The Honeymoon’s Over
By Yuki Wildstar
A Star Blazers Fan Fiction work
Chapter Five: PLANET
Space Battleship Endeavor
August 3, 2204
0600 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
At exactly 0600 hours, all of the Tiger pilots, Space Marines and the Endeavor’s Executive Staff waited in the video briefing room for the Captain to arrive. This was the day that the mission would begin in earnest.
“So, how do you think this is gonna pan out?” Staff Sergeant Booker asked Lieutenant Delvechio.
“Well,” replied Delvechio, “With my Black Tigers, I think all will go smoothly…unless one of you Space Marines gets cocky and messes everything up, that is!”
“Hey what do you mean about us Space Marines?” barked Booker. “Why, you little twit of a lousy officer…!”
“Take it easy, meatball,” laughed Delvechio. “I’m just joking with you, I’m sure that all will go well...”
“Attention on deck!” someone called out.
No one knew who it was. Nova smiled as Captain Wildstar arrived.
Derek looked over the group and said, “At ease, people. Okay, let’s get this meeting rolling; the sooner we go over our jobs and this mission, the sooner we’ll get back to Earth. At least most of us will…” Wildstar said while looking at the Space Marines. He knew that they would have to wait until all the scientists gathered all the information and vital data before leaving the space colony. “I want to go over the mission, and make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them. Because Planet Dunbar has reported hostile enemies nearby, we must make sure that we cover the air space so that the rescue ship can send down their shuttles to transport the civilians to safety.”
Wildstar looked around. “With that in mind, Delvechio and Pesci will cover the shuttles with the Black Tiger Fighters, while the Asteroid Fighters will cover the Rescue ships and patrolling the area. Staff Sergeant Booker…you and your men will take one of the Cosmo Hounds and land in the area here on the map that is secured by the guards,” said Derek as he pointed with a pointer at a graphic on the deck video screen. He continued with, “The shuttles will then land after you give the OK that all is secure at the Landing Zone. With that, the civilians will then start to board the shuttle and they will be sent back to the Rescue Ships.”
Derek paused again. “Nova and Doctor Spada will take the other Cosmo Hound with IQ-10 so as to help those who are injured. Lieutenant Wright, you will help the scientists with the data as much as you can, but you cannot stay, we need you here back on ship as soon as possible. Lieutenant Miamato, you will make sure that all communications are open at all times. Secondary bridge crew…you will keep an eye on those radar screens; if something looks strange you make sure that we know about it. I don’t care if it’s a space fart from another planet, I want to know about it!” Some of the officers present chuckled at this until Wildstar cleared his throat. “Lieutenant Commander Ortiz, you are to make sure that all guns are ready and able to fire. This may look like an easy mission, but my gut feeling tells me otherwise. It could get weird out there. So follow your gut, guys and gals…it’s usually right. Are we all set?”
“Yes, sir!” everyone yelled back.
“Very well then,” said Wildstar. “Let’s get moving…the rescue ships will be here at 1200 hrs. If we get started now, we can just get the people on the shuttles and get the heck out of Dodge before anything happens. Dismissed, and good luck to all of us,” Wildstar said as they all saluted him.
They all began leaving, but Wildstar hung back enough to gently grab Nova by the arm. As everyone left to go to their posts, Derek led Nova to a quiet part of the room where no video camera could spot them. “I missed you, Nova…sometimes I can’t bear to see you and not touch you,” said Derek in a low, tender voice that was close to breaking. Please be careful! I really do have a bad feeling about this…it’s in my gut.”
Derek then stared into Nova’s dark brown eyes and threw caution to the wind and kissed her long and hard as he held her very close.
Nova smiled and returned the kiss with just as much ardor, giggling softly as she stepped back. She looked at her husband and said, “Derek, everything’s going to be all right! Don’t worry about me! You keep your mind on the ship and the crew, and I swear…I’ll be all right. We’ll be together again soon…I love you, my darling.”
“Love you, too,” said Derek as he held Nova again. He wanted to hold her for hours and never let her go again. They both kissed again, then finally Wildstar let her go while saying, “I think we’d better get going, before they start to look for us!”
“Yes, Captain,” Nova said, while going back to being a professional.
“I love you very much Nova…be careful!” Derek told his wife. He looked around and stole a kiss one last time on the tip of her nose. Nova giggled at that and blew him a kiss as her face went deadpan again when she saw Howard coming. I don’t need her asking all sorts of rude questions, she thought. Bug off about our private lives, people! Nova added to herself. It’s not like we’re snogging or making love in public…although I have been sorely tempted to…God…I have been so tempted!
Wildstar returned to the bridge, while Nova started her check list of all the things that had to be place on the Cosmo Hound. Lieutenants Howard and Springer were both there to help with the inventory. They didn’t mind the extra work, considering that they had both grown fond of the Two Tonys, so they were near them on the flight pad. Nova noticed that they all seem to be getting along.
Nova smiled at them a little, particularly as Springer snuck a hug out of one of the Two Tonys. Nova thought, As long as they are out of my hair and not getting into trouble anymore, then let them have their romance. Who am I to judge on falling in love on board ship? That’s where Derek and I fell in love, after all. Oh, Derek…
Nova’s face turned dreamy as she thought of Derek and being alone with him wearing a little black dress, but…just then Doctor Spada walked up, embarrassing her by smiling back at her. “Nova, is everything on board?” he asked.
“Yes Doctor, all is ready,” said Nova in her most professional voice as she remembered to wipe her moonstruck grin off her face in a hurry. She didn’t want to give Doctor Spada ideas, thank you. “Now, we just have to wait until the Captain gives the order to leave, and we are out of here,” Nova said with a ghost of a smile flitting across her features, a smile she couldn’t keep suprressed as she thought again of her husband like some sixteen-year old schoolgirl. She could still taste his lips on hers, and she thought, Derek! That kiss! No, those kisses! Mmmmm…! Those should keep me satisfied until I get back here again, and then…who knows…? she thought to herself as delicious thoughts of sneaking away with her husband and saying, “damn protocol” ran through her mind. Nova was a young but mature woman, and if there had been some mind-reading psionic woman around like the “space goddesses” that the Star Force had met in their journeys on the Yamato, Nova would have most certainly felt very uncomfortable and exposed given some of the romantic but very grown-up fantasies about her husband that were running through her mind like a message capsule locked on fast-forward!
