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Jupiter Chapter One: Rude Awakening

A Wolf in King Arturius's Court: Part One
jupiter_ch_1_rude_awakening.txt
Keywords wolf 109400, human 45043, alien 11648, clean 7782, space 3875, sci-fi 2499, science 1369, war 1266, combat 679, fiction 618
Rude Awakening

The feeling of shifting sand beneath his feet, the sun washing down upon his face, the wind blowing through his gray fur. It was heavenly. There was peace within the turbulence of the world, but there was something missing. A figure approaches from his right blocking the sun’s rays, casting a shadow over him. He looks up to see two piercing green eyes staring back almost as if they were peering deep into his soul. He smiles, the moment had become complete. His muzzle mounted mouth opened to utter only one word, “Jupiter.” That’s when the com-buzzer jarred him from his sleep.

        “What is it” he basically grunted to the panel left of his head in his small cabin. He didn’t even bother to open his eyes for he knew it wouldn’t help in the darkness of the room as he had left it when went down to get some sleep.

“Uh, sorry to wake you, Captain, but we got a distress call from a research post and we’re the closest ship.” The officer on the other end was obviously taken a bit aback by the abrasiveness of his captain’s response to his necessary intrusion.

“How far out are we?”

“At max hyperspeed, it would take us twelve hours, sir.” He grumbled a curse at the situation he had been put in, not that it was the other officer’s fault. Going on standard Federation Galactic time with its 100 seconds per minute and 100 minutes per hour, twelve hours was a very long travel time.

“Sound a general alert and I’ll be up in a minute.”

“Yes, sir.”

Commander Rorshawk Scott Dubois hit the button for the lights and opened his eyes. He got up and stretched his way out of his bed and then hit the button that folded the bed back into the wall. He looked in the mirror as he dressed, being careful not to mess up his dark blue uniform as he withdrew it from the small wardrobe, and cursed the position he was in once again. Why did he have to be born so damn talented?

        He had been top of his class at the St. Lou Navy Academy and went on from his first command to being hero of the battle of Bryst-19 and then the savior of  the Extol Colony. That got him here, at the rank of Commander and second-in-command, aboard the cruiser HMS Valeria.  Its mission was to be on patrol in the Lars-pan straight which was a stretch of systems on the far side of Federation space. The Federation had no need to be out here.

The Valeria was part of special task group that was in charge of ensuring the safety of all Federation holdings out here, which was dozens of "secret" research posts and small fledgling colonies. They needed at least a fleet to do their job and there wasn’t a fleet to be found. A twelve hour hyperspace rides was a short trip to get to someplace of any importance in the Lars-pan straight, even with the slightly broken hyperdrive the Valeria had at the moment.

He took a glance into his gray, almost silver, eyes and sighed. He had never asked for this and had never wanted to be in such a situation. He brushed back his head fur so that it was straight and grabbed his jacket, hurrying out into the hall. He saluted the marines that stood outside of his room and the room across from his that had "Captain's Quarters" labeled on it. There was no time to reminisce about it now as it was unfair to send out a general alert and then have the department heads wait. He increased his pace on his way to the lift at the end of the hallway and hit the button that sent it up to the bridge.    

“Captain on the bridge” announced the marine sergeant whose post was outside of the lift door. He looked forward at the bridge as they stood at attention to greet him. It wasn’t a terribly large room but every available wall space lined with the crew stations. Standing above the crew were the watch officers looking over to make sure the crew did their work and to be there just in case.

“At ease people we have a mission to prep for and we have less than twelve hours to do so.” They all returned to what they were doing and he strode over the command position which on Federation ships was in the middle of the bridge to give him full range of command over the command staff. Standing there was his second-in-command Lieutenant Commander Bullis Armstrong waiting for him to finish his approach.

“Captain,” said the same voice that had been a voice of reason on countless mission aboard this ship before, “there really isn’t a need for you to be here, you could go back to bed, I can send for you when we are closer.”

“No Commander, in situations like this it is the CO’s duty to be with his men to insure that things go smoothly” he said looking down at the man. It was something that couldn’t be helped though he hated the fact that he towered over everyone from subordinates to Admirals. “We don’t know what we are heading into, that’s a Federation military research facility. It’s located within a garrison which means five thousand troops with armor support and a turbo laser defense grid. None of the merc’ groups around here would be dumb enough to attack such a place and pirates, while they would have more interest in looting one, aren’t big enough to try something like this.”

