Death and Coping Chapter 28


If you haven't read the earlier chapters, go to Enjoy!!

Chapter 28

Security Chief Sattler slowly lowered his pistol and then dropped it to the floor. He took a few steps towards Williams, then stumbled. He tried to recover, but it was useless. Nerves in his brain were firing impulses that apparently were no longer reaching his legs. He fell hard to his knees. Then his eyes rolled back into his head when then slammed onto the deck. Smoke and the horrible stench of charred flesh rose from his dead body. Aaron watched the body for several seconds, somewhat ashamed at himself for fearing that Sattler would somehow rise. It was quite apparent though that he wasn't faking. Hard to fake a hole in your back, he wryly though. He then looked up and faced Deercreek, who still had his gun drawn. Aaron stepped around the lifeless body and approached the young Marine slowly, reaching out and taking the gun.

"Take it easy, now. Let me have the gun. Are you O.K.?" Williams asked.

"I... I didn't mean to...," Deercreek stuttered out.

"You had to do it. It's all right."

"No... No it isn't. I only meant to stop him. But you were rushing towards him and he was getting ready to shoot. So I just..."

“You didn't have a choice. We had to do this, you know that." Aaron rushed over to the communications console and activated the distress beacon. It let out a dull and throbbing alarm. "Listen, we have to get moving. They'll be down here soon and if they find us, we are as good as dead."


"What are you talking about? We have to leave this area."

"You do, not me. I... I killed an officer. I killed one of us, Aaron. He was just doing his job. I... I didn't want anybody to get hurt. Not like this."

"Are you crazy, they'll kill you. The Captain already has murdered every other mutineer. Now, let's go"
Deercreek knelt before the body of Sattler, sighing heavily. "Go, I'll tell them I did it all. It probably won't fool them for long, but it will give you a chance. I shot a man in the back though and I have to face this my way."


"Go, Aaron."

Aaron stood frozen to the spot, conflict swirling inside himself. He couldn't just abandon Deercreek. He had already stood by while several other people were slaughtered. Not again.

"I said get the hell out of here...," Deercreek said as the alarm was suddenly cut off. "They've shut off the beacon, dammit. Leave!"

Aaron finally ran. He threw himself forward, pushing himself as hard as he could. Everything was going to shit and there was nothing else to do but try to lay low. He stopped as he heard several men approaching his direction and slid down a maintenance ladder. The guards rushed by him and continued towards the Comm room. After they had passed he climbed back up and walked down the hall, heading towards the barracks. It would take a miracle for them not to have noticed his absence during everything. Of course, it wouldn't matter much now though. Kilrathi forces were almost certainly heading their way. Today was turning out to be a bad day indeed.

Captain Donaldson paced back and forth on the bridge of the Eclipse, barely containing the rage he felt building inside himself. All the work that they had done, everything that they had fought for, was being ruined by traitors to humanity. It was bad enough that his First had betrayed him, but at least he had managed to stop him and his paltry band of mutineers before any damage had been done. It was obvious now that at least a few had perhaps slipped through his fingers. And now they were loose on his ship, jeopardizing his people and his mission. When security caught them he knew exactly what he would do. It had been several years since he had heard of anyone being spaced but it was something he would relish. He wasn’t a monster though, oh no. He would let them have space suits. They would be defective though. Perhaps a hole small enough that they would freeze slowly and painfully. Donaldson was interrupted from his thoughts by the Comm Officer rushing up to him.

“Yes, what is it Lt. Hayes?”

“Sir, I think you should hear this, “ the young lady said.

“Patch it through.”

“Aye, Sir.”

Donaldson leaned forward, intent to hear what the lady was so excited about. The sound came in suddenly, sharp in his head. The voice of a traitor.

“To all ships in the area, this is the TCS Eclipse. We are on an unauthorized mission and are planning to spread a deadly virus. I repeat, we are spreading a deadly virus at T'lan Meth. This ship must be stopped. I repeat.” The sound was suddenly cut off from the transmission. A silence fell over the bridge. Donaldson was seething as he focused on Hayes.

“Did you cut that off?”

“No Sir. It was cut off on their end.”

“Goddammit, lock Comm controls to this bridge only. We can’t afford this, not now. We’re so slow.”

“I thought you said things were under control,” Admiral McDavis said coolly.

“Sir, yes Sir. The saboteurs have managed to elude detection so far but my crew is scouring the ship for them. We…,” Donaldson said as he was suddenly cut off by the distress signal sounding off.

