To Hunt Well

Do you have creative writing skills?? Think you can charm the masses with a story or two?? Perhaps you can create a mini-toon based on Armada. Then give it a go right here.

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thunderfoot006
Cadet 1st Year
Cadet 1st Year
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:00 am

To Hunt Well

Post by thunderfoot006 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:00 pm

Something I've been working on off and on for about a year. Just a story because I cannot draw or model and my pictures are usually pretty bad.
Anyways, here goes...

To Hunt Well by thunderfoot006
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1
Commander F'Paurr preferred Gamma Shift. Evolved from a race of nocturnal pack hunters, she always felt slow and clumsy during what the Huumanns in the crew called 'office hours'. In the simulated night, even though she knew it was simulated night, her instincts meshed perfectly with her StarFleet training to produce a top flight officer.
"Commander, long range sensors are picking up a Klingon vessel. Vor'Cha class or larger."
"Onscreen."
"Mother Goddess!"
F'Paurr silently agreed with the Science Officer's assessment. The Vor'Cha listed badly to port and was down at the bow. Plasma vented from both nacelles. A trail of debris, and bodies, swirled along in her wake.
"Hail them."
"Hailing the Klingons, aye, Sir. Commander, the Klingon's long range communications system appears to be offline or damaged. I am receiving the correct linkage protocols, but only static follows the set up. As we get closer, I should be able to boost the signal and clear it."
F'Paurr strode over towards the main viewer pickup. Klingons were a warrior race who respected honour, duty, and strength. Standing where the pickup could show her two meter height, smoke grey fur and widely set eyes best was a sign of respect for the Klingons. She could not stop her nostrils flaring or her ears flattening out, though. Those
were reflexive actions coupled to the thought that spoke to her from her soul. The one that said, "The Pack is in danger! Prepare!"
"Shields! Now! Set Alert to Yellow! Weapons to Stand By! Engineering, prepare to go to full power on the warp drive!. Captain Allacia, Bridge!" F'Paurr could feel the danger, but not locate it. That was troubling, indeed. The Captain answered almost immediately.
"Bridge, this is the Captain. What is it, Twitch?" Christina Santiago-Sanchez Allacia was the only Huumann F'Paurr allowed to use her family nickname. She was also the only member of a prey race to defeat F'Paurr in hand to hand battle.
"Captain, there is a Klingon vessel in distress nearby. The Klingons look like they were fighting and it was not a good hunt. I am moving the ship to render assistance and I have prepared the ship to battle whatever the Klingons were fighting."
"I'll be right there, Twitch. Allacia, out."
That calmed F'Paurr's jangled nerves slightly. The Pack Leader would be here soon and the hunt would go better for it. She was still in the middle of a Huntsurge, though and action would take care of some of the adrenaline jitters she felt.
"Science, scan the Vor'Cha and determine who did this, if you can. Sick Bay and Engineering, Bridge. Each department prepare two Away Teams. Equip them to render assistance to combat casualties and provide damage control. Engineering, shield status?"
"Shields online at one hundred five percent, Commander. Warp core at one hundred percent and stable. Maneuvering standing by to answer bells. Damage Control parties at battle stations."
An Akira class heavy cruiser was a formidable vessel with plenty of power, grace, and agility. The first time F'Paurr had seen one, she knew her entire career would be spent aboard an Akira. It was as if StarFleet's design teams had watched the Packs back home, taken the best qualities of all of them, and distilled that into a massive metal version of the perfect hunter. F'Paurr's trueheart quickened alarmingly every time she saw her ship, the USS Relentless, from the outside. Her people had only come out among the stars three generations ago. F'Paurr was the first to attend the Academy and graduate. The War Leader had purred loudly when he placed her StarFleet officer's insignia on her uniform at Commencement. Until she met her lifemate, Relentless was all.
As much as she loved her ship, F'Paurr was not blind to its weaknesses. She conned the ship so that all the weapons were constantly trained aft of the Vor'Cha. That was were the threat was. She also launched a shuttle to provide warning should something strike at Relentless from the rear. The Tactical Officer spoke from behind her.
"Commander, we are close enough to open ship to ship comms in spite of the static. The Vor'Cha's warp core is the cause of most of the interference."
"Viewer on."
Despite the controls trained into them, several members of the bridge crew gasped audibly when the screen brightened. Bodies were easy to pick out among the wreckage and smoke. The officer at the command consoles was obviously the only one not severely injured or dead. Equally obviously, he was very junior and very frightened. Trying hard to live up to acceptable Klingon standards, he faced his own view screen's pickup and spoke.