“You look chipper today, Nova…is it anything that I did?” Spada asked.
“Oh, is it obvious that I’m in a good mood?” said Nova as she blushed.
“Yes, what gives?” Spada asked. “I see you smiling, Nova, and I even thought I heard you singing a snatch of “Scarlet Scarf” under your breath!”
Oh, God, am I that obvious? Nova thought in utter embarrassment. It felt for a minute as if she was standing there in public…with no skirt or pants on!
Nova then stammered, “Uhhh..well… considering that no one is at each other’s throats and that…all is going smoothly…hmmm…I’d say that is more than enough cause to be in a good mood, Doctor! YES!” Nova knew, however, that it had nothing to do with that. Her stolen kiss with Derek is what stayed on her mind.
“Attention all hands, Attention all hands, this is Captain Wildstar, report to your stations! Our mission will commence in 10 minutes; all Black Tiger pilots report to your fighters and be prepared to leave the ship in 5 minutes! All Cosmo Hounds will leave the ship after the Black Tigers and Asteroid Fighters have cleared the ship. Good luck to us all and be careful out there! Captain Wildstar out.”
Doctor Spada and Nova jumped into the cockpit of the Cosmo Hound and strapped themselves in. Spada said, “So are you ready, Lieutenant Commander Forrester?”
“Yes, sir,” Nova replied.
“I’m sure you have done this a million times…this would be the first time for me with such a lovely lady at my side.”
“I am flattered…but let’s keep to the mission; Doctor. I don’t want to get distracted,” Nova said with a smile.
“Ah, yes, I keep forgetting that you’re the Captain’s wife,” Spada laughed.
“No its not that…I’m an officer and you’re an officer and we should just keep to our mission, and keep professional…OK, Doctor?” Nova replied feeling a bit uncomfortable. She felt even more uncomfortable as Spada laid a friendly hand on her knee. “Doctor, please,” she said with a deep blush as she pushed it away.
“Hands off the merchandise, huh?” laughed Spada.
“Yes, unless you have to examine me,” said Nova, who scratched at her knee. It felt as if insects were crawling on her knee beneath the blue material of her tight uniform.
“Attention all hands, attention all hands, Black Tiger fighters prepare to launch on T minus 10 seconds…” Wildstar’s voice said over the intercom.
All of the pilots were waiting in their ships making final systems check. The Two Tonys waved good bye to their fighting ladies as Lieutenant Howard and Lieutenant Springer waved back and reminded them to be careful.
“Count down 10.....9.....8.....7......6.......5.....4......3......2......1 all ships launch,” said Derek’s voice over the speakers.
One by one, each Black Tiger Fighter left the Endeavor. Once they were clear, the Asteroid Fighters also left. Then it was Cosmo Hound One with Staff Sergeant Booker and the Space Marines. Nova and Doctor Spada were the last to leave the Endeavor with Nova at the controls.
“Cosmo Hound 2 to Endeavor, we are now clear, all systems check out. We are now heading to Planet Dunbar,” Spada reported.
“Doctor Spada, you and Lieutenant Commander Forrester will be meeting with a Doctor Rey…he will be helping you coordinate all the injured civilians. You will be landing at coordinates L34 by 56.82. Good Luck.” Lieutenant Miamato confirmed.
“Roger that Endeavor, coordinates L34 by 56.82, we will let you know when we land, thanks…” Doctor Spada replied.
Back at the bridge Wildstar made sure all ships were clear and all was going smoothly. “Lieutenant Commander Lee,” he said.
“Take command! I will join the Black Tigers with the escort, I get jumpy sitting around here. I prefer to do my work from my Starfighter. I have full confidence that you can control the bridge.”
“Yes, sir,” Lieutenant Commander Lee said. “The Captain is leaving the bridge; Deputy Captain Lee is now in command. Captain?”
“Yes Captain Lee?”
“Good luck, sir!”
“Thank you and good luck to you, make me proud!” Wildstar called back as he left for his Starfighter.
II.THE DOG FIGHTS BEGIN; OR, A SURPRISE FROM THE PAST
The Vicinity of Space Battleship Endeavor
August 3, 2204
1206 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
Derek Wildstar checked the outside of his Super Star fighter for one final look-see. He hopped into the cockpit of his ship and he looked over the systems to make sure all was well, and that everything checked out. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the picture of Nova that he had taken several years before (the one where she had playfully slapped him) and he placed it on the side of his instrument panel. After giving it a final touch with his hand, he took off.
All seemed to be going smoothly; the shuttles were now down on Planet Dunbar preparing to evacuate the civilians. But for some odd reason Wildstar kept feeling his stomach turning. He thought, Now, it could be just nerves, with Nova down on the planet and my first mission since we got married, but I can’t seem to shake this bad feeling, why? What’s going to happen to her down there? And why am I so worried? She is a very capable officer, but…Wildstar kept asking himself the same questions over and over again as worry at at his soul just as insidiously as some kind of small rat nibbling at his inner parts.
In the meantime, things ran smoothly on Planet Dunbar for Nova and Doctor Spada. It was a flawless mission.
They managed to get all the injured on the ship first, and the shuttle left earlier than expected.
Next, was to put all the women and children on the next shuttle.
Nova played with some of the kids while they waited for the next shuttle. She laughed and giggled with them to keep their spirits up while their mothers breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they would finally heading back to Earth in safety. Soon, they would be with families that they hadn’t seen in years.
“Lieutenant Commander Forrester, we are ready to board the children and their mothers,” Staff Sergeant Booker informed her.
“Great, OK, kids….time to go back to your moms and help them get your brothers and sisters on board!” said Nova as she finished playing an improvised game of kickball with some of the kids.
