Back To Bounty Hunting Ch. 02bykingkey©
Admiral Kelly sat back in his chair waiting for his nose to stop bleeding. Also, he was trying to think of what he could do to save his ass, as if he didn't have enough trouble by losing his last command! Would Admiral Jackson think of this new situation as him trying to run his base the proper Navy way? Now it looked as though a couple of civilians were trying their best to ruin his career. Who possibly could have known that a dishonorably discharged Marine - turned bounty hunter, could be an Imperial Peacekeeper? He knew he would have to apologize to the O'Connors, but if he did it right now, they would just throw back in his face. Suddenly his door flew open, and Commander Smith rushed in.
"Admiral! Mrs. O'Connor just blasted off in their interceptor, and she's broadcasting on all military and Imperial frequencies."
"What? How the hell can she fly an interceptor by herself? Those things take a minimum crew of ten!"
"I don't know how she does it! Everything pertaining to the O'Connors is listed top-secret! All I know is she lifted like a bat out of hell, and started broadcasting. Sir, I've never seen a ship that size, able to go as fast as that ship is going. The only thing I've ever heard of that came even close, was an Imperial sling ship or a experimental racing ship."
Admiral Timmins sat back, with a feeling of impending doom and asked, "What is Mrs. O'Connor broadcasting?"
"As soon as she cleared atmosphere she started yelling on all the Navy and Imperial frequencies that her husband had been wrongly imprisoned, and that she had fled the planet in fear. She is demanding that they send an Imperial guard unit to rectify the situation. She's requesting that a Commander McLain be sent, personally."
Upon hearing the name McLain Admiral Timmins turned white as a ghost. How the hell did the O'Connors know Commander McLean?
Thinking fast the Admiral said, "Get Mister O'Connor out of the brig right away. Bring him to this office. Then launch our interceptors and bring her back. Also; since her lab is unmanned, I want guards posted inside and out, immediately!"
Tom O'Connor was escorted into the Admiral's office under guard.
The Admiral turned to him and said, "Mister O'Connor your wife lifted your interceptor at unsafe speeds and started broadcasting all kinds of accusations. We need her to cease and return at once. Otherwise we will be forced to disable her ship and have it towed back."
Tom just started laughing and said, "I hope you have at least a heavy cruiser or a battleship at your command. That's about the minimum it would take to disable our ship. Before you started throwing your weight around, you should've checked more closely. This base is here solely for the support of my wife's lab. What do you think she does with all the things she requisitions? She does weapons research for the Imperial War Department!"
About this time is intercom chimed answering it he heard, "Admiral, this is Sergeant Davis. The guard unit you ordered to the lab has been stunned. After they fell and stopped moving, the following recording started: 'Warning unauthorized attempted entry, any further attempts will be met with lethal force up to and including the destruction of this building,' said a synthetic sounding voice over the sergeant's com.
Turning to Tom O'Connor, the Admiral said, "You need to disable that security system! We can't leave a top-secret lab unguarded!"
"There's nothing I can do, Admiral," Tom said with a smile that made the Admiral very uncomfortable. "If Desirée set that security system, there is no way I'm able to override it. This I do know. It will let me enter and leave. But, I have no idea how to shut it off. Desirée is the only one that can do that, as she designed the system. If I were you, I would get my men out of there, while you still can."
"But we can't just leave things unguarded! This is not the way the Navy does things!"
"There's your main problem, Admiral! This is a civilian installation, not a Navy one. Sure Desirée is doing research that has the Imperial War Department very interested. However, she does things her own way! She was guaranteed her freedom to do things as she saw fit. Then you come barging in here, giving orders, and trying to act like some big shot."
"But there must be some kind of order, here! I am told she just says what she wants, and it is given to her! There is no explanation of why she needs it, and she doesn't even fill out any paperwork to requisition anything! The supply officer does it for her!" he yelled, standing up and leaning on his desk on his rigid arms. "I was sent here to run this base! Since this is a Navy base, it needs to be run the Navy way."
"Admiral, I don't really care how you run your base; but the lab that this base is here to support, is not run by the Navy. After the way you came in here, throwing your weight around, and trying to change things to your so-called 'Navy way'; things went to hell, quickly. As far as we're concerned the Navy can take this base and shove it straight up their collective asses. We don't need to put up with this shit!"
"You work for the Imperial Government! You can't just quit!"
"Oh,ho,hohh, yes we can! We are not under any contract to the Imperial Government. Desirée just likes to tinker with things, and see if she can make them better. Some of her inventions seem to bring great interest from the Empire, so some big shots showed up from the War Department and Imperial Government wanting what she produced. Generally, anything that caught her interest was guaranteed to be given to her; but, there is no government contract! The way things were worked out, the government gets first option on anything she develops or improves, but that's all."
"But that's ridiculous! The government doesn't just give civilians carte blanche on weapons and supplies! What about everything that's in your ship?"
"Most of what is in the ship, was there before any agreement was ever made with the government. That is what got the government interested in the first place. I suppose there were a few weapons and other doodads that were government issued, before Desirée altered them. I am sure I can get her to return them, after changing them back to the way they were before. The only reason they are on the Luck of the Irish is that Desirée usually uses it as a testing ship."
"But... But... There has got to be some sort of control! If all this is of top-secret why is it on the civilian ship, instead of one of the interceptors the Navy has supplied for support?"
