Paul Gadzikowski


T*R*E*K: "Vulcans never bluff."

"I told you," Brighton shouted into the ship-to-ship comm, banging his ring on the opposite arm of the command chair, "I am in command here, according to every rule in the book, Captain. If you have anything at all to say you will say it to me."

Henry rarely refused to be intimidated by superior rank, but this was a life-and-death situation. "Commodore, that's my ship and Pierce is my conn officer! Hawkeye, ship's status."

Hawkeye stepped to the command comm from the helm just barely after Brighton waved him over. "Warp drive's out, deflector shields are down, transporter's under repair, and we're on emergency impulse power."

"How long to repair warp drive?"

"At least a day, and the impulse power'll run out long before then."

Klinger called from navigation, "It's gaining on us, sir."

"Hawkeye," came the signal from the Constellation, "get the Enterprise out of here."

"I told you I am in command here and I will give the orders, Captain!" Brighton interrupted. "We are going to turn and attack."

"Over Pierce's dead body," Henry muttered. It carried across the signal.

"Is that an order, Henry?" Hawkeye asked.


"Commodore," Hawkeye said, "by the authority of the captain of this ship you are relieved of command."

"You can't do that," Brighton objected, too taken aback to be angry.

"You can file all the complaints you like," Hawkeye said, "later. But you are relieved."

Brighton banged his ring a couple of times. "I don't recognise your authority to relieve me." He turned away from Hawkeye in the command chair.

Hawkeye leaned on the chair arm, smiling and batting his eyes. "Commodore. I would enjoy placing you under arrest."

Brighton turned back to him slowly. "You wouldn't dare. You're bluffing."

Hawkeye dropped his grin and snapped his fingers at the security guards posted for red alert at the turbolift doors, who each stepped forward a pace. "Call and raise."

Brighton eyed Hawkeye a moment, and surrendered the command chair.

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