Part Four

With a dull eTHUNK!f to the helmet, Chief Engineer Mashita whacked the enemy tank Captain in the head with his cosmo spanner. The lifeless lump of the Gamilas soldier slipped back into the tank, a trickle of blood oozing from his ears. Kodai looked ethankfullyf at his Chief engineer, as relief filled his face, if only for a moment.

Mashita tossed his side arm to his Captain, and Mamoru, with one swift motion, caught it and pointed it downward into the tank. Kodai squeezed off several rounds, then positioned himself into the hatch.

Kodai looked at Mashita and his spanner; "You keep that thing loaded and watch the forward hatch." The Chief engineer gripped his spanner and stood over the drivers hatch. Mamoru dropped into the tank and began to scream wildly. "YeeeaaaaaaaaAAA Haaaaa AAAAA!"

Without notice, the driver hatch popped open, as the tank driver came face to face with the Chief engineer.


Kodai revealed himself through the top hatch and saw Mashita standing over the limp soldier. "When we get back, Ifm going to recommend that Cosmo spanners are standard issue side arms!"

Mashita smiled widely and raised his spanner in victory. Suddenly, his tunic exploded as laser fire tore through his chest.

"MASHITA KUN!!!" Cried Mamoru.

The small band of survivors turned to see a squad of Gamilas troops charging the tank from behind. Mamoru raised Mashitas laser pistol and began to fire, striking the charging troops one by one, protected by the tank, Kodai fired relentlessly at the enemy. Hurt, anger, pain ... REVENGE ... Swelling over him ...

The rest of the crew presented themselves and began to fire at the charging enemy troops. The firefight didnft last long, and with the crew reduced by one more, Kodaifs optimistic hope was chipped at.

Mamoru continued to fire at the lifeless bodies as his crew looked on in concern. The hope in their faces began to drain too, seeing them, as Captain, Mamoru Kodai couldn't let his crew down any further.

Starring at Mashita, becoming frozen right before his eyes, Mamoru pondered on just- how they were going to get off the planet.

"Shinku!" The Captain commanded.

"Yes sir!" Replied Yukikazefs pilot officer.

Mamoru scanned the horizon. "Get everyone to those dead soldiers and strip them of their uniforms ... "

Shinku looked at Kodai with an inquisitive face.

"Hurry! Before they freeze over!" Continued Mamoru.

Shinku snapped out of his stare at the Captain and waved the rest of the crew to follow. The survivors raced to the dead and began to remove their uniforms. Kanzaki directed himself to Shinku; "These guys are blue ... I mean ... Blue ... If we put on their uniforms, how does the Captain intend to make us blue?"

Shinku shook his head side to side; "I have no idea ... "

The crew continued to remove clothing from their enemies. Kodai ducted back into the tank and looked over the controls. Moments later the crew began to mount the tank, and saw up close the frozen, lifeless body of their Chief engineer.

"Engineer Mashita has been a longtime family friend ... My Father will be saddened by this ...." Kanzaki touched the Chief engineerfs quickly frozen face. "Youfll be missed my old friend." Kanzaki looked up at his Captain. "Whatfs youfre plan, sir?"

"Torpedo Officer Hamizaki, youfre my new tank driver. Fit into one of those Gamilon tops and figure out how to run this thing."

"Aye aye sir." Replied Hamizaki.

Kodai eyed his dwindling crew. "The rest of you, try and fit into those things ... Kanzaki, therefs no time to bury the Chief Engineer, but he canft come with us."

Kanzaki nodded in understanding, and gently pulled the lifeless body off of the tank.

"After you change, get into the tank, this thing is bigger than a warehouse in here."

The crew converted themselves into Gamilas troops the best they could, and piled into the tank. Despite itfs roominess, the Yukikaze crew found themselves rather cramped.

Kodai inquired;"Hamizaki! Can you find anything to indicate where this hank came from?"

eSir ... I got buttons and levers all over the place ... But I think there is an indicator that is making a reference to our position ... I see a map location that could be the Gamilas base."

"Then letfs do it ..." Mamoru sighed. "I donft see any other choice."

The tank began to rumble and jerk forward, throwing the crew backwards into the interior. Shouts and yelps echoed through out the cramped steel enclosure.

"Sorry!" Shouted Hamizaki.

The tank rumbled again and began to follow the panel indicator.

Through the icy terrain, the tank stopped and lurched and crawled itfs way over the horizon, with the crew painfully enduring their ride.

The shouts of; "Sorry!" Could be heard repeatedly floating in the frigid wind.

" ... "

" ... "



- End Part Four

- Edward Hawkins - 1987