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   Chapter 19 No.19

The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5065

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:01


"The ack's really gone and hit the fan this time, and no mistake!" Falcone said, thinking aloud.

"Sir?" Hanson said.

"Some of our people had relatives and friends on this starbase." Falcone told him. "When word gets out about – this…" He waved a hand around and allowed his words to trail off. "And back home."

"Yes, sir." Hanson nodded grimly. "Awful."

"Hard times coming, Greg." Falcone said plainly, looking the younger man in the eye. "More of this – and a war to stop them."

Greg Hanson swallowed tensely. He'd got used to the smell already, but his mouth was dry and everyone was tense and silent.

Nearby, another corpse caught Falcone's eye. It was lying draped over a console face down, dressed all in black. The old man went up to it, and shoved the body hard over with his boot. A few startled cockroaches scattered and ran for cover. The man was burly, although that could have been from post-mortem bloating. He was black-haired and bearded, and had an old scar across his face. He wore segmented upper body armor, the kind used by some Corsairs for close combat, complimented by one or two pieces of blaster-resistant Star Marine armor.

Falcone prodded the body with a broken chair leg, pulling at the front of the armor to get a better look at where all the dried blood that covered it had come from.

"There it is – look!" Hanson said, pointing at a dark, sodden patch that centered around a space between armor panels on the corpse's left side. "Must've been an explosive bullet or

egan to question his choice to retire, and not for the first time.

Thirty years was a long time, and he would miss this ship. She'd been home away from home for so long. He smiled to himself in the closed confines of the elevator car as it ran at half-speed.

"Damn Nore!" He grumbled in mild annoyance at the walls of the elevator car, and then smiled again for no particular reason.

What was it about this job that felt so good, so rewarding that he just didn't want to leave it behind? Was it because he was in charge? Was it power? Was it because he could make a difference when called upon? Or was it because being Captain made him feel relevant, like he mattered?

The doors eventually parted and Joel Falcone stepped back onto his bridge. Ripley, at her station, turned to greet him.

"Captain."

"Status report please, Commander." He asked.

"No change, sir." She reported. "The ship's still standing to at battle stations. All systems nominal, no traffic observed in the entire area."

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