MoboReader> Horror > Dead Beckoning

   Chapter 9 No.9

Dead Beckoning By Christina Engela Characters: 4755

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"Happy birthday, Captain!" Doctor Payne said, grinning.

"Thanks, Jaki." He smiled. "Didn't realize anybody knew."

"We didn't!" Lt. Greg Hanson, chief of security laughed.

"We got it out of the Commander!" The helmsman, Eric Linson, added, pointing at Ripley.

"Great!" Mykl jibed, giving her a friendly elbow jab in the ribs. "Traitor!"

She laughed. "How about a speech, Captain, sir?"

"Uh…" Mykl dithered, and then promptly found himself being ushered to a table at the center of the room, where he was quickly surrounded.

"Speech! Speech! Speech!" Came the chorus from nearly three hundred smiling faces. He knew he was popular with the crew, which seemed odd to him, considering all he tried to do was to run the ship and its crew fairly and without fear or favor – but the degree of his popularity had never hit home till now. This was his home, his family.

"Speech… right…" He murmured as the sound level suddenly tapered off into silence. "Thanks very much." He began, aware he was no public speaker. Not for nerves or anything like that – he usually just didn't have anything much he felt he wanted to say. "I really appreciate this… I'm really touched…er…as a first birthday party, this is definitely a winner. Um. Thanks again – please, eat, drink and be merry!"

A round of applause and even a few cheers followed. Ripley, suddenly at his elbow again, leaned over to deliver an aside: "Man o

ers or senior ships' officers – after all, spacers spent most of their working lives on their ships, far from alternatives – but Ripley and Mykl hadn't quite reached that stage yet… As Captain and Exo, he and Ripley had to maintain a professional image to the crew – at least whenever it mattered, which was only all the time, rules and regulations and all that – just in case a kink developed in the chain of command. After all, they wanted to avoid anyone back at Fleet Command HQ getting their knickers in a knot because the Captain and his Exo were sharing the Captain's flat and were occasionally seen to hold hands.

"You busy?" He asked, leaning back in the command seat.

"Not really." She smiled.

"It's my birthday today." He smiled suggestively. "Apparently."

"Really? I had no idea."

"Yup, there was a big party on the rec-dec and everything." He quipped, grinning.

"Hmm. I still have to give you your birthday present."

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