The Honeymoon’s Over
By Yuki Wildstar
A Star Blazers Fan Fiction work
Chapter Four: THE
I. BACK ON THE BRIDGE
Space Battleship Endeavor
August 1, 2204
0805 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
Derek and Nova walked onto the bridge together. All turned to look. “Hooray, the Captain’s back on his feet!” someone yelled.
“Glad to see you’re doing all right, sir.” Deputy Captain Lee said, “Are you ready for me to hand over control to you?”
“Yup, and thank you…” Wildstar said.
“For what? It was my job, think nothing of it,” Lieutenant Commander Lee said back with a smile. He was sure glad to see him back taking on his responsibilities as Captain, because he knew it was not an easy job.
Lee had been forced to make a report back to Earth to inform the family of the fallen pilot of his death. It was not something he cared to do or wanted to do. But with Wildstar out of commission some one had to tell the widow the sad news. Looking at the face of the pilot’s wife on video was enough. I’m kinda glad that I didn’t have to do it face to face. It’s hard enough on video…
“Lieutenant Commander Lee, please come up to my quarters. I need to speak to you.” Wildstar said.
“Yes sir,” Lieutenant Commander Lee replied
Wildstar turned to Lieutenant Wright. “Mister Wright, take command, please.”
“Yes sir, Captain Wildstar leaving the bridge, Lieutenant Wright is now in command…” He informed the bridge crew.
In a private elevator that went from the bridge to the Captain’s Quarters, Lieutenant Commander Lee and Captain Wildstar rode up. Soon, they reached Wildstar’s somewhat over-luxurious cabin. Wildstar was sitting behind his desk, studying a personnel jacket.
“Have a seat, Lieutenant Commander,” Wildstar said to Lee, motioning to a chair. “I wanted to speak to you. Thanks again for taking over command; I feel very confident that if ever some thing were to happen to me that the ship and the crew would be in good hands. Also off the record, thanks for talking to Nova, she tells me that you also lost someone dear to you, and that’s what kept her sane while I was hurt and unconscious.”
“Thank you, sir,” said Lee as he sat there looking rather stiff. “And, yessir, I was through quite a tragedy.”
“Again, off the record,” said Wildstar. “Evan, would you like to tell me what happened, or is it too personal?”
“Sir?” said Lee with raised eyebrows.
Wildstar held up his personnel folder and sighed. “Lee, I really don’t mean to pry…but your jacket baffles me! It shows when got out of the Academy you were some sort of a smart ass and reckless with your crew. Then several years later, you were receiving outstanding commendations and shows that a lot of your commanders thought highly of you. Until last year sometime, when you were written up for striking a superior officer in a drunken rage. So, Lieutenant Commander, what gives…or is it too much to ask?”
“No sir, it’s not,” Lee sighed. “The reason I shaped up after a reckless start was because of a special someone many years ago. Her name was Diane, She was an officer aboard the Abacus. When the Dengilians were trying to destroy Earth, she was part of one of the crews that were slaughtered by them while trying to get civilians to another planet. They tell me that she almost made it out alive, but then they came right back and finished killing them off like cattle. I started drinking and couldn’t think of staying sober. You see we were going to be married within a week, nothing extravagant…something simple and quick. She never made it back to get married,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I saw how Lieutenant Commander Forrester sat with you hour after hour and refused to leave your side, sir. The love you two share is something I miss deeply and I hope that I find that again, but .....” he paused “I doubt that will happen…every day I think of Diane and I wonder…what if?”
“And the officer you hit?” Wildstar asked. “Who was it?”
Lee sighed. “It was General Stone, sir.”
“Ohhh…” Wildstar was shocked that he wasn’t thrown in the brig.
“You see, Diane was his wife’s niece. He tried to get me to stop drinking, but I was too far gone in grief. When he called me into his office that day I already had six beers, and a whole lot of shots, I couldn’t even remember how I got there. Words were exchanged and then he said it…It still rings in my ears to this day. She’s dead and nothing will bring her back, that’s when I guess I swung at him and got lucky to punch him straight in the eye. Two guards came and grabbed me when they heard the commotion in the office. They said I was in a rage and wouldn’t stop lunging for him. After a night in the brig I sobered up. Then, Stone’s wife came down and sat with me. She told me what had happened, I was still unaware of what I did and couldn’t believe it myself. She gave me a message from him, she told me that I was relieved from my command until further notice. I never knew what he put in my jacket...Until now, that is,” Lieutenant Commander Lee told Wildstar.
“I see,” Wildstar said. “Well, I’ll be sure to enter a new chapter into your jacket, stating that you were a excellent commander while I was recovering from my injury.”
“Thank you, Captain Wildstar,” was all that Lieutenant Commander Lee could say. He really never talked about what happened that day, but he felt that he could speak his mind with this Captain. He didn’t seem judgmental, to Lee…he seemed fair to all of his crew.
“Well, Commander, it looks like we need to get back on track,” said Wildstar as he stood up. “We have a mission to carry out, and I’d better watch my step on the next thing I do that might turn dangerous. If I get killed, I think my wife Nova will dig me up, bring me back to life and then kill me again,” They both laughed at the thought of it.
