by N.A Miller
A Sequel to the Final Yamato Movie from Voyager Entertainment (7 part Mini Series)
|Yamato: The New Adventures... (Sequel to "Final" Yamato in Episode type format)|
By Erwin Stevens and NA Miller.
EPS 3-The New Alliance
The infinity that is space, a world filled with serene light, uncountable stars in the deep darkness, and dying and forming stars, abounds with many life forms. Yes, space is alive. The entire universe, our galaxy, and even the many solar systems are filled with many such life forms. They are teeming with people who aspire, love, and fight in wars. Others are peace-loving. Many forms of life are in the universe, and they mostly live in peace, scattered throughout its cold vastness. One such place is the speck that makes up the Earth. It is a place where wars have come and gone, leaving their mark. It is in a standard class M solar system, known as "SOL," where eleven planets orbit the single life-giving star. Living on the third one, the insignificant body called Earth, is an advanced civilization known as humankind.
The star Cruiser U.S.S Magellanic Clouds, a ship of the future now slowly enters the SOL solar system, in which her and her crew come to Earth to warn the impending battle and war that will be starting against the Cybertron Empire. As the ship approaches Pluto, she does so at low speed as the crew works to repair the ship. They attempt to make a few repairs before they reach the middle of the system and make contact with Earth via the outer stations established in this system.
At Pluto base, Karrie Johnson works at his console and has pushed the alarm button and stares at the steady blip that now is being recorded on his screen. He grimaced as he glanced at the communications station where Art Dekins sits working at his console, monitoring the many transmissions that echo in his headset.
“Art, you better call the XO and Captain to the bridge.” He shouted, as the Communications Officer turned and nodded. He hit a button on his console.
“Captain and XO to the bridge.” He said hurriedly.
“XO on-line," A voice said, "What's up, Deeks?"
On the screen the XO of the station Jake Farrell had appeared there.
Johnson hit the button of on his console.
"Unidentified ship passing Pluto Base, Sir," reported the operator, "No identification, and it is refusing to answer hails. Approximately ten space knots. "
"On my way," Commander Farrell said, clicking a button on his console. He got up and ran into the main control room through the doors a few minutes later.
“Status report! " Farrell exclaimed as he appeared through the doors on a run.
"No change, sir," replied the operator.
"Are there any ships scheduled to enter or exit the system today?"
The operator shook his head.
"Negative sir, not on the schedule I have." Johnson replied as he met the puzzled glance of the first officer.
"What about the assigned entry sector for Earth transports?" Commander Farrell asked.
"They are not on any flight path, Commander." The operator replied, "Ship confirmed on intercept course toward Saturn."
"What's going on, Farrell?" A voice said, and Jake looked up to meet the intense gaze of Captain Hank Russo, the Commanding Officer of the Pluto Base, who appeared on the monitor screen next to him.
"There is an unidentified ship coming into the solar system, skipper," Jake replied.
“Have they responded to hail?”
"No sir, there could be a couple dozen reasons why not, however." Jake suggested
"Deploy the fighters." The Captain said, "Mission to identify and find out their intentions. Shoot to destroy if attacked."
Commander Farrell hit the alarm, and from their barracks, the pilots who are stationed here on this frozen wasteland, ran to the launch tubes and their fighters. Astro-fighters from the station of Pluto roared from the airlock to move upward into the star-filled sky.
In the cockpit of the first set of planes, the pilot, named Deek Baker, intently checked his controls as he climbed into space.
"Squadron one to base... Squadron Alpha is now airborne. " He said it into the headset in his helmet, as twenty-four Astro-fighters roared up into the star-filled sky.
Moments later, Matthew 'Buzz' Alron, Deek's second in command, roared up into space also, paralleling along with Deek’s plane.
"Squadron two to base... Squadron Beta is now airborne. " Buzz said into his microphone.
"Copy, you are both cleared to identify and engage." Farrell's voice echoed over the speakers in their cockpits.
Back in the control room on Pluto, the commander of the station and his first officer watched the status display screen showing the fighters as blue arrows that streaked out toward the red circle on the screen. The blue arrows got closer to the circle, marked now with the symbol UNK01 and closed in on the intrusion into their space.
"You should be on top of it." Commander Farrell said into the headset. Deek and Matthew, in their planes, checked their controls and screens.
"Affirmative, we are approximately six megameters away.
“I have a visual Deek.” Matthew said as he peered at the massive ship that moved slowly along the stars on its course for Saturn.
