Deep Space Bureaucracy

Jaw set and eyes lit, the captain barked, “Confirm ident and get me ROE.”

“Aye sir,” shot the sensors officer, “Gelwiern, TC Bravo, fire if fired upon.”

The comms officer rolled his eyes, “In the butt crack of the galaxy, and still bureaucracy.”

“Stow it. What’s their status with the locals, and where are those research teams?”

A voice popped up from the intel desk, “Sir, mutual non-aggression pact with the Klegg.”

“4,000 kilometers and closing, sir. Weapons range in 22 sierra.” The sensors officer was trying to sound calm. His success was debatable.

“Keep those engines primed, but reinforce shielding. Defensive posture epsilon.” The captain did sound calm, though his left hand clenched and unclenched, running the scars back and forth across his knuckles.

“Weapons range in 11 sierra, sir.”

Someone swore, while another voice muttered a prayer to a mostly forgotten god.

“Brace for it, people. And where the blazes are those research teams?”

“Sir,” comms sighed, “You’re not going to like this.”

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