As they headed towards the elevator, Lee turned to Wildstar, “Sir I think there is something I should tell you. I don’t think that this job was a reprieve for me I think that I was sent here to spy on you and Lieutenant Commander Forrester.”
“What?!” Wildstar said, “By who?”
“General Stone himself,” Lee replied. “I’m just curious as to why?”
Wildstar sighed. “I know he is not too fond of the Star Force, nor of me, after back in 2201 we defied orders and went off as mutineers to fight the Comet Empire. But I thought that was old water under the bridge. He has always stood by Commanding General Singleton when it comes to the Star Force, but I guess he never forgot about that,” Wildstar spoke. “So what has the old general asked you to spy on me about?”
“He wants me to report back to him every week, and inform him if there is any, how should I put this, sir…sleeping around with any unknown female that we are not going to name,” Lee said from the side of his mouth.
“So he wants to play dirty, does he? Well you keep making those weekly reports,” Wildstar informed him. “Let’s see if can let him down each time; if he is so interested in my sex life with Nova maybe he should just ask for a video tape of us doing the deed!” They both laughed and went to the bridge.
“Attention, Captain on the bridge!” someone called out.
The crew snapped to at that.
“As you were, everyone,” Wildstar said.
The bridge crew relaxed at that.
Derek then said, “Okay. Give me a recap on what happened yesterday before I was sent to Sickbay. Is there anything on the Time Radar that shows what went wrong? Lieutenant Commander Forrester?”
“No sir, my systems all checked out clean. What ever it was, our radar systems could not pick it up,” Nova replied. “I was scanning right when…it happened, and I detected nothing unusual at all.”
“I see. How about you, Lieutenant Miamato. Was there anything on the radio that you heard?” Wildstar asked.
“No sir, nothing at all?” Miamato responded.
“Lieutenant Wright, any ideas on what could have happened?” Wildstar questioned. “Something must have gone wrong!”
“Sir, with no data…it’s hard to say, we might be looking at an enemy more advanced then our systems. I am still running analysis with IQ-10 on the time frame of the accident from Nova’s Time Radar readouts. We haven’t come up with anything yet. Sorry, sir, Lieutenant Wright said.
Wildstar sighed. “It seems suspicious. Given what has been happening around Planet Dunbar, I would guess that we have a new enemy out there, so we’d better be on our toes. Keep an eye out. I want the Black Tigers to make scouting trips up to a thousand megameters’ radius of the ship to make sure that we are clear for the rescue ship for those civilians. If you see anything, report it back as soon as you see it.” Wildstar ordered. “Chief, make sure that the Wave Motion Engine is in tip-top shape, who ever is out there is probably hostile and we don’t want to get stuck floating out in space with our pants down!”
“Aye, aye, sir” Watanabe said. “I’ll personally check it myself.”
“Thank you, Chief,” Wildstar said. “Lieutenant Commander Lee, has the family of the pilot been notified?” Derek said as he remembered about him.
“Yes sir, they have,” Lieutenant Commander Lee replied.
“Lieutenant Miamato, please open a line directly to his family and patch it to my quarters. I need to talk to them, too,” Wildstar said with a huge sigh.
“Yes sir, Captain” Miamato said. “We’ll be in contact in 5 minutes…I will let you know when I get through.”
“Thank you,” replied Wildstar while heading into his private elevator. I know that Lee has spoken to them but I feel responsible and I am the Captain… I must say something to his widow, Derek thought with his head bowed.
As Nova and the rest watched him enter the elevator, Lee turned to Nova and asked, “Why is he calling the family again? I already did that. I don’t think that they need to hear that he is dead all over again?”
Nova turned to him and said, “Sir, you don’t seem to understand the Captain. It’s not that he doesn’t think you did your job, but he feels the responsibility to all his crew and their families. He wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t say something that would ease their pain. He once told me that he’d have to personally speak to my parents if I was ever killed on a mission…even though it would hurt him immensely to do so.”
“I see,” Lieutenant Commander Lee could only say in the matter. But, to himself he thought, This Captain takes on a lot of responsibilities… even if it means taking the blame for something that is not his fault. I only wish I could be like him, and then again, I hope I never am…
II. WARP TO
Space Battleship Endeavor
August 2, 2204
1310 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
The next day, even
though the death of the pilot loomed over everyone’s head, Wildstar continued
with another exercise before heading to planet
Wildstar called for all Astro Fighters to return to the ship, “OK everyone, nice job, I think we are ready to move on to Planet Dunbar at last and go on with our mission! All fighter pilots. return to the ship and prepare to make our final space warp,” Derek said into his helmet mike.
Once he landed back on the ship, Wildstar jumped out of his Super Star Fighter and went to the bridge, “How did it look out there?” he asked Lee.
“Damn fantastic, if you ask me,” Lee replied with a smile.