"We're on station." He said, "Everyone line up and let's identify her."
"Damn, it's a big ship." Buzz commented, "It's the size of an EDC frigate."
"Good looking lines though." Another voice chimed in.
"Pipe down, fellas, and fall in." Baker ordered as they streaked toward the unsuspecting Magellanic Clouds. "Deek, take left. I'll take right. Let's identify her."
On Earth, the alarm was put out in the war room.
"General! Pluto Base reports that an unknown ship is inbound into the solar system. Speed ten space knots. "
The Commander of the Earth Defense Force looked up in alarm at the announcement, as did the aides and people working. There was hustle of activity in the control room.
"Pluto Base deployed fighters." The operator said, and the commander nodded. Also, sir, Neptune and Uranus bases have also been alerted. They're ready for them. "
The commander sat in his chair, and he examined the data.
"Deploy Space Destroyers Fuyuzuki, also the Marauder from Saturn Station to the Pluto Area." He ordered.
Unaware, the Clouds crew and the ship still approached Pluto, their ship coming within close proximity of it. The small planet loomed on the view screen as the ship slowly approached.
"Felonious, give me an approach scan please." Ihsss murmured.
She stared at the screen, curious about the bluish purple planet ahead of them as the ship headed toward the planet's outer fringe. A chunk of planetary material appeared on the screen, making up the moon that orbits the planet.
"Scanning planet," Felonious said, "The first planet here is number nine in this system of eleven planets. The diameter is two thousand three hundred and twenty kilas, approximately one thousand four hundred and forty miles as measured by Earth-people. Orbit occurs once every two hundred and forty-nine years. A solar day is six points and four hours. There is one visible moon. Its diameter is one thousand two hundred and seventy kilometers, or seven hundred and ninety miles. planetary tilt, seventeen degas, in an elliptical orbit."
He paused to take in a breath as data streamed on the screen next to him.
Surface composition making up the planet, is nitrogen, with a minor methane count and traces of carbon monoxide. The hint of pink suggests that it has a reflecting layer. Bright areas along the equator suggest solid nitrogen ice, methane, ethane, and carbon monoxide. Darker areas suggest a primordial organic material as a result of photo chemical reactions to cosmic rays. "
Felonious hit a button to scroll through the information on his monitor. "The surface temperature ranges from -228 to -230 degrees Celsius, or -378 to 396 degrees. It ranges from its thirty-to fifty-degas orbit around the sun. Internal Composition is unknown. The planetary density is unknown. And the tilt lies between one point eight and two point one gm/cm cubed, which indicates the planet is probably fifty to seventy percent rock, with the remainder being water and other ices. "
"Gee, a regular garden spot." Kwai commented, and there was laughter on the bridge.
"Very well," Ihsss said, "Life signs?"
"Yes Captain, but I think it's attributed to the basic organic material that lives on the planet." Felonious replied, "But there are also strong life signs on the planet otherwise and is as you suspected, a base there.
"Captain, we've been spotted, fighters coming in." Reported the navigator who stared at the view screen. "It looks like a couple of groups of fighters.”
Ihsss turned her scaly head and grimaced.
"All the repair crews come back inside!" Ihsss ordered, and Hi'Mthss turned to her console, hitting a button that sent the recall signal to the space-suited figures outside the ship. They all headed to the airlock.
A green light appeared on her screen when everyone entered the airlocks.
“All crews are back inside Captain!”
“Raise the shields Kwai.”
"Shields up!" Kwai reported, as she nodded to Felonious.
A ripple of tension rounded the bridge.
"Is the radio still out?" asked the first officer, and Hi'Mthss turned to shake her head.
"The antennas are done." Hi said, "Repairs are completed on the radio. We should be able to transmit. "
"It might be interference from the planet." Kwai suggested, "We are pretty close to Felonious."
"This is the S.S. Magellanic Clouds, to unidentified fighters... Hold your fire... We are a peaceful vessel, originating out of the Parker Star Cluster. " Ihsss said, "We are on a peaceful mission and request permission to enter the solar system. Please respond. "
"Any response..." Ihsss asked, and Hi'Mthss shook her head.
“There is a lot of static, Captain. I'll try to compensate and rotate the channels."
On Pluto, the station operator turned his head when he heard Ihsss T'Larra's hissing voice. He stared at the console for a long moment before he hit a few buttons to clear the static. The message was very badly garbled.
