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Story The Challenge
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Thread: The Challenge

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    The Challenge

    The Challenge
    FMJ

    The dreadnought class star-ship, U.S.S. Ticonderoga was only six months subjective time out from Charon’s world of Alpha Centauri on a four year extended tour of duty at high light velocity and tensions were running high. Although space marines usually resign themselves to life in the service as a result of the effects of relativistic time dilation, that final realization that the bones of all your family and friends will be dust by the time you return can be unsettling. Finally coming to terms with the mental isolation experienced by space marines traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light can generate great stress.
    Two officers of Delta flight wing are engaged in hushed conspiratorial tones as they loiter on one side of a passageway outside the Officer’s mess.
    “We can only ascend to superior rank by succession or single combat so it is my right as Captain of the flight wing to challenge her,” whispered Captain Allen.
    “I think Major Donaldson would disagree with you. Technically, he is your next senior officer so you actually need to challenge him first for ascension to his rank of Major. Only if you survive that, do you have the right to take on McFate. I still think it’s a real bad idea though. You do realize there might be a reason she has silver oak leaf clusters on her shoulders, don’t you?” inquired Lieutenant Carson sarcastically.
    Last edited by FMJ; 06-15-2017 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Extra word.

  2. #2
    another interesting start

    I have mixed feelings about "relativistic time". gives a lot of room for exploring things that one lifetime seldom allows for.

    Waiting to see where it goes

    Dosadi
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    “Surely you don’t believe those ridiculous tales about her are true, do you?” Captain Allen said eyeing Carson with suspicion.
    “All I know is that a second lieutenant was there the last time McFate was challenged for ascension by combat and he said…,” Carson broke off as two enlisted men walked by and saluted.
    “What? What did he say?” asked Captain Allen apprehensively when they were again alone in the hallway.
    “That the guy never had a chance, not a chance in hell,” replied Carson.
    “I don’t believe it. That’s just a story made up by a second lieutenant to impress enlisted men,” Captain Allen said with a sneer. “No woman is ever going to hold the rank of lieutenant colonel over me in my flight line!”
    “Just make sure you think it through, Captain,” replied Carson. “If you challenge her for ascension in single combat, she will respond with deadly force and it won’t be a drill. If you fail, she could kill you and get no more than a slap on the wrist for using excessive force to maintain discipline or some nonsense. There would be nothing on her permanent record at all!”
    “Don’t worry about me, Carson,” Captain Allen said darkly. “I won’t lose.”
    Two days later, as Lieutenant Colonel McFate reviewed drop ship readiness protocols on the hangar deck with two flight engineers, Captain Allen strolled in to boldly stand directly before her.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the post of your story will be looking for more.

    Wayne

  5. #5
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    Nice, still looking for more.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  6. #6
    This should be a fine one.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    “Hello, Captain Allen. You seem to have forgotten a basic military courtesy,” said Colonel McFate with a grin. “Or has the practice of saluting a senior officer been abolished and I didn’t get that memo, again?”
    “I’m not saluting you because I deny your rank and I formally challenge you for ascension in single combat!” Captain Allen spat out.
    “One moment, Captain,” Colonel McFate said as she signed a release on a datapad and handed it back to a flight engineer with a nod and a word of approval. “Now, where were we?” asked the Colonel as she turned to face the waiting Captain with hard narrowed eyes.
    “You can’t ignore me!” Captain Allen screamed hoarsely while pointing a stubby finger at Colonel McFate. “I have the right to challenge you for ascension and you can’t ignore it! A woman will never hold higher rank on my, my….” Captain Allen’s voice trailed off, his eyes darting left and right. The finger he pointed at the Colonel now aimed at empty space. “Where? How?” he stammered. The sudden painful prick of the point of a dagger behind his right ear coupled with a hand around his throat ready to help drive the dagger home froze Captain Allen in place with his eyes wide in fear and disbelief.

  8. #8
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    From a place very close behind his left ear the Colonel hissed, “Don’t move a muscle, Captain. You have two choices, If you move, I will drive my knife into your brain and you will die instantly. If you do not move, you will acknowledge that your challenge for ascension has failed and you will stand down. How say you, Captain?”
    “I…I yield,” the Captain said motionlessly bowing his head in submission.
    “Not enough! Now you will say, ‘I swear loyalty to Lieutenant Colonel McFate and the officers of her flight line forever. I will never again challenge her for ascension while I live.’” “Say it, all of it!” came the rasping hiss behind his ear as the dagger point pressed harder.
    “I…I swear loyalty to Lieutenant Colonel McFate…and her flight line officers forever. I will not challenge you for ascension while I live!” croaked the Captain as the strain suddenly increased on his throat.
    “Close enough, Captain. I accept your oath of fealty to me forever. Your challenge has been met,” rasped the hissing voice in his ear.

  9. #9
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    Now he knows why no one challenges her...Thanks FMJ.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  10. #10
    We hope your Cpt. Allen doesn't turn out to be a passive-aggressive personality and stab her in the back later. Something has to happen to make the Cpt. want to be loyal and believe in her.

    Good start to a story. Thanks. I'll be looking forward to more.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    The Captain felt the pressure on his throat and the pain of the dagger point behind his ear decrease very slowly allowing him to relax and breathe again. When Captain Allen raised his head and slowly turned around, he discovered to his dismay that he was completely alone on the hangar deck.
    The following day, Lieutenant Carson caught up with Captain Allen in the companionway outside of Engineering.
    “Captain Allen, wait up. What happened? Did you challenge McFate for ascension or did you decide not to go through with it? Should I be saluting you now?” asked the Lieutenant with a grin.
    “Not funny, Carson. I failed,” said Captain Allen with a downcast glance as he continued walking.
    “Hmph. Well, you have to admit, I did warn you. Unlike the last man that tried; you at least are still alive to tell the tale,” Lieutenant Carson confided. “The latest rumor I heard is that you challenged McFate, face to face, on the flight deck and came to attention without saying another word.”
    “You stayed that way for quite a while even after McFate and the flight engineers left the hangar. No one can figure out whether you backed down or she did?” Carson asked excitedly. “So spill it, what happened?”
    “I already told you, I…I failed, and I will never challenge McFate for ascension again. I didn’t have a chance, not a chance in hell. ”

  12. #12
    Thank you

    Wayne

  13. #13
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    Captain was outclassed, thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

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