Master of Violence – Part 12

Master of Violence

by AJ Marks

Part 12

Mark paced on the bridge before he was called for an incoming message.

“Admiral,” Mark said seeing the admiral on the screen.

“I have news, for you first,” he said.  Mark nodded and put on some headphones before waiting.  “I’m sorry to say, the mission failed.  The Princess Royal was destroyed, all hands are assumed lost.”

Mark nodded not trusting himself to speak.

“The President is heading to Congress to ask for a declaration of war between humanity and this unknown race.  As of this moment you and any defense ships are clear to open fire upon seeing this hostile enemy race.  We have new intel on them which will be forwarded to you at once, including better images of their ships, and a scanner reading of them.  If you spot anything which matches you are to open fire at once,” Richard said to him.

“I understand sir,” Mark replied back.

“One more thing, they attacked without any communications at all, don’t expect any,” Richard said.

“I won’t, but what if they do?” Mark asked.

“Then use you’re discretion, but remember, they have attacked without warning,” Richard said.  “You’re first priority is to protect Earth at all costs.”

“Understood,” Mark said.

“Good, I expect the declaration of war to pass with no problems, so assume a war footing on all procedures.”

“Very well,” Mark said as the conversation ended and he put the headphones down and picked up the microphone for ship-wide communications.

He knew everyone was watching him now, and mentally prepared for what he had to say next.

“Attention all hands, this is the captain speaking.  The latest news is now in, the mission to Sierra had failed.  The Princess Royal was destroyed, all hands assumed lost.  As of this moment we are on a war footing, all stations are to maintain readiness at any moment.  Fighter squadrons are now on a rotational alert, all weapon systems are to be ready.  We have a scanner imprint of the enemy ship thanks to the Princess Royal.  Once this is uploaded to your scanning and targeting computers, any ship with that signature is to be engaged without question,” Mark said to them all.  “We are Earth’s only defense at the moment, and all efforts are being made to improve such defense.  Until that happens, we will not fall, we will not fail.  That is all.”

Mark looked at the rest of the group hoping he did a good job.  Speeches were never his thing and he hoped he said the right thing.

“We’ll be ready for them if they come,” Hans said to him standing next to him.  “We have a good crew, and a good ship.”

Mark nodded, hoping the ship was technologically advanced enough to fight off this new enemy.

The Enterprise was the most advanced warship humanity had ever built.  Now Mark could only hope it was advanced enough.  All their lessons of the past came down to this ship, and it would be required to defend Earth now from an enemy its builders never considered, an alien race.

“I know Hans, I want a meeting with the all departments at once, we need to make sure the ship is completely prepared.  Inform the other ships as well, I’m sure they know by now as well.  We need to coordinate our efforts with them as well,” Mark said.

“On it.”

Mark made his way back to his office sitting down knowing he had a lot of things to do.  But something made him look over at his phone.  Activating it there was still nothing from his niece, but decide to send a message to her anyways.  He informed her that they were now at war with this alien race and he hoped she was doing fine.

He almost put his phone away when he decided to tell her a bit more.  He informed her that they had sent a ship to talk to the aliens, which had been destroyed.  If they could find anything else out and send it, they would appreciate it.

Moving back to his reports he paused as another communications came in.  Frowning a bit he opened it surprised to see Senator Jeff Cerial appear on the screen.

“Hope I’m not interrupting anything captain,” the senator said.

“No, what do I owe the pleasure?” Mark asked wondering what the senator was calling over.

“Want to give you a heads up, the war measure passed, and that you’ve been chosen for a promotion,” Jeff said.

Mark waited, wondering why the admiral didn’t mention that.

“You’re being put in charge of earth defense fleet under Admiral Jorkenstein,” Jeff said to him.  “Richard is being promoted to Fleet Admiral, you’re moving up to Rear-Admiral.”

The news surprised Mark, the military hadn’t had a fleet admiral in almost fifty years.

“There is more, construction on new warships has already started,” Jeff said.

“So soon?”

“The military continued to submit new designs, the ships are only small ships, destroyers and such, but they are better than nothing until we can start a new battlecruiser,” Jeff said to him.

“And my duties, are you taking me off the Enterprise?” Mark asked.

“And move you where?” Jeff answered.  “No, you’re in charge of the fleet, and coordinate with the planetary defense stations as they come on-line again.”

“How long will that take?”

“Estimates vary, but teams are already on their way up,” Jeff said.  “And there is one more thing.”

Mark waited patiently knowing this was the reason for the call.

“You receive information from Sierra, any other news?” Jeff asked.

“My niece,” he replied understanding what Jeff wanted.  “No, but I did send her a message back informing her I got her message.  We’ll see what happens next.”

“Keep us informed,” Jeff said.

“I will,” Mark replied, as the conversation ended.  Not surprisingly he received another call and saw Richard on the screen.

“Admiral, or should I say fleet admiral,” Mark stated watching as Richard seemed surprised at that.