"What do you want?"
"This is Commander F'Paurr of the StarFleet ship, Relentless. Is your ship in need of assistance? We stand ready to help,"
"Yes, we require aid! Hurry up! Many warriors are wounded! We must not be unprepared when the enemy attacks again."
F'paurr felt the tension within her ease slightly. Action was preferable to standing about. Even if that action was nothing more than directing others who did the actual work. She checked her internal count. It was up to sixty five. The longest the Captain had ever taken to reach the Bridge from fully asleep was seventy eight. All things were beginning to come back to a manageable order. F'Paurr spoke again.
"Klingon Captain, who did this to your ship, Sir? I too, do not wish to be unprepared since I am currently Pack Leader aboard my ship. My own Captain will be here very soon and I desire an accurate account to give her. If you will allow access to your sensor logs, I can - "
"Commander! Aft of the Vor Cha! It resembles a plasma torpedo, but there is no visible Romulan ship!"
"Helm, evasive! Continue to close on the Klingon while doing so!. Operations, begin 'Ping' procedures to locate the Romulans! Engineering, all ahead full! Execute!"
A chorus of 'Aye, Sirs' came back to her and F'Paurr's instincts began screaming at her to protect the Pack by running off. The Romulans were not supposed to be able to do the impossible thing she was witnessing because of power consumption levels. The cloaking device all of the Star Empire's ships carried needed nearly all of a warp core's
output, with only a little left over for things like weapons, shields ,and propulsion. The huge weapon slewed hard about and began moving towards the Vor'Cha. Captain Allacia arrived on the Bridge unnoticed while the Klingon attack cruiser was consumed by the torpedo. Overstressed safety systems collapsed and the remainder of the Klingon vessel went dark, indicating total power loss. It began spinning off on a course imparted by the impact of the Romulan warhead.

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2
"Damn! That was ugly. Twitch, do the sensors confirm what we just saw? A plasma torpedo and no visible Romulan warship?
"Aye, Captain. None of the sensors detected any Romulan vessels in the vicinity, just that torpedo."
Captain Allacia gracefully lowered herself into the center seat. As always, F'Paurr was just slightly surprised the Captain was so tiny. Exactly two centimetres taller than the minimum Huumann height requirement for entry into StarFleet. As always, F'Paurr was also slightly in awe of the force of personality in that compact frame. The Captain had the heart of a lion, so the Huumann saying went. Commander F'Paurr had seen a pride of lions once, while on liberty on Earth. She felt the saying badly underestimated Captain Allacia. F'Paurr had seen her captain stand toe to toe with a Klingon warrior thrice her size and stare him down in a disagreement over seating arrangements at Quark's on Deep Space Nine. Afterwards, the Klingon proposed marriage, saying he had finally met a female worthy of the name warrior. Captain Allacia smiled sweetly and turned him down. Disappointed but still hopeful, the Klingon, one Sh'Gan, sighed heavily and went forth to make himself worthy of her.
"Commander F'Paurr, report please."
"Captain, the ship is at Yellow Alert on a Level Two evasive course. Shields are at one hundred five percent. All departments are closed up and ready for action, if need be. Operations has intiated 'Ping' procedures on my order, to locate the Romulan which may have fired the plasma torpedo. We are currently also on an intercept vector to the hulk
of the Vor'Cha to conduct search and rescue operations. Engineering and Medical both have Away Teams standing by in Tranporters One and Two."
" 'May have fired the plasma torpedo.', Commander? What makes you think the torpedo came from someone else?"
"I cannot say, at this time, who fired the torpedo at the Klingons. But my instincts are saying it was not a Romulan ship. The Romulans are devious, yes. But if the Tal Shiar or the Star Empire has developed the ability to launch weapons whilst cloaked, then the Praetor's personal fleet would be in standard orbit above Earth, or Qo'Nos, right now. Why expose such a huge tactical advantage by firing on a single Klingon warship traversing a Federation shipping lane this close to the Neutral Zone? This has the scent of a foolish or inexperienced hunter. The Romulans are not that stupid."
Captain Allacia sighed and looked hard at her First Officer,
"F'Paurr, are you sure both your parents are of the People? Sometimes you display logic worthy of a Vulcan. And a very intelligent Vulcan at that. Okay, we'll send off a message to Fleet and then do a standard reconna-"
"Captain! Incoming transmission!"
