Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 109: Down Below

This is the 109th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Down Below, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 20th March 2013

Word count: 460

The story:

“Its over,” navigator Presley said into the comms.

“You’ve done well. We’ll be there in a few hours, keep everything locked down tight until then,” Josef said.

“Yes Captain,” Presley said.

They ended their communication there.

“You didn’t tell him we don’t have control of the lower decks,” Wolf said, “What are we going to do?”

“Get control. We had a plan, Arsene and I, the day he left he told me he prepared for this. There’s a nerve agent suppression system on each deck, it won’t affect anyone holed up in a cabin, but in corridors and essential areas they’ll be out cold,” the navigator, now acting Captain said grimly.

“That sounds like a good solution what’s up?”

“Well it has side effects, it could kill someone, so far this coup d’etat has only cost us a few officers. They made their choice, these are crew members, some of whom are simply caught up in events. Doesn’t sit well,” Presley replied.

“And we can’t give warning, it might negate the goal. I got you,” Wolf became silent for a few moments, “The Breachers are sealed in, and we can’t trust them. Even if we did, there’s still going to be casualties, probably more. If we send our guys in, there’ll probably be more still. It’s the only choice,” the man said finally.

“Yes it is,” Presley said.

“If it’s a problem pressing the button, I’ll do it. I dare say I’ve done far worse in my time,” Wolf said. He was relatively new to the crew, he had been brought in by the previous captain who had seized and held the ship for nearly a year. He had switched sides when the moment was right, and he wasn’t edging his bets, though with the previous captain killed during a mutiny led by Presley there wasn’t much room to edge.

“No, Arsene charged me with retaking the ship when the time was right. I should do this,” he lifted up his portable computer, brought up the application that had been installed for this purpose, and typed in his code. “Its done, the effects should be quick. Gather up a team in environmental gear – there should be some in the med deck storage from a job a couple of years back. Go down, and lock them all up for Erme being.”

“Yes, sir,” Wolf said crisply and went off to see to it.

Presley sank into the captains chair and sighed. He wasn’t an ambitious man, he might chastise himself as being greedy, hungry, contrary, and violent, but he never sought this kind of power, and it didn’t sit right. Still, he trusted his old friend, saviour and mentor, he would do whatever it took to put the world straight again.

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