The Betrayal Chapter 6 snippet 2

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“What is it, tactical?” Kate asked, the hairs on the back of her neck rising. “All weapons prepare to fire!”

“I don’t know, sir,” Malone was saying. “CIC isn’t sure either, we don’t have enough data.”

“How far out is it?”

“It should be coming around the planet right…now!”

“Visual!” Kate snapped.

The view screen wavered for a second as it switched into the feed from tactical. Kate felt her jaw drop in shock and she stepped forwards out of her command chair. That couldn’t possibly be what she thought it was, could it? Taking a deep breath, she felt her eyes boring into the image on the screen before her.

Oh My God, she thought, her stunned brain trying to get back in gear.

The image on their screen was one of a Fleet ship, or was one at one point. Destroyer class, Kate guessed, her white hull had been ripped open to space in more places then she could count. Huge black scorch marks marred the weaponry bays as she hove into view. Plasma trailed behind her in space as the damage crackled in the vacuum of space.

If there were any survivors, Kate told herself. They’ve been long dead…all the oxygen has leaked out and power to damage control shielding is gone.

“Identify that ship,” Kate spoke, her voice harder then flint.

“CIC says it will take a few minutes to identify,” Malone said.

Kate came to stop behind Williams at the helm, and she crossed her arms. What was a Fleet ship doing this far out, she wondered. They had been covering the entire sector that lead into this one, and no ship had been detected by them, so how had they gotten out here?

Who destroyed her? Kate asked herself, clicking her tongue in thought. And why?

“Skipper,” Malone said. “CIC has positively identified her as the Benham, sir.”

The information CIC provided made Kate feel like she had been punched in the gut. Stumbling back in shock, she fell back into command chair, tear flowing freely before she could stop them. For long moments she stared off into space as numbness overtook her body, the eyes of the bridge crew on her. With a weak motion of her hands, she wiped the tears from her face and recomposed herself.

“The Benham is destroyer hull number three-five-one-eight, and is class number DD-5351,” Malone said after a long, uncomfortable pause. “She has a crew of one hundred fifty and is commander by Commander-“

“I know who commanded her, tactical,” Kate said, her pain making her voice much harder then she wanted it to be.

Kate found her mind wandering back in time, to more pleasant memories; ones that she knew were true. When the Hood had rescued her from Selvior, her Executive Officer had been Commander Janice Long. Long had personally lead the marines down to retrieve her from Bart Jones’ house, giving them the time to get to know each other that her whirlwind transfer hadn’t allowed for. The two women had hit it off, forging a friendship that had done nothing but grow over the years. When Kate had been awarded the Roanoke for her first independent command, Long had been the first to congratulate her. Now she was dead, Kate fumed, and she didn’t have a damned clue as to how or why.

“Helm,” Kate spoke, the bitterness showing in her voice. “Match our orbit with the Benham’s, please.”

“Aye, Skipper,”
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