"Onscreen, please."
"The transmission is audio only, Ma'am. I cannot locate the source of the signal either, but it is very close."
"Hard about! Crazy Ivan! Execute!"
"Crazy Ivan, aye, Sir!"
Relentless heeled hard to starboard and began a complete circle to come back onto her previous heading. The maneuver was originally created by wet navy submariners to see if another submarine was following them. It had the advantage of pointing the best sensors all around the ship in every direction, as well as discomfitting whoever was behind them. As the Relentless weaved her way back onto her course towards the destroyed Klingon attack cruiser, The Captain spoke.
"Put the transmission on speaker, Ensign Gravis."
"Aye, Ma'am."
The voice which came over the speakers sounded very pleased with itself. It was also distorted enough so no one could tell the gender or species of it without extensive analysis.
"Aahh, more grass eaters to witness my strength! Tell me, StarFleet, what do you think of my new abilities? At long last, we who have endured and suffered shall strike back! At long last, the butchers, and their leash holders, shall all die! Right after they beg for their miserable lives to be spared! We shall show them the exact same compassion they showed our families and children! Best of all, we shall do this to them in a way they cannot stop or understand. They shall have no hiding places, no refuge, no pity!"
F'Paurr and her captain looked each other in the eye. This was no Romulan. Or Tal Shiar either, for that matter. The hatred in the voice made F'Paurr's mane stand straight out and she growled reflexively. Allacia stood up. Her black eyes flashed with indignant anger at whomever would dare to threaten her crew and her ship.
"Who are you? Want do you want?"
The voice answered again, this time dripping with satisfaction. And madness.
"What do I want, StarFleet? What do I want? Quite a simple thing, actually. I want you dead. I want to kill you. All. Of. You."
"Ops, can you locate the source of the signal?"
"Trying, Ma'am. So far, sensors show no contacts out to maximum range."
"Helm, I want you to run as radical a course as you can, within the limits of structural integrity. I do not want Relentless to run a straight course for longer than two seconds."
"Aye, Ma'am, run a random course. Sublight or warp speed?"
"Sublight, for now. Commander Bailey, this is the Captain."
"Bailey here, Ma'am."
"Bailey, you were some kind of Engineering whiz at the Academy, what kind of power output would a ship need to cloak and fire weapons?"
"Ma'am, I am just a simple engineer. Geordi LaForge was the whiz kid. I only do my job pretty well. My math says you need about the same output as the warp cores of at least two D'Deridex-class Warbirds. Captain, I am currently running a level one analysis of the Vor'Cha, I think-"
"Bailey, why are you running an analysis on a dead ship when yours is the one in danger?"
"Excuse me, Ma'am, but as long as you and the XO are both on the Bridge, Relentless won't be in danger for long. Replays of the sensor logs show some very, I guess unusual is the right word, energy emissions from the area just behind where the torpedo first appeared. The computer found a match in the historical archives, from some place called NASA. The Nasans used something called 'radio' to monitor and communicate with their ships. These emissions match those in frequency, wavelength and power output."
"Bailey, your whiz kid score just improved markedly. Send what you've got so far to Ops. Ops, add the ChEng's 'emissions' to what you are scanning for and tell me as soon as you find anything at all."
The 'Aye, Ma'am' from Ops and the Engine Room sounded in chorus. Captain Allacia began to pace back and forth between her chair and the Helm. The wild course the ship was moving on, along with the shield output, drew nearly every erg the warp core and the impulse reactors could make. The main computer was trying to maintain the
environmental controls at normal, but whenever the helm or the shields needed more power, the gravity generators were cut off for a millisecond or two.
This caused the deck to move in unexpected directions. The result was the same as being on a surface ship on an ocean. F'Paurr felt a twinge of nausea as the main viewer remained rock steady while her sense of balance said she was being bumped about. The Captain did not seem to notice the deck pitching under her feet. Her measured pace was exactly
the same as it would be if Relentless was tied alongside Space Dock or a tender.
"Contact! Two One Seven Mark Four Four! Range, three hundred thousand klicks! Bearing change indicates the contact is circling to port! Speed is one quarter impulse!"
"Helm! Intercept! Keep our forward shield towards the contact! Execute!"
"Captain, I am showing a constant bearing on the contact! Range is decreasing!"
"He's making a run! Evasive!"
