Go to Prologue
Kate stood at the window and watched the stars, while she waited for Kacey. One of her favorite pastimes when she was on edge, did not seem to help this time.
The door chimed. Kate moved away from the window and stood behind her desk. "Come" She said. The door opened. Kacey walked in. An imposing sight in her dress uniform. She snapped to attention and saluted.
"Colonel O'Malley reporting as ordered Captain." She stated.
Kate returned the salute. "At ease Colonel." Kacey put her hands behind her back and assumed the Parade Rest stance. Her eyes fixed on a spot just above Kate's head.
"So Colonel, anything you want to report on chapters one and two?"
"Both chapters were a great success Captain. Thank you for asking."
"That means you had a very enjoyable evening. Is that correct Colonel?"
"Yes Captain." Kaey stated never removing her eyes from the wall..
"Relaxed, happy, in a better frame of mind?" Kate asked.
" I am very glad to hear that Colonel. THEN MAYBE YOU CAN EXPLAIN THIS BULL SHIT I WOKE UP TO ON MY COMPUTER THIS MORNING?" Kate yelled.
"I would say it is self explanatory Captain. It is my letter of resignation. I am resigning my commission."
"I CAN SEE WHAT IT IS COLONEL. THE QUESTION IS WHY THE HELL DID YOU SEND IT?" Kate continued to yell.
"I choose that route, Captain due to the events of yesterday." Kacey stated in a flat precise tone never moving her eyes from the wall.
"DAMN IT KACEY, YOU HAD NO GOD DAMN CHOICE. IF YOU DID NOT SHOOT HIM SOMEONE ELSE WOULD HAVE. ALL YOUR MARINES AND MOST OF MY SECURITY WERE ARMED AND LOOKING FOR CASTOR. YOU HAD NO FUCKING CHOICE. IT WAS A GOOD SHOOTING."
"I am sorry Captain, but I do not see it that way."
"THEN BY ALL MEANS TELL ME EXACTLY HOW YOU SEE THIS, BECAUSE I CERTAINLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.
"Castor was unarmed when I shot him Captain"
"HE MAY NOT HAVE HAD A WEAPON BUT HE HAD TWO FISTS. YOU SAW WHAT HE DID TO THE GUARD AND PRIVATE HASTINGS. HE COULD VERY WELL HAVE DONE THAT TO YOU. HE DID NOT NEED A WEAPON TO KILL SOMEONE."
"Maybe Captain. But I have taken out guys his size and bigger without resorting to shooting them." Kacey defended herself.
"WERE THOSE MEN CRAZY? BECAUSE CASTOR CERTAINLY WAS. THINK ABOUT THIS KACEY, YOUR ARM IS NOT AT ONE HUNDRED PERCENT YET, NOT TO MENTION YOUR CONCUSSION IS STILL A FACTOR. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU STILL HAVE NOT YET BEEN CLEAR TO FLY? IT WAS A GOOD SHOOTING." Kate took a deep breath. She continued in a normal voice. " I want you to say it"
"It was a good shooting" Kacey said softly.
"What was that? I did not quite catch what you said?"
"It was a good shooting" Kacey said slightly louder.
"Say it again. Believe it."
"I am sorry Captain. I can say it a million times, but no amount of repeating can ever make me believe it."
"You need to talk to someone, Kacey"
"Yes. And you can talk to Liam,"
"I do not think..."
"This is not a request Colonel.
Kacey sighed. "Yes Captain. Will that be all Captain?"
"NO DAMN IT. THAT IS NOT ALL." Kate yelled again. "Tell me Colonel, why the dress uniform?"
"Regulation twenty seven section twelve C states, It is customary when an officer resigns, that officer hand their saber and insignia to their Commanding Officer. You are my commanding Officer Captain." Kacey recited with no inflection or emotion. She started to remove her saber.
"STOP COLONEL. RESHEATH THAT SABER." Kate ordered. "Why Kacey for the love of God why?"
"I would rather surrender my saber and insignia, that to have ripped from my collar and my saber broken."
"Why do you think that would happen?"
"The inquiry could call for a court martial and dishonorable discharge."
"There will be no inquiry." Kate pronounced.
"There has to be Kate."
"No inquiry, Kacey. The guard came to last night and told us what happened. Castor faked being ill and attacked the guard when he opened the cell door. He did not even have time to call Sick Bay. Castor pounded his head into the wall until he was unconscious." Kate stated. "Please sit down" Kate waited until Kacey sat before she pulled out her own chair. "You know I am not accepting your resignation. I will not send it on to General Millhouse."
"Why Kate? You say no inquiry, now you are not accepting my resignation. People will start screaming cover up. We could both lose."
"Yes cover up because I am your sister, because dad is Commander on this ship and because I come from a military family. You will be accused of glossing over the facts."
"Did Castor say something to you?"
"What difference does that make?"
"What did he say?" Kate asked again. "I can always pull up the footage of the incident. I had you on video lock the second you left the Brig."
"You need to stop doing that Kate."
"Not going to happen little sister. Captain's privilege. Tell me."
"The usual, Kate. That I was only promoted because of my family. That I had no business being in command. That is why I started to taunt him. I know it was a childish thing to do."
"You did what you had to do to protect Private Hasting. You are a great commander Kacey"
"But you still will not call for an inquiry..."
Kate held up her hands. "All right. How about a compromise?"
"I will call for an inquiry if you withdraw your resignation."
"I will agree on one condition Kate."
"What is the condition?"
"In the event that I am found negligent in Castor's death, I am allowed the opportunity to surrender my saber and insignia to you. I would not be able to stand having them taken from me and destroyed in front of you, mom and dad."
"Agreed. Do not forget you need to talk to someone. Liam is contacting the doctors and counselors on board.
"That is just great. If Dad is involved so is mom."
"Well who would you rather have on your ass, me or mom?"
"I give Kate." Kacey held up her hands in surrender. "I will talk to the doctor."
"Thought you would see it my way, little sister. Now get the hell out of here. Some of us still have work to do."
Kacey stood and walked to the door. She turned and saluted which Kate returned. Before she opened the door, she turned and said. "Younger sister Kate."
Kate laughed as the door closed.
To be continued...
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