As Wildstar looked over at Nova, she returned the stare with a smile, which was her way of saying…good job, you came back to me in one piece…
get this ship rolling over to
Everyone on ship scrambled to secure all compartments. Lt. Denise Howard was doing just that. As she placed a laptop into her locker in their cabin, Lt. Jessica Springer ran into their quarters and ran right into her, almost knocking her onto her butt. “Hey, watch it!” Howard yelled.
“Sorry, I didn’t see you!” Springer said.
“You know that these quarters are tight, you can’t just be rushing in here, you Goddamn idiot!” Howard yelled back.
“What is your problem?!” Springer snapped back.
“You can be running around not paying attention to your surroundings, and you do that all the time! And I’m pretty much sick of it,” snapped Howard. “You have your crap all over the place and you always expect Nova and I to pick it up for you, you stinky skinny stringbean meat-eater!”
“I do not!” griped back Springer. “And you’re an ugly little shrimp! Just five feet tall, and you act like you own this damn ship!”
“Like hell! Clean up your mess! We are getting ready for a warp, and I don’t want to get hit in the head with one of your stupid boots,” Howard yelled back.
“Hah! I don’t expect others to clean up after me!” yelled Howard with her hands on her hips. “And it’s not that messy in here! And if you don’t like rooming here then find other some space to move into, preferably the bilge of the ship where the rats live!” Springer spat back with bile and venom like a snake.
“You know I hate women like you, you’re needy, and you’re also always into someone else’s business. You’re one of those women that thrives on gossip to get her way, Jessica, you sneaky snake!” Lt. Howard said.
“No, I don’t, Denise!” Springer said. She grabbed up one of her shower flip-flops and was temped to throw it at Howard. That’ll shut you up, she thought to herself.
“Oh, no?” said Howard. “Then, Jessica, why were you so interested in Nova and Doctor Spada? Were you hoping that something would have developed between them so you could swoop in and save the day for the Captain? You’re nothing more than a conniving gossipy tramp that would do anything to make someone else’s life miserable. I’ve seen your type before, quick with the rumors and never wondering if you hurt anyone on the way. Not even after you saw how Nova was upset while her husband lay in Sickbay half-dead! You’re a selfish conniving bitch and you’ll stop at nothing to get your jollies!” Howard yelled at Springer.
“Drop dead!” screamed Springer. She threw her flip-flop at Howard and then lunged at her…and, at that, the cat fight began.
The shorter Howard slammed her fist into Springer’s face a few times, bloodying her too-pretty lower lip a moment later. Springer took the blows, and she shoved Howard to the deck, shoving her knees into her stomach while she clawed at Howard’s face. Springer responded by pulling Howard’s hair, pulling out a huge hunk of it while the two women wrestled on the deck like wild animals, ramming into Nova’s desk when they both got up for a moment. Springer threw Howard onto the desk like a sack of potatoes with a huge crash that knocked Nova’s picture of Captain Wildstar and several of her books to the deck, along with the flower vase that the young woman always filled every day with fresh flowers, adding a touch of class to the crowded cabin.
Lt. Pesci and Lt. Delvechio were walking by when they heard another big crash. They ran in the direction of the sound. When the hatch flew open, to their surprise, two female officers were at each other’s throat like a dog fight while Nova’s desk chair lay smashed in half on the deck!
“What the hell is going on here? We’re about to warp in five minutes!” Delvechio yelled. While Pesci grabbed Howard, Delvechio grabbed Springer. They had to pull them apart like wild animals.
While Pesci pulled Howard, he snapped, “Are you aware that we’re warping and that you two have just damaged Lieutenant Commander Forrester’s desk with your damn antics?”
“Let go of me!” Howard spat at Pesci.
“Let me at her!” Springer said trying to free herself from Delvechio.
“Calm down ladies, this is not the time for some brawl, we are warping in four minutes now! Get everything secure and strap yourselves down!” Pesci said.
They both let them go in hopes that they would do as they had ordered, but before they knew it, Springer and Howard were at each other again. “You tramp!” Howard yelled out to Springer.
“You little trollop!” Springer screamed back.
Delvechio and Pesci looked at each other and nodded “OK, have it your way!” Pesci said. Delvechio and Pesci threw both women into the bunks and strapped them down by force while on the intercom Wildstar announced that warp would be in T minus 2 minutes.
“Lets get this stuff put away before someone gets hurt,” Delvechio said.
“Yeah” Pesci said back.
As the Two Tonys cleaned up and put all dangerous items away that could hurt someone, the two women continued to scream and curse at each other.
Damn, I never knew that women could have mouths like that, thought Delvechio. I never hear Nova using that sort of language. She’s a real woman, and a class act, unlike these high school girls here, he thought.
“What are we going to do with them?” Lt. Pesci said.
“Keep them here ‘til after the warp, then we have to report it back to the Captain. And I’m sure he’s not going to be too happy about this,” Delvechio said.
“Nova’s not going to be happy, either,” said Pesci. “They wrecked a lot of her stuff, including her chair and that nice vase.”
All the time, the two women continued to insult each other and curse.