Relentless rolled ninety degrees to starboard and began to climb to port above the plane of the ecliptic. Halfway thru the turn, the gravity failed on the Bridge for a second or two and everything not secured tumbled, rolled or flew into the aft port bulkheads. Including the Captain. A sickening thud/snap indicated her head and right shoulder impacted the bulkhead at the same time. F'Paurr and the rest of the Bridge crew watched in horror as their Captain slid down the bulkhead when the gravity returned.
"Sick Bay, Casualty Team to the Bridge! The Captain is down! Hurry!"
Ensign Gravis spoke in a hushed tone,
"Commander, he's just fired."

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3
F'Paurr swung her head to the main viewer. Conveniently centered in the screen, held there by the computer despite Relentless's wild gyrations, was a torpedo. The magnification lagged behind the weapon's motion, so it appeared to grow swiftly, pause, then increase in size again. She knew it would hit them as soon as she saw it. Time stretched out seconds impossibly long and the torpedo seemed to move between them without being affected. Just before the turbolift doors opened to admit the
Casualty Team to the Bridge, the torpedo impacted the port warp nacelle.
The next few heartbeats were ones of shouts, the power flickering on and off, and a horrendous banging and groaning as the shield generators and skinfield tried to deflect the destructive energies away from the ship. F'Paurr found herself on all fours wedged up under the Tactical arch with the taste of blood in her mouth where she had bitten her lip. The battle lanterns came on and the noise eased its pressure on her ears enough to where she could hear the crew dealing with aftermath of the impact. She crawled out from under Tactical and bellowed,
"I have the Conn! Crew, report!"
"Damage Control reports moderate damage to both the Main Torpedo Bay and to the port nacelle and pylon. Engineering reports the warp drive is off line, but impulse is fully functional. Port shields at forty five percent and falling. Sick Bay reporting light injuries on all decks."
For a brand new ensign, Gravis seemed remarkably calm and collected. Despite the huge bruise forming on his left cheek where his head hit the edge of his console. His report was delivered in the same tone and cadence as he would use in handing off his duty station at the end of his shift. F'Paurr took the time to note that she would write a
commendation after, if, this was over and append it to his next fitness report.
"Well, StarFleet, it appears your ship is damaged. I would like very much to stay and finish you off, but I have an appointment to keep."
Several hours later, F'Paurr was in Sick Bay, speaking with the Chief Medical Officer, Healer Siran. The Captain had sustained a severe skull fracture and a broken clavicle. The shoulder blade was a simple thing to repair, but Siran was uncertain about the extent of the head injury. As a precaution, Siran had placed the Captain into a coma and was monitoring her life signs very closely. F'Paurr was insistent she be called the minute the Captain regained consciousness. Siran was equally insistent the Captain not be concerned with anything besides a speedy recovery from her injuries. After seeing she would not budge the CMO from his position, F'Paurr departed for the Bridge.
Walking along the passageway, she yawned hugely and stretched. Gamma Shift had turned to Alpha and the entire crew was bustling about, finishing minor repairs. She strode onto the Bridge and turned to see Ensign Gravis still at his post. He spoke.
"Ma'am? StarBase 217 has been holding until you arrived. Admiral Chandra's staff has been sent copies of all the logs concerning the incident as well as a damage and
casualty report. The Admiral's call is waiting for you in the Ready Room."
"Thank you, Gravis. Where is your relief? You were supposed to be off duty about twenty minutes ago."
"Ma'am, Lieutenant Korell is attending to his injuries and will be here just as soon as Sick Bay releases him."
Admiral Chandra was his usual terse self. F'Paurr had attended his change of command ceremony at StarBase 217. The Admiral had insisted on a full ceremony, even after his predecessor informed him the Fleet was still picking up the pieces in this sector following the Dominion War. The Cardassians had run roughshod over the destroyers and scouts assigned to StarBase 217. Backed by Jem'Hadar attack ships, they had even occupied and looted several Federation colonies nearby. F'Paurr's excellent hearing had caught Admiral Chandra saying it was time to give a good hard tug on the chain of command in this sector at the reception after the ceremony. To that end, he ordered Relentless about like it was his ship and not Captain Allacia's. The Admiral was not well thought of by the crew.
Relentless' previous assignment had been near the Neutral Zone. After most of the Fleet had been drawn off to fight first the Borg and then the Dominion, Relentless was tasked with patrolling a sector normally covered by three starships. This left little time for things like preparing for a formal inspection.
"Commander F'Paurr, what is Relentless' status?"
