Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Snippet: Command Authority

Whew. The Last Ship had one of the best finales I've seen in a while. I'm so thrilled season four and five are already on tap and we'll get more of this terrific show. I'm honestly excited to see where things go with Tom, who's so broken right now, the Greens and their new family, and the rest of the crew of the Nathan James. Gonna be a very loooonnng wait for 2017.

Still need to catch up on Dark Matter so I haven't seen the finale yet. Hopefully next week I'll have some final thoughts on this season.

I think Gotham starts this week and I'm interested in where things will end up. With so many disturbed and unbalanced people on the loose, Gordon and company will have their hands full.

Fall television will be in full swing soon so there might be more shows added to the roundup.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Command Authority, a novella that started as a sexy short but matured into something else. Still sexy, but with more depth.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Addie Varns and Neal Columbo are thisclose to having everything they want, namely each other, when Neal gets promoted to commander. Used to being on equal footing, Addie needs some time to adjust to the new chain of leadership. Neal gives her some space, but if need be, he'll invoke his command authority.

And a sneaky peek…

Addie Varns wondered if the upheaval and turmoil of the last three months might finally be over. Neal Columbo, promoted from captain to commander a full month ago, certainly appeared at ease during the morning briefing. So did his group of officers. A vast improvement over the previous three months.
War did horrible things to people and surprise attacks, when every military branch got caught with their pants down, threw everything and everyone into a tailspin of reaction. Trying to get civilians to safety and pull all their asses out of the fire while fighting a battle against a relentless enemy had everyone on edge. But they had to keep it together or lose everything.
Addie listened intently when Neal briefed the command officers on the day's schedule.
"First dog watch needs two additional crewmen on comms." He directed his attention to the shift leader. "Make that happen, but don't use anyone who pulled duty yesterday."
Decidedly less formal than Admiral Ames, Neal opted to have everyone seated comfortably on the plush furniture, arranged in a u-shaped configuration, in his quarters. It made a palpable difference to have the commander sitting right among his group of officers instead of looming behind a huge table. Where Ames ignored opinions differing from her own and ruled with an iron will, Neal encouraged independent thinking among his officers and respected what they had to offer. That sense of camaraderie had won over the entire crew.
Addie let her mind wander. She knew the briefing notes upside down and sideways. Had worked with Neal long enough to not need them. Instead, she pondered the difference in command style. She'd respected Admiral Necia Ames, but the peril of war had taken its toll, pushing the novice admiral beyond the limits of sanity.
By the time Ames made the rendezvous—six months after the initial attacks—a third of her crew had been lost. She'd executed her XO for countermanding orders and by doing so, lost the one buffer she had against her questionable grasp on reality. Tim Braddox had done his level best to be her voice of reason.
His replacement, Colonel James Trask, did nothing to dispel Ames's method of commanding by fear and intimidation. He encouraged it to further his own nefarious agenda, but Addie didn't want to think about Trask at the moment. Still broke out in a cold sweat when she did.
Ames's ghost no longer lingered in her former quarters and the bloodstains were long gone. But the shadow of the admiral's harsh tenure had long tendrils. If Addie hadn't overheard the conversation between Ames and her XO Trask, she wouldn't have believed the words flowed from the woman's mouth. But Addie had a prime listening spot, directly behind the admiral in the formerly hidden compartment the woman used to record her strategy sessions and private meetings—a major bucking of protocol.
The discussion continued to haunt Addie.
Ames had a feral smirk when a young private entered, carrying a tray with coffee. "Trask, I think I'm going to have my contingent of marines act as my enforcement squad."
Trask raised an eyebrow. "Do you think that's wise, Admiral?" The man could give two shits, but always played the game the way Ames preferred.
She'd given him a long, sideways glance. "Of course. After all, they did an outstanding job of interrogating the crew to find sympathizers." Her gaze shifted to the young man.
Ethan Janisay. Private, first class. Victim of multiple interrogations.
Trask's lips twisted in a knowing smile. "Whatever you feel is best, Admiral." He shot a quick look at the private. "Although they might need to brush up on how to break the holdouts."
Addie didn't know the history, but she witnessed the final chapter when the lowly private ended the admiral's reign of terror—he shot her after delivering her morning coffee. Janisay barely escaped with his life. Trask had his sidearm drawn and against the kid's head before Addie could blink. But with her mission scrapped, she went against orders and revealed her position to the XO.
With a surprising calm, she exited the compartment, her weapon drawn. "I wouldn't dig myself a deeper hole by shooting him, Sir, but please feel free to do what you want."

I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. Hopefully in early 2017.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

No comments:

Post a Comment