“SHUT UP ALREADY!” Pesci screamed. “It’s bad enough that you are throwing it down just before a major space warp, but to continue to act like two bratty low-class high school girls is lower then low! Didn’t you graduate from the Academy?”
“I did, with honors, unlike you and Miss Perfect here!” screamed Howard. “I should have brained you with my sneakies!”
“Go to Hell, bitch!”
snapped Springer in her
“SHUT UP!” yelled Pesci. “You two just lay there, look pretty and keep your mouths shut!”
“I’m prettier than you, Denise!” yelled Jessica.
“SHOVE IT!” yelled back Howard as she got a hand free and gave Springer the finger while the two Tonys shook their heads in utter disbelief.
“Count down to warp, begin final count down sequence,” Captain Wildstar ordered over the PA. “10.....9.....8.....7.....6.....5......4.....3.......2......1....WARP!”
“WARP!” repeated Lee.
The helm control was pulled back while the Endeavor roared into warp.
At his post, Derek looked over, forcing his eyes opened against the force for a moment, and he saw Nova beginning to glow as she lay there at her post during warp with her eyes closed and her head back. She floated there like a ghost for a moment as streams of multicolored light ripped past her in the eerie otherworld of subspace. It was a sensation she was used to, but it still scared her a little every time they executed a warp.
Nova was not alone. Derek remembered what Sandor had said long ago about the space warp, “A minor mistake, and we would disappear forever, probably into the Fourth Dimension. Warping takes a great deal of precision and power!”
Please, God, don’t let anything happen to you now, Nova, thought Derek as he felt disconcertingly like his insides were going to float up from out of his mouth for a moment in warp.
Down below, Springer and Howard were wailing like banshees in the weird otherworld of warp as they felt their bunks crawling under them. For a moment, Springer felt uncomfortably like she had no clothes on in front of anyone (a common side-effect of a warp) while Howard screamed, thinking that her bunk had come alive and was eating her while she drifted through a galaxy with lights speeding about them (another common side-effect of the space warp.)
“YOU TWO SHUT UP!” yelled Pesci (as he tried to keep from throwing up himself).
Howard screamed, “MY SNEAKIE IS TRYING TO EAT ME!” as she thought one of her sneakers had come alive like a snake.
A moment later, the weird rushing sensation stopped as the star of the Dunbar System appeared before the ship.
With a sub-sonic slam and a hum, the weirdness of warp faded around Wildstar and the others as the Endeavor solidified at last in a burst of light in the Dunbar System.
“We’re through,” muttered Wildstar.
“Warp completed, all systems check,” Lee ordered from his post as he wiped sweat off his brow.
“The radar is fine, Captain,” Nova said as she brushed her bangs out of her eyes. “We emerged from warp right on mark at PX-212, no magnetic drift.”
“Radio working and in perfect order,” Miamato said.
“Systems and computers working at nominal,” Wright announced.
“Engine room here, all is well…no problems,” Chief Watanabe announced. “The new wave supercharger handled the extended warp just as advertised,” he added. “My engines barely even broke a sweat, sir.”
“OK everyone, great job… lets take this op.....” Wildstar began.
However, he was was cut short with a call over the intercom as it buzzed. It was Pesci. “Captain Wildstar, I think you need to come to Quarters 36N on the officers’ deck, sir. Right now!”
Nova stood up…she was very puzzled, because that happened to be her quarters. What could possibly go wrong there? Nova thought.
“Sir, that’s my cabin,” Nova said to Wildstar.
Wildstar nodded in her direction and prepared to make his way down in the Captain’s chair after he threw his peacoat on. “Well, I guess we should both see what’s going on in your room, then, Commander, shall we?” he said to Nova. He looked at Lee. “Mister Lee, take the bridge.”
“Yes sir, Captain leaving the bridge!” Deputy Captain Lee said.
“Lt. Wright, please come with us” Wildstar said.
“Yes, Sir!” Wright said. He followed them down to the officers’ berthing deck.
FIVE MINUTES LATER….
As they all entered the cabin, Wildstar, Nova and Wright looked at the two female officers lying in their bunks strapped down like two criminals trying to escape. With the two women still yelling at each other, the Two Tonys stood to attention when Wildstar, Nova and Wright entered the small cramped room.
“What the heck is going on here?” Wildstar commanded.
Nova looked at her stripped desk, almost speechless when she picked up a piece of her vase and a single battered flower. “What….what happened to my things?” she gasped.
“Ma’am, our first concern is those two,” said Wright while Springer and Howard screamed at each other.
“Lieutenant Pesci! Why are these women strapped to their bunks?” snapped Derek while Springer and Howard were still yelling insults and curses at each other.
“Its her fault!” Springer yelled.
“Not! It’s your fault, you bitch! And when I get out of this, I’ll show you whose fault it is!” Howard yelled.
“Is this some kind of warp sickness?” said Wright.
“No, they were fighting before the warp and they wrecked the place,” said Delvechio as he shook his head with disgust. “They were insulting each other and also insulting Lieutenant Commander Forrester like she was there with them in person. This is a new low in professionalism, Captain.”
