Gray Panthers: Dixie

Gray Panthers: Dixie by David Guenther Read Free Book Online

Book: Gray Panthers: Dixie by David Guenther Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Guenther
for Dan Daniels’s office to object in person. The insult of relegating his ship to second-class status infuriated him. He stopped to take a breath before knocking on Dan’s office door. He was caught off guard as Dan exited the office and almost ran him down.
    “What can I do for you, Red?” Dan put his arm on Red’s shoulder so he would follow.
    The gesture took some of the wind from Red’s sails. “Why are we repairing the Dixie ship when we need the Bia repaired?”
    “Sorry, Red. Guess you didn’t get the memo. We’re sending ground forces to Dixie in case they are needed to repel the attackers. We can get the Georgia spaceworthy faster than we can the Bia. Georgia is going to carry the troops.”
    “Why can’t the Dixie squadron commander release another ship instead? He has enough ships available.”
    “He was given specific orders not to return any of his command to Dixie until our fleet returned. The orders given to the captain of the Georgia were to return as soon as our repair facilities declared his ship combat ready. I’m actually on my way to see him now, to let him know our plans. If he declines our plans, I will turn all resources over to getting the Bia online as soon as possible instead. I’ll tell him that, too.”
    “Sir, I’ll get back to work then. I’ll make sure every asset and effort is dedicated to getting the Georgia ready until I hear different,” Red said as he turned to go.
    “Thank you, Red. I wish we had more assets. God willing, Admiral Bad will be back with the fleet soon.”
    Dan decided to have the captain of the Georgia report to him instead of chasing him down and was surprised to find that he was in the headquarters building.
    Juanita poked her head into Dan’s office. “The captain of the Georgia is in my office. Will you see him now?”
    “Please show the captain in.” Dan decided for a change to stand on formality, since the captain would be within his rights to deny the request to transport troops on his ship to Dixie.
    Juanita opened the door to let the captain in. Dan ignored his entrance for a moment longer as he closed a sheaf of papers.
    “Sir, Senior Lieutenant John Taylor Woods reporting as ordered,” the officer exclaimed as he held out his arm in a salute similar to the British.
    “Thank you, Captain Woods, for reporting back to me as soon as you did.” Dan returned the salute and looked at the thin young officer standing in front of him. “I have some news you won’t like, Captain. It seems by the time we get your ship combat ready, there’s a good chance the war will be over.” Dan held up his hand to silence the officer as he continued. “We will need to combine all our repair crews and material to get our ship Bia ready to deploy to Dixie. It’s a vital mission to provide troops to assist Dixie.”
    “Sir, those bastards killed a good number of my crew, and we have to get back to avenge our dead.”
    “I really am sorry, Captain, but who knows what’s going on even now on Dixie. Your desire for blood can’t take precedence over our delivering two thousand troops.”
    “Sir, please. We have to get back into the fight.” Woods stopped for a minute, then said, “Sir, I know for a fact that the Georgia needs fewer repairs to be made combat ready. If you can get my ship done first, I will deliver the troops to Dixie and provide fire support.”
    “Captain Woods, are you trying to haggle with me like a merchant on the street?”
    “I apologize, sir. It’s the best option for both of us. Please consider my suggestion, sir.”
    Dan looked over at the young officer and decided to put on his best fatherly face. “Son, when you leave my office, I suggest you go directly to your ship to see how you are going to accommodate two thousand troops and their shuttles. Feel free to seek out the advice of the repair staff. I’ll go out on a limb here and give the orders for Georgia to have priority for all repairs. If you can’t make it work,

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