Five weeks after the contact with the Traash
that means three weeks after the Comanche's repair...
"Our new orders, Commander." The communications officer on duty handed a print-out to his commander - Ned Blake. "It just arrived from BETA, Sir. Prime order of Cmdr. Walsh himself."
Ned Blake took the transparency, broke the seal and murmured before reading it: "He won't do it again, will he? It'd be too obvious..." Then his glance reached the central line and his face turned a deep red color before he exploded in an unbelievably loud shout: "NO!!!" He whirled round to his comm-officers: "Get me a connection to BETA, Walsh himself! Immediately!"
The communications officer turned to his colleague beside him and whispered: "I wonder what we have to transport this time. I bet it's–" He signaled the established connection.
"CHICKEN FOR KIRWIN!!!" Blake bellowed through the bridge and into the Comm. "Last time it was the congress of poultry farmers on Granna. The time before that I had to carry turkey eggs to Nebraska. Before that it was genetically engineered geese for this low gravity planet at the ass-end of the universe. And now – CHICKEN FOR KIRWIN! That's enough! If you want my resignation, just say so!"
"Commander Blake. Would you please remember correct military behaviour between commanding officers." Walsh said in a soft tone. "Yours is the nearest vessel for the job and the ambassadors want chicken for their reception. – And your application to resign is turned down. Transmission ends."
Walsh leaned back in his seat, pressed his fingertips together and allowed himself a grin full of black humor when he remembered the visual tape included in the report the S5's had made after their mission to establish contact with the Traash: The chicken-like "Iron Falcon" stuck with its "head" in the side of Blake's ship...
Next week the farmers on Ozark want to deliver 5,800 living ducks to Texarcota...