Welcome to Star Trek Simulation Forum

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Hunter Matheson

If you've been there

If you’ve been there


All he needed was a swagger stick. Whether he knew it or not, General Willey came off as arrogant, officious, ambitious, and a downright jerk. As far as Kal could see, he was looking for another bright, shiny new star for his shoulder and using the loss of their exec as an excuse to get it. In Kal’s mind, Willey was prime head-shed material.


Special Warfare Craft Crewman GYSGT Kal Matheson had a lot of experience with the head-shed. He’d lost count of the times he’d been scrambled to provide extraction cover for a team that was pinned down and under fire with dead and wounded in tow, while some schmuck head-shed general sat all safe and comfy behind his desk... cigar in one hand, coffee in the other... watching the op on a screen like it was a Saturday night movie. Sometimes the stars aligned for the team, but sometimes the “go for extract” came too late, so all that was left was enough DNA to wrap next to a silver star in the casket, and enough to have inside a coffin when your fist came down on that gold Trident, pounding it into the spotless oak lid where it would sit in a straight line next to the other twenty-odd Tridents forever.


Duty. Honor. Federation. Hooyah.


Ltn Sylvanis' hand on his shoulder jerked him back to the present, and when he turned, her normally light blue eyes were deep pools of compassion. Kal’s gaze dropped to the table. It took a while to process. Something he’d done. Maybe the way his leg twitched, maybe the angry flush as he listened to the general’s rant? Something sent her a red flag. When he came around, he realized she knew what he was thinking. She’d been there. No words were necessary. He could barely hold it in.


When the Quick Reaction Force returned to base, Shadow Squadron was out of the bay, their tiny fighters nothing more than gnats to the Romulan warbird keeping pace with Challenger. We could have lost her. Could have lost them all. A few deep breaths, and he finally regained his focus.


The general was peppering the crew with questions about a “lightning ship.” He traipsed back and forth in the conference room, waving a cup of coffee in the air, spouting orders that made no sense, then threatening the crew with consequences if they didn’t answer. Did the general want them to do his job? Had Fleet Command been caught with their pants down? Was this general about to mop the floor with Challenger’s crew? Was the crew headed to Leavenworth?


Security, Gen M Willey,” he spouted into the com. “Lockdown Challenger. Secure every loose crew member wandering around this place, and place security outside my conference room. Interview each of them to find out what they've done, who they've talked to and what they have discussed after they exited Challenger. Be thorough.”


Huh? Did he read their After Action Report? Gees… that took hours….


“And no more of this protocol. I want each of you participating,” Willey continued, eyeing the crew. “He's vouched for each of you, and you now know top secret information. Don't hold back.”


Matheson’s mouth dropped open. In less than a minute, the conference had turned into an interrogation.


“He’s grabbing at straws,” Kal mumbled in Sylvanis’ direction, apparently loud enough for the general to hear.


“You think, Marine?” he challenged.


“I try not to, sir,” Matheson replied calmly, devoid of insinuation, meeting his superior’s glare straight on. “Thinking leads to speculation, and and this point, due respect, sir, I don’t believe you know anything and you’re grabbing at straws.”


“Here are the facts,” Willey growled, waving that coffee cup again. “The lightning has been spotted by several ships. Yours is the only one that took damage.”


“Maybe we took damage because we were already damaged, because somebody told our QRF to stand downsir.” Yeah, he was getting hot.


“Marine, if you have timeline proof of that, then you’d better present it before you leave this station. I want facts, not opinions.”


No, the general didn’t have a clue. He hadn’t read their After Action Report. He hadn’t looked at the ship’s logs. He damn sure didn’t care about the loss of Commander Rinax, he didn’t care about the crew, and he didn’t care that if it weren’t for the grace of a higher power they might not be here now listening to this bull….


Another hand on his shoulder. It settled him down. A little. But he couldn’t get the thought of the general’s head on a platter out of his mind.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0