F'Paurr had been the Executive Officer of Relentless for just over a year now. Captain Allacia had assumed command two years before then. Since Relentless had been
assigned to StarBase 217, F'Paurr had learned well how to keep Admiral Chandra from 'blowing up' as the Huumann expression put it. Although she would not have minded
watching him actually explode, she watched carefully for the telltales which indicated he was nearing anger with Relentless and her Captain. Again.
"Good morning, Sir. Relentless has completed all major repairs and is ready to continue searching for the ship which attacked us. We have suffered some structural damage that looked worse than it really was. The Chief Engineer has reknitted the pylon and is nearly finished with the outer hull of the Torpedo Bay also. We are prepared-"
"Good, Commander. What is your ETA to here, then?"
"Sir? I do not understand. You want us to return to StarBase 217?"
"That is correct, Commander. Your Captain is seriously injured and my staff want to ascertain the extent of the damage to Relentless. It would not be good for my strongest ship to go swanning about after a madman unless it is completely prepared. How soon will you be here?"
"Sir, Healer Siran has indicated Captain Allacia will be prepared to resume her duties the day after tomorrow at the earliest. I do not anticipate anything untoward happening between now and then. I intend to go over all of the informat-"
"Commander, let me make myself perfectly clear to you. I simply cannot allow my most powerful vessel to go running about the sector with inexperience at the conn. No offense Commander, but this situation calls for a seasoned hand at the helm until Captain Allacia is fully restored to health. Malcolm? Would you step in here for a moment?"
A tall, lanky Huumann strode confidently into view. F'Paurr immediately noticed the four pips on the collar of his uniform. She looked at his face and saw the hunger there. That hunger drove him, sustained him, and consumed him. All at the same time. It was almost a living animal.
"Commander, this is Captain Malcolm Danvers. He was recently assigned here as my deputy director for Operations, after he had a highly successful tour as the Commanding Officer of the USS Sullivan. Since he has just come from a previous shipboard assignment and still remembers how StarFleet does things out there, I am assigning him to temporary duty as the Commanding Officer of Relentless, effective immediately. He will remain in command until Captain Allacia is fit to return to duty. Relentless is to report to StarBase 217 and rendezvous with her new Captain post haste. Commander F'Paurr, do you acknowledge and understand your orders?"
"Aye, Sir. Relentless is to report to Starbase217 immediately and rendezvous with Captain Danvers."
"Very good. Commander, I hope someday when you become an Admiral, you will understand what I am doing here. It is in the best interest of both the Fleet and your crew. Captain Danvers is Relentless' best hope of successfully concluding this pursuit until Captain Allacia can be returned to duty. Starbase 217, out."
F'Paurr suddenly had the urge to slash everything in sight to shreds. She did not give in to the urge. She did not even manifest it on her face or in her body language. Her trueheart thundered hotly in her ears and her instincts told her the Pack was in danger once more. Her StarFleet training told her something quite different. It also gave her the discipline to calmly walk out of the Ready Room without showing any of the emotions she felt. As calmly as that, she ordered Helm to lay in a course for StarBase217. Speed would be impulse until the ChEng gave the okay to go to warp.
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"Commander, We are at the outer marker for the inbound lane to StarBase 217."
"Very good. Helm, drop out of warp and go to one half impulse. Tactical, comm the base and inform them our ETA is one hour. Sickbay, Bridge. As soon as we are within range, conduct an Emergency Medical Tranport of the Captain to the Base Hospital. Siran, you have permission to leave Relentless to consult with the Base Hospital staff about the Captain. Engineering, secure from warp and standby to answer the Helm at sublight. Ops, prepare to do a data dump with the StarBase main computers. Science, ensure that all your information on the engagement, along with the ChEng's additions, are included in the data dump. Maneuvering, run a diagnostic on the thrusters and mooring
tractors."
The Bridge was a busy place this afternoon, F'Paurr decided. The "Aye, Sirs" were coming thick and fast and everyone was bustling about intent on clearing their station of any last minute details and reports.
"Ensign Gravis, have you ever conned a ship into SpaceDock?"
The instant look of almost panic mixed with the desire to do something new crossed his face and ran away just as fast.
"Only in the simulators at the Academy, Ma'am."
F'Paurr could not help herself. The People had a very quirky sense of humor. She had learned in the last four seasons this largely Huumann crew had a similar sarcastic wit. It showed in what the Captain called "fo'c'sle backchat". Not intended to be mean or hurtful, it never showed any restraint or clemency either. It was also reserved for 'family'.
