying to put the blame on me." The expression on the admirals face didn't twitch "So it’s just a coincidence that the scans from your vessel weren't clear due to the radiation from the nebula whilst this scan data from a your ship and two Tongalin ships clearly show that what the lieutenant commander has said about his crew is true." The statement caused Captain Nether go white as a sheet. “Impossible that data..." He stopped but his angry half response had already revealed his hand. "Lieutenant Commander Praetora, leave us and recover your crew then immediately return to the Zeus." Sky saw the reason for the order. With their Captain gone, all chances of temporary promotion would be gone and the crew of the Demi-God would be looking for trouble. "Sir I would like to request the officer who gave me the sensor data be assigned to my crew." The admiral considered the request then waved his hand. "Request granted and please send my adjutant in here as you leave."
The trip back to the Demi-God was one fraught with nerves. He had to conceal his exci*tement at having come out of his enemy's trap having trapped his enemy. He had to find Azlynn Dara quickly, as soon as the crew found out who had given him the sensor data they would be in serious danger. He couldn't keep his silence on her identity if he was ordered to reveal it by Admiral Periclius. He wouldn't abandon the person who had saved his career from being destroyed and saved himself personally from being utterly disgraced for someone else's greed.
As the shuttle docked against the Demi-God, Sky was already at the door to disembark. It would only take one trip to carry his crew including the new addition of Azlynn, but had to hurry. He ran across the gangway and down the corridors of the ship. His target was the central engineering department; he stopped for a second then used his vaunted swordsmans skill. He accelerated using the lightning step, causing the crew in the corridors to seem to be slowed to almost statue like states.
It took him a minute to travel the eight decks down to the central engineering department. As he slowed himself down to a more normal speed he could feel his muscles straining from the pressure they were under. He'd been neglecting to keep his abilities sharp in exchange for sharpening his crew’s skills, but he put his worries to the side for the moment. He looked around the room and spotted Deputy Chief Dara clambering into the engine manifold. He walked calmly over to her and tapped her foot. "God damn it Jellen do I have to do everything for you?" She said before sliding out of the manifold. She blushed slightly as she saw Sky. "Can I help you commander?" Her voice was much more nervous now. "I've got orders to take you with me, now." She stood up and put her tools back in the box. "May I ask why sir?" Sky nodded keeping his face straight. "Yes, you're going to be my engineering chief." Azlynn's smile was so broad Sky expected her to start laughing. Then suddenly her smile disappeared as it dawned on her, the reason would be getting his new command and her promotion. "I need to get my things sir." Sky shook his head. "We pick up the rest of the crew, then we got to your quarters and then we're going to the Zeus." Azlynn's eyes widened "We're going to the Zeus?" The tone of her voice showed that was less of a question and more of a statement of awe.
Sky did not stick around for further conversation. He led Azlynn to the cargo bay where his crew we quartered. As he moved his hand did not leave his Katana's hilt, the threat served to clear them a path to the cargo hold. The crew jumped to their feet upon seeing their commander. Without waiting for any questions Sky snapped out his orders. "Gather everything of ours and be ready to move. Rollov, Jenis & Hane you carry our belongings. Everyone else, gather your weapons and have them ready." The crew didn't hesitate and in moments they had carried out his order, strapping the remains of their belongings to the three crewmen. Harmony came forward to his side "Will she be joining us sir?" Harmony pointed at Azlynn. "She is our new Chief engineer. We will go to her quarters and where you will assist in collecting her belongings before we take the shuttle to the Zeus." He turned to the crew as they stood ready to move. "This is Deputy Chief Azlynn Dara. She saved us from disgrace at Captain Nether's hands. She's one of us now, we look after our own!" There was no order in the last part of his speech, but the crew immediately understood his meaning.
They moved out Sky just behind Azlynn as she led them to her quarters. Other than Sky, the crew all had their weapons draw and ready. It took Harmony and Azlynn a moment to gather her belongings.
Sky stepped into the shuttle bay first to see thirty of the crew of the Demi God lead by the first officer. "We'll be taking the traitor, now!" He snapped at the Sky's crew. He spun to give an order, but saw that none was necessary. Six of his crew and already put themselves in front of Azlynn like a protective shield with the weapons ready. Azlynn had a tear in her eye looking at the display.
Sky grinned wolfishly before facing the first officer one more. "No chance, we protect our own." He said his hand gripping his katana. "I've lost my new Captain's post because of you. I'll take you out myself." The first officer said drawing his sabre. Sky looked him over as he stood pointing his blade across the hangar. His stance was so full of holes Sky could tear him apart without the lightning step.
He went to step forward and take the challenge when his path was blocked by Harmony. "With all due respect sir He should not be allowed to fight you. He is only a first officer and should face a first officer in return." Sky stepped back. "Your point is well made lieutenant he's all yours." Harmony levelled her rapier at the other first officer and in anger the man charged.
His slash was vicious as he went to knock Harmony's rapier aside. It was a move straight from the basic star forces swordsmanship training. Harmony was well above the class of being standard. She stepped back letting the slash sail past her front. Before lancing her rapier forwards, making the first officer dive backwards to avoid having his arm skewered. He up cut his blade attempting to force Harmony step back, but she had already moved. As the blade reached its highest point in the swing Harmony lanced the rapier into the hilt of the dirk. The dirk spun out of the first officer's hand and he staggered back screaming, cradling some of his fingers which were now missing their top halves. The thirty crewmen behind him flinched and stepped back in fear. Suddenly their advantage did not feel great enough as to ensure a bloodless victory.
The bravest of their soldiers stepped forwards and drew his dirk. His courage was wavering however. Sky saw the moment, the moment he had been trained to find and he knew that one more defeat would be enough to rout these crewmen. He ran forwards towards the man his sword still sheathed until the man, forced to react, swung his dirk to try and drive him away. Sky drew his blade in his single draw motion and sliced clean through the crewman’s dirk. All possible resistance crumbled and the crewmen of the Demi-God moved completely out the way of the shuttle.
Sky's crew paced slowly forwards through the gap in the Demi-God's crewmen. Every one of them had their weapons draw ready to fight, but they were not troubled by the demoralised and shaken crewmen. Soren made sure he was the last man onto the shuttle and did not put his scimitar away until the hatch's air tight seal was secure. They had escaped their fate.
|Aurora Dancing With The Sky|