The younger man, from Rorshwak’s understanding had been only a year behind him in the academia; put his hand on his chin in a stance of contemplation. “Then we are either dealing with someone new and professional; or they’ve decided to start grouping up” he said trying to give an explanation for this anomaly.
Rorshawk sighed because if that was true then they were in very big trouble, especially after what happened the last time. “Lieutenant Byres, pull up the intel on all the merc' and pirate groups within the sector around the research base.”

“Yes captain” replied the officer in front and to the right of Rorshawk in the crew pit. That was another thing the Federation liked to do in its capital ships. The bridge was set up with the command post in the middle on or slightly higher than the actual level and the crew stations which were in two pits running alongside it so that the watch and division officers could see what everyone was doing as they walked along the “Command Deck.” Then the helm was placed in the forward most post with no obstruction so that they could hear and be heard clearly.
There was no real need for windows as anything of importance was too far to see with the naked eye, but the bridge had a large window at the head of the bridge in front of the helm. What most people didn’t see was the thin film that covered the inside of the windows that acted as a computer interface and allowed images to be magnified and enhanced. You could also get tactical overlays and so it turned the windows into a computer screen. The ship was still flown and commanded mostly on the information provided by the main sensor suite but Mankind still had this desire to see out. It made the ship seem less claustrophobic and more “homey.”
“I have the information right here Captain.”

“Transfer it to my terminal.”

“Yes sir.” The terminal in front of the Commander sprung to life as the list of known mercenary and pirate groups was generated. Rorshawk scanned the list and wasn’t surprised by how in depth the information was because, if the Federation did anything right when it moved in to the area; it was that they had scouted it out well. He made quick queries of the force size of all those on the list and noted the larger ones. It would only take at least three of them to join together to have enough troops and air support to tactfully attempt to take out a Federation garrison. That would mean they would need someone tactful, someone that could recognize the potential of an alliance and someone who would know how to use the resources of such an alliance to their full potential. This had to be a worst case scenario for if someone like that existed it would spell trouble for Federation holdings out here.

“Is there trouble Captain?”

       “Maybe Commander, I’m not sure yet, but I want the Major to have a team set up and prepared for anything.”

      “Yes sir” he said as he pulled out his datapad to send instructions to the commander of the Federation Marines stationed on the ship. Highly trained soldiers of the Navy they were unquestionably loyal and devoted to the Federation and provided the first and last line of defense for the people on this ship against any intrusions and from themselves.

"You have the bridge Commander. I need to get something in my stomach before I get sick. When I get back I want to have some tactical analysis done and a weapon systems simulation shakedown.  I want to know our full capabilities and any weaknesses that might present themselves after the beating we took last time; I want to shore up in case we run into the worst case scenario.”

“Then I’ll run that through the computer first.”

        Rorshawk moved away to go out the way he came. “Once you’re done you can stand down to stand-by alert” he said looking back. The ship’s XO nodded in acknowledgement. He continued on his way into the lift this time riding it down to deck five which held the crew lounge, mess hall, forward battery controls, and the med bay. As he moved through the halls the crewmen there stopped to let him through and gave a salute to which he returned.  It wasn’t a long trek since the Valeria was only 350 meters in length and only about a fourth of it was designated for crew. The rest of the ship was split up between engineering, cargo, and the small hangar bay which held the landing shuttles.

“Ah captain Dubois, what a coincidence it is that I ran into you this fine morning” said the lightly accented voice from behind him. Rorshawk stopped and turned to face the ship's doctor, Commander Rolando Del Taurus, whose friendship the Commander had come to rely on.

“I have a feeling that a mutual friend let you know that I was coming down here.”

"Well I've been up for about sixteen hours working on this virus a friend from the academy sent me. With all the commotion I haven't had the chance to work on it till now."

"So a caffeine craving?"

"I know as a doctor it's bad for me, but I'm so close to cracking this."

"Hmmm" he turned to the window where a cook waited to take an order, "What do you suggest Tom?"

"Well, Captain if I may give a doctors opinion, I think you need something light so you can get back to sleep."

"But..."

"Doctors orders." Doctor Del Taurus need not ever raise his voice as a look from him could make a shark cringe.

"I,  uh, think I have something that would work."

"I have work to do Doctor."

"You need to get rest Captain, for the past few days your sleep has been sporadic."

"Well Doctor, we've had several emergencies that needed my attention."

"Commander! Commander Dubois!" They both turned to who was calling. An average size human woman with brown hair was coming towards them. "Commander, I  mean Captain, I didn't expect to see you here this late."

"Ah, Lieutenant..."