Wildstar looked at Nova, while Nova looked at both of them with disgust and distaste written across her face. Derek recognized that look. The last time Nova had looked like that was when she had accidentially stepped on a centipede barefoot in their house before the mission.
“Your roomies?” Wright asked.
“Unforturnately, yes,” Nova said with a sigh.
“Ma’am, I feel very sorry for you,” said Wright as he put a hand on Nova’s shoulder.
Derek stepped up behind her and hugged her for a moment. “You have to live with this?” he said quietly to Nova.
“Yessir. Every day. Captain, they are horrible…”
“ENOUGH!” Wildstar yelled as he stared down Springer and Howard. “Not another word from either of you! Lieutenants, release them now!”
“Sir are you sure? They seem to be determined to kill each other,” Pesci said with a smile.
“It could be hazardous to our health, sir,” said Pesci.
“Let them go” Wildstar said. “Now.”
“Yessir,” said Pesci. He went for Howard’s straps. Just when Pesci let Howard go, she jumped out of her bunk and went for Springer.
Nova jumped in to defend her. As Howard was almost ready to throw a punch in Springer’s direction, Nova managed to grab Howard’s hand and turn her around.
“Let go of me, you blonde surfer dude bitch!” screamed Howard at Nova.
“Stop it!” Nova yelled at her. “Your Captain is standing right here, are you insane? Get yourself together, and come outside with me, and right now!”
“I’ll see you later, snot-brain!” Howard warned Springer while Nova escorted her out of the room.
“DROP DEAD!” yelled Springer over Nova’s shoulder.
“Lieutenant!” barked Nova as she frog-marched Howard out into the corridor. Since Nova was bigger than Howard, it was not theoretically that hard, but Howard was struggling like a wildcat. Nova nearly had to slap Denise once to make her stop struggling.
“Now if we let you go,” said Wildstar to Jessica Springer, “Are you gonna try the same thing? If so, we are gonna have to man-handle you,” Wildstar said.
“No sir,” Springer said as she tried to calm down.
“Very well then, untie her. Now get yourself together and report to my quarters in an hour,” Wildstar commanded.
As he walked out the door he turned to Howard and Nova “That goes for you two also.”
“Yessir,” said Nova with a salute.
“Aye, aye, sir,” said Howard with a glare at the deck.
“Lt. Wright, please come with me,” Wildstar said as he turned to him and waved him along.
“Yes, sir,” Lt. Wright replied.
As they walked towards the bridge, Wildstar could only think to himself Women…sheesh!
“Sir, what are you going to do with them? Obviously they can’t room together anymore; they’ll just tear each other apart,” Wright said.
“I guess they have no choice,” huffed Derek. “Listen. I can’t go changing room assignments everytime someone is not getting along. We all have to work and live together! This is not a country club or a sorority house. This is a space warship! We can’t pick and choose who we work with,” Wildstar said with annoyance. “When all three of them get here, send them straight in. I’ve got words for all three of those ladies!”
“Yes, sir,” Lt. Wright said.
As Wildstar went to his quarters on his private elevator he just thought to himself, Oh, Nova forgive me for what I’m gonna have to do, please don’t hate me…but the mission is more important than us! And more important than even your feelings.
When all three of them marched up to the Captain’s quarters a few minutes later, both Springer and Howard wondered why the heck Nova was there. It wasn’t her that caused the commotion. In fact, she hadn’t even been there during the fight!
Howard tried to see what Nova thought about it, but she had no clue. Nova kept her face totally deadpan and had said nothing to them on the way up. Springer was more intrigued, Why would the Captain put his wife in the middle of all this? Maybe he’s gonna use her as a good little miss tootie shoes example, how his wife conducts herself and how she is the best crew he ever had, oh give me a break, Goddamnit, she’s a snotty bitch just like us, Springer thought to herself.
Nova knocked on the hatch and said “Sir, it’s Lt. Commander Forrester, Lt. Springer and Lt. Howard; may we enter?”
“Enter” Wildstar commanded.
All three of them came in, saluted Wildstar, and stood at attention as Derek got up from his desk. A moment later, he said, “At ease, ladies. Now, I would love to hear what this was all about, but I have enough on my mind with this little mission that the EDF has sent us on. So excuse me if I can care less then a rat’s ass about the fight or your little personal drama, and that goes for all three of you and your damn little soap opera!” snapped Derek.
Great, thought Nova as she looked hard at her boots. It’s all my fault for not reading you two the riot act the first day. You two and your sneakies and brocoli and all that garbage! Derek, please don’t put me up on charges for this…even though I probably deserve to be, Nova thought in a depressed fashion.
“You three make me sick!” barked Wildstar. “Forrester, Springer, and Howard! You three are officers on this damn ship and I expect you to act like officers or go home and take shore commands! How does it look to the others down in rank if I can’t keep my officers in line? As for the fighting, I will not have it on my ship unless you’re fighting with enemy fighters! Use your aggression elsewhere, ladies! You are ladies? That is what I think you are?”
