In this excerpt from Morgan’s Return, Ellen Cruickshank has failed in her first attempt to destroy Morgan. Here’s she’s being interviewed by her commanding officer, Admiral Makasa.
He made her wait. She had known he would. Deliberately, he put down the light pen and pressed the control to hide his screen, which sank into the desk cavity. He placed his forearms against the desk’s edge, and lacing the fingers of both beringed hands together, he stared at her from black eyes in an ebony face. The thick lips were curved downward.
“You know why you’re here.” His chins wobbled as he spoke.
“Yes, Sir.” He hadn’t told her to stand at ease.
“I’ve had a complaint from Captain Glebe. Would you care to explain to me what in hell you thought you were doing?”
Ellen glanced down at her shoes. “I… I’m sorry, Sir. I overestimated my capability.”
He scowled. “You underestimated your enemy.”
“Yes, Sir.” At least that was the truth.
“You had no authority to engage a hostile in combat. You should have contacted Captain Glebe and let him deal.”
“I felt the intruders would have escaped, Sir.”
Makasa’s nostrils flared. “The intruders did escape, Sir. And you sustained damage to a state-of-the-art fighter.”
She winced. She’d never seen him so angry.
He rose to his feet and paced around the desk to stand over her, a vast bulk in a dark blue uniform. She could smell his cologne, hear his breath hissing softly, as she examined the details of the Fleet insignia on the buttons of his jacket.
“Never forget, Cruickshank, you are a Supertech. You do not fly fighter missions without very, very good cause. What if your ship had been destroyed? Hmmm? Not just a ship, but a ship with a Supertech flying it. The fighter is worth a fortune but your skills are worth much, much more.”
Makasa wheeled, surprisingly light on his feet for such a large man, and paced back around to his side of the desk. The hover chair hissed as he lowered his weight into it. “Do I need to remind you that not quite two years ago we lost Morgan Selwood? The Coalition cannot afford that sort of thing.”
“No, Sir.” Selwood. Bloody Selwood. And he called her by her first name. Ellen was always Cruickshank, never Ellen. I hate you, Selwood. You’re going to die. But first I’ll tell you how much I hate you.
Genre - Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13