"The Navy ships are there just to supply security so no unauthorized vessels enter the testing area. The Luck of the Irish is equipped with the extra sensors needed to analyze any results of whatever tests are done."
"But... but, that's not the way the Navy does things," the Admiral said. He turned to his aide and said, "What about security? There's got to be some way of maintaining security on these projects!"
"All I know, Admiral," the Aide said, "were the orders I received when I was posted here. They was from the weapons development branch. They said, and I quote, 'Whatever the O'Connors want, you will supply to them without question,' unquote. It was signed 'by order of the Emperor.'"
The Admiral seemed to really get nervous about this, wondering to himself about all the ways he had fucked up. If he was lucky he would just get a major ass chewing but he had a sinking feeling that his career was about to end. The Admiral turned to Tom and said, "I'm sorry for all the misunderstandings. We need to get your wife to return, so we can work things out for all of our benefit."
"And just how are we supposed to accomplish that, Admiral? She saw the way you were trying to throw your weight around. She saw the way you had me arrested after I punched you. There is no way she's just going to come meekly back here."
"She is in orbit now and screaming over the long range communicators to fleet or Imperial headquarters about the situation. We need to do something about it, before it spirals out of control. Maybe if you talk to her we could come down."
"And how do you propose I do that? She saw me arrested! If I try to talk to her, she will think I'm doing it under duress."
"At least we can do is to try to get her to talk to us. I'm sure she'll be reasonable."
Tom started laughing and said, "I can tell you don't know Desirée. You've heard of 'the temper of the Irish'? Well, Desirée has it in spades. But, I'm sure she'll talk to us, if only to give you a piece of her mind."
We all headed for the communications room. After a few minutes, we were able to establish communications with the Luck of the Irish.
I said. "Luck of the Irish, come in, please."
"Tom, is that you? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Desirée. I hear that you did an emergency liftoff and now are screaming over the long range communicator for help from someone in fleet or Imperial headquarters. Just who do you have in mind?"
"I'm going to tell them that we quit, and for them to get someone out here straighten out 'Private' Kelly for us. Is there any rank lower than private?"
Seeing Admiral Kelly cringe, I said, "Calm down, Dear. You know Admiral Kelly is new, here. He doesn't realize how things work. He is just trying to do things the 'Navy way', even if that's not the way things work here. You realize the reason I hit him was the way he was talking to you. He was just trying to do things his way and to show who is in charge."
"Well if I have any say in it, he won't be in charge very long!"
"Now don't go flying off the handle, dear. Admiral Kelly wants me to have you land, so we can discuss things."
While this was going on I didn't notice Admiral Kelly already speaking on another communications consul until I heard, "I don't know what kind of games they're trying to pull down there, but I just had a battle cruiser jump into this area, like they were looking for some kind of threat. I fired one of the new disruptor torpedoes at it. That should put them out of action for at least an hour, while they try to reset all the systems it shorted out. Let the Admiral know that any more hostile acts will result in much harsher retaliations!"
Upon hearing this Tom turned and yelled, "Just what the fuck you think you're doing? You have me trying to calm her down, and you pull this shit? I had her almost ready to listen to reason. Now there is no way she's going to come down. Just to let you know she could have destroyed that battle cruiser much more easily than merely disabling it. You have no idea of the weaponry that the Luck of the Irish has on board. True, most of it is in the experimental prototype stage, but that is what the Imperial weapons service has us developing here. Although after today, I'm not sure how long were going to be working for them."
"Tom, are you still there? Tell them that I want someone of authority out here immediately . Preferably the Emperor himself. I'm not sure who I can trust, anymore. I trust you; but how do I know you're not still a prisoner, and being forced?"
"Desirée, I don't think the Emperor is just going to drop everything and come for a visit. Is there anyone else you could trust?"
"I don't know! Ever since we started working for the Navy all we've had are problems. I guess if they could get Commander McLain here, I would trust him and his crew."
I glanced over at Admiral Kelly as she said this, and saw him stiffen at the name: McLain.
I asked, "Admiral, you have some problem with Commander McLain?"
"I've served with Commander McLain, before. I found him to be very unconventional and a bit of a renegade. He seems to have a lot of problems taking orders and his crew seems to think rules don't pertain to them."
"I worked with Commander McLain on a mission that could have been quite touchy and found him and his crew to be very capable. They may not go by every rule in the book, and may be very unorthodox, but they are very capable. I suggest we contact headquarters to have him and his crew dispatched here as soon as possible. Desirée should be quite comfortable in the Luck of the Irish while we are waiting. I suggest you get in touch with all ships in the area. Tell them to give her a wide berth. The last thing you want her to do, is to start getting nervous!"
"Tom, are you still there?"
"Yes, dear, I'm just arranging to have Commander McLain come to help straighten things out here."
"Damn! That battle cruiser just got its running lights turned back on! I figured it would take at least an hour before they started to get any of their systems reset. Guess I'm going to need to do a little tweaking on these torpedoes."
Tom laughed and said,. "You have fun with that, Dear, I am making arrangements for Commander McLain and a group from headquarters to arrive, to get the situation straightened out. They should be here in a few days, so you should have plenty of time to work on your toys. You stay safe up there, while I get everything arranged down here."
"Okay, Tom, Don't let them push you around, though. Once we get everything straightened out, I think we need to take a vacation from all this. This is starting to be too much like work! It isn't all that much fun, anymore."
Edited By TeNderLoin, PCbondsman, The Old Fart