This is the Magellanic Clouds...", Star... uiser out of... r 5, we are on a non-tile mission... your fire. "We request permission to... use... your... lar sy... em."
"Sir, I'm picking up an, uh, message." The operator announced, switching it over to audio, "It's garbled, but it seems to be from that ship out there."
"Adjust frequency." The commander ordered, and the operator complied.
"Magellanic Clouds, adjust cycle three hundred." The operator replied, "The message is garbled. Adjust cycle number three hundred! Please respond! "
Back in the clouds Hi'Mthss adjusted the frequency and the channel cleared.
“This is the Magellanic Clouds, Communications Officer 'Mthsss T'Larra." She said hurriedly, "Please sssstand by for Captain Ihsss T'Larra, my Commanding Officerrrr."
Sitting on the bridge, Hi'Mthss half turned and nodded. "I think I have them now, mother, err Captain."
Sitting in a chair in the Pluto control room, at the console near the radio operator, both men heard the young Thyrnn's voice, and they glanced at each other.
"Whoa, a female communications officer. What do you make of that?" Commander Ferrell said with surprise. He glanced at the smiling operator at the radio console.
"She sounds fairly sexy." The operator commented, and the two men laughed.
Little did they know of Hi'Mthsss and her spitting image of her reptilian mother. She would probably have been offended by the comment if she had heard it.
"I am not sure I have heard of the Parker Star Cluster, unless it is beyond where any Earth ship has gone." The XO replied uncertainly.
Attention S.S. Magellanic Clouds, This is the Earth Defense Command of Pluto station. Hank Russo. What is your destination and purpose in this star system?" The Base Commander asked.
“Set for audio only..." Ihsss cautioned, "They probably don't know about our respective cultures yet."
“This is Commander Ihsss T'Larra of the Magellanic Clouds.” Ihsss said, “We are here on a peaceful mission originating from the Parker Star Cluster, sector coordinates 90,125. We formally request entry into your system and request landing on the third planet, known as Earth." Ihsss said into the headset.
On the Pluto base, the Captain and XO glanced at each other.
"Well, what you ask is difficult." He said, "What is your reason and purpose for your request?"
"Sssirr, we have news that is gravely important to the Earth and must be relayed to your government at once. There is a war machine massing at Aquarius, and it is soon to be on its way to destroy the Earth. We managed to gather a lot of recon and intelligence on this war machine, in a peaceful gesture between our two governments. We would like to directly relay it to the Earth in person. Just to report that we took a beating to gather the data and are in need of repair before we are to return to Aquarius, our mission to destroy the planet if possible.”
A low gasp echoed through the war room as the others and the crew present gathered around the radio center. A low murmur rippled through the command center.
The Captain waved his hand for silence.
"Keep it down." The commanding officer grumbled, as the radio operator adjusted the controls.
Both the commanding officer and second in command glanced at each other. The operator half turned, a look of astonishment on his face.
Captain Russo glanced over at the XO, who shrugged.
"Notify Earth Defense Headquarters at once. Notify all available ships. "
"Stand by Clouds, we are getting instructions on this point and will relay it."
“Communications go.” Commander Farrell ordered, pointing at the communications officer who was waiting.
"Aye, Sir." The young operator replied, turning to his console.
On another channel, the communications officer spoke quickly, "This is Pluto Station to Earth Headquarters. Come in please."
A loud blast of static echoed through his headset.
The communications officer glanced at the Commander and the XO.
"Sir, there is a surge of energy blocking our transmission!"
“Locate!” The Captain ordered sharply.
"It is bearing three, one, and five, at ten mega meters from the station." The operator said
Out in space, Baker's eyes widened as he heard Commander Farrell's voice on the horn, with the Communications Officer. They were not too far from base, and it was not what bothered Baker. The others started jabbering over the radio about what they had just overheard.
"Hey guys, keep it down." Baker said, "Something is happening, something about an armada heading our way. There is also an energy surge ten mega-meters from the base! "
"Farrell to all fighter groups," he said, "Alert status one! There is a surge at three, one, and five at ten mega-meters from the station. You are cleared to engage hostile craft, but make sure Magellanic Clouds make it to the Neptune Station where their fighters will take over. The Fuyuzuki is inbound with Battle Group One, close behind."
“Copy...” Baker said as he switched channels, “Baker to the group: our orders are to escort this craft to the line and Neptune Base will take over from there. Stay alert, we detected a hostile craft on motion detectors approaching the station."