“Awwwww!” said one of the boys,
a little boy named
“We were having fun, Mrs. Nova!” cried a very small girl named Connie. She began to cry, but Nova ran to her, hugged her, and gave the six-year old a comforting kiss as she said, “You’re gonna have a fun time on the ship…and before you know it all of you guys will be back on Earth with your families! Doctor Spada, can you help get them back to their parents?”
“Sure, Lieutenant Commander Forrester,” Spada said with a smile.
It took a little less time than they thought they would need, but all the families were more than able to fit on the rescue shuttle. There were only the scientists, Space Marines, Nova, and Doctor Spada remaining. “IQ-10 you can fly the empty shuttle back to the rescue ship with whatever belongings were left behind. Doctor Spada and I will stick around to make sure all the families are gone and no one was left behind,” Nova ordered IQ-10.
“Yes, ma’am,” said IQ-10. “Nova?”
“Yes?” she said.
“Why didn’t you wear a skirt on this mission? Your legs look gorgeous. We would have had fun!”
Booker and Spada laughed as Nova clouted the tinwit over the head with a folder. “Tinwits! You’re as bad as your ‘father’, IQ-9…”
“I’m not as bad,” said IQ-10.
“Why?” snapped Nova with fire in her eyes.
“If I had been my designer, I would have been chasing you around that tree already! How shall I put it, ma’am, you have…an adorable tush!”
“Oooooooh! ROBOTS!” snapped Nova as she stamped her foot while Booker laughed even harder. “And MEN!” snapped Nova as she yelled at Booker.
“I’m sorry, ma’am…you just sound funny, that’s all!”
“Oh, just wait until someone invents a gay robot!” snapped Nova.
“Yeah, ma’am! Well, gay I ain’t!” snapped Booker.
“People, enough!” snapped Spada. “Booker, IQ-10, shut up! Nova, you put a sock in it, too!”
“Put a sock in it?” hissed Nova.
“Yes. We have work to do! Well, let’s go start our last minute search! Sergeant Booker, you can stay here with the scientists. Oh, has Lieutenant Wright returned back to the Endeavor?” Doctor Spada asked.
“Yes sir, he left about an hour ago,” Sergeant Booker replied, all seriousness now as he quit laughing. Nova, being a good sport, handed him some tissues so he could wipe his eyes…Booker had been laughing at Nova and IQ-10 so hard that he had begun crying!
A while later, it took Nova and Doctor Spada an hour to search the area for any stragglers. All was clear, and they both felt comfortable that everyone had safely left. They bade their farewells to Booker and the scientists and wished them luck. They also reminded them not to take too long on gathering data because the planet was a dangerous place to be now. Once the scientists finished gathering the data, the whole station was to be destroyed so that nothing could fall into enemy hands.
With all that said, Nova and Doctor Spada jumped into the Cosmo Hound and started their take off.
Nova was bidding a fond farewell
In the meantime, Derek Wildstar watched from his fighter as the last shuttle entered the hull of the rescue ship. Well so far, so good, he thought to himself.
After communicating with the Captain of the rescue ship, Wildstar was ready to call the mission a success…and ready to call it a day as he made ready to land back on the Endeavor.
Then, something flew by him that made him whip his Super Star around in a hard turn to right.
“What the hell was that?” Wildstar yelled into his helmet. It was so fast that he could only make out the color of the object…dark purple, and vaguely rectangular, with strange lines.
“Bridge, find out what that unidentified object was!” Wildstar commanded.
Before he could finish his sentence, a fight broke out with his Tigers and the enemy fighters.
“Where did they come from?” yelled one of his Tiger pilots as he unsuccessfully evaded a burst of enemy fire from the plane, only to fly into another plane’s path. He was blown to bits.
“Bridge, identify those ships now! They’re firing on us and I’m losing men!” Wildstar yelled as he got one of the enemy planes in his Heads-Up display. Smiling grimly, he pumped laser energy into the plane and watched it blow apart.
“We are on it sir, they appeared from nowhere! I can’t seem to get a reading on where they came from! Whoaaaa, there’s more of them! Watch your six, sir!” called out Lieutenant Miamato.
Wildstar and the Black Tigers were under attack, but from whom, then as Wildstar chase one down the ship slow down enough for him to catch a glimpse at its design. It was ugly, with strange angles.
Derek recognized the design. A few years ago, a plane just like that had strafed Jason Jetter right on the foredeck of the Yamato when he had been trying to activate the Cosmo-Penultimate cannon that would heal the Sun. The attack had led to Jetter’s death.
“No!” said Derek out loud. “It can’t be! I thought Desslok destroyed them! Could I be wrong is it…is it the Bolar Federation? Are they back?”
“Sir, there are two carriers on our screen…200 megameters from the Endeavor” Miamato said frantically.
“Lieutenant, Please see if you can patch me through to their flagship!” Wildstar commanded.
“Yes, sir!” replied Miamoto. Static came across the line, and then Miamoto said, “Sir, I have the Captain of the flagship on the wire, patching him through to your plane now!”
“This is Captain Derek Wildstar of the Endeavor, I demand to know…who are you?”
A rough, arrogant, heavily-accented alien voice replied, “This is General Vladmir Hakis Sigma of the spacecraft carrier flagship Luytens. What is your business with the Planet Dunbar? I demand an explanation from you, the infamous Derek Wildstar! Your are prime meddler of space!”
“We are removing our people and returning them back to Earth! Sigma, why are you attacking innocent people? You know that they don’t have the means to protect themselves!” Wildstar responded back with anger. “They are only scientists and civilians! Some of those people are women and children, for Chrissakes!”
“We are taking this planet in the name of the Bolar Federation, you arrogant fool!” General Luyten bellowed. “Your people, as you put it, are now nothing but our slaves! Those women will make fine breeding stock!”
“So I was right it is the Bolars,” said Derek. “Listen! We have no quarrel with you, we are simply removing our people from a planet that has become unstable for humans to live. Please let our rescue ship return unharmed,” Derek pleaded. He knew that it would take minutes for the rescue ship to warp, so he was buying time for them.