"Walker, sir."

"...yes, Lieutenant Walker, duty calls at all hours of the galactic standard day."

"Well me myself, I'm a night owl. Just read an interesting article on hypnotherapy used on Vegans. You see my boyfriend is a hypnopsychologist working on Vegas."

"So you're..."

"Me, sir, no. I find hypnopsychology interesting but standard is far more my cup of tea. I'm not much of a manipulator and I don't have any psychic abilities so I struck out both times."

"I was going to ask if you were the ship's councilor."

"Oh my Lord, I am so sorry Captain. I do that sometimes early in my day and out of my office. I just get so worked up and excited I just jump to conclusions, sir. If you please excuse me, sirs; I just came to get a muffin and get back to my office so that I can be available to the crew."

"Very well, carry on Lieutenant."

"Good evening to the both of you." She took a muffin from a basket presented by the cook who brought up the Rorshawk's snack and the Doctor's coffee."

"That was certainly interesting."

"She's very good I hear, Captain."

“I shouldn’t have to go to some shrink” he replied knowing what the good Doctor was getting at.

“She’s a councilor; all you have to do is talk to her, that’s what she’s there for, talking.”

“That’s just what I need, to talk to her and have the ship thinking the big bad Loup has a mental problem. It’s bad enough that he left me in this situation.”

“We’re all in this together. It’s tough, I get that. We shouldn’t be out here, not like this. You said it yourself, we have our orders though and command wants out to stay out here until they can send a replacement.” They sat down at a table and Rorshawk started to eat what the cook had provided. It was some sort of orange thick soup that had a meaty taste to it.

  "I think I might be coming down with something Doc."

“Here let me check” he replied pulling out a handheld medical device that had a scanning probe built in. “Let’s see here, Commander Rorshawk Scott Dubois, Anthropoid Canis lupus, Born 1932 A.A. on the Francian Colony of Hector, entered service on 1950 A.A. at the St. Lou Naval Academy, several commendations on record, and currently assigned as acting captain of the HMS Valeria serving patrol duty in sector 115. Current medical status, stressed and very irritable. Medical recommendation of Commander Del Taurus chief medical officer is to calm down and get some sleep.”

“You’re hilarious. You should quit the military life and go on tour.”

“Damn it Scott, I miss him too.” Rorshawk looked beyond the doctor to the cold storage units somewhere in his office that was on the far side of the deck. Specifically the one he knew held the man that he had once called Captain, one of the few CO’s he had had that had shown him the any amount of real respect.

“I keep having the same dream” he admitted not breaking his gaze.

“I’m a doctor, not a psychologist, that’s why we have a ship's councilor.” He turned and glared at his friend. They had first met when he came aboard and needed to have his required physical. He had been surprised at the doctor’s knowledge of his species and how he had treated him like a person and not just stare at him like he was some beast. It only took half a year to get the rest of the crew to trust him like that.

“You’re going to bug me until I go aren’t you?”

The other smiled “Oh you know me so well my friend, but get some sleep first, Doctor’s orders.”

“The crew needs me.”

“The Crew needs you at your best.  Armstrong is a good officer and he makes a good XO. You can leave this to him and go get at least a couple hours.” Rorshawk just glared at him. “You know I can put you on medical leave and have you confined to the med bay.”

“Fine, you win you old arm twister.”

“Old? I’m only a hundred fifteen, not even close to middle age!”

“Keep telling yourself that.” He got up and left the doctor pouting to go lay down in his quarters. He didn’t even bother to take off his whole uniform, just his jacket and shoes. He set the same panel that had disturbed him earlier to give him an alarm for an hour and a half. Then he let the fatigue take over.

His mind though drifted through the thoughts that had been disturbing him these past few months since the incident. He had been forced into this position by the Naval guidelines and while since he had been the second-in-command he had gotten to know a lot of the crew and it was true that they no longer saw him as some abomination, as some walking, talking, animal. He could still feel the pressure of trying to gain their full trust in command as if the fact that he was six and a half foot tall wolf man made a difference in his command decisions. Maybe… he… should… see the…councilor…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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First in pool
Last in pool
First in pool
A Wolf in King Arturius's Court: Part One
Uploading this as a test but this is the first chapter of my story Jupiter a Sci-Fi short story.

Keywords
wolf 109,400, human 45,043, alien 11,648, clean 7,782, space 3,875, sci-fi 2,499, science 1,369, war 1,266, combat 679, fiction 618
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 7 years, 2 months ago
Rating: Mature

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