Rear Admiral “Bulldog” Blake threw the scotch glass past Cpt. Sagan who stood at attention. He didn’t flinch.
“INTERSTELLAR FLAGRANCY ”
“You took two Supernovas on a torpedo run against the Tiamat? What the hell were you thinking? ”
“Sir, I was thinking of killing the Tiamat. There’s always a chance. Sir.”
“There’s always a chance I’m gonna kick your ass and demote you to command of a mining hulk Your mission is survey the region, find the enemy, reports his movements and get the hell outta there What part of those orders can’t you handle?”
“Sir, my orders were understood, and my mission was complete. I saw an advantage. My boys and I took it. Sir.”
“Advantage? Advantage? The Tiamat and the entire Fangs squadron, and you had an advantage? What in the hell was this ‘advantage’ you had, pray tell.”
“Sir, we had gumption. Sir.”
Bulldog stopped. He thumbed an itch on his chin and fire-eyed Captain Sagan. The war wasn’t going well, and the rear admiral knew the fleet needed to take chances if it was going to regain any momentum. But high command had been riding him since Sagan’s Sideshow had been attached to his task force. He needed to vent to the younger officers.
That was all part of his plan, though: He knew, Captain Sagan, under that eyepatch, was seething red with fury. He knew Captain Sagan would not show anger to anyone but his own men. And he knew Captain Sagan would take out all that rage against the forces of Marduk.
Bulldog smiled inside. Captain Sagan sensed it, but he didn’t say anything. These were two warrior minds that agreed mentally if not verbally.
The rear admiral sat down, opened the desk drawer and pulled out another scotch glass and a bottle. He poured himself a drink. He softened his voice.
“Rip, if you break any of my ships, I’m gonna send you giftwrapped to Emperor Marduk. Get the hell outta here.”
Captain Sagan saluted, turned and walked out of the Admiral’s quarters. He thought about how lucky he would be to meet the emperor. Before going to the shuttle to bring him back to the Bearded Lady, Captain Sagan would make a quiet stop to the ordinance quartermaster to get a couple torpedoes in trade for the scotch he had just swiped from the admiral.