* Twenty - Five *
"Lieutenant Andrews, put me on ship wide vid-com." Admiral Jackson commanded as he walked in and onto the bridge, being followed closely by President Adriakar.
“You’re on, Admiral.” Lieutenant Andrews replied from her post at communications.
"This is Admiral Robert ... Edward ... Lee ... Andrew ... Jackson, to everyone aboard the Orion." he began, as ears perked up from all stations on and off of the bridge, especially the ears of President Adriakar, who had never heard him use his full birth given name, ever.
"I may only be acting, as the admiral of the galactic fleet, until all is said and done, but be though as it may be, I will expect not only from myself, but also from every officer aboard this ship, conduct, in a more appropriate and respectable manner, worthy of the rank, and or office, that we all presently hold." the admiral continued as his voice filled the entire ship from end to end.
"If we can't, or else have no desire to do so, then I suggest that this be the time that we relinquish our rank, and or office, to someone who is better qualified." Jackson said as everyone on the bridge looked around at one another as if for the first time.
"Unless we all strive most seriously to do our best, then our chances of survival during this mission will be slim to none." the admiral went on to say. "This could very well turn into the blood curdling battle that we've all prayed about, and have hoped to avoid."
"The Zaleens only bring death and destruction, dominance and misery, to every free and inhabited world, apart of, or apart from, the Consortium." Admiral Jackson added.
"We are nothing to them but a contaminating virus that needs to be exterminated and gotten rid of." Commander April said to himself as he turned around in his seat to recheck his monitors.
"Right you are, Commander April." President Adriakar replied as Captain Celane stood up from the center seat to stretch her limbs.
"Our main objective during this mission will be to combine forces with the rest of the galactic fleet and try as hard as we possibly can, to keep the Zaleens from crossing the neutral zone, and into Consortium space." Admiral Jackson explained.
"During our voyage, this ship and its crew will begin the process of shaping up for whatever lies ahead of us in the orbit of the planet Glammadren." Admiral Jackson, out," he said before Andrews cut the ship wide transmission.
"Captain Celane," Jackson went on to say. "We're going on to Glammadren without the aid of Commodora Tawn."
"What, are you mad, Admiral!" Davadra Adriakar and Sathrana Celane both thundered, flinging their arms all about in the air, as if ready to fly right into him.
"Madam President Adriakar, Captain Celane, and all bridge personnel, I'm just being cautious." Jackson answered as he walked over to stand at Donald April’s station while her eyes bore hatefully into his back. "You all fail to see, that whoever is going to be meeting with us, in the orbit of the planet Glammadren, wants us to believe that it's Commodora Tawn."
"We can't have her ship tagging along beside us when we get there, now can we?" he asked as he gazed over to see Sathrana Celane sitting slowly back down and into her seat.
"I see your point, Admiral, but just how many ships will the fleet be sparing from duty while they patrol the Uorexuan neutral zone?" the president of the consortium asked as she gazed over at the admiral of the galactic fleet.
"And please, don't address me as Madam President Adriakar!" she flared.
"Davadra, one lone Zaleen battle cruiser destroyer has crossed the neutral zone in violation of the treaty, and regardless of that fact, we are now ourselves, en-route to---
"How many ships will the fleet spare, Admiral?" Commander April asked, glancing up at his old friend since junior high school days.
“Just two ships, Commander.” Jackson replied glancing down at April.
"We're going to our doom against a twenty mile long battle cruiser destroyer, and all the fleet can spare are two ships!" Captain Celane stormed again as she flew back up and out of her seat while turning to face the admiral.
"Captain, if the Zaleen's suspect that we are on to them, they'll blow us out of the Glammadren solar system." Jackson stated.
"They might just decide to do that any how. "Commander Scott said as he made one last check of his console before he stood up to face the admiral.
"Sure enough, Commander Scott." the admiral agreed. "Commodora Tawn has warned us, that we might be heading into a trap, so, we must be prepared to escape that trap before it's sprung." Jackson said as he walked over to one of the oval bridge doors.
"We'll be weapons hot, if nothing else." Commander Scott said as the admiral exited out and into the octagon corridor alone.
"I believe the ship is fit enough to deflect whatever the Zaleen's might throw at her." Scott went on to say to the others on the bridge.
"You seem awful sure of yourself, Commander Scott." Commander April replied as the oval doors to the bridge zipped open and allowed the Helmsman, Lieutenant Steven Davis an entrance and Davadra Adriakar an exit.
The Orion entered the Glammadren solar system without incident and two star ships from the consortium's galactic fleet flanked and escorted the flagship to the orbit of the planet Glammadren itself.
"Zaleen battle cruiser destroyer dead ahead in Glammadren orbit as well, Captain." Commander April said as he turned from his monitors to the main view screen.
"They're hailing us, Captain." Lieutenant Andrews added as she too turned from her monitors to the main view screen.
"Put them on the speakers, Lieutenant." the Captain ordered as the Orion closed in on the twenty mile long Zaleen star ship.
"Bridge to Admiral Jackson." said the voice of Captain Celane over Jackson's vid-com wristwatch. "The show's about to start, sir."
"I'm on my way, Captain." the admiral said as he walked from his ready room over to and on to the bridge, before training his sights on the main view screen just ahead of the helm and navigation's stations, on the wall of the upper deck, between the engineering and environmental stations.
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