* Twenty - Seven *
"I, President Davadra Alurra Adriakar, of the United Galactic Consortium of Inhabited Worlds, call this meeting to order." Davadra Adriakar said as everyone sat around the table in the bridge briefing room. "This meeting is being transmitted live to every planet and star ship in and of the consortium."
"At this time I will replay the vid-com disk recording of Empress Kalindra Vohaydren's demands from the Zaleen Empire." she said as she activated the vid-com system on the podium where she stood.
After the recording had ended Davadra's face filled screens on countless worlds and star ships that picked up and transmitted the signal. She explained that the Orion was currently en-route to the planet Zanaria where they would meet personally with the former princess of the Zaleen Empire, Valakadria Tawn, in order that with, or without her aid, the Consortium of Inhabited Worlds would seek out and find a way to prevent a full scale galactic war from starting.
"In order to keep the peace treaty between the consortium and the Zaleen Empire in effect, and prevent a full scale galactic war from taking place, we must find, and if necessary, use force, and turn the former princess and daughter of Empress Kalaketvia Tawn of the planet Zaleena over to their new empress, Kalindra Vohaydren." President Adriakar stated for the record.
"The charges brought against ... Valakadria Tawn, and the punishments that ... she may or may not receive, are unknown at this present time," she said while tears flooded her eyes and she gestured for Admiral Jackson to take the podium because for reasons unknown to anyone else but herself, she could not continue, and Jackson, not knowing exactly what he would say for sure at such a short moments notice, took over.
"I, Galactic Fleet Admiral Robert Andrew Jackson, of the United Galactic Consortium of Inhabited Worlds, and Galactic Fleet am now at this time placing all inhabited worlds and all star ships in the consortium and the fleet under red alert standby status." Jackson said as everyone around the table in the bridge briefing room exchanged glances and words with one another. "If war with the Zaleen Empire is inevitable, and then we must prepare to make ourselves ready for war."
"Our main objective from henceforth onward, and thereafter today, will be to keep the Zaleens from crossing the neutral zone into consortium space, at all cost, Galactic Fleet Admiral Robert Andrew Jackson, out." he said as he deactivated the vid-com unit on the podium before stepping down and walking over to stand at the head of the table, his eyes now on Davadra Adriakar.
"That was short but sharp,"Commander Donald April said as he scratched his beard with his right hand as his elbow rested on the low table.
"If we don't turn the old witch over to the new witch, then we can all rest assured that we won't be getting any rest in Oz." Commander David Jackson, the chief of security said as he looked up at his older brother.
"We can all rest uneasily assured of that, oh great and mighty brother wizard." he added.
"How was it that we survived seventeen years ago, David?" Robert Jackson asked heatedly. "Sixteen years ago, fifteen years ago, fourteen years ago, David!"
"Tell us how we managed to be right back where we are now, after thirteen years?" David's brother asked while staring hatefully down at his transcribe.
"Valakadria had a heart," answered starvette fighter pilot, Captain James Jackson, younger brother of David and Robert as he gazed about the table. "This Calendar Of Hated Men or what ever her name is, doesn't have one, that I'm aware of," he added.
"That much is for certain, Admiral." Commander Donald April replied from his seat at the table. "Your not going to melt what Vohaydren doesn't have." he said as he looked up at his old friend while giving James a thumbs up gesture.
"Kalindra Vohaydren says what she means and she means exactly what she says." said the Zaleen ambassador, Dara Tekka as she stood to speak.
"I will represent Commodora Tawn if she has need of my services, and, idle talk and wasted time are not apart of this new Zaleen empress's makeup." she added as she looked about the briefing room table.
"Dealing with the likes of her will in no way be an easy task, Ambassador, Admiral." Davadra Adriakar stated as she wiped the last of the flowing tears from her eyes.
"Well," the admiral said as he glanced once more over at Davadra. "Time is wasted with idle talk, and right now time is one commodity that we are very hurriedly running short of." he said.
"Valakadria Tawn will determine our next course of action, based on how she will handle the matter, once she has been briefed," he ended in saying.
"And that is if she hasn't already been informed, via the galactic transmission to the planets and ships in the Consortium." Counselor Davrina Adriakar said as she took her sister Davadra by the arm.
"I would say that she has, Davrina." Admiral Jackson replied.