“Yessir!” barked back Nova for all three of them, looking at Derek as if she was just a midshipman all over again and he was her company commander. Her taking the heat for them from her own husband surprised both Howard and Springer as they stood there open-mouthed.
“Springer!” yelled Wildstar in Springer’s face. “You were an honor graduate? Right?”
“Aye, aye, sir!” barked back Springer.
“I can’t hear you!” yelled Wildstar.
“YESSIR!” yelled Springer.
“You, Howard!” snapped Derek. “An Armstrong Honors Graduate! How did you earn that honor? In a Goddamn cereal box?” Wildstar barked.
“Sir, I earned it for my military bearing and pride!” she snapped back.
“None of which I saw today,” mocked Derek. “Forrester! What excuse do you have for this motley crew?”
“No excuse, sir!” barked back Nova.
“That is the first intelligent statement I have heard out of any of you ladies,” said Derek as he paced like an angry panther. “There is no damn excuse! I don’t expect much from my crew…only for them to do their jobs and do them well. All other tidbits and little soap operas and games will cease as of now! I will not hear of any more arguing and fighting or else both of you will be put in the brig for the remaining time of this mission!” Wildstar yelled. “That means you, Howard, and you, Springer! Are we clear?”
“Yessir!” they yelled.
“And, Forrester, I expected better of you,” said Derek right in Nova’s face. “You have the rank. You have the ringmaster’s whip down there, so use it to can that damn clown college in 36N. Got that?”
“Yessir,” said Nova.
“Sir, permission to speak,” asked Howard.
“Go on,” Wildstar said, pretty much already knowing what she was going to ask.
“Sir, it was myself and Lt. Springer that were in a fight, why is Lt. Commander Forrester here? She didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, she was at her post when it happened!” Howard was curious.
“Well since you are asking, the reason why Lt. Commander Forrester is present in this is because she is your roommate and senior officer. It is her duty to present to me any mishaps that occur with her roommates. She was a little remiss in letting me know about this, which is why she had to be addressed. Also, it won’t be my job, to give out your punishment…it will be hers….” Wildstar said as he looked into Nova’s face and saw the expression he expected.
“Sir?” all three said at the same time.
“Well, Commander, What is it going to be?” Wildstar asked as he looked at Nova. “You slipped up. How does an officer like you fix her messes?” he asked rhetorically.
Nova knew now why he wanted her to be present; he wanted to show no favoritism. She was the senior officer, and she knew this was her job. She knew that Derek loved her and their jobs have nothing to do with that. She only wish that this didn’t happen, especially since now she knew had to make the call on what was the proper punishment for them. But she already knew. “Sir, we had an old tradition in the Star Force. I believe it was that it was that we should have them run around the ship three times .....” Springer was relieved and thought that was fair enough, Howard on the other hand heard about the tradition and went white. “In their underclothes,” Nova added. “Panties, bra, bare feet.”
“What!?” Springer said.
“You heard your superior! She said, you will run three laps around the ship in your underclothes, and I suggest that you people wear t-shirts, also.” Wildstar said, thankful that Nova caught on to him.
“Of course, sir,” said Nova with a slight blush. I hope I have a proper undershirt I can find in that mess down below, she thought.
“Now ladies, you are dismissed, and don’t let me hear about any more cat fights or else you will be floating your way back to Earth,” Wildstar turned and waved them out before they could salute or say anything else.
TWO MINUTES LATER…
“Now see what you’ve done!” Springer said to Howard. “If it wasn’t for you…”
“Grow up, Springer, you dumb nurse!” Howard said trying to wave her away.
Nova turned around and yelled, in the midst of taking one of her own boots off (they had no idea why she was doing so as they walked down the passage towards their room) “Ladies, enough already, or is it that you two want to spend time in the brig? Because I can darn well arrange it! And Springer, Howard is right…grow up! We are not back in high school. There’s a job that we are all here to do and this is taking up too much time from it. So let’s get back to our cabin so you can carry out your punishment, and then we can get on with our work.” Nova said.
“It’s easy for you to say, brainy!” Springer said with vile.
“Look, Springer!” Nova whipped around on her toes; she was now barefoot with her boots in her hands. “Are we gonna have a problem? Because if we are, we can settle this on the flight deck right now!. I’ve had about enough of your snide remarks towards me and Howard! I don’t appreciate being put in this situtation, but I’m here. Now suck it up or else! I really don’t think you want to get on my bad side, either of you two, especially because you smashed my things in your little drama! So let’s get it over with!”
They both never saw Nova as angry as that. All they both could say in response was, “Yes, ma’am,” and wonder why, when they got into their cabin, she was undressing along with the rest of them…
III. THE RUN
Space Battleship Endeavor
August 2, 2204
1622 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
“Whoooah, ladies on the run!” shouted an enlisted man.
“Run, ladies, Run!” shouted another.
“Oh baby, loving those legs!” another crewmember yelled out.
“How’s about a date, Springer?” yelled a pilot.
“Hey, Forrester, does Wildstar loan ya out to anyone?” yelled a Space Marine.
