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Episode 3

Somewhat of a Predicament

A knock came at the door. Hull tapped his desk, and the door opened to admit a crewman, who saluted crisply and said, “The watch officer reports all loading completed, Captain.”

“Very well.” Hull glanced the screen, presumably to mark the time. “Tell all hands to prepare for immediate ascent to orbit. We'll transit as soon as possible.”

“Aye aye, sir.” As the crewman saluted and departed, Hull gazed thoughtfully at the agent. York returned his look without expression, suppressing her sense of relief at knowing she'd won. She knew far too much for Hull to put her off the ship.

Hull said slowly, “You've placed me in somewhat of a predicament, Agent York.”

“And I am sorry for it. But we both know what is at stake. The way I see it, Captain, you can either arrest me and put me in the brig or provide me with quarters on our voyage to subsector Zero Seven Zero Two. I don't suppose you have any female crew members?”

Hull groaned and put a hand to his forehead. “I hadn't even considered that. No, not a single one, Agent York. We're a fighting ship, not a cruise liner.” He tapped his desk again, and a moment later, the cabin door opened to reveal the return of the big lieutenant.

“Captain?” Tregaski said, not even glancing in her direction.

“I have decided to allow you to remain aboard as a passenger, Miss York.” Hull ignored the lieutenant and addressed her. “I must warn you, however, that you will be restricted to the officers' deck except when escorted by a crew member.”

“I understand,” she said.

“Now, Miss York, there are any number of questions I would very much like to ask you, but as it appears you will be joining us for the next few weeks, I will save them for our next conversation. As you have no doubt gathered, there are matters to which I must attend.”

She inclined her head towards him, then rose from her seat. “Thank you, Captain Hull. I shall look forward to answering your questions. And if I can be of any help—”

“That will not be necessary, Miss York,” Hull answered drily. He glanced at Tregaski. “Lieutenant, if you'd see about finding individual quarters for Miss York….”

A Mind Programmed series cover
Somewhat of a Predicament episode cover
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A Mind Programmed

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Vox Day
The Greater Terran Ascendancy finds itself facing a historic crisis when the Shiva-class cruiser ATSV Rigel goes missing during a routine patrol through the Kantillon sector. Fortunately, the Ascendancy Intelligence Directorate's top operative, Daniela York, is on the scene.
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