After grabbing some necessary feedback, I decided to re-write this particular piece of work. Gotta say, I’m fairly pleased with the result:
Captain Rhodes frowned, his hands folded and resting against his mouth. He watched the slow swirl of the clouds that covered Neptune pass lazily by his viewport. Behind him, the wall was closing to conceal the viewscreen he took private messages on. Today, he didn’t like the news that had come in. He had just been ordered to kill the only living extraterrestrial Humanity had ever found, and to destroy the Temple he’d been living in – with no explanation as to why. Sighing, he reached across his desk and grabbed two glasses and a glass bottle of a caramel colored alcohol. Once they were closer, he reached out and pressed a button on his desk, and listened as a female voice responded.
“Send Lieutenant Sumner up to my office, please.”
“Right away, sir.” The comm clicked off, and Captain Rhodes sat back in his chair, letting out a heavy, audible sigh. He removed his hat, setting it on the desk and running his hand through his hair.
As he looked out the viewport again, he could see the Temple – a Narelhen structure left when they resided in the Solar System over three thousand years ago. Thinking about it always made the Captain’s head hurt. These beings were cruising through the stars when the Roman Republic was just finding its feet. The Temple itself was a mixture of Mayan, Egyptian and Roman-esque architecture. That usually brought up the question of whether the Humans of that era had influenced the Narelhen, or if it had been the other way around. He smiled absently at the thought, and a sharp knock at his door snapped him back to reality as quickly as he’d sought to leave it.
“Come in.” The door hissed softly as it opened, and a soldier dressed in the all-black uniform that was common among the infantry of the USN entered. The long-sleeve black jacket buttoned at the neck and at the wrists, and a zipper ran the length of the torso, black canvas pants were slightly baggy, and had pockets sewn everywhere, and the pants were tucked into black combat boots, laced tightly. His hair was cropped short – by no means a requirement, but most infantry did it anyway – and his steel grey eyes looked to the Captain as he entered, snapping a salute and standing at attention.
The Captain returned the salute as he stood from his desk, resting his knuckles against the surface. “At ease, Lieutenant.” He spoke as the door closed behind the Lieutenant, clicking as the two halves met. “Have a seat.” The Captain motioned towards the chair at the other side of his desk and sat back down. The Lieutenant, without saying a word, stepped over to the desk and sat down. The two considered each other for a moment, before the Captain spoke again.
“Drink, Lieutenant?” He reached for a glass and the bottle of alcohol.
“No, thank you, Sir.” The Lieutenant raised his hand, and sat slightly straighter. The Captain chuckled, and poured the alcohol anyway. “You may need it after what I have to tell you.” Continue reading