The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part One – First Encounter
“We must have a full security detail,” Lt. Commander Bracht recommended sternly.
“Full security for a single child of no more than ten cycles?” another security officer questioned.
“He killed four Grapnes!” Bracht replied a little too harshly. He was a Rabnoshk warrior, which meant he was honorable and yet so very passionate. Captain Arden raised an eyebrow at Bracht’s tone but said nothing. The look was all that was needed. “Single handedly,” Bracht said a little more calmly. “Besides, he’s a Tredon. They can’t be trusted.”
J.T. agreed with Bracht to a point. The boy’s phaser was set to kill, but he was defending himself. And he didn’t attack the members of the Alliance.
“Enemies or not,” the captain replied, “We are not at war with the Tredons. Nor do we wish to be. This situation must be handled carefully. I won’t treat the child as a criminal without just cause.”
“Killing four men is not just cause?” Bracht challenged almost too angrily. It was his nature to be abrupt so the captain didn’t interpreted his tone as a direct challenge to his authority.
“In self-defense,” J.T. added.
“We don’t know that,” Bracht shot back. “The Grapnes said the Tredons attacked them and stole their cargo.”
“There is no evidence of stolen cargo,” J.T. replied. Bracht harrumphed. “Besides,” J.T. continued, “I don’t think this boy should be held responsible for it if they did.”
“You saw what that so-called boy did with your own eyes. He’s dangerous,” Bracht said heatedly.
“But he didn’t shoot at us,” J.T. objected with a little heat getting into his own voice. J.T. was new to the Odyssey so he didn’t know Bracht well. A part of him was a little afraid of the Rabnoshk warrior, but he wasn’t about to back down. Everything he’d witnessed so far indicated the boy was acting in self-defense. And he’s still just a boy, isn’t he? J.T. wondered.
“Enough!” the captain interjected before J.T. and Bracht’s debate turned into a full blown argument. “I’m not going to put a boy in the brig unless he proves to be a direct danger to us. That is my final decision.” J.T. felt himself relax. Bracht was obviously not happy about the decision but he didn’t argue. “I will, however, recommend a four-man detail of security at all times.”
“I have six in sickbay now, Sir,” Bracht replied. “Should I call two of them off?” Bracht’s tone was almost insubordinate… almost.
“No,” the captain replied while giving Bracht a warning glare. “Let’s keep the security on him until we have had a chance to speak to him. Commander,” he said to J.T., “I want you to go down and talk to him when he is out of the healing bed.”
“Yes, Sir,” J.T. replied.
“Lt. Commander, organize a security detail shift of six to stay on him for now and add security to engineering and other off-limit areas of the ship.”
“Yes, Sir,” Bracht replied, somewhat mollified by the captain’s acknowledgement that the boy could be a security risk.
“If the boy isn’t going to be in a cell,” one of the tactical officers said, “Where is he going to stay?”
“J.T.?” The captain directed to his commander.
J.T. was about to suggest an officer, but realized the captain was asking him to look after the child. “Me?” he asked dubiously.
“He’s of a warrior class,” the captain replied, “Which means he’s used to a ranking hierarchy. I need someone of high rank and with martial skills to instill authority. Besides,” the Captain continued, “You’re good with children.”
“That’s no child,” Bracht muttered.
J.T. couldn’t argue with the captain’s logic. Although J.T. wanted to give the boy the benefit of the doubt regarding security, now that he was faced with being directly responsible for him he wondered if he’d taken the wrong stance. Oh, God. What are we getting ourselves into? J.T. wondered for the second time.
(This story is protected by copyright) Copyright August 8th, 2014 by Dawn Ross