Twelve hours later the ship was alive with sounds of the crew getting ready for departure. ta’Kall, standing in one of the observation blisters overlooking the port, could see ships lifting off and rising to orbit by the hundreds.
“All hands, all hands, ten minutes to departure for orbit,” came out of a speaker mounted on the bulkhead.
“He’s still asleep in my quarters”, Talos said as she entered the observation blister. “Do you think I should ask Salazar to take a look at him?”
ta’Kall turned his head to glance at her and then looked back out the window as he said “No, don’t wake him. Sleep is probably the best thing he could get right now. He was in severe emotional shock as well as being physically injured. Give him the grace of unconsciousness for as long as he can sleep. When he wakes up on his own is soon enough for him to remember his friends’ being killed in front of him and himself being hunted like a animal through the city,” he finished in a bitter voice.
Suddenly interrupting, a speaker on the wall came to life “Colonel ta’Kall, please report to the bridge ASAP. Colonel ta’Kall, please report to the bridge.”
“I’d better go see what is happening.” ta’Kall said as he reached over and put his hand in the ID plate beside the speaker.
“ta’Kall here. I’m on my way to the bridge”
“Very well Colonel, I’ll tell Captain Stamos you’re en route” the man on the other end of the intercom said.
With one last look out over the port he turned and left for the bridge. After a second’s hesitation Talos also turned and left, headed for the infirmary.
ta’Kall stepped out of the grav-lift and walked over to where Stamos was talking on the ship to ship com.
“Yes sir, I’ll maintain position here at the port and make sure no one interferes with the rest of the fleet’s lift schedule,” Stamos was saying as ta’Kall walked up. Stamos saw ta’Kall and held up a hand motioning that he would be with him in a minute. He continued to talk, “Yes Sir. I understand. They are not permitted to board any of our ships.”
After he disconnected, Stamos turned from the now inactive com to face ta’Kall. “Vengeance has been ordered to provide security for the grounded portion of the fleet in this sector of the port. Warrior, Loki, and Atlantis are responsible for the other sectors of the port.
With a puzzled expression ta’Kall asked “Why do we need to provide security at all.
“The ISS has ordered that all ships leaving the planet be searched before they are given clearance to lift.” He continued while giving ta’Kall a meaningful look. “It seems that last night, terrorists blew up a children’s hospital that was under the direct sponsorship of the emperor. After destroying the hospital, they fought off a full company of Imperial Marines and then escaped. AGHC has refused permission for the ISS to search our ships that are still on the ground. It would put the departure schedule off by days if we waited for them to search all of the ships. AGHC told them that they already had imperial permission to leave and that only with a direct imperial command would they allow the ships to be searched. Admiral Hunt thinks that they will try to board and search our ships anyway. So we have been given the job of providing security to keep anyone from boarding and searching the ships in this sector of the port or from delaying any last minute supplies or people from boarding”
“I’ll put out a roving patrol that can react to any calls from ships that are having problems.” ta’Kall said.
“I know it will be more hassle but could you disembark five of your light attack gravs and crews to man them? It will make for a lot quicker response time on calls and also give your men a definite advantage in intimidation. There isn’t man nor alien, that can look down the muzzle of a vehicle mounted pulse blaster without thinking twice about causing trouble.”
With a smile ta’Kall said “I’m right behind you. That was what I was going to ask for. In the interest of saving time, could you have launch bay one set aside for the attack gravs when they come back on board. It will cut about an hour off of our own lift time if we don’t have to load them back into the storage bay.”
“Sure, no problem” Stamos replied.
ta’Kall turned to a com panel on the wall and ordered AG’s (attack grav’s) 1-5 to be unloaded out of the cargo hold and to be fully armed and crewed.
“I will be in AG-1 if you need me”, ta’Kall said as he turned back to Stamos.
With a grin Stamos acknowledged this. “You just can’t sit back and run it from up here can you?”
Wryly, ta’Kall grinned and shrugged his shoulders before he turned and left.