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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 6 (c.4): Bookkeeping

Outside the Chamber of Ministers, New Arcturus Station, Arcturus System, Arcturus Stream, May 14, 2198

People came and went through the packed corridors of the station while the intercom blared a stream of announcements.

“Admiral Cazador please report to Admiral Hayase’s office.”

“Captain Sheridan, your shuttle is waiting on docking bay five.”

“Ensigns Mariner, Rutherford, Boimler, and Tendi please report to the VR training area immediately,”

“A reminder to all new arrivals, the white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only.”

“Commander Thompson-Ramos to Admiral Lyndon office.”

I dumped the remains of my lunch in the nearest trash can and followed the nav point to Lyndon’s office. After a brief wait as the Admiral’s aide informed her of my presence I was led inside.

“Commander, it’s so good to see you. I hope everything is well?” asked the admiral.

I indulged in the perfunctory small talk I had little time for. The galaxy smoldered while we exchanged pleasantries, “Yes ma’am. The Kursk is ready to depart as soon as possible.”

Lyndon nodded, “Yes. Well there is the matter of some bookkeeping before you get your next assignment. First, parliament extended the Executive Powers Act for another thirty days. That gives the PM a limited set of emergency powers to deal with the current crisis. Among said powers is the ability to recall key personnel from the individual reserves as well as to fast track promotions. Congratulations Captain Thompson-Ramos.”

I shook the offered hand, “Thank you ma’am.”

“Second, with a new rank comes new responsibilities. “She handed me a datapad, “You will take command of the newly formed one-hundred and twenty-ninth scout flotilla.”

I scrolled down to the list of assets that made up this new formation, “Sevastopol, Tobruk, Kasserine, El Alamein? This is the entire first tranche of new stealth frigates.”

“Yes. They are currently on other duties but will transfer to your command as soon as they are able. Your mission is to hunt down the raiders attacking our supply lines wherever they may be. You have full sanction to pursue any lead or target beyond Citadel space. Prosecute any and all targets with extreme prejudice.”

“The Council is going to love that.”

“Captain, you’re a Spectre tasked with protecting galactic peace by any means necessary. This is well within your wheelhouse.”

“Understood. It also says I will have a squad of N6 recruits as well as a biotic squad in support. That means that if you add the marines aboard these ships I should have a company size force under my command.”

“Yes. Is that an issue?”

“It could be. I need a clear division of labor and someone with the experience to train and command such an eclectic group.”

Lyndon squinted, “Do you have anyone in mind?”

“Lieutenant Commander James Vega. He is an excellent officer with an impressive record who is overdue for a promotion.”

“I’ll see that it gets done. Any more questions, captain?”

“Not at this time, ma’am.”

“Very well, good luck and good hunting.”

I saluted and left the office. I received a message in the corridor outside the admiral’s office. The omni-tool projected Nyte’s face, former Cerberus operative and now a member of the Chainbrakers, “Commander we need to talk. I need your help. Meet me at these coordinates as soon as you are able. Time is of the essence. “

It never ends.

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