“Time is a commodity that I do not have, and neither do you! I must take control of this planet in the name of the Bolar Federation. The Prime Minister, the Presidium, and the Party Leadership demand it! Please move out of the way or else I shall be forced to fire on you and the others! In other words, fool, get out of our way!” General Luyten commanded.
“Sorry, but I have some people who are still on that planet and I can’t allow you to interfere with their work,” he said as he thought of Nova, Dr. Spada and the scientists. If you just give us a day we will be more then happy to hand the planet to you, General. There can be a peaceful solution to this!” Derek said try to buy more time.
“Peaceful? You are only stalling! Inept fool! You Earthlings are known to be liars and prevaricators! You are the scum of the universe; the only thing worse than you is Gamilons! I can not grant you that request, now move or we will destroy you all, curse you!” General Sigma yelled.
“Sorry no can do” Wildstar replied. At that he saw that the rescue ship was already warping away.“Whoosh, thank God for that, one less thing I have to worry about!”
“I have had enough of talking with you, Wildstar, you scum! My planes…attack them now!” General Luyten ordered his fighters.
At that, the Bolar pilots fanned out and began shooting at Derek and his pilots.
“Okay, I gave you people a chance to back down…this is enough!” yelled Wildstar as a Tiger went down in flames near him. “Black Tigers…attack! Show no mercy and give no quarter!”
At that, the Two Tonys, Wildstar, and Howard went into battle against the Bolars along with the other Tigers.
It would not be an easy fight.
Now, in the meantime, Nova and Doctor Spada were halfway out of the atmosphere when they saw what was going on up in space in the battle. They could only see that their fighters were suddenly engaged with an unknown enemy.
“What is going on?” said Spada.
“Combat!” snapped Nova as she strapped herself down tightly. “I have to throttle up and do calculations to do an emergency warp back to the Endeavor!” she cried as she hit controls and punched in a computer course for a warp with a speed and viciousness that shocked Spada.
“Why is it taking you so long?” snapped Spada.
“Doctor, computing a space warp isn’t like just doing a physical!” yelled Nova. “You have to have precise figures or we’d bounce too close to this system’s star or go through a black hole or disappear into the Fourth Dimension forever! That would put an eternal kibosh on your leering at my legs pretty damn fast now, wouldn’t it?” snapped Nova angrily as she worked controls and sounded more like a hard-bitten helmsman than a nurse at that moment.
“Wave engine coming up on-line,” said Nova as a roaring thrum went through the Hound. “All hands,” she said over the PA. “Secure for emergency warp in forty-five seconds!”
Just then something flew past them. They were being attacked from behind.
With what sounded like a whispered curse, Nova tried to maneuver away from them, but she couldn’t shake the two Bolar planes off.
Then, the Hound took a hit.
“Upper ball turret hit!” screamed an enlisted man over the PA.
“Losing power!” yelled an Ensign from the engineering panel as the Cosmo Hound was hit again.
Nova flicked on the comm unit
and barked. “Mayday, MAYDAY! This is Hound Two, declaring an emergency! We’re
hit and have taken damage near
Spada was almost knocked into the dashboard as Nova worked the controls hard.
“What is going on?” he yelled as he struggled to keep his glasses on.
“We’re skipping into the
Then, as Spada got up, Nova undid her harness and stood with her feet braced on the instrument panel to pull back the yoke as hard as she could. Straining with all her might, she got a leg up, and with both hands occupied, Nova used a booted foot to kick the throttle all the way forward, not caring that her blue uniform was beginning to rip at a buttock as she strained her slender body as hard as possible. To Spada, Nova looked like an Olympic gymnast trying to clean and jerk a 150 kilogram weight; desperate but ridiculous as veins stood out in her forehead and her brow was covered with sweat.
This will not work, thought Spada. A woman cannot do a man’s job in combat!
“Let me at those controls! You’re just not strong enough!” yelled Spada. “A woman can’t do this!”
“I can do this!” cried Nova as Spada grabbed at her.
Nova took it wrong, thinking he was grabbing at her breasts, and she slapped Spada across the face just as she almost had control, because she did not like where his hands were going!
Then, Spada tried to wrestle the controls from her but it was too late, since they were hit a third and then a fourth time and they were now going down fast with smoke trailing from the damaged Cosmo Hound’s tail and engine nozzle. Nova worked the rudder pedals hard. Almost no response now, since the rudder was badly damaged.
“We’ve got to keep control of it!” Spada yelled. “Nova, I’m not playing games here! It’s our lives on the line, stupid girl!”
“Okay! I’m not stupid!” barked Nova as she worked hard. “I’m trying, but I can’t get out us out of this spin! She’s in the atmosphere now and she’s stalling! We’re losing airspeed and going down too fast!” Nova yelled back.
Before they could regain control, the Cosmo Hound crashed into a wooded area 100 kilometers away from the station.
Nova saw trees coming up; then, her helmeted head hit the windshield and she heard and saw no more as she passed out as her body was tossed around like a doll as the ship crashed.
In space, Wildstar was in
another fight for his life; he was being chased by a Bolar fighter that seemed
faster then he remembered them to be. The Endeavor
herself was being fired upon now by the Bolar spacecraft carriers. On his
flagship, General Sigma laughed like a demon as he said, “We will soon have the
victory! Prepare landing boats for
“Yes, Lord,” said one of his officers on his bridge.
“And blow apart that Earth battleship!” Sigma roared.
The Luytens turned, locking her guns right on the Endeavor as she advanced. The Bolar fleet was getting control and Wildstar was losing patience. “OK…this is enough already, I’ve had it with these guys!” Derek roared.
Derek switched frequencies. “Endeavor; this is Captain Wildstar! Stop all engines and prepare the wave motion gun for firing! Target, the enemy fleet! This has gone far enough!” Wildstar yelled into his helmet.
“Yes, sir!” Lieutenant Ortiz answered with excitement. Now he could show the Captain what he could do at last. Ortiz took control and began making firing preparations. “I hope I make this shot right,” he said as the engine began to build up energy into the wave gun’s firing chamber. “15 seconds to Wave Motion Gun, open target scope! Prepare anti-flash measures!” he ordered as the bridge crew lowered their goggles. “All crew members brace for recoil shock”
“The wave motion engine is at maximum power, energy level 120 percent! Ready to fire on your command, Lieutenant!” Watanabe called out.
