Admiral’s Fall – Sneak Peek Chapter 2
For those of you who have been waiting with baited breath I bring you… Chapter 2!
Chapter: Featherby in Command
“How long until the next point transfer, Fritters?” Featherby asked looking up from his data slate where he was rapidly filling out yet another report on the debacle that was supposed to have been the Glorious Fleet’s finest hour.
“The CSS Potempkin reports it need more time to repair a bad crack in the hyperdish, Sir. They’re requesting an additional 24 hours to effect the needed repairs now that we’re safely out of range of any New Confederation retribution,” said the Chief of Staff.
“Unacceptable,” Featherby said instantly, “we’re only two jumps away from the nearest com-stat buoy,” the he frowned, “and you know how much I hate it when you use that term, ‘New Confederation’ it gives these Spineward Sectors locals entirely too much legitimacy.”
“Sorry, Sir. You know I only strive for accuracy and since that’s what they call themselves sometimes I slip. I’ll try to do better,” said Fritters.
“They are nothing more than a regional power that’s still coalescing. Now I realize that it may seem like a minor matter but it is exactly from seemingly insignificant things like this that larger problems grow,” the Front Admiral scolded.
“Of course, Sir,” Fritters said blank faced, “however that aside you can’t mean to leave CSS Potempkin behind. If anything happened to her…” Fritters trailed off.
“I think we’re long past the point of no return when it comes to ships lost in action. The task force we’re assigned to has lost ships both before and after I assumed command to say nothing of the fleet as a whole,” said Featherby.
“You managed to save one hundred and twenty six ships from that disaster that has to count for something,” said Fritters.
“If they’re looking to pin it on me then there’s nothing you or I can do my friend,” Featherby said wearily.
“I don’t want to accept that but you’re probably right,” Fritters said bitterly.
“You know I’m right. There was a disaster of unmitigated proportions. An imperial flotilla was defeated and a fleet of one thousand ships routed. A confederation fleet. Do you know the last time a confederation fleet retreated in the face of the enemy?” asked Featherby.
“I would assume not since the last war,” said Fritters.
“Individual ships may have been outnumbered and thus forced to temporarily withdraw but a full fleet? Never,” said the Front Admiral, “which is why it is absolutely imperative we become the first to get to an FTL buoy and transmit a report home.”
Fritters worried his lower lip.
“Are you sure they won’t decide on a kill the messenger situation? I worry that getting to the front of the line isn’t necessarily the best course,” said Fritters.
“If we don’t get the truth out there it will be buried,” said Front Admiral Featherby, “this could be our only cha.”
“At least this way we have the opportunity to shape the narrative. I just worry the Fleet of today isn’t the same as it was when we had a strong admiralty,” Fritters said worriedly.
“We still have allies in the Grand Assembly but regardless there is only so far I can bend in the name of expediency. At a certain point I must be what my life and my training has created in me and let the chips fall where they may,” said the Front Admiral.
“I’m with you Willard. I just hope you’re right,” said Fritter.
“Not more than me my friend,” sighed Featherby.
The two shared a look of mutual understanding.
Then Fritters straightened.
“What do you intend to do with the Potempkin?” he asked finally.
“I agree leaving them isn’t a very viable solution. If anything happened their deaths would be on me. Which wouldn’t me an issue if this were a combat operation but I’m not willing to put good men in harms’ way in the name of politics. I see no solution but to temporarily transfer my flag to the fastest ship in our task force and proceed with this mission. The rest of the force will just have to catch up later,” the Front Admiral said finally.
“What if other survivors of the Glorious Fleet of Liberation are already there or who arrive at the same time we do?” his Chief of Staff asked delicately.
“You’re right. We should prepare an alternate rendezvous,” said the Front Admiral.
“That brings up other potential issues,” said Commodore Fritters with a long face.
“At a certain point I have to show confidence in my officers and captains or how am I any better than admirals like Beecher,” said Front Admiral Featherby.
Two hours later Featherby transferred his flag.