Story Excerpt
Second Chances

flame div

Lieutenant Ryan Devries quickly walked down the corridor of the Council building, wondering why he was being summoned to General Vedic Merrick’s office. Their business with the Lady Blue was finished, the outcome favorable for the general and the crew. All charges had been dropped and the Lady Blue crew, along with the general and his mate, were going on with their lives. Ryan had been released from his assignment and sent back to Tronos. His life in Elite Forced had gone on as well.

Ryan knocked lightly on the door, entering when he heard the general’s deep voice call from the other side. He smiled slightly when he saw the general’s mate, Shane, sitting at a smaller desk behind the general, working diligently.

The man had a lot of catching up to do considering he was from the past. But the small smile on Shane's face as he gave Ryan a little wave told him the man was exactly where he wanted to be.

“You wanted to see me, sir?” Ryan asked as he saluted the general.

“At ease, Lieutenant,” the general said as he took a seat behind his desk and waved a hand at a chair on the other side. Ryan took a seat and waited.

“I have orders from Admiral Monroe to execute warrants for a number of people involved in the cover-up and treason against the Federation of United Planets. It seems the list is a little more extensive than any of us had suspected.”

And Ryan had a feeling he was about to be handed that list. Call it a gut feeling, call it knowing the game of handoff, but Ryan could see that the vid-pad currently in the general’s hand was soon going to be in his.

“I want you to take a unit and hunt down these fugitives. I want them brought before the Council to explain their part in this scandal. No one is to be hurt, but by all means, defend yourselves if need be. Just try and bring them in alive if possible. It's kind of inconvenient to question someone with holes in them."

Ryan gave the general a smile he didn't feel. He so did not want this assignment. He was tired of running off all over the universe. He'd like to keep his feet on Tronos for a while.

"Some of the names you will be acquainted with.”

And here comes the pad.

Ryan stretched his arm out to take the small, thin tablet the general was offering him. He took a moment to scan the vid-pad, spotting a very familiar name close to the top of the list. Gregory Tyvak. He was the former Commander Brystan Peirce’s nephew. Former meaning that Ambassador Vystal shot his ass to keep Peirce quiet and made it look like he was saving his son, Commander Remington Vystal.

Junior Officer Gregory Tyvak was the one responsible for setting the Lady Blue crew up in the first place and bringing about their dishonorable discharge. It was all a set-up to get his uncle into power as the commander over the entire Elite Force, a position that should have gone to Commander Remington Vystal. It had all been tied up very neatly that day in front of the full Counsel with Pierce’s death.

As Ryan looked down the list, his jaw clenched. “Sandwan Vyjord had a hand in this?” The Nebulan scum was a thorn in Ryan’s side. Vyjord was the largest black market dealer in the Turok System, but always found a way to get away with his crimes whenever cornered.

The Elite Force could never find anything on his person or his ship. The man always seemed to know just when to play it safe. He was going to be a hard man to track down. Vyjord could fade into the underworld of the black market when he didn’t want to be found.

“Yes." The general nodded. "But he is not a top priority. The top ten people on that list are, though. I expect this to be completed in a timely manner. Although their warrants do not have an expiration date, the Federation of United Planets would like this mess cleared up quickly and quietly.”

Ryan wasn’t sure how quickly he could bring these people in, considering the list was very long, and some of the names on the vid-pad had criminal records longer than the Turok Belt.

"Do I have discretion picking my team?"

"Yes. Pick the best men you can and I'll clear whoever you choose."


Ryan could barely keep from pumping his fist into the air. He much preferred working with men he respected rather than ones he was stuck with. “I will have a unit assembled by the end of the week, sir,” Ryan said as he stood. "Who do I report to, General?"

"Me." With a grim look on his face, General Merrick folded his hands together on the desk. "You report directly to me."

"Understood, sir." Ryan tucked the vid-pad under one arm and saluted with the other. Once the general saluted back, Ryan spun on his booted heel and headed for the door.

“And Lieutenant,” the general said from behind him as Ryan reached the door.

Ryan sighed. He had almost made it out of there. He didn’t need any more duties added to his roster. It was already full enough. “Yes, General?”

“The Elite Force has already suffered a smudge against their name during this whole mess. Try to use tact and decorum when arresting these men and woman.”

Tact and decorum? Was the man serious? Some of these men would try and shoot Ryan on sight rather than be arrested. Ryan gave a tight nod anyway. “Yes, General.”