"What's this all about, skip?" Another voice asked, "I've got a bad feeling about this."
"I don't know." Baker replied, "Pipe down, and fall in."
A moment later, all hell broke loose as an energy bolt appeared and hit the cruiser, with an explosion to follow. The fighters scattered as another bolt hit the ship again.
"What the hell was that?" Baker asked, "Report by the numbers: did anyone fire?"
"Negative." A chorus of voices echoed over the channel.
"Does anyone see it?" Baker asked, "Shit, we're sitting ducks."
"That's for sure. There is simply no data."
A bolt appeared from the black star-filled background, striking the clouds again.
"It is from a dead astern skipper. The sensors indicate the origin of the bolt." Matthews said over the radio, and he pulled back on his stick, turning his plane toward the point of origin.
Turning toward the blast origin, the fighters took up the fight as multiple explosions rocked the clouds.
"What's happening?" Commander Farrell shouted through Baker's orders.
"Commander, we've lost the clouds." The operator reported
"We have an intruder, bearing mark three, one, five, distance, now seven mega-meters." Baker radioed, "We are attacking the target now. And we need some help out here.
"The Fuyuzuki is inbound at top speed." An operator reported, "Also the Marauder."
"Take on that ship, but send two ships to follow the clouds, and assist as needed."
"Excuse me, sir?" Their lead pilot asked, "Could you repeat that?"
"You heard me," Farrell replied.
“Let's go, boys. You heard the man. " Baker ordered, and the two groups of fighters raced after the attacker as two planes broke off to follow the spinning, crippled Star Cruiser.
On the bridge of the clouds, Ihsss and all hands were thrown from their seats. Screams echoed across the bridge as the lights went out, making it pitch black. Down in the sickbay, a power surge lanced out and surrounded the body of Avatar. Slowly, his eyes opened, and his eyelids blinked as the stasis field was shorted out. His eyes focused on the dim light, and his ears started to work as his senses started to return. The captain lay there, and he found he could not move. He was very cold and stiff.
Outside the chamber, he heard the dull screams and shouts of the crew echoing the chamber outside as they fought the fire and were preoccupied with damage control. He tried to move, and as he closed his eyes, he managed to wiggle a finger. Five minutes later, Avatar managed to turn his head slightly. Chaos raged outside the chamber, as many wounded were being mended by the ship's doctor. All he could see was blackness and not the blue suspension beam on the interior of the cabinet.
On the bridge, fire and smoke covered the bridge as damage control parties fought the fire that started by shorting systems. Several people fell, and Hi'Mthsss dodged to pull a shipmate from the jaws of the explosion that shook the bridge.
"We are out of control!" Veloxa said, as she fought for control of her console.
Outside, sparks from the thrusters appeared as blue flames from the hull, and the ship continued to spin faster.
"Veloxa get us under control." Ihsss screamed, "Right now. Compensate by using emergency power to the thrusters. "
"We're going to die!" A voice quailed on the half-illuminated bridge.
Veloxa struck the console, and the thrusters succeeded in countering the spin. The ship, however, is a projectile and was just out of control, blind as a bat away from Pluto, as it raced toward the larger planets in the middle of this solar system.
"Damage report..." Ihsss shouted.
"There is damage in sections fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, decks five through eight." Felonious reported, "Decompression and emergency bulkheads in place."
"Bridge to Engineering..."! Ihsss shouted, "We need power, emergency power. Do you copy?"
“Captain, we are approaching the next planet." Felonious reported as the ship, powerless and helpless, sailed toward Neptune's greenish ball.
“Veloxa...” Ihsss asked, "Can we alter the trajectory?"
"I'm trying, Captain." Veloxa replied desperately, "No power or emergency power available."
"We've been hit yet again, Captain!"A voice quavered, and Ihsss silenced the speaker with a look as the ship lurched again. The shudder of an internal explosion rocked the ship.
"We have minor damage in engineering," Felonious reported.
"The engines are out of control, Captain!" Veloxa said, "We are at maximum impulse and energy output, which will create a warp threshold in five minutes." Our main engines are out. "
"Felonious?" As a data stream flooded his screen, he cast a glance at her.
"It is dangerous if we allow ourselves to warp." He announced, "If we do, there is a good chance that we could end up materializing inside a moon, a star, or any major space body.“
Ihsss, turning her head, she stared at the screen in helplessness. She turned her attention to pushing the call button on the intercom, trying to raise the engine room.
