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Dark Lords, book one: Shadows, Chapter 39

I hope you are enjoying, Dark Lords, book one: Shadows. This story, it’s verse and all the characters are property of T. Masters Heinrichs; if you are enjoying the story, please share…

Chapter Thirty-Nine
Outer Xanadu System, HFSS
Jason raised an eyebrow, looking up at the ceiling of the corridor. “Please repeat, Lieutenant Kwan.”
Now the Communications Officer, Kwan’s voice came over the Ivy’s com. “Lady De La Roche requests we pick her up at Post 7, 192 by 886. ASAP.”
Oh, how petty, Jason thought at the stab of satisfaction, he knew he was smiling and reached up a hand to hide it. “We are not at Lady De La Roche’s beck and call, Lieutenant. Please tell her to use one of her own ships. We are on a mission.”
“Lady De La Roche, this is Ivy actual, unable to comply. We are a military vessel, under orders.” Kwan’s voice did not sound so positive.
“She would like to speak with you directly, Captain.”
“I bet she would.” Jason stopped outside the doors to forward hanger bay two. “Tell her I am busy and to get off my comm.”
“Lady De La Roche, this is Ivy actual. This is a restricted military channel not for civilian use. If this is not an emergency—” Kwan voice was sounding stained. “She says you owe her, my Captain.”
“Yes, yes I do.” Jason nodded. Oh, yes. “Please tell her to frell off, I must follow my orders from the Navy. Can not help her.”
“Lady De La Roche, this is Ivy actual, we are a serving vessel. Please refrain from using this comm channel. We will be reporting—” Kwan’s voice stopped again. After a short pause and with a tremor in her voice she said, “She has utilised the Privilege Command, Captain. We are compelled to give her aide, my Captain.”
Jason’s pursed his lips and turned. Yoeman Jones was holding the hard sided box and staring at the corridor hall with great intensity.
“Have nav calculate the time with a six, no, eight hour lag, to her coordinates.” He waited.
“She says that is acceptable, Captain.”
“That is acceptable,” Jason said quietly in a high whiny voice.
“What was that, my Captain?”
Jason felt his face heat up. Okay, not very Captain like. “As you were, Lieutenant.”
He clicked off the comm and nodded to Jones. They headed through the doors. Inside, at attention were the fifty marines, in two groups of twenty-five. Down the middle were the six artillery soldiers and the four snipers. In front of them stood the ILARS, not the standard nine, only four, and of course Lieutenant Leigh Dawson. As per his instructions they were all in their shiny new dull combat armour.
Master-Chief, Davies, was standing at the front facing his troops. Jason could feel how pissed off the man was, their connection would last at least seventy-two more hours.
The troops had been given fifteen minutes to get into full gear. By the look of things, that had not been enough time. Average time for troops to put on gear was seven minutes. I just want ten, Jason didn’t sigh, too loudly.
The Master-Chief spun, stepped forward and saluted. “Sir!”
Jason blinked, ears ringing.
“Ready for inspection, Sir!” The Master-Chief continued just as loud.
“The citizens of the Realm have worked hard, making sure each of you is outfitted in the best armour science can create. Do you know why?” No one moved. Jason noticed a few loose buckles. “Because you defend them. When a child lays in her or his bed at night, when the parents tuck them in, they are safe because you are here. Defending them. Standing between them and the darkness.”
Jason felt a twinge, and each of you are someone’s child. The small pang of guilt gave a twist, then he thought of Claudette De La Roche. He motioned for Jones to step forward. “Our standard armour is the equivalent of the elite amour of our neighbours. Why? Because each of you matter. Any one of you can be the one who makes the difference between life and death for all of us.”
Yeoman Jones opened the hard side case and held it up. Jason reached into the case of concussion grenades he had already set to two and almost faster than the eye could see, armed them and tossed them.
They fell, clattering among the troops. More than a few heads turned. A few started to run.
Whump! Whump!
On the upper level above and behind them a few items rattles. Jones had blinked, his personal shield had flashed, taking almost all of the energy. Jason’s own shield had caused sparks to dance in his vision.
He looked to the troops. Guess he had been—bodies began dropping. Lieutenant Dawson pulled off her helmet, her eyes, nose and ears bloody. She swayed.
“I am afraid I will have to put off inspection till a later time, Master-Chief.” Jason turned. Jones was looking nervous, but now the Yeoman knew his personal shield would hold. It would give him confidence, hopefully not too much.
Heading into the hall, Jason shrugged off the guilt as the medical teams rushed past him. Each floor had an emergency med bay. The three level two ensigns looked panicked as they hit the bay doors.
“Jones, have our final officers arrived?”
“Not yet, Captain.” Jones said.
“When will they get here?”
“We will rendezvous at 14:30 hours, Captain.”
Jason tapped his comm. “Engineering.”
He waited for the beep of pick up as they headed into the lift.
“What?” Came a gruff voice.
“Is this Engineering?”
Some muttering occurred then a young male voice took the comm. “Engineering, Lieutenant Carpenter, Captain?”
“How’s the docking net coming?”
“Sorry, Captain, at least thirty hours to go.”
“Captain out.” Damn, they were going to have to stop to pick up the shuttle, Claudette will have to wait a little longer. Jason stepped into the lift, he had to work at hiding his smile.

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