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The Other War (Cover)

Chapter 35 - The Other War
Aboard the CFM Rancor, Captain Shawn Kreese sat in his own Flight Deck with Tomin Mick standing tall above him. The Elemental was already in his armor awaiting the time that his task force would come within firing range of the rebels, Goulet’s Grenadiers as they had identified themselves. “What is taking so long, Captain? Why are we not firing missiles already?”

“The Zenith Point is large, Sir. Admiral Tanaga’s task force is on the other side of Khan Drake’s. It will take time to get into effective range.”

Tomin’s armored fist crashed onto one of the aging consoles cracking the screen and denting the supporting steel. “She is not an Admiral, Captain Kreese. Nina Tanaga and Claude Goulet are Pirates not Warriors. I will have the Clan Council know that Khan Drake was working with them. He lured us into this position knowing they would arrive today. His failure will not go unpunished.”

“The Khan is jamming our communications I cannot get a message to Khan Carrol. We can barely keep a local battlenet operational.”

Dezgra Pirates all. After dealing with Claude I will deal with him personally. Disable these enemy ships they will be fine isorla.”

“Aye sir.” Tomin swaggered out of the room his boots clanging on deck plates to join the other Marines strategically placed around the ship.

XO Star Commander Joel Newton waited until Tomin was gone and opened a private comm channel to their headsets, “Did you tell him?”
“Only what we agreed.”
“He has to know.”

Nina Tanaga sat in the middle of the CFM Trial by Fire’s new Flight Deck filled with three [different uniforms. She was the only Mandrill Captain with CFM From the Ashes (formerly the Essex-Class Destroyer, SLS Rondeau) and CFM Ignition Point (formerly the Vincent Mk 39-Class Corvette, SLS Van Vilet) manned by Newts and Tanites commanded by selected senior dropship Captains whom Loew thought would command the Ghost Fleet when it was brought back from the dead.

She was already thinking of how she had defied logic to become a Warship Captain in the lead of a three-ship naval task force. She was surprised when her musings were interrupted by the pallid face of Shawn Kreese's who appeared within the sensor sphere.

Nina stared down the comm-tech, “Warn me next time!” The Tanite nodded in apology.

“Captain Tanaga, we know each other so lets move past the pleasantries. Trial of Position, Raven rules. Rancor against Trial by Fire. Tomin and Claude fight it out on the loser's ship.”
“What about the Fire-Eater and its Binary?”

“I have no control over the whole formation, but Captain Xing's crew voted no confidence in Tomin. Any rogues are fair game for your other ships or the Hellions.”

Shawn and her had been in the same sibko, he narrowly defeated her in the simulated Trial of Position on Hellgate dashing her hopes. Instead she was assigned to an Elephant-Class Tug doomed to spend her career as a Warrior with the Mandrills picking the bones of old Warships to repair the chosen few. Now the tables had turned and Shawn still thought he could defeat her.

“Bargained well and done, Captain Kreese.”

Nina walked to the front observation screen zooming in on the Rancor. She activated a sub-menu that showed all the ship's weapons and numerous sub-systems. All of which were almost as good as when they came out of the cage around Epsilon Eridani three hundred years ago.

“You didn't even ask about the upgrades. Someone wasn't paying attention in class.”

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