Things have gone from bad to worse. The only good news seems to be coming from the Jump Team. they managed to resupply Unity station. They saved a woman and her newborn in North Point and got her to safety. They found the daughter of some people they met in Verezana and she might even hold the key to the cure for the virus. And us? We’ve gotten penned into the hospital by a former General of the Anti-Government Army that lost the last Civil War. OVER KILLING ANIMALS FOR MEAT!
His name is Zerkin, and he’s convinced his new army that they’re immune to our weapons. They don’t kill them, and so they are invincible. Pulse weapons set on 5 are no match for high velocity lead slugs. We have put together a retreat plan that involves using the utility tunnels under the hospital. As we went over the plan, and CMDR Ferris explained it to me in detail I began to realize that there was exactly fourteen days of ground forces training in the Academy. The enlisted Marines have more than that when they graduate from their training school.
Zerkin called for a parlay. He gave us his demands. We were to lay down our weapons and leave through the GTM. If only. According to Peabody, who Ferris had accompany him to the parlay, CMDR Ferris displayed uncharacteristic diplomatic skills in attempting to negotiate a compromise. Apparently Zerkin is convinced that his people are invincible.
After the parlay CPO Greer and some of the colonists, including Administrator Peabody suggested we use lethal force when returning fire on the army. They were firing fairly steadily on the hospital and it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured or killed. For a second I wanted to step in, to agree with them. I could imagine myself saying “Blast a few of these bastards to hell, that’ll take the wind out of their sails!” I could see myself saying it. But I didn’t. I just stood there, across from CMDR Ferris in the circle of people that were all calling for him to kill some of these people. And when he looked at me, looked into my eyes, I didn’t think, I just shook my head no. It was a small motion, but he saw it. He said that he would only authorize lethal force as a last resort. And that’s when Dr. Stone went off the rails. He probably called Ferris just about every name in the book, and insisted that he wasn’t fit for command. Then he had the nerve to suggest Ferris step down and turn command over to me. He’s under a lot of stress. We all are. That’s when he decided to begin to give his laundry list of why this was a doomed expedition, and how pathetic the Star Fleet personnel here were. And then when he started on the character of Marines, and how they were all only good for one thing and how Ferris was preventing from even doing that, that was the moment I decided that I no longer liked him. The slurs that followed were, well they were pretty bad. I didn’t realize I was in motion until I had slammed into Greer. The CPO of the Marines had made his move and I just sort of reacted. He was pushing me closer to Stone, and then I gave the order to stand down and he did. No hesitation, no smart ass remark. He just stood down and returned to his post, just like I ordered. It was the most surreal moment of command ever. I told Peabody to get Stone out of my site. I wasn’t sure why I was the one giving the orders. CMDR Ferris was standing right there. But it was done.
We had two Marines wounded this morning in a pretty serious attack. Ferris called to Zerkin for a parlay, and then told Greer that if his plan didn’t go as planned the Marines were to set their weapons to 8 and be ready for hell. Then he told me that if he didn’t come back I was to execute the evacuation plan. When I asked him what his plan was he told me that he was going out there to prove to Zerkin that he wasn’t immortal. I almost thought I understood until Ferris took off his tactical vest and left his pulse rifle. He just had his sidearm. It wasn’t until they squared off in the street that I realized this was some sort of duel.
So then the Jump Team calls. they’ve come back to Ocean Grove instead of Eurka like I told them too. I do not yet have the official report but I suspect SCOP Stubbins, or DAD as I sometimes refer to him, convinced Lt. JG McAllister to come back here so he could get into the fight. Or just to disobey his daughter maybe. Whatever the reason I’m damn glad they did. Zerkin drew first and managed to get two shots off and into Ferris before Ferris drew his pistol. even with two ballistic slugs CMDR Ferris managed to hit Zerkin center mass. Zerkin had fired two more times, but only one hit Ferris. Thankfully the whole Jump Team came through, and I told them to get here fast. I trusted Snafu to patch up trauma wounds, but three gun show wounds was probably outside her level of skill.
One of the army officers started to try and rally the troops. Saying that Zerkin would rise again, that he was invincible. And that’s when Ferris staggered over and disintegrated the corpse. He started telling them that they had more important things to worry about than us. They needed to look after their loved ones, to honor the dead and rebuild. I swear that Ferris sounded like a diplomat or a politician. Hell I was almost convinced to go home and have babies when he was done. Then he turned and headed back. The officer that had been speaking grabbed his pistol, and Ferris said something to him I didn’t catch. Then that guy left too. Ferris managed to walk the whole way back, and got inside before he collapsed and we had to carry him to the gurney. That’s about the time the Jump team arrived in a car, like something out of one of those action movies. Dr. Orden has become a very accomplished driver in her short time here.
They’ve taken CMDR Ferris to surgery. I’m going to make the rounds and try to get everyone calmed down and distracted. and then I think I’m going to figure out if I should be yelling at my father or Lt. JG McAllister.