“You know about that?” Richard asked.

“Finished talking to Senator Cierial,” Mark replied honestly.  “He mentioned your promotion.”

“And yours?”

“Yeah, Rear-Admiral, head of the Earth Defense fleet,” Mark said wondering what Richard would add.

“Yeah, I assume you’ll be making the Enterprise the flagship,” Richard said.

“Seems logical, though I’ll have to promote some people on board, a new captain,” Mark said.

“Do it. Let me know who and we’ll do the updates here,” Richard said.

“Anything else?” Mark asked.

“We’ll be sending up a command staff to help you out, Lieutenant Victoria Scheffer, she’s good at what she does, along with a few others she is picking out.”

“I’ll make the arrangements,” Mark replied.  The conversation ended and now he contacted the bridge to have Hans come to his office.

He went over everything which had just happened.  Things seemed to be heating up, and now he was a rear-admiral, though his position really had not changed much.  He had already been in charge of most of the fleet, now it was official.  A knock interrupted his musings and looked up as Hans entered the room.

“The other captains are on their way, but something else happen?” he asked.

“Yeah, got some new news, I’ve been promoted to rear-admiral,” Mark said watching Hans.

“Congratulations.”

“Admiral Jorkenstein was promoted to fleet admiral,” Mark said.  “They are preparing for new ships in the fleet.  Which means I’ll need you to take over the Enterprise.  I’ll be staying on board as it’s my flagship now.  We need to make room for a command staff.”

“I’ll see what can be done,” Hans said.

“Good,” Mark said.  “Give me a few days to get things organized, but you should be the next captain of the Enterprise.”

“I just do my duties,” Hans said.  “But it’s nice to know I have your confidence.”

“I’ll need recommendations for your replacement as well,” Mark said to him.

“Hadn’t thought of that, I’ll think if over, see who rises to the challenge out of all of this,” Hans said and Mark could already see the man’s mind working.

Mark watched him leave knowing they had a lot of things to do and not a lot of time to do it in.

*****

Toncor made his way into the office along with his translator.  A person who wore a translating device and could inform the others of what he said.  For some meetings it was easy to just move it back and forth, but larger groups this method was better.  He had actually gotten used to the entire thing by now, and had learned so much more about the human race, and the planet they lived on.

He wondered how his race might have adapted with such violence, yet the humans managed to create such beautiful music.  Listening to the classical pieces they rivaled anything he heard in Simian history.

Turning his attention back to the people in front of him, he looked on to see several senators already there, along with the President, who could have a translator earpiece as well.

“Ah, Toncor, thank you for coming and sitting in on our meeting,” she said to him.

“Pleasure” Toncor replied back.

At this the President motioned for everyone to sit.  He sat down, slightly annoyed that everyone else seemed so much taller than he was.  Then wondered where that thought even came from.

He listened in as they went over what had happened.  He knew about the declaration of war and the sudden ship building, something he had been expecting since they arrived, only not for it to be warships.  He would have expected transport ships to escape the planet and the Dark Race.

In fact, all over the planet he saw where the people were preparing to fight, not surrender.  They were constructing several new warships, in fact he heard that the total would be about five of this class of ships.

“Ambassador, you’ve been listening in on all of this, it will affect the repairs on your ship,” the President said to him.

Toncor paused to think about the statement.  It was not a question, only a fact they were telling him.  He thought about what Hakkas said to him about the engines before replying.

“Until such time as our engines are repaired, we are stuck here,” Toncor said to her.  “I understand that, but there are some on board who will feel uneasy about this, especially with the news of the Dark Race attacking one of your colonies.”

He heard the guy behind him translate it, not word for word, but it got the point across.

“Our facilities are still small, and if we are to defend ourselves, every effort must be put into that,” the President said.

“I understand,” Toncor said, not saying they had not mentioned to those on board that the Dark Race had attacked the humans.  “Will there still be work on our engines?”

“Yes, they are an important part of our defense,” another person said.  “Your engines and technology have given us new ideas upon which to create new technologies of our own, even weapon systems.”

That statement did shock Toncor.  He never thought of any of their technology which could be used for war or killing.  Humanity really did think different than just about any other race in the universe.  Or at least the few races he had met so far.

“We did promise to help you, we don’t plan to abandon that promise now,” the President said to him.

“We will continue to work with you,” Toncor said.  But another thought came to him, if they were looking at their technology, were they purposefully stalling, and gave voice to his doubt.  To his surprise it was the man who spoke up earlier who spoke again.

“A natural assumption, and while there are many things in your ship we are still understanding, we could always repair you engines and ask you to stay, could we not?”

Toncor sat back at the question.  It was logical, and he could see no reason why they would not.

“Your reply is logical,” Toncor said.  “And you’re right, we probably would stay, until such time as the Dark Race appeared.”

“We’ll work hard to repair your ship,” the President said, and Toncor understood she spoke the truth.

End part 12

Continued in part 13

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