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   Chapter 154 No.154

The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5713

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02

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The three days passed all too quickly, and by the time Lofflin and Bennett returned to the ship, at least half the crew was back already.

The I.S.S. Mordrake was back in the game. Lofflin knew that they'd missed the action on Meradinis, which was something he was partly thankful for, and hoped for a routine first assignment as Captain, so he could ease into the role properly. Admiral Hobbs contacted him several hours later, to realize that wish. The Mordrake's first assignment under him as Captain was to reconnoiter an assigned sector of the Omegan Quadrant – and Lofflin was relieved… you couldn't wish for anything more routine than that!

The final boarding message sounded around the O.D.S. station, and a few last crewmen hurriedly made their way across the airlocks to board the Mordrake.

On the bridge of the Mordrake, Captain Lofflin settled into the CO's chair, which sat right beside his old seat – and was occupied by his new Exo, Commander Carlson. One level down and directly ahead of him, Ensign Bennett sat at the helm desk, preparing to move the ship out when it was time. For now, the great bulk that was the Mordrake remained tethered to the O.D.S.

"Security reports we have a full complement of crew, Captain." The comtech officer, Lieutenant Adrian Blige reported in his characteristic sing-song voice. "All hands accounted for."

"Thank you, Lt." Lofflin acknowledged. "Close all airlocks, retract all debarkation tubes. All duty personnel to stations, all sections report in."

"Aye, Captain." Blige replied.

"Well, Mr. Carlson, " Lofflin smiled at his new Exo, who seemed to be trying out his console and display. "Are you ready?"

"Yes, sir." Carlson smil

ing starship. At least, those they could detect. Without adequate weapons, there wasn't much the people could do to oppose the Terrans.

Meradinis was to be treated as a colony proper in the making, because the population was Human and originally from Earth – a lost branch of the family coming home, so to speak. Many of the Star Marines on the ground wondered how out of touch the Senate was with the reality of the situation. The general feeling of the average marine was that yes, Meradineans were Human, but that they were little more than savages, and certainly not friendly – not to Terrans, at least – with the possible exception of the ones who offered their services for 'Only fifty dollar, me love you longtime!'

The Senate, ever conscious of the weight of public opinion resting on the tip of the pencil come voting day, wanted to be fair and just – or at least appear that way. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there was little love lost between the marines and the locals who viewed each other with little short of open hostility, and often through the sighting devices attached to weaponry of various diverse descriptions.

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