Disclaimer: The Temeraire Universe and the Temeraire Series is copyright to Naomi Novik. Thus, I do not own the Temeraire Universe or the Temeraire Series. This fanfiction was created under the fair use clause and no profit is being made. None of Naomi Novik's canon characters are used in this fanfiction, or ever will be used by me.
Author's Note: This is my first fanfiction, so any comments and/ore constructive criticism are welcome. Thank you to those who take the time to do so. Each new chapter will be longer than the one before it.
Characters involved in this chapter are: Captain Bewley of Bright Copper Piperis, Admiral Merton, Admiral Norden, and Adirmal Litcott
Chapter 1: A Vital Meeting
Captain Bewley stepped into the conference room to be met by the gaze of three Admirals. The Captain was not sure for the reason of this impromptu meeting. The summons had been relayed to him by one of his runners in the middle dinner and he'd had to leave it unfinished. The man was a little resentful, but still, he was a seasoned Captain and knew better than to question orders. Bewley stopped his woolgathering and snapped off a smart salute, then stood on ceremony, waiting for the Admirals to make their intentions clear to him.
Admiral Merton was the first to speak. He gestured for Captain Bewley to take a seat, "Captain Bewley. Pray do make yourself comfortable. We have much to discuss." He told the man, and then gave the other Admirals a prompt look.
Admiral Norden decided to get straight to the point, "Our apologies for interrupting your dinner Captain. However, we have done so with due cause. As you well know, our forces have been spread rather thin as of late. We need every dragon available. A Grey Widowmaker egg was recently discovered in one of the breeding grounds. The breed has a bad reputation and there has not been one in the Corps in over 50 years. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. We have been asking a few individuals, but so far nobody has proven willing to try to harness the creature." He explained with a grim expression.
Litcott piped in to explain the situation further. He tugged at his long white moustache before beginning, "That is why you were called in Captain Bewley. We wish to learn your opinion of Midwingman Obson. He has been serving with you and your Bright Copper Piperis for over three years now. We have reviewed his service record and he has served aboard a Yellow Reaper and a Chequered Nettle previously. He is well-liked among your crew from what I understand, and from your reports, he has been calm and steady under fire. He might be just the fellow we need to make the attempt of harnessing the Grey Widowmaker." The Admiral suggested, studying Captain Bewley's expression.
Captain Bewley took a seat and folded his arms in his lap. His eyebrows hiked up once he heard what the Admirals were proposing. His lips pressed into a thin frown and he smoothed back his chestnut brown hair, "I have nothing but praise for Midwingman Obson. He is an integral part of my crew and Piperis would be loathe to part with him. I must say, I have my doubts about this. Midwingman Obson is a good man, and I do not wish to see him harmed by some untameable beast. No offense to you Gentleman of course, but unless ordered, I feel I must decline your request." He trailed off, uncertain how to continue without offending the Admirals.
Admiral Norden fixed Bewley with a baleful look and then shook his head, "No, we shall not order this Captain Bewley. I must admit, your objection is disappointing. The truth is; we are running out of people to ask. The beast is badly needed, since we already lost three dragons in the last skirmish over the channel. So I shall make one last attempt to appeal to your good sense Captain. I can understand why you do not wish to risk your Midwingman, but he is already at risk every time he goes into battle. Pray, think on this and discuss it with Mr. Obson himself when the time is appropriate. But please do not delay long Captain, as Surgeon Hutche estimates the egg shall hatch in three days." He explained.
Admiral Merton cleared his throat and jumped in, "If it would put your mind at ease Captain, we plan to use the utmost caution during the hatching. We shall station one gunmen nearby; to provide protection should the beast prove a danger. If it merely refuses to go into harness, it will be sent to the breeding grounds. But if it attempts to harm anyone, we will have no choice but to destroy it." He told the Captain.
Captain Bewley put both hands up in a gesture of capitulation, "Very well, I shall discuss this with Midwingman Obson and find out if he wishes to make the attempt. I would not begrudge the Midwingman at a chance for his own beast after all. However, that is all I am willing to promise. If he should refuse, I will not press him further."
Admiral Litcott looked appeased at the Captain's answer and gave a brisk nod, "That is a damned sight better than a flat out refusal. We won't ask more than that. Should the fellow refuse, the issue shall be dropped." He announced.
Norden nodded in agreement with Litcott, "Indeed, we cannot ask for more. Thank you for your time Captain Bewley. We will look forward to hearing of the results of your discussion with Mr. Obson. Pray excuse us now; we have important issues to discuss." He told Bewley.
Bewley had been in the Corps long enough to know a dismissal when he heard one. He issued a low bow and then took himself out of the room. His mind churned with the thoughts that he had dared not voice to the Admirals. Had they gone mad? Bewley had heard the stories of the Grey Widowmakers. They were deadly and uncontrollable, and that was why they had been hunted to near extinction. And the Admirals had picked the middle of a war of all times to try to bring the breed back into the Corps. Then again, it was only one, but it stood to reason that if the first proved successful, then more would be brought in. He shook his head and hoped that the Midwingman would have the good sense to refuse. But first things first; he had a dinner to finish.