I turn from the screen and run from the control room, past crowds of people who salute respectfully. I stop before a large door. It had more locks than I could count. I bring out my pass card and slid it through the lock. The door opens with a click. I walk into the room and kneel.
He turns. Mustache bristling, he addresses me.
"I hope it is good news, commander."
"One of our command ships is bearing down on a human settlement, sir.
He nods. "Good, good. A drink, commander?" He produces a flask filled with a gray, translucent liquid. My jaw tightens.
"I don't drink on the job."
"Ah." He put the drink away. "I must commend you, commander. You have done an excellent job getting us this far."
And what have you done? Drink alcohol and shirk your duties. But I say nothing.
"However, I feel that this is not your forte, as the humans say."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that I feel that a younger person would be more suited for the job."
I can feel the anger rising inside of me. "I have been on this operation for years and you want to deny me this honor?"
His Lordship licks his lips nervously. "You won't be denied any honor, commander. Your excellent skills and guidance shall be commemorated. But..."
I can't help it. I begin to laugh.
"You don't know what this about, do you?"
He takes a step back. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that I have been groveling for fourteen years, working my way to the top! I mean that I was beaten and humiliated and had to claw my way into this position! I mean that I spent my life trying to get this chance. And you, a drunken coward with a lot of money and an important last name, are trying to take that away from me."
I notice he is pressing the alarm button behind his back.
"Oh, that doesn't work. I had the technicians remove it. Everyone on this ship has my respect. And I'm quite sure that the royalty back at court will be glad I got rid of some on the competition for the throne."
"You know what, commander? You can take over the mission after all."
I shake my head. "It's too late for that." I take my blaster out of my holster. The fool. He wasn't even armed. I took him down in three shots. Holstering the weapon, I walked back to the command center. Everyone saluted. I smiled. It felt good to be in charge.