Actions

Work Header

Back on Io Station...

Work Text:

2249. Io Station.

            Commander Eli “Jammer” Sherman, scowled across his desk and dropped the digital reader with a loud “clack.”

            “What’s this, Ensign?” the old man barked at the young brown-haired woman standing in front of him, with a muscular build and a single stud earring in one ear.[1]

            Commander Sherman should have been long past retirement – and once, he had been – but after the heavy casualties Earth suffered in the war with the Minbari, EarthForce had brought him back to active duty to run the Io station until a permanent replacement could be found. The station, miraculously, had survived the Earth-Minbari War, with only its communications and defenses disabled.[2] A spinning ring of shiny metal against the massive backdrop of Jupiter,[3] Io Station was second in size (in the Sol system) only to the Earth Alliance colony of Mars,[4] with a resident population of 1.7 million people.[5] Due to its proximity to the Io transfer point, the station served as a strategic, even vital EarthForce base.[6] The station regularly handled both military and civilian traffic, both domestic and out-of-system, especially for ships too small to have their own jump engines.[7]

            Sherman might have been old-school, but the brass knew he could be trusted to keep the place running smoothly, and to oversee the reconstruction of the station's communications and defense capabilities, one of EarthForce's highest priorities.[8]

            "You haven’t been here more than a month, Ensign, and here I have a report from security telling me you pushed a telepath out a third story window. MedLab says he’s pretty banged up.”

            “Y-yes, sir. He made a comment about my mother.”

            Captain Sherman sighed with exasperation, leaning back in his faux-leather chair. “I don’t care what he said about your mother, Ensign. When it comes to those mindreaders, I don’t like them any more than you do, but EarthForce can’t have officers beating up civilians, even if they are telepaths.”

            “Sir.”

            "The Psi Corps' been pushing hard for a field office on Io. I don't need anyone giving them excuses to get a toe-hold up here."

            "Sir."

            “And I don’t need any hot-heads under my command, either. You take note of that. That’s an EarthForce uniform you’re wearing, Ensign, and I expect you to comport yourself with all the self-control of an EarthForce officer. Am I clear?”

            “Yes sir.”

            He signed. “This time I'll let it slide. But if this happens again, there'll be consequences.”

            “Yes, sir. Understood.” She hesitated, nervous. “The Corps won’t be looking into this, will they, sir?”

            He picked up his device again, and tapped a few keys. “Eh. Don’t worry about them. This is my station. If they come around, I’ll cover for you. Just don’t ever do it again. Dismissed.”

            “Thank you, sir.”

            The young woman left his office, breathing an audible sigh of relief.

            “Threw a telepath out a window… hot damn.” He laughed to himself, thinking about how, at her age, in her shoes, he might have done the same thing. “Made a comment about her mother. Little mindfuckers… Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.”

 

[1] In the Beginning (movie). She gives one earring to her brother before he leaves for the EAS Lexington, and after he dies, henceforth only wears one.

[2] JMS interview, 2/16/94 (unavailable online)

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Mars has two million people in 2261, as given in The Exercise of Vital Powers. Io station is second in size to Mars colony, so if we assume that Mars' population has remained relatively constant over those twelve years, Io Station can reasonably have a population of 1.7 million.

[6] JMS interview, 2/16/94 (unavailable online)

[7] Id.

[8] Id.