LAST EDITED ON Nov-08-14 AT 06:07 PM (EST)
This is in final review, or would be if Phil wasn't at NekoCon. :) Probably be out sometime next week.
The story has been overhauled for stylesheet release, but the text of this sample still stands, so I'll just bump this post rather than repost it.
Commander Jurdak looked up from his dinner and scowled at Sub-
Commander Krattak. "What do you want?" he said. Seeing the small
figure standing next to the general's adjutant, he scowled still more,
his bushy eyebrows colliding, and then inquired acidly, "What's this?
Has the Chancellor decided to include bring-your-daughter-to-work day
among the human traditions we're now expected to embrace?"
"General Thalekh's compliments," said Krattak with the
imperturbable calm of a man who knows his position makes him untouchable
by common, everyday officers, regardless of their relative ranks. "He
has found you a replacement for Battle Engineer P'maav."
Jurdak's scowl became a thing of legend. "Is this Zargh's idea
of a joke?" he demanded.
Krattak smiled thinly. "General Thalekh doesn't -have- an idea
of a joke," he replied.
Jurdak surged to his feet, his great bulk moving more swiftly
and easily than the sight of him implied. Standing, he was a good two
feet taller than the figure standing next to Krattak, slim and slight in
spite of her armored uniform; but though she had to tilt her head back
some way to do it, she looked him in the eye without evident fear as he
glowered down at her.
"What am I expected to do with -this?-" the commander wanted to
know, his voice precisely calibrated so that everyone in the bird-of-
prey's messhall would hear it clearly. "It's too small and fragile to
be of any use in battle and too young to know the machinery. If I were
putting together a klin zha kinta team it might do for a Swift, but only
if we were playing against Ferengi."
Most of the others in the messhall laughed raucously at that.
Standing next to Krattak with her jaw set and her back straight,
B'Elanna glanced quickly but incisively around the room, taking note of
the few who didn't. Of that handful, most were watching the situation
unfold too intently to find it amusing, and one - the hulking figure in
the far corner - was paying no attention at all. He was facing away
from the captain's table and appeared to be reading something.
"The one doubts my assessment of the candidate's skills?"
Krattak inquired, his voice cool and pleasant. "Perhaps the one will
inform General Thalekh of his reservations regarding the efficiency of
the general's chief of staff."
The laughter stopped suddenly at that, as if someone had fired a
warning shot into the ceiling. Sub-Commander Krattak was always calm,
always collected, never raised his voice. A few around the Seventh
Fleet whispered that he might have a little bit of Vulcan in him, but he
was far more dangerous than a Vulcan - so perhaps the calmer, deadlier
kind of Rom.
Now his deceptively pleasant tone even penetrated Jurdak's
bluster. His broad, scarred face greying slightly, the commander
growled and seated himself again, then gestured to one of his
subordinates and said, "Vokaan, see if it can defend itself with those