Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Chains of Command

*There. This should do it.*

I was usually not one for editing my own journal entries - as long as they triggered the right memories, they were good enough. But this one ... just didn’t live up to my own standards, plus in its original didn’t quite evoke all of the important memories from that day. The revision ... was much better.

Plus it helped me take my mind of the embarrassment which had been the honor duel just a few hours ago, which I had lost badly.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed Eta entering our common lounge, heading straight for the coffee maker - she was still working on her mineral pickups. Poor thing.

I was about done with a final proofread, when suddenly a padd skittered over the desk, coming to a violent halt when it impacted my own mug. Looking up, Eta was standing right over me, murder in her eyes.

“Would. You. Kindly. Tell. Me. What. This. Is. About.”

Her voice could have cut energized rolled tungsten.

I made a show of looking at the padd, but I already knew what it would display, and what unpleasantness was about to happen.

"I'm not sure what you’re getting at - that’s our corp info. Home system, alliance affiliation, CEO, tax rate...”

“CEO!”, she interrupted me with a hiss. “Namely, me! But last I checked, your name was there; and I definitely don’t remember ever running for the job!”

“But yet you’ve been doing pretty much all of work anyway - why should I take all the credit?”

“You never did!”. She paused for a moment. “ least not by intention! And without you holding the fort, we may not even lasted that long!”

“A) I doubt that, I’m not that good!” I snarled. “And B)...” - I gestured at our empty lounge - “Fat a lot of good that has done for us.”

“We’re in a good alliance! And we have good people still!”

“Yes, and yes - and they deserve better!” I was now shouting as well. “And at the same time, I’m effing tired! Tired of always having the worry about the corp’s future in the back of my mind! Tired of trying to be the voice of reason when I’d rather not to! Tired of balancing the effing books!”

Eta mustered me coldly.

“So, that’s the real reason then - you want to be able to skip out into the sunset whenever you feel like, probably to become the next hero combat pilot, or something equally stupid!” Her voice dripped with contempt. “Because we all know how well that worked out the previous times you tried to that.”

I took a breath, trying to calm myself. “Maybe it won’t work out. Heck, make that ‘most likely’.” - She snorted. - “But still - at least I would have nothing to blame but myself!” I changed my tack, and tried to let my voice sound reasonable. “Think of it - what would you have said if I had just asked you to take the job?”

“’NO!’”, she replied forcefully, and added: “Duh!”

“And why not?”

“Because it would mean that I ...”

She stopped mid-sentence, and I could see some of the fire leave her eyes.

“...I see.”, she concluded. “But don’t think that I’ll let you get off that easy!” She pointed her finger at me. “You could have given me at least a heads up!”

“I could have,” I admitted, “but that would have given you a chance to talk me out of it.”

“Fait accomplis, eh? Still, don’t expect a free ride!”

She snatched her padd back from the desk, stuffed it into one of her pockets after entering a few angry commands, and stomped towards the exit. At the door, she turned her head just far enough to throw me one last bitter remark.

“Congratulations to your promotion, Director Druur. Fail in your assignments at your own peril.”

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