Rashane takes his new ship on its first mission to New Alderaan to quell some protests that have occurred following Admiral Dodonna's disappearance.
Jaeden and Rashane have some conflict
Rashane lands his ship on New Alderaan and saboteurs get onboard and reroute systems and cause Eikko frustration to get the ship repaired
Demonstrators in the capital city of New Alderaan
A bright flash of light illuminated a few miles on the edge of the New Alderaan system. A small, narrow starship slid out of nowhere, a scene familiar to most of the galaxy as a ship exiting from hyperspace. For a moment, it seemed dead but for the blinking navigation lights that dotted the ship, warnings to fighter pilots operating in the blackness of space. Then its rear engines flared and lit with an intense glow, propelling the ship forward, towards the center of the star system.
Onboard the vessel, it was clear that it was far from dead. The vessel's bridge erupted in a noticeable chatter the moment the ship seemed to appear out of nowhere.
"Sir, we have entered the New Alderaan System." The helm officer was the first to be hear amidst the overlapping reports.
"Captain, all ship systems appear intact and stable. Power levels stable and high, especially without our shields and weap-" The engineer was cut off by the weapons officer.
"Sir, I suggest we raise our shields and power weapons. There's no telling whether this system might have any rogue ships, stragglers from Admiral Dodonna's fleet or pirates. If they should attack us with our shields down-"
A hand was held up, and the speaker fell silent. The hand was small, larger than a child's, but not yet an adult's. The skin was tanned, and its coloration presented a stark contrast to the light blue cuff of the uniform that began at the wrist. It followed the arm and shoulder until it reached a white colored rib that circled around the back of the neck and formed an incomplete circle at the middle, where the uniform separated. A couple centimeters further the uniform rose in an up-curved collar which gently framed the neck of its wearer.
From the collar rose the tanned face of a young boy, a teenager, older than thirteen but not older than fifteen. Seemingly out of place among the adult officers and crewmembers, the boy sat in the middle of the bridge, where usually only the oldest and most experienced crew sat. Ironically, the seat was his own, he was no substitute for the real occupant of the chair. Unless it had been otherwise dictated, none would have believed the reality of having a captain four years younger than the newest recruit to the fleet, but alas, it was so.
The boy spoke, his adolescent voice adding to the appearance of absurdity of a teenager occupying the seat of a ship's captain. "No. New Alderaan is a peaceful planet, and Republic Intelligence assured us there would be no additional naval presence here. Set a course for the planet and put us in orbit." He settled back into his chair, his confidence rising after a successful entrance into the system, seemingly unopposed.
Republic Intelligence had reported no ship activity barring the normal flow of traders and passenger transports coming and going. No Imperial presence, no pirates, and no ships belonging to the former Admiral Dodonna. The latter was what the crew had been most expecting, however, after Dodonna's connection to the world had left it split when the former Admiral resigned. The planetary leader had been able to keep it together...barely. He had petitioned the Republic for assistance, but with forces spread thin, a small corvette was all that could be spared for the characteristically peaceful world of New Alderaan.
The boy's thoughts of the Intelligence report were rudely interrupted by his first officer, a man as green as he was at command, "Sir," he said, emphasising the word, "If the reports are wrong, even a frigate's weapons can rip through our hull. Republic Intelligence might just as easily have spies and agents of Dodonna. If they gave false information.."
His First Officer's comments, although a possibility, were like a slap on the face. The boy was unsure of what had just transpired, but he felt insecure in his decision, second guessed by his own first officer. Humiliated, he wanted to bury his head in shame. But the boy was forced to keep his composure, to give a straight face and maintain his authority. For a moment, he sat in silence. Then, slowly, he spoke again, "Continue on with the orders I've given."
The boy stood, straightening his uniform. He turned swiftly, and took a step forward. Leaning to the side, he spoke in a low voice to his second-in-command, "Lieutenant, I'd like to talk to you in private." Without waiting for an answer, the boy walked out of the bridge and entered the door on the left, his office. Once inside, instead of taking a seat at the desk to his right, he made his way over to the large window that filled the entire wall opposite the door. Before the window stretched a large window seat, with cushions fastened to the raised floor and wall forming a pleasurable place to sit. It was here that the boy chose to sit, and leaning himself against the wall cushions, stretched his legs out down the seat and waited for his first officer.
A few moments later, the doors parted, and through them walked a uniformed officer, a tall man with golden brown hair. His rank insignia identified him as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, the same badge that the boy sitting at the window currently held as well. This, on top of the age difference, seemed to make a recipe for disaster. The pot had been stirred and brought to a boil, and now it was up to the boy to simmer it down.
"You wanted to see me?" The man asked, approaching the window where the boy was seated. For several moments, silence passed between them. Finally, the boy turned his head to the officer. His expression was clear, the younger officer was angry with the older one's actions.
"You have a problem, Lieutenant," the boy started, not wasting any time. He didn't even wait for the man's reaction, "If you have a suggestion, you can certainly give it. But when you do what you did, you make me look like a fool. Now you have the crew second-guessing my orders and doubting the mission."
The older man smirked at the mention of making the boy look like a fool. He opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by the boy, "Now, if you have a problem with me, fine. Deal with it in private, in here, but not out there. I was assigned as the commanding officer of this ship, not you."
"Only because your daddy got you this job."
The boy frowned, "Cut the crap, Lieutenant, or I'll put you on record for disrespecting a superior officer."
"We're the same rank. There is no superiority, except perhaps in age. And then, oh right, that would be me."
Anger flowed through the boy's very blood. Could his new first officer truly be so vain? Not to mention, blind. "However, I'm this ship's Commanding Officer. Unfortunately, that means that I rank above you for the purposes for authority. I'm sure they taught you this at the Academy, or have you forgotten already?"
"Oh, no, but it's clear that you're the expert on etiquette in the military, sir," the man said, giving a small, mock bow, "I'll defer to you on that, then."
Flustered, the boy could only say, "You're dismissed, Ensign" As an afterthought, he added, noting the loss of glimmer in the older Lieutenant's eyes, "It'll stay that way if you keep up this line of behavior."
The man stayed put, a cold stare penetrating from his eyes into the boy's skull. It was unnerving and uncomfortable. Not just the stare, the entire situation. Disciplining his first officer on their very first mission. He would have liked to been able to ask for a new second-in-command, but commissioned officers were not as plentiful as they were before Admiral Dodonna's departure. Replacements were difficult, a fresh surge in officers was still four years away. For the time, he would simply have to put up with his assigned crew, even if one of them was more immature than he was.
"Go, Lieutenant," the boy said impatiently.
A crooked smile crossed the face of the older man, "Just wanted to know I hadn't lost anything."
In a moment of wit, or perhaps frustration, the boy remarked, "Only my respect for you."
"Never thought I had it," the man shot back.
The boy sighed. This was going to be a long mission. "Only you thought that way, Lieutenant. Only you."
The man gave a curt nod, as if the whole meeting had been polite and appealing to him. He turned on his heels and strode out the door. The boy didn't breath until he heard the small thud of the two halves to the door meeting, the last of his first officer hidden from view. The thought occurred again to him, this was going to be a long mission.