A joint tale by Yuki Wildstar and Frederick P. Kopetz
“I’ll keep trying to contact them.” Princess said. “This is EDF Condor, who are you and what are your intentions?” Princess continued to call into their communications, “If you do not reply we will see this as a hostile act and we will open fire! I repeat we will open fire!”
“Jason prepare to fire on my command.” Mark ordered his second in command.
“Right!” Jason replied as he stood over the firing button waiting for his command.
“Princess anything on our unwanted guest?”
“Okay Jason prepare to fire, 5, 4, 3, 2 . . .”
“WAIT! There’s something coming in.” Princess yelled. “Putting on intercom now.”
“Looks like the kids aren’t sure what to do. Condor this is Commander Anthony Pesci. We are here to assist in the operation.”
“What! But I was told that we would be handling this mission alone!” Mark screamed into the microphone. “And why are you flying an unauthorized plane??”
“Sorry about that kiddo, but Admiral Wildstar thought it would be a good idea to see how you would handle it. We tried to reply right away but these old ships have different radio readings. Anyway squirt, we are only back up nothing more. You’re still in command small fry so relax.”
He could feel his anger grow. How dare this man treat me like I am a child! “Look, Commander I have this cover. I don’t need some over the hill run down pilot to assist in anything. It’s a simple mission, get info and return to base. What’s so hard about that. And I would appreciate if you call ME! Commander or Eagle 1, Hell call me Mark! Not kiddo, not squirt and defiantly not small fry. I am not a child!”
Pesh couldn’t help but laugh at the feisty young man. This is going to be fun. “Alright Commander or is it Eagle one? Hmm, what would you like for me to address you as?”
“Mark is fine, now can we hurry up and do this I have a date back on Earth surfing the waves.”
“Oooo, we have a surfer dude amongst us.” They heard someone else on the line.
“Okay T, enough, they have a mission to complete. We will hang back just in case they screw up. Okay Skippy, do your thing. Commander Pesci out.”
“I wish they would stop treating me like a child! Damn them!” Mark slammed his fist onto the consol. “Tiny let’s get going and try losing these morons. That’s all I need is a bunch of old farts watching over me.”
“You got it Mark.” Tiny grin as he took the Phoenix into a warp leaving Pesci and the others scratching their heads at how fast the ship wrap.
“Damn that kid!”
The Phoenix flew at high speed towards the nebula. Arriving at WAX-112 the Phoenix searched its surface for enemy forces. “Looks like its pretty quiet, Mark.” Tiny announced.
“It’s always quiet before the storm. Don’t let your guard down just yet. Princess, anything on radar?”
“Nothing yet Mark.” She replied.
“I don’t like this at all.” Jason said feeling itchy to blow something up.
“Relax Jason, you’ll see enough action soon. Just keep your eyes peeled.”
“Mark there something on radar. Coordinates 09 223 87.”
“Let’s go take a look-see. Tiny land her about 100 meters from the spot.”
“Right!” Tiny called out.
Tiny landed the Phoenix with expert handling. Mark stood up and ordered, “Tiny you stay with the ship. Princess, Jason, Keyop come with me.”
“Why do I stay behind?” Tiny asked feeling depressed.
“We need you here. Trust me Tiny, your best at what you do.”
“And that would be eating those space burgers” Jason joked.
“Come on, am I always going to sit here and wait?”
“Tiny, you’re the most important part of this mission. We need you here on ship just in case we need to get out of here in a hurry. You will get your turn one day.” Mark said as he patted him on the shoulder.
“Well at least 7zark7 stocked the ship with my space burgers. That will keep me sane from worrying about you four.”
“At a boy Tiny, always thinking of your stomach.” Jason joked again.
“Let’s go.” Mark ordered.
They descend to the ground and ran towards the faint signal. Slowly and carefully they made their way towards the beep. As they grew closer the stronger the beep became. The signal brought them to a cave big enough to fit a ship. Looking into the dark cavern Mark could feel his heart pound faster. This was their first mission as a group and he was in charge. His mind ran faster thinking of his comrades. If he made a mistake his friends would be hurt or worst killed. All he had was his wits and training. Their lives were in his hands as he made his decision. He waved to the others and signaled them to split up. He signaled to Princess and Keyop to go left while he and Jason went right. Softy he spoke into his communication wrist band, “be careful.” They all nodded and made their way into the cavern and down separate corridors.
“So what are we looking for?” Jason asked in a low tone.
“Anything that looks suspicious. Keep your eye pealed to anything out of the ordinary.”
“Everything here is out of the ordinary, Skippy.”
“Oh you have jokes now.” He said annoyed at his second in command.
“You have to admit it was funny.”
“Just shut up and get to work!” he snapped under his breath. “Stick to the mission.”
They walked down a long hallway and came up into a large opening. Their eyes opened to see a large hanger holding dozen of ships. “Jack pot!” Jason smiled.
Mark couldn’t believe it on his first mission he actually found the enemy base. “We have to report this back to the Argo. But first we should drop them a little present. What do you say Jay, you think that you have enough?”
“We could use Princess and her expertise on this large amount of ships.”
“Right, Princess do you read me?”
Her voice was heard in his head phones on his bird like helmet. “I hear you loud and clear Mark.”
“Where are you?”
“About 100 kilometers to your left.” He heard her say then looked to his left to see her and Keyop waving to them from another part of the ships hanger.
“How many of your yo-yo bombs do you have?”
“How many do you need, Mark?”
“Um, enough to set this place back a few years of renovation.”
“I think I can cook something up.” She smiled into the communication wrist band. She took flight up to one of the ships and began to set up her explosives. Jason follow suit in the lower parts of the ships. Keyop stood watching guard as they placed the bombs on the all the ships hauls. Mark walked around looking for signs of the enemy. He stayed in the shadows as his team mates did their job. From the distance he heard voices and followed closer to see who it was. From the corner of the wall he watched as two men in uniform argued about something. He stepped closer to listen in.
“I don’t care what you say, I not going to be the one to tell him that we can’t take off because of some stupid ship outside. Just get some other men to go out there and take it out.”
“We were told specifically to go see what it is.” The other said.
“And what will happen if that other ship is out there? Don’t tell me that you didn’t see it. You were there too.”
“I saw it and it was only one ship. Now let’s get going before we called back. I just want to get this over with and get some rest.” They walked towards the hanger and Mark called into his communication wrist band.
“Prince, Jason, how’s your status?”
“Almost done, why?”
“Because you are about to get company. Hurry up and get out of there.” He ordered.
“Wrapping it up now,” Princess said.
“Placing the last one in,” Jason voice replied.
“Heading back, meet me in the hallway on the far east corner. And stay out of sight.” Mark said. He headed back to the hall and froze to see shadows coming his way. I hope that this is not unwanted company he thought.
To be continued . . . . . .