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The Alexanderov Federation
Book 1 The Grendarl War
by RobHunt

Part One - In the Beginning

Captain Wayne Goodman didn't have much experience in the full-time military of the Alexanderov Federation. In fact, he had none. He held his rank because of high scores in the military schools and the fact that he deliberately had spent the last 6 years in the reserves, piloting his own freelance cargo vessel. Well, not strictly freelance, it was financed by his government and was actually a decommissioned scout vessel, reconfigured to haul cargo, but retaining much of the technology from its last refit on active duty. But he had done well, paying off a significant portion of the debt on it, and gaining a captaincy far faster than he could have any other route.

Now, however, his days as an interstellar freight jockey were coming to a close. Bored with the life of 'sell freight, pick up new freight, go somewhere else, repeat', he'd decided to enter the full time Navy, and his crew had agreed to go with him. He docked his ship at Starbase 49 in the M'gewen system, one of the Alexanderov Federation's border colonies. He had been born on a world in this system just over 29 years previously, and at the age of 17 found the only way to get off the (at that time) backwater world was to join the armed forces, so he did. The system had grown up quite a bit in the meantime.

Commander Michelle de Campos, his first officer and current love interest, turned from her position at the science and operations station. "Captain," (despite their relationship, she always stuck to protocol on the bridge, as did he), "all stations report they have stood down and activated docking protocols." Despite his position as Captain, on a bridge this small there were only four positions, and no other chairs. He manned Navigation, Lieutenant Gary Morse ran tactical, and Lieutenant Stephanie Lewis, with her facility for languages, ran communications. Lieutenant Commander Mark Tannert was head of engineering, but his station was off the bridge.

"Excellent, Commander. Notify the off duty shifts they have to report to sign the paperwork to be activated into the full time Navy, and to keep their communicators on in case we receive orders quickly, but that beyond that they are free for the next 48 hours at least." He turned to the other two on the bridge. "Stand down, folks, and have a good time. Come, Commander, let's go sign away our old life and welcome the new."

"Aye, sir."

They headed quickly for the airlock, which was only 10 meters away, and disembarked into the space station. The station was newly rebuilt after the last Grendarl War, which Goodman had not participated in due to the speed with which the diplomats had managed to re-establish peace. Destroying their entire expeditionary fleet while simultaneously causing massive disruption and chaos through spies had been sufficient to cause them to back down. But because of that rebuilding the place was unfamiliar in layout, and he was glad of the signs that pointed the way. He was also bemused to note that all these signs were electronic, so they could be scrambled in seconds should the station be boarded, denying the enemy the knowledge of where to go.

Arriving at the appropriate office, Goodman entered and informed the secretary of what he wished to do. He waited only 15 minutes (it was a very slow day on -49) and was escorted into the Commandant's office, where he and de Campos were required to restate their intentions with a witness present, and then sign some paperwork. His ship was signed back over to the fleet, and would be his first vessel. It would be returned to the scout role it had been designed for, and his crew was given a week's leave while it was refitted with new stealth technology and the latest in sensors, light weaponry, shields, and some prototype new engines he would help in testing. His crew was sent messages to report to Commandant's office during the next 48 hours, and that was the end of the process. The only downside was that he did not get to pick the new name for his old ship, and was now the captain of the Bumblebee. Well, perhaps his next ship would have a better name.

Though practically nothing had happened yet at all, Goodman felt extremely excited. If he did his job well, he would surely soon be rising in importance in the Navy and would receive a bigger and better ship, and soon afterwards would be in a position to make a difference as the Alexanderov Federation sought to displace the hated New Orions as 'top dog' in the Orion Sector.




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