Springer and Howard ran as they were told, but they never thought that Nova would run with them, also down to a just a T-shirt and her own panties. She ran by their side for the whole three laps and got just as sweaty (and drew just as many catcalls from the men) as they did. This made their punishment just a little more bearable.
When they were done running, they sat down together on the deck near their quarters. “Oh, those decks and moving belts! I never knew how hard they could be on a lady’s feet!” moaned Springer as she rubbed her bare feet.
“I need a new pedicure,” sniffed Howard as she wiggled her toes.
“It’s not the most comfortable experience,” said Nova as she rubbed the sole of her own right bare foot a little while trying not to let on that one of her thighs was cramping up a little bit. How did that happen? Nova thought. Oh, yeah, that must have been when I ran them through the produce cooler in the galley while yelling the PT song…PT..we need it, we love it, we want more of it, Drill Sergeant! That cooler….whew…It gets kinda cold in there.
Nova, of course, didn’t quite know that the galley crew had heard them giving their concert in the cooler as they ran in circles, and thought that all three of them were nuts.
“If you ran down the beach a few kilometers a day in just a swimsuit in the sand, you’d be a little more used to it,” Nova said as she blushed while adjusting her panties. “Gotta make sure there’s…nothing showing. At least on board ship.”
“Were you embarrassed, ma’am?” said Howard as she sat back against the bulkhead, letting the cool of the metal soak into her semi-bare back. She had run with only a cropped top on, while Springer wore a tight t-shirt and Nova had worn a favorite tank top in pink that showed off her shoulders and a little of her finely sculpted abdomen. When she had run past Derek, they had exchanged winks that no one else had seen. He had seen her in that tank top a lot during their honeymoon and wonderful time on Earth together afterwards. She had liked to wear that tank top, a pair of denim shorts, and thongs to ride her bike to the store to pick things up while they had been on Earth before the mission.
“Very,” said Nova with a blush. “Especially with some of that stuff Lieutenant Commander Lee was yelling on “C” deck. And you two should have been, too!”
When they both questioned her as to why she bore the humiliation with them, Nova just turned to them and said, “Easy. I’m the senior officer over you, and I know how these guys can be. At least if I was with you, it wouldn’t have been as bad. So shut up and strip down, girls.” With that, they learned to respect her more as they respected the Captain.
After their run they all turned into the shower, Nova was still showering when Howard approached Springer. “Can I talk to you?”
“Sure, what is it?” Springer said wary of what she was going to say.
“Look Springer, we both may not like each other much but we have to live and work together on this ship! Let’s just stay professional when we can and stay out of each other’s way when we are not working. I really don’t like the fact the we dragged poor Forrester into this. Its hard enough for her being the Captain’s wife and trying to establish herself as an officer. I have too much respect for her and I don’t want to see her get dragged down over something as stupid such as this. You can see it pained the Captain to put her in the middle of this, but he was being fair in all of it. You have to give them that much. OK?” Howard stuck out her hand for a shake.
At first Springer was hesitant but then she heard her out, “Yeah you’re right, I’ve been a little hard on her. I need to back off, and act more professional. Let’s get dressed and grab something to eat.”
“Good idea,” said Howard
They shook hands, got dressed, and left, not realizing that Nova overheard had everything they said. “Derek, you sly dog how do you do it?” Nova thought to herself. She got dressed herself and went to dinner.
As they each went into the mess hall, all the crew stood up and cheered. “OK, you guys” Springer said as she bowed. “Our little girly show has been cancelled and there will be no more encores. Thank you all…you have been a great audience!”
Both Howard and Springer went and got their trays when they heard two voices behind them. “So maybe next time they can do a jello fight? What do you think T?”
“I’d prefer seeing them mud wrestle in bikinis,” said another voice.
Springer turned around to see Pesci and Delevechio standing behind them with grins on their faces.
“Like I said, fellas…no more encores the show has been cancelled,” Springer said with a smile.
“But that was for the run, we’re talking about the cat fight!” Pesci said grinning harder.
“You’re cute, but no, that’s over!” Howard laughed at him.
“I’m Lt. Delvechio, Tony “Tone” Delvechio, I’m one of the Black Tigers and this gentleman that helped me pull you two apart is Lt. Anthony “Pesh” Pesci; he’s the leader of the Black Tigers. May you’d like to join us at our table, ladies? It’s the least you could do after we had to get involved with your little mishap,” Delvechio said.
Lt. Springer and Lt. Howard looked at each other and nodded, “OK.,you two show us the way…, Springer said.
As Nova walked into the mess hall she saw what took place on the chow line with the Two Tonys, Springer and Howard. Well… let’s hope those four stay out of trouble. I don’t think I can handle another day like this…
Nova was looking around, wanting to share a table with Derek (partially so she could reassure him that she was not mad at him; she knew he had a job to do, after all) when Doctor Spada came up to her before she saw the Captain.
“Like to sit down here?” said Doctor Spada.
