"Well it's about damned time," Commodore Howell muttered to himself.
He glared at the gravitic plot and reminded himself-again-that he wasn't going to climb down Alexsov's throat the instant he saw him. He suspected it wasn't going to be an easy resolve to keep.
He turned his back on the plot and interlaced his fingers to crack his knuckles. Alexsov was at least twelve days late, which would have been bad enough from anyone else. From the obsessively punctual chief of staff it was maddening, and vague visions of horrible disaster had haunted the commodore, only just held at bay by his faith in Alexsov.
He drew a deep breath and summoned a wry smile, wishing-not for the first time-that "pirates" weren't cut off from the Empire's starcom network. This business of relying solely on starships and SLAM drones wore on a man. And, his eyes narrowed again, speaking of SLAM drones, just why hadn't Gregor used one to explain his delay? His eyes lit with a touch of real humor as he realized he had at least one perfectly valid reason to tear a long, bloody strip off his chief of staff … and how much he looked forward to it.