17 "Good!" I answered, "I will give the officer an opportunity to report. But as soon as she is on board she is to report immediately to me! I want a personal explaination as to why she was not here. And it better be a good one or I will send her back planetside, and one of the auxilleries can take her place if we can't acquire another pilot before departure."
18 "Communications!" I snapped, "Does your department have any problems?"
19 The officer rose and looked rather nervous. "I'm afraid so, sir!" he began. "Our auxillery equipment for long distance communication has been out for at least two trips. I only have two marker bouys when I'm supposed to have twenty-five! Two of our escape pods have no communications equipment, whatsoever! I'm sorry to report these things, sir, I have done my best to have them remedied but my previous Commander was hesitant to be forceful with supply and get replacement equipment. The officer in command kept saying we were out of communications range anyway that it didn't matter if we had back up equipment or not! And if escape pods were used them having communications equipment wouldn't matter much."
20 I raised my hand and pointed a finger at him, and the officer fell silent. I worked the viewscreen beside me and in a few moments a gruff looking officer appeared on the screen. "Commander Of Supply!" he snapped, "Whatever it is make it quick! You better have a good reason for using the emergency frequency."
21 "This is the Commander of the third scout ship," I snapped, "my Communications Officer has just made me aware that you have been negligent in refitting this ship with necessary equipment. I want those parts here, this afternoon! And I want them in top condition!"
22 The supply commander looked at me very angrily. "We have shortages," he snapped, "throughout the entire fleet! The Commander of every ship is screaming for parts! We're having to strip commercial freighters and ground them to get enough equipment! The shortages you have are acceptable in the current situation. You can make do! I can't give you what I don't have!"
23 "One moment!" I snapped. I punched in another number and the screen split and The Commander Of Assignments appeared opposite the commander of supply. "Commander Zeusias," The Commander Of Assignments asked in obvious confusion, "why are you calling me on the emergency frequency?"
24 "My pardon, sir," I answered, "for interrupting you. But I'm having a problem with the commander of supply. He will not issue vital parts I feel necessary for the safe operation of my ship! Where I am about to depart on a priority mission I ask your assistance in getting that necessary equipment."
25 The Commander Of Assignments looked startled. "What equipment do you need?" he asked.
26 I explained the current situation, and The Commander Of Assignments nodded. "Commander Zeusias," he snapped, "disconnect with me but leave me connected with this other officer and kill your audio until he signals you that he desires to speak with you."
27 I followed my instructions and waited for several minutes watching the commander of supply's expressions as The Commander Of Assignments spoke to him. Finally the commander of supplys put his fingers to his lips indicating I should reconnect my audio. "Commander," he snapped, "the equipment you need will be on your vessel by this afternoon! My apologies that I did not understand the importance of your mission. I might not be able to get all your marker bouys today. But the rest will arrive tomorrow. My apologies for my negligance!"
28 "Your apologies are accepted," I answered. "That I have the equipment I need is what matters to me! Good day, commander!"
29 I signed off. "Anything else, Communications?" I asked.
30 "No sir," the officer snapped. "Definitely not, sir! Thank you, sir!"
31 "Navigation!" I snapped, "Please don't tell me there's anything wrong with your equipment! I don't want to have to call supply again!"
32 The officer rose with a big grin. "Excuse me, sir," he apologized, "you certainly have a way with dealing with supply! I mean no offense!"
33 "None is taken!" I answered. "Your report?"
34 "I do have some small difficulties with my long range sensors. They are not locking in with me well so I can perceive what is out ahead of us. But aside from that, everything is in good condition! I think the problem is probably some small part that we already have replacements for. I am working on the system and my computers will be able to give the pilots information constantly to keep them on course."
35 "Good!" I answered. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, we seem to be in good condition, or will be shortly. Let us all report to our stations or return to our beds if it is our sleep cycle. I appreciate those that would be sleeping at this time staying up to give their reports! You are dismissed!"
36 I spent some time on the bridge then began inspecting the ship. All was to my satisfaction.

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