Locking Down the Loki
Location: Freighter Loki
Timeline: PCH-15 2045 Hours
Three men stood huddled over a console on the large bridge of the Cargo Ship Loki, whispering to each other as they watched the events unfolding. There was a clear sense of tension filling the air as the large bay doors behind them opened and closed.
“What’s going on?”
The three startled men almost jumped out of their skin as the voice of their ships Captain took them by surprise. They exchanged looks, secretly nominating one another to inform him until one of them shook his head and turned around. “We have a problem… we missed an order from Solaria and they have sent a Raptor over,” the older of the three informed the Cargo Captain.
“What do you mean we missed an order? You guys were supposed to be monitoring the bridge whilst the rest of us sorted out the issue in engineering!” the Captain fumed as he marched over to the console and pushed them aside. He could see the Raptor on the screen closing in.
“It gets worse…” the man continued. “Hanson wants you over there,” he revealed.
“Oh he does, does he?” the Captain smirked with a shake of the head. He then pressed a few buttons on the screen in front of him. “Colonial Raptor, this is the Cargo Ship Loki.”
“Loki, this is Colonial Raptor 3.” came a male voice on the other end, belonging to Lieutenant JG Luke "Griffon" Gannen. Next to him sat his ECO and three marines sat in the back. “Please prepare to receive us in your bay.”
“Raptor 3, if you make any attempt to board this vessel, we will jettison all of our cargo into space, depriving the entire fleet of essential supplies,” the Captain declared, his ultimatum more of a hopeful one than a realistic one, but he had to try. “Now, I am willing to talk with the Commander over the wireless, but do not board us.”
There was a pause of a few seconds, tense and uncomfortable, before the response came. “Sir, we’re just following orders here. We’re all doing our best. If you would just let us come aboard, I’m sure we can talk about this more reasonably in person.”
In a shuffle, another voice came over the wireless. This one was deeper and more commanding. “Captain, this is Marine Sergeant Desmond Westbrooks speaking. Let’s talk reality here. You’re an unarmed cargo vessel and you’re going up against a Battlestar that keeps you and your crew alive on a daily basis. You can do that if you want to. You can vent those vital supplies into space if you want to. Where I come from, we call that treason.” he cleared his throat, his husky voice revving like an engine. “Think about this very carefully, Captain. We’re getting into your bay one way or another; either by being let in voluntarily or by softening your defenses. You decide, hotshot.”
The four men on the bridge of the Cargo Ship looked at one another before the Captain pushed a button. “Fine. We’ll let you in,” the man responded, gesturing to one of his subordinates to make the arrangements.
As the door to the bay opened, the Raptor was guided skillfully into the small space. As soon as it sat down, the door to the Raptor opened and Sergeant Westbrooks emerged with two armed marines behind him. He looked around seriously. “Who’s the Captain here?”
A short, stocky man stepped forward, a large beard covering most of his lower face and in a gruff voice he called out. “That would be me. Captain Hugo Martaine.”
The Sergeant stepped forward, standing nearly a foot taller than the other man and considerably more wide. Is all black uniform and bullet-proof vest puffed him up even more. If he weren’t intimidating enough as it was, the two marines holding rifles behind him certainly helped. He entered the Captain’s space without apology and looked down at him without lowering his own head.
“You made the right choice, Captain.” he said, stone faced his voice was low, raspy, and course. There was a reason, regardless of his presence, why Colonel Kendall had selected him for the role and had insisted upon his promotion to head up Solaria’s Security Platoon. He was a razor through and through. “My orders are to escort you back to Solaria. Command wishes to have a conversation with you about the missed maneuver.” Desmond stepped to the side slowly and made a huge sweeping gesture toward the Raptor. “After you, sir.”
The Captain looked across at his first mate and whispered something in his ear before they each shared a knowing glance. He then glared at the brute of a man, making his way past and into the Raptor.
Desmond watched the exchange with passing curiosity and then followed the Captain up the stairs of the raptor. WIthin moments, the door was closed and the raptor was lifting off the deck.
“So…” the Captain smiled as he took his seat, “tell me about this Commander of yours. Anything I should know? Does he have a weakness for anything? Ambrosia? Food?... women?” he smirked.
