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Democracy 1: Democracy's Right

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Democracy 1: Democracy's Right - Plot & Excerpts

the tactical officer said.  “The only shipping in the system are the asteroid miners and the local defence ships.”
      Captain Daniel Hawthorne nodded, forcing himself to walk back to the command chair and sit down.  Peering over his officer’s shoulder was accomplishing nothing, even though he was tenser than he wanted to admit.  He wanted to see some action and, so far, they’d hung in the Greenland System for over two weeks without anything happening.  They couldn't even rotate crew through the system’s shore leave facilities.  The orders from Commodore Brent-Cochrane had been simple.  They were to remain in the system, unknown even to the local System Command, and wait.  When the rebels arrived, they were to power up their drive and jump out of the system to where the Commodore and his fleet were waiting.
      It was a mission suited to a destroyer – the smallest true warship in service – yet it wasn't one that suited Daniel, nor was it one fitting for a man of his seniority.  He should have been commanding a heavy cruiser or maybe even a battlecruiser, but an evening of drunken rudeness to a senior officer had put an end to that.  He’d been ordered to take command of Snow White, a destroyer, and all that his seniority could do was keep him from being summarily dismissed.  Was it any surprise that he'd climbed into a bottle?  It was far more surprising that Commodore Brent-Cochrane, having taken command of the squadron, had helped him to climb out of it and assigned him to new responsibilities.  It went against the grain to admit that he needed help from such a young man – regeneration treatments or not, he would have been astonished if the Commodore was any older than forty – but perhaps it was working.  Or perhaps not; he had been floating in orbit, all systems powered down as far as they would go without depowering his ship, for two weeks...and he was bored.

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