“Drop out of jump speed. Ready phasers and torpedoes. This shit is ending now. Commander Braxas, did you get a read on their tactical systems?”
“They are armed to the teeth, Captain, but their ships are older and in disrepair. The war birds only have forward shielding. The battle cruiser has no shield that I can detect,” Victoria explained.
“Commander, fire at the lead ship. Only to disable, not destroy,” I said.
“Captain,” Jasper hissed.
“I want to get out of this with a diplomatic solution, Commander Whitlock,” I growled. “Yes, the Alphans are monsters, but I have to try. Fire, Commander!” On the view screen, she shot two torpedoes to the battle cruiser. She hit one of their engine necelles, crippling their jump capabilities. The other hit along the wing of the battle cruiser, causing a good part of the hull to vaporize.
“Sir, we’re being hailed,” said Lt. Riley.
“On screen,” I commanded. The ugly face of Crown Prince Jakob filled the screen. He was seething. “You opened fire on a Federation vessel. That’s considered to be an act of war. You do not want to quarrel with the Federation. You will lose.”
“You took what was mine, b’tak!”Jakob snapped, pointing at the Empress. “That pinotte is mine. She will be screaming my name as I…”
“The only person who will be screaming will be you,” I said, my anger growing in my belly.
He is only baiting you, Captain, came the soothing voice of Empress Nirabelle. I’m not his. Nor will I ever be.
“I beg to differ, you extap,” Jakob said smugly. “This is not over. Bella will be my pinotte. Her funoch will be bleeding from my…” He stood up and grabbed his penis. “Oo-out!”
The screen blinked back to the ships hovering in front of us. The ships turned around and flew back toward Lapus. Jakob’s ship had to be towed by the two war birds. I chuckled at that. However, I could feel Empress Nirabelle’s fear. I had to get her off this bridge and we had to find that cloaked vessel. “Damage report,” I asked.
“Just some minor damage to the shield emitters near the crew quarters,” Jasper said. “Lt. Morgainne already has a repair team on their way to correct it. Minor casualties, sprained ankles and such are being reported from sickbay. Envoy Maralice is in surgery.”
“What are we going to do?” asked Victoria.
“Head back to Cygnarian space for the time being,” I said. “We need to strategize about what should be done. Commander Braxas, try and find out how to find that cloaked ship. Commander Whitlock, help her. Try to tap into the Cygnarian database for any information on the cloaking technology. Lt. Riley, set a course back to Forx.”
“Yes, sir,” Lt. Riley said, nodding. He made the course corrections and I ordered him to go to jump speed.
I looked at the Empress. She was barely hanging on by a thread. “Let me escort you back to your quarters, Empress. You need some rest,” I said gently. She blushed and her spots glowed. “Commander Whitlock, the bridge is yours.” I led the Empress onto the turbolift. She was twisting her ring, staring longingly at my hands. Once the doors closed, I took her tiny hand in mine. Her spots glowed brighter and she sighed. The warmth I’d felt before was more pronounced and bats had taken up residence in my stomach.
I know you have questions, Captain. I will explain everything in my quarters, she said, her thumb rubbing over my knuckles. I promise.