Nova’s face dropped at that. I wanted to spend time with Derek! Nova sighed to herself. However, she just shook her head and sighed, “All right? Let’s sit down, Doctor.”
“How was that run?” he asked. “You looked cute in what you had on. Were you hot?”
“It was OK” was all Nova could say.
“So how about that lunch date, strictly as two officers talking shop…that’s all,” Spada said while waving his hands.
Nova smiled and figured, Ohhh, why not? “Sure Doc…you lead the way!”
They took a seat in the middle of the mess hall so no one would think something was going on. “So, when were you going to mention to me that you were Captain Wildstar’s wife?” Spada asked.
“I assumed that you knew, everyone on this ship pretty much makes sure I don’t forget it,” Nova smiled. “Don’t get me wrong…I love him and I’m glad to be working side by side with him, but it can be a curse also. It’s like, everyone is walking on egg shells around me. I’m not that different than before I married Derek.”
“Ah, but you are
different ,Madam! You are now the Captain’s wife, and you’re gonna have to work
harder then the rest of them to prove you are your own person,” Lieutenant
Spada said. “I am sorry that I was a little mad at you when I found out, I was
more mad at myself for feeling like a fool and throwing myself at you. But the
Captain has great taste in women. He has a smart beautiful wife that stands by
his side. Not too many men can say that about their women. Half the guys that I
“And you, Lieutenant Spada, are you divorced or never been married?” Nova asked.
“Never had the opportunity to find the right girl, although I thought I did at one time. But she was too busy with school and then she ran off to join the Star Force.”
“Oh really, when did she join, I’ve might have met her?” Nova had no clue that it was her who was that special person.
“No I don’t think so. It was a long time ago,” Spada said while trying to keep his emotions down.
“Well I’m sure that you’ll run into her again, someday,” Nova said while digging at her salad. Spada noticed that she especially liked salads, and shook his head a little, thinking, You haven’t changed, Nova. You still like your green vegetables and tomatoes.
“I’m sure I will,” said Spada.
They both made idle conversation, and then Nova excused herself to go back to work. She had a lot to catch up on. “Thank you for being a good dinner companion, but I must be going. ’l’ll see you tomorrow morning for sick call, Doctor,” and with that said, Nova left him there.
Nova walked back to the bridge to check out some reports before she had to do her rounds in the medical unit. When she entered the bridge, she waved hello to the others and went straight to work. She never noticed that Derek was standing over her.
“Are you alright, Nova?” Wildstar said looking down on her.
“What?” Nova looking up not realizing that it was Derek. “Captain, oh…I didn’t know it was you, what was that you said?”
“Are you alright?, I didn’t mean to get you involved but...”
“Nothing to it, Skipper, as if you didn’t know how it turned out…” Nova smiled at him.
“What do you mean?”
“Well after their punishment they decided to call a truce, so your plan worked.” Nova giggled at the thought.
“So the war among the sororities is over?” Wildstar laughed
“Yeah, thanks to you,” Nova gestured at him.
“Well I’m glad that it all worked out,” Wildstar was relieved that all went well. He felt horrible putting her in that situation but he had to do it for her sake.
Talking in a low voice Derek leaned over and whispered into Nova’s ear, “I’m going to bed now, want to join me, Mrs Wildstar?”
“As good as that sounds, Captain Wildstar, I can not. I am married and if my husband knew I was fooling around with the Captain of this ship he would be very angry,” whispered Nova back with a teasing voice as she gave him a quick kiss on the back of his head that she hoped no one else saw.
“Well then, I guess I should be going to bed alone…for now,” Wildstar replied. Derek gazed into Nova;s eyes and smiled, thinking, I’ll miss you tonight and every night until we are home again…
Nova smiled back, thinking, Oh, I would just love to be naked in your arms tonight, Derek, but not on this darn mission…although I wish we had the privacy to do so….
On the other side of the bridge Lieutenant Commander Lee looked on, thinking, Oh to hell with the General, Wildstar and Nova are conducting themselves more professionally than most of the whole fleet and EDF! So why does he have it in for them, it’s none of my business about their personal life just as long as it doesn’t interfere with the mission? As far as I’m concerned all is well and there’s no fraternizing what so ever. They are still newlyweds and we should give them time to themselves. They won’t hurt anyone if we do that…
“Lieutenant Commander Lee?” Wildstar called him over
“I’m heading to bed, first thing in the AM, please have all the pilots and Space Marines meet me in the video room. I want to go over the mission with them. We will be in communication with the rescue ship and Planet Dunbar at about 1200 hrs. So, we have to start setting our ducks in line so we can get those people off that planet. Have four fighter pilots scan the area for tonight. I want to know what we are in for and I don’t want any surprises. Make sure that everything is in working order. It’s going to be a very long day so try to get some sleep, I’m gonna need you tomorrow,” Wildstar said as he turned around took and one last look at his wife and hopped his private elevator to his sleeping quarters.
As Derek left, Nova blew him a kiss, thinking, I love you, Derek…I love you so much!
Then, she blushed, hoping that no one noticed.
TO BE CONTINUED….