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SD242101.06 - Duty Log - CO - "Fire Alarm"

Posted on Wed Jan 6th, 2021 @ 5:47pm by Brigadier General Jonathan Grey

838 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: Escape Velocity
Location: Versailles
Timeline: Current

=^= Main Promenade (Inner Ring) =^=

The General sat on a fancy chair, leaning against curls of painted metal. The seat was floral and generously cushioned, matching the tablecloth in front of him. Steam rose from a steel teapot on a tray, with a china cup off to one side. The usual assortment of cream, sugar cubes, and biscuits filled the rest of the tray, which glinted in the bright lights of the promenade.

Enjoying the finery, Grey poured a generous helping of tea into the cup, and added a splosh of cream to top it off. He left the sugar cubes alone though; it was too early in the day for sugar.

Behind him, the rest of the cafe seemed to be doing good business. Like any good entrepreneur, they'd been quick to open their doors once Security had finished rounding up the last of the rioters a few days ago.

The burbling of a large kettle could be heard over the murmur of the crowded cafe as another order came to the boil. Though his eyes were peering out through the large glass windows at the shoppers outside, in his mind's eye he painted a picture of the water being added to another pot like the one on his table, before a server rushed it off to a customer's table.

A thump jostled his breakfast tea set, but Grey continued drinking as if nothing had occurred. Beside his table, a marine bodyguard had pinned an aspiring assassin to the ground, and was busy thumping the fool across the head until he eventually dropped the pipe in his hand.

As the marine cuffed the now-disarmed attacker, Grey mused over this. Young Grey would have tossed the table aside and gotten stuck into the fight. Even a few weeks ago, he'd have at least reacted to it with some degree of alarm.

It had taken him a while to see that part of his enemies' victory came from them continually disrupting his life. Whether he won or lost a battle, deigning to acknowledge his enemies put them on the same level as him.

Now that the marines had upped their bodyguarding game, he still worried, but substantially less so. It gave him the high ground to simply ignore the life-and-death struggles that occurred around him, as one idiot after another tried their hand at offing the CO.

More than once, he wondered if this was how the great leaders thought *all the time*.

This train of thought was interrupted by another thump. Bemused, he reflexively flicked his eye over towards the noise.

Here, the General paused.

Outside the cafe, the shoppers had started moving faster. Running, in fact, from right-to-left. And they all seemed to be glowing green, as if...

Oh, dammit.

As if they were lit from behind by a large plasma fire that had erupted on the promenade.

The lights around them suddenly switched to yellow as the station automatically went into emergency mode. People around them charged out of the door and hurried away from the fire, with the servers taking a moment to lock up before they followed suit.

"Sir, we have to go!" announced the marine Sergeant.

"What?" barked the General, who had left the cafe and had already taken a few steps towards the fire.

Now outside the cafe, he could see that a wall panel a dozen meters away had been torn off by the force of the explosion. Curved force-fields fizzled away in glowing bubbles as they worked to contain the plasma fires across the deck, and Grey had little doubt that the air was being sucked out of those spaces to put out the raging inferno.

"Sir, radiation is spiking! Look, the injured have already been dragged to a safe distance. Teams have already been alerted. We need to *go* sir!"

Ok, Grey admitted to himself as he allowed the entourage to direct him away from the licking green flames, perhaps he was still the type of person who'd leap headfirst into danger. Still, he needed to do a better job of thinking this stuff through before he acted.

The team rushed him past the injured, who'd already been dragged beyond the range of the radiation by other civilians. Security teams were already deploying from a nearby turbolift, with fire suppression personnel running down the promenade.

Though he was sorely tempted to stay and try to help, he could see that he would just be a burden here. Pausing to pat a medical officer on the shoulder, the General tried to affect a "You got this." look, and received an "I know, now stop blocking my light." look in return.

"Sir-" began a marine.

"Alright, alright." replied the General, "We're going."

Leading his bodyguards into the turbolift, he looked out at the chaos one last time, and resented how useless he was here.

Time to go somewhere he *was* needed.

"Main Operations." he told the lift, the doors snapping shut.

=^= End of Log =^=

Brigadier General Jonathan Grey
Commanding Officer
Starbase Versailles


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