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by Po
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2079839
I found a little time and wanted to continue what I had already worked on.
         The sand grated across the window as it did every morning. The sound barely disturbed Captain

Pacelli, only the gentle cooing of the alarm stirred him. "These dam headaches, every morning" he

mumbled as he reached for a pill case. He began his morning ritual pills, light morning workout, then

shower. Activating his personal information and communication node, news and blotters from the night

command played across his iris. Using subtle movements of the eyes, he singled out and read the

information he would need for the day.

         Cpt. Pacelli dressed quickly. He looked sharp in his gray and blue uniform. It brought back

memories of those cramped but comfortable corridors that made up ship life. His mind lingered on

these memories remembering things lost. Only the thought of breakfast roused him from his stupor. His

hunger eventually forcing him from his berthing area.

         "Good morning Captain" came a chipper voice, as Pacelli had merely stepped from his room.

         Turning lightly Captain Pacelli's eyes fell upon a darkly tanned man wearing a sand scraped

utility uniform. "Master Sergeant, you do know that theses briefs can wait till after morning chow."

         "My apologies sir, just figured we'd get a jump on things." The little man gave a smirk with these


         "Since you're here, we may as well begin," Pacelli gave his daily go ahead for Master Sergeant

Amrit to begin the briefings as they walked to mess.

         "As I'm sure you saw, there were two food riots at distribution centers. The local militia took

care of one, but the second subsided around 28:30. There have been groups reforming around the

center since 06:40. The local militia is preparing to deal with another riot, but they fear they won't be

able to control it again"

         "Do we have a rough estimate of how many participants there are?"

         "Initial reports puts it around four to five thousand."

         "and how many militia men will be at the ready?"

         "They have 532 men and women prepared to respond"

         "Okay, prepare 200 men in riot gear and prep 15 enforcer class armor suits for deployment. Our

main concern will be the distribution center. That will free up the militia to deal with the protestors as

they see fit."

         "aya sir" Amrit's eyes stopped focusing on the world around as he used his PIC node to

distribute the proper commands.

         At this time, they reached the officers mess. "Looks like we'll be parting for a bit sergeant, keep

up the good work and get some food. You look famished"

         "Aya aya sir"

         Pacelli watched the little man march away. He couldn't help but regard the good sergeant with a

little disdain. For who he was, Sergeant Amrit kept a positive tone through every interaction. It put

Pacelli off.

         He decided finally to step into the officers mess, and was immediately assaulted by smells of the

local flavor. Cringing, Pacelli found a clean plate and perused the breakfast choices. He was quickly

disheartened by the lack of old favorites, but he eventually settled on some sausage patties and lightly

spiced eggs. Scanning the room, he found an empty table. Pacelli sat down with a sigh. Not even into his

first bight, he was joined by two more.

         "Morning Captian" was quickly uttered from the stocky thirty something sitting across from


         "Good morning Commander Leisinger" Pacelli replied. He took notice in Leisingers disheveled

looking uniform and specifically the incorrect rank still hanging on his shoulder. "Are you ever going to

get that uniform fixed?"

         "Sorry sir," responded Leisinger with a bashful look.

"the local tailors have refused to work for any terran sin-"

         "I hate to interrupt Captain, but can you please stop giving my men orders and approve them

through me first" The second man finally voiced his opinion.

         Pacelli didn't even have to look at him to know that the Major would be dressed in his drab

green dungarees. "Major Selick I'm in charge here. I'll decide what responses are needed. Now, did you

have any problems with the decision I made?"

         "Yes sir, the 15 enforcer armor suits are not needed for this basic an operation."

         Pacelli was tired of having his rank challenged by this man. He hated the major not for his

inability to lead but his inability to follow. "Our main objective is to preserve order according to Terran

law. We must take the necessary steps to enforce it." He hoped this was enough to end the argument,

because he has had enough of the major in the past couple months.

         "no offense sir, but it is a major misallocation of resources."

         "Major one of the few things we have is order now. If we lose it, we will never regain it." Silence

fell across the few remaining officers in the mess. "In times like these, we must be of one mind and will."

The men finished their breakfast without incident and went to their duties.


         Pacelli stepped out into the scorching heat. The summer had been even more fierce with the

lack of dust from strip mining. Platoons were undergoing inspection in the E.A.S. hangers that had been

vacated earlier. The bases open approches stretched out around untill they met the dunes of sand and dust. Pacelli braced for the sun's glare as he left the shadow of the barracks. Looking as

respectable as a man boiling in his own skin can, Pacelli marched across the open tarmac to the command building. He

thought to himself "If I don't get off this planet soon, I'll be no better than one of nonna's steamed


         The buildings side hatch slid open as Pacelli approached. Sergent Amrit's appeared around the

frame waving the captain in. "Get in sir, It's dangerous out there." Pacelli's steps quickened as he

approched the entrance. He rushed in letting his body get absorbed in the conditioned air. Amrit

brushed loose dust off his captains uniform and cap. "The situation at the distribution center has

improved sir. The gathered crowds dispersed with an hour of our troops arriving."

         "Were any rounds fired?"

         "No sir, the militia had to only perform some minor policing action. They took two noted anti-

terran leaders into custody and six others."

         "Good, where are the two terror suspects Sergeant?"

         "They are in separate interrogation rooms, Lieutenant Smith is with them now"

         Pacelli gave Amrit a curt nod and began down an inner corridor "keep an eye on the situation

sergeant". The captain made his way to the rooms that held their two new prisoners. The corridor had

several militia men still dusty and rank from this mornings work. "Make a hole," the rabble moved to the

sides of the passage at the goading of their NCO. The settling dust and pervasive scent made the door

into observation all the more welcomed.

          The stout lieutenant Smith was there to welcome Pacelli with basic reports already made. "The

two we have detained are Hansh and Anika Jhadav. They are a pair of siblings raised in the southern

slums of Sadri.They are active anarchists, but they are refusing to talk."

         "Are the tools ready?"

         "Yes sir,"

         "Then I'll begin."
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