posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 10:58 PM
The fact that the marines and security forces were - for the time being - working together was comforting enough for Luder to start focusing on other
He sat down at the command station and started pulling up navigational charts. It seemed the sudden reversal out of the wormhole drive had dropped
the ship somewhere near Barnard's Star, out in the deep space void between solar systems. Luder wasn't worried about the fact they were in deep
space, that was a non-issue. What was troublesome is they had no way of knowing if the centaurians had followed them through the wormhole.
A voice from the communications station caused Luder to look up from his data pads. It was a red-haired female commander he had never seen before.
"Captain. We are receiving a priority message from command. Shall I patch it through to the speakers?" Luder stared for a second, trying to
remember her name then nodded.
This is a fleet wide full alert! Repeat, this is a fleet wide full alert! The Alpha Centaurian Consulate has declared a state of open
war on the United Earth Federation. All vessels within range are required to report to Earth Sector for rearming and resupply at once. This is a
fleet wide full alert!
Luder straightened in his seat. There was no way he was taking this ship anywhere until he got some answers from someone. He motioned for the
commander to cut the transmission. Standing up, he took a walk around the command station, mulling over his options. Finally, he got on his personal
All staff heads, hear this. We are not moving so much as an inch until we get some answers. I will inform command that we are -
unable - to comply with the current orders for 72 hours to - effect repairs on the drives. We need to figure out what is going on here before we
carry this ship and possibly either a murderer or another type of threat right into Earth orbit. If any of you have objections to that course of
action, file it in your personal reports. Captain out.
"Sir, there is another transmission coming from Earth Command, shall I put it through?" Luder nodded at the young woman.
"Captain Luder, what the hell do you think you're doing out there?!?" The face of Admiral Gordon appeared on the screens.
"Sir, if you saw the holotapes, they tell a much clearer story than any of us can. The ship's logs have been transmitted to you as well."
"I saw all that. My question to you is, why do you still have that "thing" on your bridge?" The Admiral's face was one of disgust.
"I'm sorry, sir? Thing?" Luder knew the Admiral was irate, but one doesn't just call up and insult his crew right in front of him.
"The enhancer. You will remove him from access to the ship's weaponry until further notice."
"Sir, I can't do that."
"What occurred out there may not have been his fault. We are currently tracking leads on this vessel which point to a possible security breach, not
caused by Seeker." Luder said, leaning over in the command station. He saw what he was looking for and pressed a record button on the
"Captain, I don't think you understand what I'm saying. You are to remove him from his station at once, regardless of what you do or don't find
out there. Am I clear?" Admiral Gordon's face was red.
"No. Not while we're in a state of war. He's the best man we've got on the guns as it stands." Luder very slowly ground his back teeth. The
Admiral was obviously furious.
"Captain. You are ordered to return to Earth immediately for further actions to be taken against your enhancer and I'm very strongly considering
what should be done about you as well."
"Sir, we can't move."
"Captain Luder, this isn't that old TV show, Star Trek. You are ordered to return to Earth at once!" The transmission cut.
Luder got on his personal relay to JohnQ.
John, I need you to make a convincing set of reports to send to fleet command which suggest the Penelope is immobile. I need them as
soon as possible.
Luder then switched channels to Neno and Studious.
Gentlemen, you have 72 hours to figure something out before I absolutely have to take us back in. Time starts now.
Luder turned back to the red-haired commander, but she was no longer on the bridge. His jaw dropped a bit. Luder looked around the bridge but could
see no sign of the mysterious woman. He looked over at the guards near the doors to the command center, but neither of them had moved. Luder walked
over to them and pointed over to the communications station.
"Did either of you see where that communications officer went?" The two guards looked perplexed.
"Sir, there has been no one at that station since we came up here several hours ago."
[edit on 23-3-2009 by mf_luder]