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Old November 23 2012, 09:52 PM   #46
Re: Star Trek: Republic (Book II: Ties of Blood)

Chan Shrak frowned at the ship captain’s and senior officers that filled his briefing room. “Commodore, the Klingons are pursuing us. It is not proper for Republic to continue on for Earth, while you fight our battle.”

Sig Hansen shook his head. “Commander Shrak, with the damage this ship has taken, you would add very little to the firepower assembled here. Between Blackhawk, Exeter,” he inclined his head towards Captain Elizabeth Shelby of the big Ambassador-class ship, “Endeavor,” pointing his hand at Captain Loren Garvick, the CO of the Nebula-class cruiser, “Aries,” Paul Mathison, captain of the older Renaisance-class cruiser smiled, “Agammemnon,” the Apollo-class cruiser commanded by Justin Sinclair, “and Captain Gannon’s Piper,” the Commodore nodded at the captain of the Andromeda-class light exploration cruiser, “we have the advantage over Mak’vegh’s flotilla in quality, if not numbers. Perhaps in the light of a strong Starfleet presence confronting him, Mak’vegh will give up his pursuit of you . . . if he does not,” and here Commodore Hansen shrugged. “If he does not, then he will rediscover why the Klingons came close to losing their last invasion of the Federation.”

Chan’s antennae quivered and he shook his head. “Commodore, he has given up everything he has—except the ships of his House Fleet which still pursue us. Captain Shelby has brought word that Chancellor Martok has declared the entire House of Mak’vegh as renegades; his worlds are already under assault by other Great Houses . . . he has literally nothing left to return to. He will not be persuaded by words.”

“Then we will show him the error of his ways with phaser beams and photon torpedoes, Commander. But in any case, our chances of stopping this—with or without violent action—before it goes any further can only happen if you and this ship are not present.” Hansen sighed. “If you were there, I fear that it would be like waving a red cape in front of an angry bull. Republic will continue on to Earth at your best speed, Mister Shrak, escorted by Captain deHaviland’s Denali,” she nodded confirmation of the order which would consign her Sequoia-class Light Cruiser to an escort. Sig glared across the table at Chan, as the stars streaked by in the windows of the briefing room beyond. “Arguing the point any further, Commander, will not change my mind; my orders stand. Understood.”

Chan sighed and his antennae shrank slightly. “Understood, Commodore,” he said.

Hansen waited until all six remaining Starfleet officers had acknowledged the command and he smiled crookedly at Chan. “And you need not worry about looking the part of a coward, Mister Shrak. This ship has done far more than her part in fighting off Mak’vegh’s forces—you have earned a breather. Those of here, today, in this compartment, we know well the worth of USS Republic—we know what you and this ship’s crew have accomplished. You just concentrate on getting her home intact; we will deal with the Klingons behind us.” He said as he stood, and Chan nodded, his attennae standing straight and tall once again.

“Thank you, Commodore; that means a lot to this crew. We will see you at Earth, Sir,” Chan rose as well, followed by every one of the captain’s seated at the table.

“Godspeed, Commander. We will be no more than a day behind you,” and Hansen’s voice grew cold, because the little Fleet had received word from Earth just four hours ago of Admiral Parker’s arrest. “And rest assured, that we will discover what is going on at the heart of the government, Mister Shrak.”
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