Some More Recall


Rear Admiral
2681.035.1054 - Palan

With a bright flash, the CES Icarus entered Palan. As she drifted out of the pulsating jump sphere, two wings of Weasels circled either side of the vessel. On board, Captain Harvey and Major Gratke watched the formation from the bridge.

“Welcome to Palan, Icarus. We have been expecting you. I am Colonel Otin, Commander of the TCS Golem. We will be providing you escort cover with the TCS Ghoul. TCS Goblin has been delayed and will rendezvous with us at the Tingerhoff jump point.”

“This is Captain Thomas Harvey of the CES Icarus. Glad to hear that Colonel. We’ll be setting a course for the jump point as soon as our systems recalibrate.”

“Roger that. We’ll assume position up ahead while Troll and Skeleton wings take your flanks.”

Thomas glanced at the radar display as it came back online. It was filled with no less than 14 blue points - 2 larger than the rest. Soon the identification and range for each was displayed, “We have you on radar Golem, and are ready to go.”

“Proceeding to nav point at 160kps.”

“Aye, matching speed. Out.”

The Icarus steadily accelerated and turned toward some distant, unseen destination.

“Well I feel much safer already,” Thomas commented.

Micas smiled a little, finishing off a calculation, “We should reach Tingerhoff late tonight. Our fuel reserves will comfortably get us to Perry.”

“Good,” the Captain approved, “I’m glad that at least you keep your head regardless of

the mess at hand.”

“Thank you Sir.”

Thomas looked at one of the displays showing standard Earth time. Taking off his headset, he leaned back in the seat, and clasped his hands behind his head. He gazed out into the darkness - the tiny points of light looking back. Thomas watched as the Golem overtook the Icarus to take up its lead position. The Golem’s engines came into view, casting their blinding light onto the Icarus. He squinted and looked away - focusing on the clock again. An hour had passed since they began another tedious six-hour shift, and the next jump point was at least 10 hours away. Thomas sighed, glancing at Micas out of the corner of his eye. The Major was sitting rigidly at his console, engrossed in something. The image was a blur to the Captain - a consequence of his partiality to glasses over more modern optical aids. Thomas took off his glasses and subconsciously rubbed the ridge of his nose. He held the spectacles up and studied them momentarily. Micas would probably call them a device for compensating the deteriorated focusing ability in his ageing eyes. Thomas smiled to himself. The Major had a gift for complicating matters, but he was as reliable as they come. What he lacked in interpersonal relations, he offset with the gift of intellect. The Captain saw a bright future for the officer. But what of his own future? The long hours and the near-constant stress had taken their toll over time. Thomas was tired. He had carried the weight on his shoulders for over 20 long years. Being in command was a 24-hour a day job, and although he could rely on those he delegated with various tasks, ultimately he was held responsible. Accountable for the ship, its precious cargo, and the 6 other souls on board - plus one lucky pilot.

Thomas put his glasses back on. Lieutenant Gordon Vence was an odd character, he decided. Fear of authority was not a desirable trait. The Captain frowned. Ever since he had been in command, he tried his utmost to gain the respect of his lower ranked co-workers. That’s how he always thought of them, other people working for the same cause only with less experience and in need of guidance. Perhaps war had caused him to see things in a different light.

“Sir,” Micas pulled his eyes away from the display panel, “I’ve completed my review of the medical analyses of Lieutenants Vence and O’Connor. There are no reasons for me not to recommend they continue normal active duty.”

“Hmm?” Thomas was pulled from his thoughts, “Oh yes. Good. So that’s what you were busy with?”

“Yes, Sir,” Micas looked at the Captain expectantly.

“You know Micas, you don’t need to work like a machine all the time.”

“Yes, Sir,” the Major replied with a serious expression that soon faded to reveal a smirk.

Thomas chuckled.

* * *


Captain Harvey opened his eyes to Caitlin’s gentle voice, “I must have dozed off.”

“I’ll take over now. I’ve already sent Micas to bed.”

Thomas stretched and looked through the large front window, seeing the Golem and Ghoul still poised ahead. He glanced at the panel before him. The radar indicated the twelve fighters still flew behind the Icarus. Current time was near seventeen hundred hours, with about four hours remaining to their destination.

Thomas switched on the radio, “Colonel Otin, I don’t want to tell you how to command this operation, but I would suggest you reduce our fighter escort somewhat. Better to keep the pilots fresh for when we need them.”

There was an uneasy silence before the reply came, “Agreed. I’ll halve it for the time being.”

“Caitlin, I’ll make sure everybody gets some rest now. Wake us all up at the first sign of trouble. I don’t want any surprises.” Captain Harvey yawned audibly, “I think my body is trying to tell me something. I didn’t even hear you come in.”

“Get some rest. Nathan will be up shortly.”

Thomas smiled as he got up, “I guess you’ll have plenty of time to continue your little debate.”

“Indeed. We can help each other stay awake.” Major Torres tilted her head, “Aren’t you the least bit curious about what we were discussing?”

“Yes, of course,” he approached the bridge door and opened it. “But I won’t ask.” He left.
GRR! This stupid thing still posts upside down, and this post doesn't fit in a single post so I've split it up into two separate topics.

[This message has been edited by Matrix (edited March 21, 2000).]
The nitpicked nitpick back!

1. ** “Good,” the Captain approved, “I’m glad that at least you keep your head regardless of

the mess at hand.” ** - what happened here? Is it a formatting stuff-up, or did you press enter when you shouldna have?
2. ** the 6 other souls on board ** - Suggest using six instead of 6.
3. ** “Indeed. We can help each other stay awake.” Major Torres tilted her head, “Aren’t you the least bit curious about what we were discussing?” ** - Has it really been so long? I don't even remember when they talked
4. ...Oh. No 4. There's not enough to nitpick in this piece
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Oh, I nearly forgot

4. ** He gazed out into the darkness - the tiny points of light looking back ** - Blink, blink. What was that you said about eyes reaching?
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1. A forced line break. I've changed it to three hard spaces.
2. I've thought of that but since this story is still in development I prefer to use numbers to see where they come up.
3. They talked all through their night shift after the first Retro attack.
4. What? Stars have eyes too.