“Yeah, that Kabalim bitch tried to kill Flaccus! I think we ought to-”
“That will be quite enough of that, Private,” said Malak.
“Sir, yes sir,” said the Private as he fumed.
“Kabalim Keldaris, is what he says true?” asked Malak once he was sure there wouldn’t be another outburst.
“Yes, Colonel. In the heat of the moment I let my emotions get the best of me and made a bad decision. I regret my actions and will submit to whatever punishment you deem necessary,” said Kel, head bowed in submission.
“Given the circumstances, I am willing to overlook your actions in this instance. Don’t let it happen again,” said Malak.
“Yes sir,” said Kel.
“But Colonel-“ started the Private.
“Private, I can’t demote you, so if you would like to continue your service to the Hierarchy in the Marine Corps rather than in a work camp, you will be silent,” snapped Malak. Once quiet had been established again, he turned to one of his Marines and said, “Sergeant Qui’in, escort the able members of First Squad to the brig. I will determine the fate of Second Squad in a moment. Also, ensure that a full medical team is sent down here.” With a nod the two Marines escorted half of their comrades out.
“Corporal Temeran, explain your lack of action to end the fight,” ordered Colonel Sida.
“Sir, I chose not to involve my men in this altercation. With all of First Squad present and less than half of Second Squad, I felt that we would be unable to assist the Cabalists without causing more casualties overall. I also doubted that the Cabalists would discriminate in their own attacks, so I kept my men back,” said Corporal Temeran.
“A good assessment of the situation at hand, and perhaps the best decision you could make given your limited knowledge of the Cabals. Since it seems that the chief aggressor outranked you, I do not believe that you could have calmed the situation before violence occurred. You and your men will go to the shipboard security office to give your statements. Given your role in implicating First Squad for this incident, I will likely have to transfer you to another unit for your own safety,”
“Yes sir,” said Temeran.
“Kabalim, walk with me,” said Malak as he turned to leave. Kel looked at Zecus, who shrugged. With a shrug of her own, Kel set off after the Colonel. He gestured to the four guards outside the Cabalists’ section, and they fell into line behind them.