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‘The Rear Admiral'

 

Captain's quarters, USS Kestrel

The shrill chirping of the comm. made McGregor rollover irritably. A low moan escaped his dry lips as a dull headache lulled at the periphery threatening to ruin his day. Kicking the last vestiges of the bed sheets off of his nude form he stretched and yawned before scratching the hair running to his belly button. His arm snaked out to the empty space in the bunk beside him. ‘Ah Harris. Where have you disappeared to so early this morn?'

The continuing shrill enunciator disallowed him from contemplating his alternative thoughts. He slapped the wall mounted comm. panel crossly. "What is it? I haven't had breakfast yet you know."

The voice of Caleb Dexter rang out over the intercom. "Sorry to disturb you Captain. But we do have Faraday on the blower for you."

McGregor groused, "What does that prick want?"

"He wouldn't divulge any details. But he is pretty pissed. No real change there I suppose. Not when it comes to dealing with yourself."

Hocking up some phlegm, McGregor continued. "Must be my sparkling repartee."

Dexter merely paused for a beat before he answered. "I guess that would be why he's looking to talk to you captain. I'm only the hired help."

"Not much use if you don't screen my calls." He barked back over the open channel. "Fine put his highness on. And Caleb I have a few plans for today. So you know, be ready."

From the bridge, an almost inaudible groan escaped from the reserved tactical officer. His tone was none too pleased as he anticipated whatever McGregor had lined up. "I'll be sure to have my security teams on standby."

A moment later the small viewscreen in McGregor's quarters sprung into life. First with an image announcing an incoming message from Starfleet Command via Starbase Trafalgar on a secure channel before the visage changed to that of the stern and foreboding presence of Rear-Admiral Faraday. His cross forbearance tested at the prospect of calling McGregor is darkened considerably more when he took in the vision of a dishevelled McGregor sitting on his bed in what nature alone provided him. He didn't resort to shouting but instead remarked in a cool voice with a hint of disgust, "McGregor. Put some pants on."

Looking around at the floor around him, McGregor paid little heed to the Rear-Admiral. "Hey, it's my room."

Attempting to impart some seriousness to proceedings with the normally unprofessional McGregor, Faraday pressed home the nature of his business. "This is a secure Starfleet channel."

Smiling in return, McGregor shrugged self-confidently, unperturbed at his state of undress. "Well then, no one dubious should get their hands on any revealing images of me."

"Yes but I can see all too clearly."

"Why thank you," the captain returned in a coy voice feigning a blushing vanity. "But really I'm not that kind of guy. Besides, you outrank me - in some ways that is. I think you know what I mean. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge." He gestured with a nod to his ‘meat and two veg' with a lopsided ‘cocky' grin.

"McGregor," Faraday leaned forwards, the light in his room casting deep hooded shadows over his eyes, "whilst I've for a long time desired to have your ass - it has only ever been to see it skewered atop a very sharp and long pole and have you hung out to dry."

"Ah! So that's not why you are called a rear-admiral. I learn something new everyday. Never did understand that rank. It sounds like some made up position so some washed up hack can put it on gold letters on a little sign to make him feel important behind his polished desk." McGregor beamed delightedly as he zoned in on the title plague to the front of the image seated on Faraday's desk. "Not that I'd imply such in your case Rear-Admiral Faraday."

Faraday refused to take the bait, but the colour in his cheeks was visible despite his dark complexion. "Of course McGregor. Just as I wouldn't remark on how certain hacks find themselves posted to obsolete vessels well away from Admiralty because they are a huge liability." He flashed a feral and toothy grin at McGregor before the smile slipped off his face to be replaced with a pout. "Now put on your damned uniform!"

"As you command." McGregor bowed in mock curtsy. McGregor then stood and turned his back to the viewscreen, exposing his rear and as he picked his way across his bedroom floor, he deliberately picked up errant bras and knickers to purposely further enrage the Rear-Admiral. Scooping over he picked up his uniform trousers but didn't proceed to dress in them until he scratched his ass. The Rear-Admiral just growled lowly.

As he finished putting on his tunic and hopped one-legged into his trousers, McGregor beamed a winning smile back at Faraday. "Doesn't it make you feel better to know Faraday, that I put on my trousers the same way as you a mere mortal?"

"It merely surprises me that you don't fall flat on your drunken face."

Wagging a finger, McGregor corrected, "Aha. Hungover. Not drunken. Now what can I do for you?"

"Well perhaps you can explain the numerous reports and complaints my office has received from Aubrellis. It seems that the planet saw wanton destruction of numerous properties and space vessels. All of which my sources have confirmed belonged to one T'Hos Likk. All of which, I might add, happened when a Federation Border Patrol vessel was in orbit above and several away teams including yourself McGregor, were on the planet surface. Care to explain? I assume you are not conducting some sort of vendetta. The Kestrel is not yours to conduct a private mini-war with T'Hos Likk."

"But my dear Faraday that is exactly what the Kestrel is for. My whim and fancy."

"Perhaps others are content to have you run amok in some pretence at policing your sector of space. But I know for certain McGregor that you are a dangerous man who is going to get the people in his command killed. Now, explain to me exactly what happened on Aubrellis."

"Well  I cannot say for certain Admiral, but it seems that one of T'Hos' competitors has taken umbrage to his latest activities and exacted some retribution in an effort to bring his business to an end. Alas, my crew and I were too late to prevent the destruction and are at this very moment investigating other leads into who perpetrated these heinous acts of destruction."

"Cut the crap McGregor. Your dirty little paws are all over this. I need only to prove it and have you cashiered out of the service."

In an innocent voice, McGregor extolled his virtue. "Well normally, I could only condone your fine sentiments. But it seems you are mistaken. My investigation teams have discovered the numerous explosions were the result of some outdated Andorian explosives used by many a profiteer to carry out such raids. Indeed only three months ago, the Kestrel intercepted a Ferengi Damon who had quite a surplus of such devices. Thankfully we confiscated the lot and following due procedures had them destroyed. Remind me to forward the paper work to your office." McGregor smiled again. A very smug and self-confident grin.

"Humph! Nicely played McGregor. But don't be too cocky. If you decide to take on T'Hos for his attack on your vessel, be prepared for the payback. Don't let your damned pride and ignorance end up killing your crew. But do feel free to go right ahead and get yourself killed by all means. Faraday out."

"Chio." He wiggled his fingers playfully at the Admiral as he cut the channel. "Well I must say, that has cheered me up no end. Quite the way to start the day. Time for some brekkie. I've a long day planned for us. Hee hee."

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