“Release safety locks, ten seconds to firing! All crew members make final preparations,” said Ortiz. “5.......4........3......2......1 FIRE!”
The wave gun fired, blasting a blue cataract of energy towards the Bolar fleet.
General Sigma screamed as the energy wave roared towards him. It blinded him, and then he felt his flesh being torn from his bones as he and his arrogant carrier dissolved into nothingness as he made a final, screaming report to Planet Bolar right before he and his ship dissolved into nothing at all.
Just as the Endeavor fired her wave motion gun, Wildstar was continuing to chase a stray Bolar fighter plane.
“Damn, stay still!” cried Derek. “I just need one more shot, there I got you on my screen, firing laser guns…” Derek fired, blowing the enemy fighter to bits at last. “Finally, I thought I’d never get him!”
As he turned to make a run for another Bolar fighter, he saw the glare from the Endeavor’s wave motion gun.
It was a clean hit; Ortiz and blown the flagship and its accompanying carriers right out of sea of stars at last.
Derek smiled grmily to himself. “Over at last! Excellent shooting, Ortiz; the few surviving fighters are scrambling out of here! Tigers, follow suit for another 100 megameters…make sure that they are blown out of the sky forever!” Wildstar relieved that it was almost over.
“I’m returning to base…Endeavor, open the hatch.”
Wildstar made a clean landing a moment later as he threw off his helmet. He ran for the bridge. As he entered the bridge, Deputy Captain Lee announced, “Captain resuming command!”
“Thank you, Lee. What’s the damage report?”
“Sir, the Endeavor was hit six times on the starboard side and we got took major damage to our main gun turrets! We also were hit on the third deck and the engineering deck…damage control crews are already at work putting out fires and repairing the damage,” Lieutenant Commander Lee informed him.
“Have we gotten any word on the rescue ships...? Did they make the warp to Pluto safe and sound?” Derek asked.
“Yes, sir they have; all civilians have arrived at the Pluto Station unharmed,” Lieutenant Commander Lee said.
“We’re almost done here,” said Miamoto.
“Good, good! Then our mission here is almost done. What about our fighter pilots?” asked Derek.
“Sir, Lt Pesci, has reported that the remaining enemy fighters have left the area and that all is clear. They are returning to the ship as we speak. All other fighter pilots are now on board, we have no casualties from our fighter pilots.” Miamato informed him.
“How about the scientists and our Space Marines....?” said Derek. “And we have injured on board ship. I take it that Nova and Doctor Spada are back in Sickbay by now tending to our wounded?”
“No, sir,” said Miamoto. “Uh…Springer is trying to command the other nurses and medics as best she can right now in Sickbay…”
“What?” said Derek as his face dropped. “Where’s the second Hound? They should be back by now!”
Lieutenant Commander Lee walked over to Wildstar and pulled him to the side. “Sir, I think there’s something you should know. I’m sorry to inform you that Lieutenant Commander Forrester and Doctor Spada are missing in action. The last communication we got from them was from Nova; it was a mayday. Their ship was hit by enemy fire and they went down somewhere on Planet Dunbar. Some of the Space Marines are in the progress of looking for their ship. The search should turn up something soon.”
Wildstar could barely hear all the words Lieutenant Commander Lee was saying to him, all he knew was that Nova was missing.
Derek felt as if he wanted to throw up.
And he was a very angry and upset man right now.
I should have kept her on the ship, he thought to himself. I should have kept her safe! I swore to love, honor, cherish, and protect her when we got married! Derek, sounds like you missed the protect part! Damn this!
Cosmo Hound Two
August 3, 2204
1954 Hours-Standard Earth Space-Time
A barely conscious Nova felt something or someone poking at her.
She opened her eyes to see Doctor Spada looking down at her. His arm was scratched up and bleeding. She tried to move but realized that something was holding her down. A part of the Hound’s dashboard was on top of her, pinning her down “What happened?” she asked.
“We were hit, and we managed to survive. How do you feel?”
“Numb,” moaned Nova. “Legs hurt, though. Are they broken? I’m having a hard time moving my toes.”
“Nova, your legs are pinned down under this hunk of metal. I’m gonna try to move it, so hang in there,” Spada warned her. “I’m not sure how bad it is, so if you feel any pain let me know. OK, here we go.”
Spada lifted the ruined control panel off of Nova. She found that it hurt, but it was not as bad as she feared it would be.
It looked like she had been run through a shredder alive, since most of her blue jumpsuit was torn off down to the skin. Her right leg was badly bruised, and she had a deep cut on her left thigh.
Thank goodness that it wasn’t at a main artery, Spada thought as he helped her up and moved her over to a clearing away from the ship. She could barely walk. Spada saw why when he looked down at her left boot. The boot was shredded, and her left smallest toe stuck away from her other exposed and cut toes at a crazy angle. It was black and blue and it looked broken and was swollen. Spada also noticed Nova had a toe ring on her second toe on that foot. It was silver, and it was a thin little thing; he had no idea why Nova would wear something so impractical and silly-looking. He was tempted to take it off her but then he left it. She moaned from a deep pain in her side and at her shoulder as Spada tore her boot off gently.
“Where does it hurt?” Spada asked.
“Here at my rib cage,” Nova said as she lifted a huge flap of cloth from what was left of her uniform. She gasped as Spada just tore the flap off her uniform, baring most of her left flank, even down to the breast, since even her bra was shredded. “It’s a sharp pain. I think some ribs are broken, and I can’t move my left shoulder. OUCH!”
“Dislocated,” he snapped as he examined Nova’s naked shoulder. He tore what remained of her left sleeve off her uniform, and ripped at her back, leaving her left side naked from her shoulder down to her upper abdomen. “Nova, you know I’m gonna have to set this before you move that arm much more.”
Nova nodded grimly. “Got something for me to bite on?”