Outsiders were not allowed to see Relentless' lighter side. She spoke again.
"Simulators. I see. And how did the hunt go for you, Ensign?"
"Well, Commander, there was this first year cadet at the Helm and he -"
"What happened, Ensign?"
"After we hit the Space Dock doors before they were fully open, and the hull breach was sealed, we -"
"Hit the doors? Did you not comm Control to open them, Gravis? It is difficult to dock when the dock doors are not open."
"It wasn't my fault! I -"
The chuckles around the Bridge let Gravis know he was being teased in the best Relentless style. Everyone liked the ensign and F'Paurr spent a lot of off duty time teaching all of the junior officers things she felt the Academy did not cover in sufficient detail. Captain Allacia insisted everyone know at least the basics of everyone else's job on the Bridge. F'Paurr felt it was a good thing and intended it to be the same on her own ship someday.
"Ensign Gravis, you have the Conn. I have a duty to perform in the Ready Room. When it is completed, I will return to the Bridge. However, I will not resume the Conn. Take her in, Mr. Gravis. Try not to bump the doors either. Admiral Chandra probably would put all of us on report for smudging the paint."
Lieutenant Barnes at Ops could not help himself. He laughed out loud. F'Paurr turned her gaze to Barnes. Her sudden urge towards teasing fellow crewmembers was not quite yet sated. Particularly when said crewmember was not yet completely Helm qualified. She spoke again.
"Mister Barnes, I've just decided to award you with an opportunity to assist in the Hunt. Take the Helm, please. After all, we should not pass an opportunity to improve your efficiency also. Further, this allows the good Ensign to exactly re experience his last attempt at docking whilst using a hamfisted deckhand to steer the ship."
With an audible gulp, Lieutenant Barnes moved to Helm. The rest of Bridge crew laughed harder but much more quietly.
As soon as the last of the umbilicals were secured to Relentless, F'Paurr took the turbolift to the Command Deck of StarBase 217. The lobby had a panoramic view of the interior of the dock and she noticed what seemed to be a great many people standing around the view ports. She growled very softly, too low for most of them to hear, but one of the Vulcans at the windows turned to glance at her, raising an eyebrow she did so.
F'Paurr spared a quick glance out the port as she went by. Relentless' damage was still not fully repaired. However, most of what was left to do was finishing up and cosmetic. The scorch marks on the port pylon still bothered her, though. It also bothered her so many of the Staff seemed to have time to gape at what were really routine docking operations. It was minor but irritating.
Internally sighing at the inherent uselessness of Base Staff, she hit the door chime to the yeoman's office. It opened and he waved her on through to Admiral Chandra's office. The door to the ready Room opened and the Admiral called out,
"Commander? Good. Please come into my Ready Room. Captain Danvers and I were just having a late luncheon whilst waiting for you to report. Would you like something to eat before we begin?"
"No, thank you, Sir. I've already eaten this day."
Chandra placed his teacup back on the saucer and dabbed at his lips with a linen napkin. F'Paurr saw Captain Danvers looking straight at the Admiral and trying to keep a smile from forming on his face. He appeared just the same as a first year adult on his very first Hunt. All bundled energy and excitement barely under control enough to listen to the Pack Leader. For just an instant, she sympathized with him. The restrictions of being deskbound after having the stars at your feet was something she understood well. Her assignment before Relentless had been as Deputy Logistician at StarBase 34. Nevertheless, her sympathy as his situation ran hard into her loyalty to her Captain and died a quiet death. The Admiral spoke,
"Malcolm, I think we'll dispense with the usual formalities of you assuming command of Relentless and send you back out just as soon as the Staff says she is good to go. This is a temporary assignment, after all. I am sure Christina will be hopping mad when she discovers I've loaned her ship to you. I may need some time in Sick Bay myself about five minutes after she regains consciousness and hears what I have to tell her." Chandra laughed lightly at his own joke. F'Pauurr once again marveled at the Admiral's talent for saying the exact wrong thing at precisely the correct moment. Captain Danvers spoke next,
" 'Temporary', Sir? To have a Bridge Deck under my feet again is the very last thing I expected. After the last two months in Operations, I am mightly tempted to never come back to the office."
The light tone in Captain Danver's v
oice indicated he was joking along with the Admiral. To F'Pauurr, his body language said exactly the opposite.

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