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August 12, 2016
Posted at 4:09 pm

Chapter 396 of Book 3 is in the queue

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

...As the First Officer stepped in, the Captain came to his feet to snarl, "What is so important that it cannot wait until I am on the bridge?"

"Something that needs to be kept as private as possible, Sir," the First responded with just the slightest hint of something in his voice.

There was no offer for the First Officer to take a seat. "And this thing is?" the Captain snarled.

"Respectfully, Captain, I must caution you that you might not like what I am going to say, and I will also remind you that I am armed."

The Captain's hand crept closer to his sidearm, even as his First Officer broke into his race's equivalent of a cynical grin. "I might also remind you that I am much faster than you, but I did not come here to kill you, rather to do my job and warn you that you are treading on dangerous ground."

As the Captain drew breath to snarl out a reply, the First Officer went on, "You have killed too many, and certainly have done so in a wanton manner. I feel it is my duty to warn you that any more such killings will produce a revolt in which you will most assuredly die."

"I will…"

"…Not have yourself surrounded by your security and retaliate," the First Officer inserted over the Captain's comment, "or you will be dead. Captain, I do not want to be part of a rogue vessel. We all know that we will be rewarded handsomely because of discovering this… Earth. A slave planet at Earth's stage of development is perfect for our civilization. The Earth beings will be easily dominated, but are sufficiently advanced to produce the goods we need. You and I, the crew - everyone - will be rich beyond our dreams, if… we get our drive functioning, take the planet and report to base.

"You have ignored my cautions and have almost randomly killed crew, and one of your killings was an officer."

"I am the Captain," he snarled, his face flushed as he blew spittle. "I have the authority to discipline as I see fit. I am the one responsible. It is up to me to determine how I conduct my ship and my search. I will not be told how to…" And he was suddenly staring at the First Officer's sidearm pointing at the Captain's heart.

"It is just that simple," the First Officer said, his voice oddly mild, but the barrel of the weapon never wavered. "Just a bit more pressure on the firing stud and your ravings are over."...

Have a goodun;