“This happened when I was a little girl; my father gave me my belt from my shorts to bite on for the pain when he reset the shoulder,” moaned Nova. “I did the same thing with Derek once when I had to re-set his shoulder after a plane crash.”
Spada nodded and took off Nova’s gunbelt. He gave her the end and said, “Put this in your mouth.”
“Sorry I was so mean before,” whispered Nova as she put the end of her belt in her mouth.
“That was combat stress,” said Spada as he prepared to press down on Nova’s shoulder and pull her arm forward. “Bite down, NOW!”
Nova bit down on her own belt as a thunderbolt of pain ran through her body as Spada re-set her shoulder. A moment later, she was able to move her left arm again, but her side felt like it was on fire every time she sucked in a deep breath.
“Walking’s tough,” she said as she got up and hobbled a few more steps away from the Hound as she fell into some grass by a tree. “I don’t think I can go far. Is the transponder working?” Nova asked. “And how’s the rest of the crew?”
“Dead,” said Spada. “I checked them while you were out on me. Nothing we can do for those men, sadly, except have some medics collect their bodies.”
“Those poor men,” sobbed Nova. “Injured in the crash?”
“Yes. And Ensign Hamato shot himself because his belly was torn open. He was in horrible pain, and…”
“Stop telling me about it! It’s all my fault,” sobbed Nova. “I should have been able to put that thing down,” she said as she looked over at the still-smoking wreck of the Cosmo Hound.
“Stop blaming yourself!” snapped Spada. “As for the transponder…I don’t know, I wasn’t really thinking of that. I just wanted to make sure that you were all right. I’ll go see if I can find it, the ship is pretty much a wreck now. I’m surprised we walked away at all from that one.”
“Me too,” said Nova
“You’re one hell of a pilot, Lieutenant Commander,” said Spada as he patted Nova’s bare shoulder as she tried to shield her bare breasts from him with her arms as she began to shiver. It felt very cold to Nova all of a sudden. “I’ll be right back,” Spada said.
Nova lay there thinking of Derek. My piloting stank! Oh, Derek you must be worried sick about me! I only hope that you find us before it gets completely dark. Let’s hope that Spada finds that transponder so you can find us….
Spada returned with a blank look on his face. “Sorry, I didn’t see it among the wreck, but I’m sure they’ll find us in no time. So we’d better just settle in and wait for them to come get us!”
“Its getting dark, Doctor Spada!” gasped Nova. “You know they’ll stop searching once it gets completely dark and won’t start again until the morning. We’ll have to make a fire to keep what ever is out there away and maybe someone will see the light. NO! God!” cried Nova.
“It’s getting hard for me to breathe, where’s my space helmet? I could use the oxygen…” Nova looked around.
“I see it, stay put.” Spada told her. He ran for it and retrieved it from near the wreck.
He helped her put it on and she started to get some color back in her face. “You’d better go get some wood to build a fire…I’ll be fine here all by myself,” Nova said pointing towards the woods. Lieutenant Spada got up and started towards the woods, picking up as much wood as he could carry. When he returned he found Nova passed out.
Spada managed to get a fire going and find some medical supplies that he dug out of the wreck of the Hound. He gave Nova some pain medicine from a syringe to help her along, but her rib cage was beginning to turn ugly colors and he was afraid that she might now suffering from internal bleeding and might be bleeding out from the inside. He found a blanket to cover he with, because she was shivering pitiably in the night air in the torn remnants of her clothes. It looked like she had on nothing but some of the lower half of her uniform like a pair of tattered shorts that looked as if they had been worn by the Incredible Hulk, and one boot, on her right side. Spada had been forced to tear off more of her uniform to treat her wounds and to try to wash her dirty, muddy body clean. Nova was bleeding in so many places that Spada even thought she might need a transfusion if they got back to the ship. “Don’t worry, Nova… they’ll come for us…they’ll come soon…” he said as he held her and caressed her to try and comfort her. Spada also admitted to himself that his ex-girlfriend almost looked cute right now, even wounded.
“They’d better,” she moaned. “I’m in so much pain, Doctor…”
“I’ll see if I can find more Tarnax for that pain.”
“Find me some morphine,” whispered Nova. “I’m in so much pain…I…”
“I can’t give you an opiate now,” said Spada as he took her pulse. “Your heartbeat is too fast and your temperature is going weird on me. I’m really afraid you might have nicked a lung in there with those ribs…”
“If I begin to cough up red, foamy blood, it’ll be just a matter of time if we don’t get help,” moaned Nova. “If that happens, please shoot me in the back of the head with my Astro-Automatic….”
“What?” said Spada.
“If I begin to bleed inside from my pulmonary artery, I’ll drown in my own blood,” gasped Nova. “That’s a hell of a way to die and you know it. I’d rather be euthanized if that happens. Bury me here on this planet in a grave six feet deep by six feet long by three feet wide, and tell Derek I died loving him,” whispered Nova.
“You’re crazy,” he said as he stroke her hair.
“I don’t want to suffer,” Nova said as she fell asleep again.
Doctor Spada got up and walked back to the wreckage and then five minutes later he walked back to where Nova was. He sat beside her and watched her sleep. She is so beautiful, he thought as he played with her dirty blonde hair. Then, he lay down next to her and fell asleep while holding her, telling himself that he was just keeping her warm.
That’s all…I’m keeping her warm, he thought as he cuddled the sleeping form of Nova. It’s not her fault she is so beautiful…he thought as he tore open his uniform a bit more to cradle her against his bare chest. She needs my warmth right now. Spooning with her is okay right now…just keeping her warm…
He fell asleep and dreamed a disturbingly erotic dream about being with Nova on their wedding night…all she had on was a filmy nightgown, and…
…she wanted him terribly in his dream, returning his love for her at last. In his dream, she had divorced Wildstar, and had finally chosen him, and…
He slept with a disturbing smile on his face as he caressed Nova like a rubber doll as she slept, dreaming uneasily of wandering lost and alone, naked, in a dark forest as wolves howled all around her. She knew Derek was there somewhere and would rescue her, but where was he?
