Pearl of the Stars

Dedicated to

 Captain Grace Ifhans sat on the edge of her bunk, alone in her quarters. Her mind was racing. How was she supposed to defeat two enemies, once of whom had all but surpassed human levels of technology in a fifth of a century? The League of Otherworlds, she could deal with. They were worthy opponents but Grace was certain she could end the war on the Councils terms. Perhaps she could somehow coax her two separate enemies into fighting against each other? That would certainly solve a few problems, and all the Council Fleet would have to do is swoop in and mop up.

Her train of thought was broken as the intercom buzzed. Rather than answering right away Grace stood and adjusted her uniform, then slowly made her way to the door.

“Yes Major,” she said as the door slid quietly open and she saw Major Hynes, his salute already in progress.

“Forgive the intrusion Ma'am, but there is something you really need to see,” he replied. His expression was not so much one of concern, but there was definitely an element of worry about him. He gestured that she should follow him, and she did so. Soon they were on the Pearl's bridge, and Hynes quickly hunched his body over a vacant console.

Grace watched as the small monitor fizzed into life, and an image of the Pearl of the Stars appeared.

“She really is a beauty, isn't she?” Grace said, dreamily.

“Just watch,” said Hynes, and Captain Grace Ifhans did just that. She watched as her beloved Pearl took the hit that had incapacitated her original pilot, the vessel veering wildly on screen. “In a moment, Johnson takes the helm,” Hynes explained. The image showed the Pearl of the Stars levelling out, but immediately she executed a tight barrel roll to avoid a trio of projectiles.

“Thank fick for inertial dampening,” said Grace with an awkward chuckle. “It still amazes me that a manoeuvre such as that can occur, and at the time we know little about it.”

“Oh it gets better.” The words had barely left Hynes' mouth before the Pearl lurched forwards, dipping left and right, executing manoeuvres that a fighter pilot would think twice before performing, never mind the pilot of a battleship.

“Damn, she's fickling good!”

“I'm not disputing that Ma'am, in fact it is because she is so good that I brought this material to your attention.”

“I don't follow,” Grace replied, confused.

“This footage is from the external bow camera of the Rose of Sharyn. I have it on good authority Captain Frost has seen this, and is preparing to make a request that Johnson transfer to his own command,” he paused as he lit a cigarette. “If my information is correct, and I have no doubt that it is, then he is willing to offer her a promotion to sweeten the deal too.”

“That rat bastard!” Grace yelled, her mood altering more quickly than the weather in an oxygen rich atmosphere. “I'm going to fickling kill him!” She stormed from the bridge, lighting a cigarette as she went. Ignoring salutes and greetings, Grace stomped into the meeting room and fiddled with the console, requesting a call be put through directly to Captain William Frost of the Rose of Sharyn.

“Captain Ifhans,” Frost cooed as soon as his image appeared upon the screen in front of Grace. “To what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?”

“You know damn well, so don't play fickling stupid with me,” Grace replied angrily.

“I don't know what you mean, I'm sure.”

“So you know nothing about a certain piece of footage?”

“Oh, that?” Captain Frost appeared to Grace to be genuinely at a loss as to why his commanding officer was so angry.. “I'm not sure I understand the issue here.”

“Are you telling me that you are not attempting to steal my pilot?”

“Share and share alike Captain. She is not yours, she is the Fleet's.”

I am the Fleet!” Grace almost screamed.

“It has always been standard Fleet practise to share personnel.”

“I have no problem sharing personnel, but when you go behind my back and offer my pilot a position on your crew, and a promotion,” she paused to catch her breath, unable to recall a time in her life she had been quite so irate. “I will not tolerate such snide actions, do you understand, Captain Frost?”

“You have made yourself quite clear, Captain.”

“If you try anything like this again, I will not hesitate to remove you from command.” With that Grace terminated the call and sat back, trying to slow her breathing. There was no doubt about it, Frost was quickly becoming a problem, a very big problem indeed.

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Michelle Ryanas Captain Grace Ifhans
Jason Stathamas Major James Hynes
Hugh Jackman as Captain Michael Hubbard
Cate Blanchettas Captain Danielle Casper
Natalie Portmanas Captain Jane Erstwhile
Ray Winstoneas Captain Frank Holding
Chris Hemsworthas Captain William Frost
Hannah Spearrittas Emily Johnson
Tricia Helferas Captain Dihou

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