|Aurora Dancing With The Sky|
Sky sat in his new appointed quarters on board the H.S.S. Zeus looking over his orders. He had survived the threat to his career just barely. The Admiral had called a court of enquiry as soon as he had gathered enough captains, the court had reviewed the evidence and ruled that Captain Nether had falsified his reports and acted with dishonour. Captain Nether would be facing a court marshal when the fleet admirals decided when that would be.
Despite almost everything possible going his way Sky was still nervous. No matter the circumstances, an officer losing his first command on its first mission would not be viewed favourably.
He'd made sure his crew had been put in the quarters around his own and had kept them training just as hard as before. Despite it all he could sense their impatience at the lack of resolution being presented by the admiralty growing with his own
He had been sitting awaiting further instructions from the admiralty for some time. He had been running scenarios through his head as he waited. The Admirals arguing over where he should be sent, were they picking his court marshal date, were they going to him demote him, were they going to dishonourably discharge him. The pressure was getting almost unbearable. He stood and walked to the door of his quarters, then back to his bed.
At last after what seemed like an eternity; the buzzer at the door sounded. He quickly straightened his uniform and opened the door. His composure fluctuated for a moment as he saw Harmony standing in the doorway, but a quick deep breath brought back his reserve. "How can I help you Harmony?" To Sky's great surprise she blushed then looked to her left. He leaned out the door to see a squad of the admiralty security force waiting down the hall all now smirking. "They've come to escort both of us to the Admiralty board, Sir." She added the last word forcefully so the squad down the corridor could hear. Sky picked up his katana before walking out past Harmony and straight at the security force. His demeanour and the sword in his hand made the entire squad take a step back. Sky felt his vague suspicions that he was being court marshalled suddenly hardened into an utter certainty. The security squad wouldn’t have been this skittish if it was anything else.
“Only one mission and you already have that scarily hardened captain demeanour about you, bravo.” The voice was light and slightly mocking, but it was familiar. Sky looked through the squad and saw Philippe Nantes aide to Admiral Calliope leaning casually against a bulkhead. He didn’t know what to do, he remember the offer Nantes had made to him if he ever needed a friend at the admiralty. Could he possibly take up that offer now? Save himself and his career? Philippe stepped away from the wall and signalled that Sky and Harmony should follow him. “Now you two seem to have been getting yourselves into a fair bit of mischief on your first mission. One scout ship lost, one captain’s career ending in disgrace and two captured enemy harbingers. A fair trade I feel, though there are those who would disagree.” Sky went to speak, but Philippe cut him off. “I have done my best for you Lieutenant Commander Praetora, though your heritage has brought up some concern.” Sky’s heart dropped if they had researched his ancestry he was doomed. “A direct descendant of the great and ancient General Harkin Praetora indeed; some people voiced concerns that given the opportunity you would conquer most of Hereclisa as he did. However better council prevailed in that regard.” Sky involuntarily gripped his katana sheath tighter and Philippe led him with Harmony to the Admirals officer where he had given the report that had damned Captain Nether. “As the decision that has been made is regarding both of you, Lieutenant Dentelle will also be attending this board session. Please do not speak unless you are spoken to directly, either of you.” The last words were a warning as he led them straight into the office with the security force halting outside.
The five Admirals, of varying ranks, all sat along one table facing the door. Admiral Calliope of Titan Harbour Bastion sat in the centre of some of the most important men in the Hereclisan star forces. Their gathering together made an imposing sight. "Lieutenant Commander Praetora, you have been summoned to face the consequences of your actions in the Arachnid Nebula and in the week following." Admiral Calliope spoke sternly his eyes never leaving Sky's. "Do you have anything to say?" Sky stepped forwards "I believe I did my duty sir and I did so without breaking the word of orders I was given." Admiral Calliope nodded then moved a data pad in front of him. "Your comments are duly noted. Now it is my duty to inform you that it is the decision of the board, to promote you to the rank of full Commander and order you to take command of the corvette HSS Castor." Sky could not conceal his shock, his mouth dropped open and he just stared. "Lieutenant Dentelle, it is the decision of this board that due to your past record and the report given about you by Commander Praetora, you shall hereby be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and given the command of a scout ship as soon as the next available vacancy in the fleet becomes available." Sky looked over at Harmony to see that she was sporting a very dazed looking smile. "Until a vacancy does appear you shall continue to serve as the first officer of Commander Praetora unless he has a protest he wishes to make known." The entire room turned to face Sky again, but he was ready for them. "I do not sir, thank you." The pair saluted the Admirals and were led from the room by Philippe Nantes.
As they left the security squad that had escorted them there presented arms to them. They had been brought as an honour guard, rather than a prison guard. Philippe turned sullenly towards the pair as they walked out of view of the honour guard. “I am sorry Sky,” He said his voice sounded dejected “I tried to convince the Admirals that you should be given a frigate, but the admirals said it was too soon.” Sky was so happy and furious at the same time he didn’t know whether to hit or hug Philippe. Philippe was oblivious to his reaction however and simply continued. “It’s a good promotion, but you’ve made a powerful enemy in Admiral Terre.” Neither Sky nor Harmony had any idea what Philippe was talking about, so they just let him continue in the hope of an explanation. “Any mistake you make now will be noted and waiting to be used against you, so be careful who you trust.” Philippe had led them to the shuttle bay where they saw that his crew had been assembled. “Captain Nether is Admiral Terre’s nephew and the Admiral has not taken kindly to a member of his family facing a dishonourable discharge. There have even been rumours of him suggesting a duel to his underlings. Though I doubt after seeing the video of what happened in the Demi-God’s shuttle bay there will be anyone moving on his suggestion.” They stopped just out of earshot of the crew. “Thank you for everything Philippe.” Sky said holding out his arm in the Misalli way. Philippe smiled and grasped his arm. “You’ll be much better for the service than Captain Nether ever will be. Also I’d hate to see a good man taken down by mediocrity. Stay safe out there.” Philippe turned to Harmony “I’ll make sure that the Admirals don’t forget their promise to you Lieutenant Commander. You’ll get your command as soon as one is available. Remember to thank the Commander properly whne you get the chance, with the commendation he gave you in his report you could run for government."
The two watched as Philippe walked back into the depths of the Zeus, no doubt returning to Admiral Calliope’s side. They stepped quickly out of the view of the crew in the cargo bay, to gather themselves before meeting them again. Unable to hold her happiness in any longer Harmony gave Sky a rib cracking hug. “Thank you, thank you so much.” He simply smiled a returned the hug before stepping away and becoming Commander and First Officer once more. “I simply told them what you did Harmony, you need not thank me for that. Now let’s go take our new ship." He turned and marched out to his crew all of them beaming like it was their birthday; most of them wearing new higher ranks.
Soren brought them all to attention. "Fall them out Mr Soren. We have a new ship board." Soren's grin grew "Aye Aye sir!"
|Aurora Dancing With The Sky|