“Derek, my Derek,” moaned Nova as she shivered in her sleep in Spada’s arms…
So, Derek Wildstar came to Planet Dunbar just a few hours later. It was almost daybreak on the planet.
He was with Pesci and Delvechio as they found the burning Cosmo Hound.
“My God,” said Pesci. “Its nose is all smashed. I don’t see who could have lived through this...”
“Is Nova…in there?” Derek moaned.
“No, neither she or Spada is in here,” said Pesci. He found a shredded, bloody black woman’s EDF uniform boot a few meters away from the ship. “Look! This was Nova’s, I think.”
“At least she didn’t die in there,” said Derek as he tenderly held the boot. “But where is she? Where’s Spada?” said Derek.
“I found footprints,” said Pesci excitedly as he looked at the mud.
Footprints, leading away from the ship. A man’s set of boots, followed by the footprints of a woman, with one booted foot and one bare foot. Derek recognized the prints at once. “Nova’s!”
“How do you know those are hers?” said Pesci.
“She often wears a little sliver toe ring on her second toe, even with her boots on…” said Derek. “Something I gave her on our honeymoon. That footprint shows someone with a toe ring on! It’s a miracle that they walked away from this!”
Then he heard someone call out, “Over here, Wildstar! I found something!” It was Howard.
Wildstar ran towards the area and what he saw sent chills down his spine.
Nova and Doctor Spada were lying in each other’s arms.
Nova’s clothes were almost torn from her skin and Spada was lying there with a torn uniform as well. What the hell went on here? Derek asked himself.
He walked over to Nova while making a fist and he tenderly felt her face. “Nova, Nova, baby, wake up!”
Nova drowsily opened her eyes; she heard her name but she wasn’t sure who it was.
When she finally focused on the face…she couldn’t believe it! It was Derek! He found them! “Derek, oh Derek! I knew you would find me! I.....Ouch!”
“Nova, honey are you OK?” Nova slowly got up. Her chest and most of her stomach was bare as she groggily tore more of her uniform off, leaving her very close to naked. What Derek saw was a huge purple bruise that started above her navel and ran almost to her breasts. She was also cut all over and was filthy.
“God! We’d better get you back to the ship. You wake up the doctor and let’s get out of here!”
Derek picked Nova up in his arms and brought her back to the other Cosmo Hound that was waiting in the clearing. He grabbed a flight jacket from Delvechio and wrapped Nova up in it, making her as decent as possible as she shivered pitiably in his arms. “Derek, how did you find us?” Nova asked.
“Your transponder went off…lucky for both of you we were able to get here quick. I traced you by your footprints with that toe ring I gave you.”
“I don’t understand…the transponder went off…How?” Nova sounded confused.
“Yeah sweetie, just rest… now we’re heading back to the Endeavor.”
As they flew back with Derek holding her hand, Nova tried to make sense of things.
Transponders just don’t ‘go off’… Nova thought. Something about this is not right. But what?
Nova spent a miserable time in Sickbay after the crash.
The first day, she needed a minor operation. Spada, IQ-10, Springer, and another nurse named Kaelin had to put her under to work on one of her lungs; it was slightly cut, and a blood clot had to be removed. Her toe also had to be reset while she was under. Derek waited outside Sickbay anxiously until the light went green and a groggy Nova waved at him after coming around about an hour later.
Later, she was taped up to treat her broken ribs, and she was receiving hydration and nourishment through two IV’s. Blood went into her through a third IV, and medicines to treat an incipient infection and fever through a fourth IV. Nova was a very pale and sick woman lying there in a thin white gown for a while; Derek barely left her side as the Endeavor slowly made its way through baby-step warps away from the Dunbar System as the ship’s damage was carefully and slowly repaired while Nova alsp healed.
Two days later, Nova was finally able to eat solid food again; with help. Derek impressed the nurses by literally helping to feed his wife like a baby while he kept Doctor Spada away from her as much as possible.
A whispering campaign began as it slowly became clear that Nova emerged from the experience with a deep distrust of Doctor Spada. She let him touch her as little as possible, and insisted on Derek being there whenever there was a medical procedure that involved having her nightgown stripped off. When Derek couldn’t be there to be her watchdog, IQ-10 was. The small robot had inherited a protectiveness for Nova instilled in him by his creator IQ-9, and Nova was grateful for the protection.
Spada spoke to her a few times. Once, when Derek wasn’t there, Springer observed him whispering something in Nova’s ear. To Springer’s shock, the weak young woman had enough gumption to slap Doctor Spada across the face. Doctor Spada walked away cursing and Springer never knew what he had said, and Nova refused to talk about it.
After five days in Sickbay, Nova
was well enough to resume some of her duties aboard the Endeavor on the eighth. They had to reset her ribs so they could
heal better and then they had to tape her up tightly. But all the while she was
in there she kept brooding about what Derek had said to her about the
transponder… “Your transponder went off…lucky for both of you”
Nova didn’t sleep well at times due to her pain. As she lay brooding with Derek or IQ-10 watching over her, she couldn’t quite figure out why Spada told her that he couldn’t find it.
Also, Spada had whispered things to her. “Nova, I wish you were my wife,” he had whispered more than a few times. She had slapped him when he had teasingly whispered in her ear how cute she looked naked, and would she like to see him like that? She had been very insulted but hadn’t told Derek this. Nova had a good reason for keeping quiet. Derek made it very clear to her that he was a very jealous husband.
Nova was actually a little afraid for Doctor Spada’s safety if Derek found out. But, the whole thing bothered her to no end. She knew that the transponder would not go off on its own. Why would he lie to her and then turn it on later that night? Nova finally realized that she had to question him about that.
Nova finally screwed up the nerve to approach Spada about it the next day after being released from the Medical Unit. “Doc, may I come in?”
“Sure,” he said as he waved her in.
“You weren’t that friendly down in Sickbay,” said Spada. “I…”
“That’s water under the bridge.
Just be more careful what you say to me in the future, and remember, I am happily married!” Nova snapped. “Now,
this is very serious. I need to talk to you about something. When we crashed
“I couldn’t find it, it must have went off by itself,” said Spada.
