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Diplonacy, Fleet Style

March 21, 2011  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Plot, STUFF BLOWING UP IN SPACE, The Craft   0 Comments

From my Space Opera novel, Stuff Blowing Up in Space.

As soon as he stepped out of the airlock, he knew the mission, such as it was, was going to hell.

They didn’t step out into a reception area—it was an atrium. Immediately he felt his marines tense up from the increased exposure. Snipers could hide in a hundred places.

Then there was the Princess herself and her four person detail, two of them obviously security.

The Princess was tall. 1.905 meters to be exact. Her hair looked like sapphire silk, made to run hands through. She had legs that went forever out of her tunic, ending in short military boots. At least the top of the tunic she changed into wasn’t diaphanous like her previous blouse, but it might as well have been. Her breasts, which his stupid battle comp proudly told him was 36C, were of the round, youthful sort.

Then her eyes. They were big and doe-like—soft amber-colored with flecks of green.

She was a light shade of purple. She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful feminine creature he had ever seen. She put Lieutenant Jennifer Polouski, the female looker of Wolfpack 359, to shame.

As they approached, she looked confused. Then she looked disturbingly hungry. Now she was, and it was hard to tell because facial expressions were somewhat different, smirking.

Yes, it definitely looked like a smirk.

Not good.

“Princess.” He bowed. As to plan, the marines did not.

“Captain.” She simply stood with her hands on her hips.

Her voice was high-but not annoyingly so.

Tilbrook looked around. Everyone had Aoe Station insignia. Bleh.

“Are we to meet the Navy personnel in a briefing room? I would like to present the data to a tactical officer.”

Now she looked positively haughty.

“No, Captain Tilbrook. No, what you are going to do is listen to every Fleet and Aoe regulation and protocol you broke in getting here, and then and only then, hear my plan.”

She gave her hair a little toss. “First, there is the manner of you trying to contact the Navy directly. This was a violation of Section 15a from Article…”

Well, crap. So much for Plan A. Unfortunately, he didn’t have a Plan B. She didn’t want him to submit. She was not intimidated. If she was hungry, she didn’t show it. She was simply annoyed.

**Ah, Skipper? You’re not really listening to this amazon quote regs, are you?** asked Mitty.

**No, Private, I’m trying to come up with a new plan, because the old one just went to hell.**

**Thank you for saying it first, Skipper,** said Kitty.

**I had such high hopes,** he admitted, **especially for all the time and money we put into it.**

**I think we underestimated her smarts, sir. Looks like her plan is to talk until you get very tired of it and slink off,** said Mitty, sounding annoyed, which was a pretty neat trick for sub-vocalization armor talk.

“…and now let’s turn to the quite rude and inappropriate actions of your helmsman starting with…”

Deep down, Tilbrook got angry. Smart and beautiful sish or no, the Commodore was counting on him. He could even be dead, and Princess here was pulling Rear-Escalon-Mother-Fucker.

**Sir, I know I don’t need to state the obvious, but every minute we listen to this purple bitch give us the riot act, Really Bad Things could be pouring out of that jump-point. It could even be war,** said Kitty. She sounded depressed.

That’s when he knew.

**New plan. Stun her escorts, zero body count. GO!**

It was as if Mitty, Kitty and his brain was connected. As he was drawing his sidearm, they were drawing their stunners and both of them were weapons-free before he was.

The snap-hiss of the stunners was loud and he dully noted his helmet had formed around his head and there was a small hiss of a seal.

His pistol was free. He aimed it at the comically surprised Princess and pulled the trigger. Dark sish blood from his expertly aimed shot spurted from her left thigh, and she went down.

***

Staff Sargent Sergei Koltsov wasn’t exactly surprised everything went to hell, although the manner in which it did surprised him. One moment the Princess was droning on and on and the next the captain and the twins threw down.

Well, so much for diplomacy.

“Squad, RESCUE PLAN CHARLIE, GO!”

The rest of the marine detail, including him, poured out of the Coolidge.

His explosive tech was moving with lightning speed. He slammed a boarding surge module into the power receptacle in the airlock, twisted the safety handle, and pulled it up.

“Fire in the hole!” the tech screamed as he slammed the handle down and everyone dived out of the airlock.

The surge module was a particularly nasty device. It debugged the power hardware and then sent a surge in various frequencies up the system until it found a vulnerability, and then it poured an enormous amount of power back up the grid.

Sometimes, they simply exploded.

More often than not, they sent a surge all the way through the system, burning cutouts until the main power plant completely shut out that portion of the grid.

And that’s exactly what happened. Power went out in their station section, the atrium they found themselves in bathed in sudden darkness. Not even the emergency lighting turned on.

Excellent.

His optics went into night-vision mode.

That’s when he saw the twins and the skipper thundering towards him. Only, Tilbrook had the Princess over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry.

Oh shit.

“Back in the ship! Back in the ship! Back in the ship!” he screamed over the tac-channel.

As his squad retreated, they all fired flash-bangs and the world for anyone not wearing proper armor and looking into the atrium went white.

***

Ensign Fredrick Hernández aka “Rookie” aka “Steady Freddy” was surprised the Princess was in his airlock, but his orders were clear. Rescue plan Charlie called for him to “GTFO” as soon as the Coolidge’s outer airlock door closed with all personnel on-board, and that’s what he did. Since he was combat docked, he blew the flimsy boarding tube and punched it.

“Coolidge! You are to heave-to immediately! Coolidge!” This was from the security channel.

ECM Tech Ensign Gina Kipply, sitting over to his left, punched a virtual button on her console. A pre-program routine started, the first of which was to send massive jamming on all comm frequencies. The comm chatter ceased.

The Coolidge shot out Aoe Station’s space like a speed demon from hell, burning hard towards the FTL safety line, and if anyone had bothered to look, they would have noted she was breaking all the system speed records in the process.

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