“The Commander’s greatest weakness is actually one you wouldn’t expect.” Desmond said in response where he sat next to the much smaller man. “He gets so mad when people drop the ball, endanger the fleet, and then make threats to do further harm to the welbeing of humanity, that he just loses it.” A fake but convincing smile crossed his face. “I once saw him beat a man with a pool cue for doing half what you did.”
The smile disappeared as quick as lightning. “I would advise you to use your brain from now on, sir.”
The Captain laughed loudly until he clocked the change of expression on the brutes face. “You can’t be serious…”
“Be respectful, Captain.” Desmond responded without another look. Perhaps the man’s uncertainty about whether or not he was serious would make him more compliant in whatever conversation the Commander wanted to have with him.
The Raptor landed on the hangar deck and, within moments, they were exiting the Raptor and heading through the corridors of Solaria.
Elsewhere and a short time later, marching along the corridors of the Solaria, Commander Mitchell Hanson was flanked by his ‘entourage’ of personnel as they headed towards their destination - the Brig. He had been doing a lot of thinking in the short time since he had dispatched the Raptor to the Cargo ship. This was the first civilian issue since the fleet had formed and it would require careful thought as to how to deal with it. Whatever he did now would set a precedent for future issues.
Just outside the brig, the two parties met. Sergeant Westbrooks spoke first. “This is Captain Hugo Martaine of the Loki, sirs. He refused us access to the landing bay initially and even went as far as to threaten jettisoning all of his cargo into space. I convinced him his threats were doing him no good.”
“Captain Martaine,” the Commander smiled, offering his hand in greeting to the captain of the Loki, who swiftly returned the shake. But, when Martaine went to release his hand, Hanson kept a firm grip. His once happy demeanour had evaporated. “Sergeant. Toss him in a cell,” the Commander ordered as he eventually let go of the freighter captains hand.
Ignoring the surprised look on the Captain’s face, Desmond grabbed the shorter man by the collar, led him into the larger room, and came near to actually tossing him into the barred room. He pulled the door closed and looked on silently.
Standing next to Hanson, Amaris looked on with stifled appreciation. She was grateful Hanson was genuinely proving himself not to be a pushover.
With the man now occupying the cell in the brig room, the Commander wandered over to the bars and clasped his hands behind his back as he gave the prisoner a good look over. “You are either a very clever man or a very stupid one, Mister Martaine. Your actions could have got you killed, but instead, you get some face time with the fleet commanders.”
“Is that how this is going to work?” the stout man asked, moving back and forth between his feet, his bearded face a hodge-podge of fear and anger. “I exercise my right to do what I want with my own ship, and the fleet commanders drag me by the ear and throw me in a cell?! Does that seem right to you?!”
“That wasn’t my initial intention,” the Commander confessed. “I had planned to simply stress the importance of being ready for any orders or you could find yourself left behind if we have to do an emergency jump,” Hanson informed, glancing at his XO before turning back to the man. “But then, you see, Sergeant Westbrooks told me that you threatened to jettison crucial fleet supplies in a time of war and… I just can’t let that slide,” the Commander added before declaring “Colonel Kendall! What is the punishment for purposely depriving the fleet of essential materials and resources in a time of war?”
Amaris folded her arms beside him, looking at the man in the cell emotionlessly. “Under the Articles of War, the governing law of the human race, depriving the military of essential assets during a time of war carries a punishment that is quite severe.” she said. “The better question is, will he be put before a firing squad or jettisoned into the vacuum of space?”
They were interrupted by the sound of the shipwide communications array calling out. “Commander Hanson, contact CIC. Repeat, Commander Hanson contact CIC.”
The Commander wandered away from the Cell, leaving the Colonel and the Marines to stare down and intimidate the freighter Captain as much as possible. Once near the telephone receiver, he picked it up and held it to his ear. “Hanson here,” he spoke. He remained silent while he listened to the voice on the other end. “Initiate Code-Delta and spool up the FTL. We’re going to get them,” he instructed before slamming the phone down. “Colonel, we’re needed in the CIC,” he declared before swiftly exiting the brig, not even bothering to wait for his XO.
Amaris looked over at the stationed marines. “We’ll let him sit and think for a while.” she said blandly and directly. “I hope he left someone competent in charge on the Loki.” With that, she too turned and exited the room, Sergeant Westbrooks close behind.