Author: Lee's ghost re-born PM
A British Ensign must survive on an American ship in a futuristic navy as an alien race known as the Derendknots try to enslave the world. PLEASE leave reviews after you read!Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Words: 1,152 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 05-21-08 - id: 2520656
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
By Lee's ghost re-born
Chapter 1 Blockade Duty
"She's capsizing, sir," bellowed a sailor from the deck. There was tremendous explosion as the enemy cargo ship was ripped into fragments by a laser blast. Captain Charles Marshal, of the Earth's Defense Navy, ship Arimathea, swiveled in his chair away from the large square porthole that had the best view of the destruction.
"Thank you Midshipman, Jackson, I had no idea,' the sarcasm in the Captain's voice was unmistakable, and his steel gray eyes burned with loathing.
The Captain got up out his chair and put his winkled his behind his back. He stepped over to the porthole and glanced at the smoldering wreckage. Blue trails of thick smoke hovered over it meaning the cargo was unsalvageable. He let one of his rare yellow tinged smiles crack across his lips. Someone cleared their throat demanding his attention and he turned.
"Captain? May I talk to you for a second?"
"Of course, Lieutenant Blackwell," said Marshal saluting and then clasping the man's hand.
Blackwell was tall man with brown hair that drifted down to his forehead. His face was peachy and always had a happy expression even under the most extreme stress. He had brood shoulders of a football player that looked like they would ripe his blue uniform coat. His hazel eyes took in his Captain before he spoke.
"A new officer has just been transferred to us," said Blackwell.
"Who?" asked Marshal interested.
"A Ensign Clegg, sir," said Blackwell. "Seems he showed bravery and they thought he would serve better here."
"The one's they cite for heroism are never worth the hype," said Marshal gloomily.
"I know, sir, I know," Blackwell agreed. "'Nother fuckin, 'One-Day-Wonder."
"I guess I'd better see him then," said Marshal whirly.
"I'll get him," said Blackwell before he vanished out the door.
Blackwell returned a few moments later with a man of eighteen at the most trailing behind him. He had thick brown hair and dark blue eyes. He was short but had long legs and had large biceps that were gain by years of farm work.
"Ensign, Clegg, reporting for duty, sir," he said snapping to attention.
"So I've heard," said Marshal trying to keep his voice friendly.
"I brought a letter vouching for my service, sir," said Clegg finishing into his breast pocket and pulling out a crumpled piece of paper and thrusting toward Marshal.
Marshal snatched it out Clegg's hand and scanned the text. Keeping his face impulsive he read the letter twice and smiled. Clegg had no idea if it was genuine or he was leering. The uncertainty made him uneasy and he tried not to show it; but it was obvious. He fixed his eyes toward the cream colored wall in front of him and he watched a fly creep on the wall. Marshal cleared his throat causing him to jump.
"My, my," said Marshal. "Seems Captain Fairer is quite impressed with you."
"I'm certain he was sir," mumbled Clegg. "I wouldn't be here if he wasn't."
"And are you happy with his choice?" asked Marshal handing the letter back.
"I will do what I did on the HMS Copenhagen, sir: my best."
"I'm sure you will, but this troubles me," Marshal said clearing his throat he prepared to read a passage from the letter "'I request that you accept Ensign, Clegg on the basis of his bravery. In an incident on the 24th of October, when Lieutenant Miles was fatally wounded in a broadside, young Clegg rushed forward and took command of the gun and warded off the ship responsible for the attack.' Any idea why I would be concerned by that description?"
"Frankly, no, sir."
"It is because, everyone has earned their place on my ship," he said staring at Clegg. "I feel, and so do my sailors, that it's one thing to watch a superior and when time comes repeat what he did. Its quite another to be the one who sets the examples. I require each man must train those the level below them in their duties, that way we work together without doubt of the next man's ability."
Clegg, nodded. Rank was forged in blood here. Goodbye nobility, he thought trying not to grin. The British navy was the same as it was four centuries ago. It was more concerned with bloodlines and wallets than, skill and cunning. He was going to like the American sector of the Earth Defense very much he reckoned. There was knock on door to the bridge and Marshal turned and strolled over to open it.
An aid with a peachy toned face with dark, almost black eyes, poked his head into the room. He was a bit surprised to see that Captain himself had answered the door, but he knew the Captain was an independent man so it was not out of character.
"I have the casualty figures drawn up sir," he mumbled.
"Read them off, I don't have my bifocals on me," ordered Marshal.
"Four wounded; one critically. And Midshipman Forester was killed when the barrel of gun number five exploded."
"Which twin?" demanded Marshal.
"I'm not sure, sir," said the aid gesturing helplessly. "His face got sliced down the middle by.."
"Think damn it," shouted Marshal. "Was he the tall one the short one?"
"He looked to be at least six-foot," said the aid, not really sure."
"Sounds like Hugh, I'd better go chat with Jacob," he muttered to himself. "Lieutenant, Blackwell?"
"I'm still here, sir," announced Blackwell as he stepped toward Marshal.
"Ah, good," said Marshal when he saw the Lieutenant come from the direction of his chair. "Show Mr. Clegg to his quarters."
Blackwell grinned. "Come on, you'll be impressed."
Blackwell led Clegg into a large room with bunk beds forced against the walls. The room could comfortably fit twenty officers but according to Blackwell it fit thirty. Nailed to the walls were paintings of famous naval battles. Clegg, noticed they seemed to revolve in a timeline around the room. The one nearest to the door depicted a battle in the late 1600s and last, by the window from only a decade ago.
Blackwell flicked on the light on the wall opposite the door and said, "This is home."
"Where should I sleep?" asked Clegg noticing the cramped spacing
"You can be my bunkmate ," declared Blackwell. "Mind the bottom?"
"Makes no difference," stated Clegg.
"Good, there you are," said Blackwell pointing to his bed. "Do you want first or second watch?"
"I would suggest first so get almost a night's rest."
"Alright then," mumbled Clegg. "What should we do now?"
"Sleep," suggested Blackwell.
Clegg sighed and crawled into bed, deciding that was a good idea.