“That’s kinda odd…” said Nova as she crossed her booted ankles and put her hands on her hips. “That is very odd, considering that they didn’t get the signal until 4 hours later the next morning after we crashed. So Doctor, what’s the real story? Stop trying to feed me a load of bull caca,” Nova said as she looked him square in the face.
“What are you getting at?” stammered Spada.
“I’m not sure! The timing doesn’t make any sense to me. Unless you deliberately told me a lie about not finding it. What happened? Did you finally think that I needed emergency help and you switched it on behind my back? That’s one thing you failed to realize; that particular General Cosmonautics Model B-7 Transponder has to be manually switched on. The automatic C-9 unit was destroyed in the crash when my dashboard was turned into junk!”
“You’re a woman. You have no idea what you are talking about,” said Spada.
“Malarkey!” barked Nova with venom in her eyes. “I told you I am not stupid! Did you ever have the full flight training course on the Cosmo Hound, or just post-medical school familiarization? You know, the quickie course? I am a fully certified pilot on that ship! I know that ship better than you do! I remembered that from flight training when they first introduced the Cosmo Hound and I backed myself up when I re-read a technical manual on the Hound that Derek loaned me. It wouldn’t go off on its own. It couldn’t! So Doctor, I’m asking you again…what were you thinking of doing?” Nova said without looking away. “I know you were playing some unsavory games with me on that planet, and even here in Sickbay! Now I’m learning how you operate, and I do not like the way it smells. Why don’t you just come clean and admit it?”
“I cant tell you anymore then I know Lieutenant Commander, it went off on its own.” Spada nervously try to look away.
“That’s the story and you’re sticking with it, I see? Okay, then. I see I can’t solve this between us? I’m taking another course.”
“What?” said Spada.
“You figure it out if you are so smart! I’m just a dumb girl,” snapped Nova. She got up and walked out the hatch. She now knew exactly where she was going. Nova marched herself straight up to the bridge and took the private elevator to the Captain’s quarters. She knocked and waited for Wildstar to answer.
“Captain; it’s me…Lieutenant Commander Forrester, I need to speak to you! Now!”
“Enter,” Wildstar replied. His face lit up when he saw her, as hers always did. “Nova! What’s up?”
“It’s official; this is an Article 17 report on a crewmember” Nova said.
“Who’s the criminal?” said another voice.
She then saw that he was not alone. Lieutenant Commander Lee was there also. But she had no problem with speaking to Derek about it in front of him…not at all.
“Permission to speak freely, sir…” asked Nova.
Derek nodded and was ready to motion Lieutenant Commander Lee out of his quarters.
Nova looked over and said, “No, Derek! He can stay! Derek, when did you receive the first signal from the transponder from our crashed Cosmo Hound?”
Lieutenant Commander Lee answered, “Nova, it was about eight hours after you were missing. Why?”
“I see,” said Nova. “As to why, it is because I know that particular model and it know that it couldn’t go off on its own, since you have to manually turn it on. The auto unit was damaged in the crash…I got no status from it at all on the dash because my whole board was torn to Hades. We crash-landed 5 hours before you found us. I asked Spada to look for it, so that, that way you would be able to find us. Right? Logical?”
“Yes, Nova,” said Derek. “You’ve been trained to do that. You saved our lives once on a mission during the first war with the Bolar Federation like that,” said Derek. “Go on.”
“Well, Derek, Lee….he came back 30 minutes later and he told me that he didn’t find it and couldn’t find it. Well, by dawn, your search party was there to find us due to the signal that just magically turned on. The transponder that came on all by itself while Doctor Spada was playing submarine races with me while I was hurt?”
“What?” said Derek. “Nova, that is SICK!”
“Why would he intentionally tell you that he couldn’t find it and then turn it on later that night?” Lieutenant Commander Lee questioned.
“Easy. Because he wasn’t
anticipating my broken ribs, after he knew about them, he must have thought I
was bleeding internally, which, as a matter of fact, I
was, thanks to that nick on my lung. Good thing it was a slow bleeder, or I
would have been buried on
It was starting to sink in to Wildstar as he thought, That’s why I found them in that position. He wanted me to find them that way. Or at least he wanted someone to find them and for word to get back to me. Then, I’d divorce Nova for adultery, and he could pursue her like he wanted to…even when she was hurt! That is one sick piece of…
Wildstar’s anger was starting to show on his face and Nova saw it. “Derek, calm down! Your losing your temper will only make matters worse. Please let me handle this legally!”
“I don’t know, Nova!” said Derek. “I know you are not like that! You were calling my name even in your dreams. Lee, this is my wife’s honor that I have to protect. I don’t appreciate someone trying to take advantage of her in that way,” said Derek as he put his hands on Nova’s shoulders.
“Evan, how do you want to handle this?” Nova asked Lee. “I think that it would be too personal for the Captain to hand down the judgment himself. Maybe there should be a full court-martial for Spada, let alone a report to the Medical Ethics Board that should cost him his license!”
“Nova, I can handle this!” Wildstar started to argue back. “I’ll…”
“No, sir! She is right,” said Lee. “And she is a very bright woman, too. Listen…if you get involved, then it will get messy. The EDF Command will question everything and try to make it look like you’re just a jealous husband wanting to destroy someone’s career because he looked at his wife funny or something. So let me handle this. I’ll get to the bottom of this toilet pile in a hurry.”
Wildstar nodded at the notion and calmed down. He knew they were both right. Nova handled it in the right manner. EDF would have a field day with this if he got involved and made it personal under the delicate circumstances.
“All right then, you two deal with this,” snapped Derek. “You have my full permission. Because If I were to get involved, I’d probably break his damned pencil neck!”
“Thank you, Derek,” Nova said softly to him as she stroked his cheek. “I’ll speak with you further on this matter later, Lieutenant Commander Lee.”
Lee nodded and Nova slipped out the hatch.
“Well?” said Wildstar.
“I’ll start a board of inquiry on this tomorrow,” said Lee. “We’ll figure this out.”
At that, Derek nodded.
TO BE CONTINUED…