“What the hell is that?” Admiral McDavis screamed.

“It’s the distress beacon, Sir. I’m trying to shut it down.”

Donaldson ran to the Comm console. “Get it turned off now. I thought I had told you to lock the controls out.”

“I was attempting to Sir. I didn’t have enough time. Re-routing control pathways now.”

The alarm suddenly shut off as an unnatural silence settled onto the bridge. Admiral McDavis stepped next to the Captain and whispered to him. “Your ready room. Now.” It was spoken softly but it was no request. Donaldson nodded assent and turned to Lt. Commander Zoll.

“You have the bridge, Zoll.”

“Aye, Aye Sir.”

Donaldson followed McDavis into the ready room and sat down opposite him. The Admirals’ eyes bore into him. Finally, he spoke.

“Because of your incompetence, this mission is a failure. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“The mission can still succeed, Sir. Our foreword scouts have reported only light defenses at T’lan Meth. We can still make it there and dust the planet with the virus. They will think that it failed because no one died or got sick and so they will spread it to other worlds. The ship might not survive but the mission is still salvageable.”

“Even with light defenses they still know that we are coming. The ship can no longer cloak. I have no intention of turning this into a suicide mission. We are turning back. We’ll bide our time and strike again when the time is right.

“No!! That time is now Sir. We can end their threat here. No more children, no more families will die by those monsters hand. If we wait we might lose everything. If we must die, so be it. But we will bring them down with us.”

“I don’t remember asking your opinion, Captain. This is my operation and I say we will turn back. Now, prep the crew and issue the order. We will have to push this frigate hard enough as it is to make it back to Confed space safely.”

Donaldson stood slowly, his body trembling. He reached down and tapped on his console. “Security to the Ready Room immediately.” Donaldson strode towards the confused McDavis. “I don’t think I’ll be giving that order Sir. Seems I just found the true head of this conspiracy.”

“What the hell is the matter with you, Donaldson? You know that I’m no mutineer.”

“If you are not with me, Sir, then you’re against me. We will be the saviors of the Confederation and I refuse to allow you to jeopardize this mission because you don’t want to die, Admiral.”

Admiral McDavis stood up and faced the insubordinate Captain. “I know you were obsessed with the Kilrathi but I never thought it was this bad. Can’t you see what’s going on?”

Donaldson stood there, waiting until the door opened and three security guards walked in. Then he smiled cruelly. “Be thankful Admiral, that I’m not trying you like the rest of the mutineers. Guards, take him to the brig.”

The guards stared uneasily from the Captain and the Admiral and back. They were obviously uncertain about the entire situation.

“Your Captain is acting irrational. He cannot be trusted to make rational decisions and as suck I am taking control of the Eclipse. Gentleman, take Captain Donaldson to the brig.”

The security guards looked uncomfortably at each other before one finally spoke. “Captain, what’s he talking about?”

“Admiral McDavis here s responsible for the mutinies…”
“That is a lie!”

“… and he is trying to confuse you.”

“Guard, I am the superior officer on this vessel and I demand you arrest the Captain now.”

“Hiro, this is me, Donaldson. I presided over your wedding. Who are you going to trust? This traitor to our race or your Captain? Your friend?”

Hiro stared uncomfortably at the two men then pointed to the Admiral. “Arrest him.”

Donaldson smiled as they grabbed the Admiral and pulled him out. He threw the Captain an icy glare which he ignored. As soon as they were gone he tapped his console.


“This is Captain Donaldson. I need that last cloak functional.”

“Sir, I’ve already told you that it’s impossible. It’s too much power for one cloak generator to handle. It’d burn out in less than a minute.”

“Then jury-rig it to reduce our electronic signature. Can you do that?”

“No, we… Wait… We could do that…Yes, we can. Your want to increase the efficiency of our stealth mode Sir?”

“Yes I do. We’re heading deep into hostile
territory and we will need every advantage we can get.”

“Understood Sir, I’ll get my people working on it immediately.”

“Good, Captain out.” Donaldson walked out to the bridge. His crew looked at him concerned. He smiled at them, reassuring them.

“We have the mastermind behind our recent problems in custody. But despite these betrayals we must push forward. What we do today will forever change the Confederation. Our actions, our bravery, will protect mankind forever from the threat of the Kilrathi. Helm, continue towards T’Lan Meth and our destiny.”
hiya vondoom, great to finally see you back in action over here.

Happy Birthday BTW;)

[Edited by Twister on 01-27-2001 at 08:51]