"Admiral, and present company included," Commander Jackson said as he stood up from his seat at the table. "Why don't we---
"Meeting adjourned." President Adriakar said, interrupting the security chief, as she walked toward and through the oval doorway, along with her sister as the others got up from the table to follow.
Admiral Jackson made his way to exit the bridge briefing room out into the octagon corridor to stand with Davadra and Davrina, having left his transcribe behind on the conference table.
"Are you alright Davadra?" he asked as he placed his left hand on her right shoulder and his right hand on Davrina's left shoulder. And you Davrina, are you alright?"
"Yes Robert." Davadra answered as her sister Davrina shook her head no.
"Captain Celane, Commander April, see to it that we arrive in the orbit of Zanaria as soon as---
"I for one, am going to the galley and refuel my stomach," Donald April said, interrupting Davadra before she could proceed to change the subject of her hurt, herself.
"I second the motion," Sathrana Celane chimed in.
"Sounds good to me," David Jackson said as they stood by the turbo shaft between the briefing room and the officers' lounge.
"I haven't any objections," Robert Jackson said, before he went back to the briefing room to retrieve and tuck his transcribe under his left arm, after releasing his light grip on Davadra's and Davrina's shoulders.
"If the bridge needs us then they can suffer until after we've had something to eat," Alex Scott said as he punched the touch pad control for the lift. "I mean they can suffice until after we've---
"We get the message Alex," James Jackson said as he leaned on the corridor wall and waited with the others.
"Should you over stuff yourselves, please don't come crying to me." Barbara Henderson said as she glanced down at her transcribe.
"Don't worry Doc, I'm not a pig like some of us here may be." Steven Davis said as he covered his head so that David Jackson wouldn't thump it.
"Okay, who's hogging up the damned elevator this time?" David Jackson bellowed just as the oval door slid open and Dara Tekka side stepped around the irate security chief to take a seat in the lift.
"Davadra, is it, or is it not, true, that Vohaydren's ship is in violation of the treaty which states ... no ships in the Consortium or the Zaleen Empire are allowed to cross over the Uorexuan-Zaleen neutral zone into each others space, except to offer aid, as per request by the other party, and that being in a time of peace?" he asked as the others listened in while ordering their food.
"Yes." Davadra answered, somewhat surprised that the admiral hadn't forgotten this portion of the treaty after thirteen years.
"Then might I suggest that we contact the fleet and have them send enough ships to the Glammadren system to immobilize Vohaydren's ship and place her and her crew under galactic arrest." he said as everyone remained silent during his and Davadra's short conversation with one another. That was until David Jackson piped up.
"Now you're showing a little backbone, brother." the security chief said.
"That action in itself would be more than enough of a reason to provoke the Zaleens to start a war of gargantuan proportions," Davadra Adriakar replied.
"Yes," Davrina Adriakar said as she stood. "The very war that we want, so very much, to avoid at all costs."
"Even at the cost of your half sisters life?" Robert Jackson asked as he stood.
"That ... was ... as they say on Earth, a very low blow, Admiral!" Davadra stormed as she stood also.
"We either do as I suggest or else we hand Valakadria Tawn over to the newly formed Zaleen Empire!" Admiral Jackson stormed back as everyone squirmed uneasily in their chairs at the table. "Getting the former princess and ourselves out of this mess at the same time will be no easy task, Madame President Adriakar.'
"I am well aware of the dangers and the risk that we would be ta---
"Empress Vohaydren wants Commodora Tawn and has violated the treaty in coming across the neutral zone after her," Donald April said as he stood at the table stopping his friend short before he, Jackson, blew a fuse. "This in itself is a spit in our faces if we sit here and do absolutely nothing about it."
"I agree wholeheartedly with you Commander April." David Jackson replied.
"I do have a plan," the admiral said as he fought to control his anger. "But, it's a spur of the moment plan and it's ... not completely thought out," he said as he and April slowly sat back down in their chairs.
"And what may I ask, is your incomplete plan, Admiral?" Davadra asked as both she and Davrina retook their seats at the table.
"It is a plan of deception, Davadra," Jackson answered as his food was brought to the table and set before him. "That is ... if it works, because I'll be needing the cooperation of everyone on this ship and everyone available to us on the planet Zanaria."