"Come to a halt, helm!" Ihsss exclaimed, "Neutralize engines."
"We have a negative response on controls," Veloxa announced.
"Use the bloody override then." Ihsss snapped, and Thyrac hit the button.
"No response on emergency systems." The navigator barked, "We're a bullet, Captain."
"Voloxa, what's happening down there?" Ihsss shouted over the noise, hitting the buttons to signal the engineering deck.
"Sir, we've reached warp threshold." Felonious reported.
Outside, the ship faded from view, leaving the fighters behind.
"Sir, the ship just warped out of our sector." Baker reported, "Maintain position?"
"Negative." The XO replied over the speakers, "Link up with the Fuyuzuki in your sector, and search for wreckage of the attacking vessel. I want to make sure that no other ships have entered our solar system.”
"Yes sir," Baker replied, and he closed the channel.
"Good luck and God speed, Clouds." Baker murmured as he and the two squadrons took up a search pattern.
Meanwhile, on the Saturn station, an operator named Sharon Patel sat at her console. She took up the transfer of command from Pluto and the data peered at the data that streamed across the screen before her. Commodore Russell Bates, the commanding officer of Saturn base, stood on the floor, gazing at the screen and the information that scrolled across it.
“Status update...” He ordered
"Saturn fighters deployed, and the Marauder has turned around, heading back at top speed to Saturn Airspace." An operator reported, "ETA is approximately twenty minutes, sir. "Space Battleship Nagasaki and Taro have left Saturn Station with Battle Group One and are making thirty space knots to Pluto."
"Very well, any word from the Clouds?"
"Negative, the fighters picked it up as it materialized from warp and it is seventeen mega meters from Saturn and the station, sir."
"What do you make of this, Skipper?" A voice asked, and Russell turned to meet the concerned look of his second in command, Dasuke Sullivan.
"Whatever attacked the SS. Magellanic Clouds is out there still, somewhere." Commander Sullivan told him, "The Captain of Battle Group One is pretty seasoned, so he will relay anything they find."
"I don't like this, sir. It is too reminiscent of the Black Nebula when they came through and hit every base, killing everyone on each station. You think it's them again?”
"I don't think so this time." He replied, "It might be the beginning of another war against Earth by the armada that the Clouds reported and encountered."
Both men watched the screen, and a looming feeling passed over them.
On the bridge of the Clouds, Ihsss felt a lurch forward, throwing everyone onto the floor as the ship appeared to warp. The sounds of loud, wrenching metal could be heard as the ship abruptly came into existence from its warp.
"Warp completed." Felonious reported, "We are still maintaining twenty-plus space knots. We are approaching the sixth planet in this system. "
Felonious clicked his console. "If we don't slow down, we'll crash into planet six's thick atmosphere in less than twenty minutes."
"Planet analysis...?" Ihsss said quickly, "Can we make an emergency landing if we get control?"
"Negative." Felonious replied, "The planet here is a gas giant. Its composition appears to be made mostly of molecular hydrogen, approximately eighty-eight percent, and helium, at eleven percent, with traces of water, methane, ammonia, and rockier elements. The temperature of the rocky core in the center is twelve thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Wind pressure radiates at a ten-times stronger rate than winds on Class M planets, such as Earth. We can withstand the outer edge of the atmosphere, but the gravity and pressure will destroy us if we get too far into the gas atmosphere. Collision is approximately twenty-one minutes at present speed. "
"Voloxa..." Ihsss shouted, turning to the intercom and trying to raise the engineering section. "What's going on down there?"
"Why does the planet have rings like that?" Kwai asked, "Is that ice, Felonious, or is it rocky matter?"
“Ring composition is primarily composed of small water and ice particles, some of which may be coated with rocky particles. These ring particles range in size from microscopic dust and pea pebbles to boulders of several meters, perhaps yards, and probably include some larger objects that are as large as a kilometer or mile in diameter. The rings of planet number six are two hundred and fifty thousand kilometers, or one hundred fifty-five thousand miles wide, but only a few meters or yards thick in some places. As a result, their total mass may actually amount to no more than a single icy body of a hundred or two hundred kilometers, or sixty to one hundred twenty miles across.” Felonious said, reading the analysis,
"Temperature is a negative variable. I advise not getting near the rings, Captain. One of those boulders can cause harsh damage to the hull or put a hole in us. The extreme cold could affect our systems in a negative way. "
"That's going to be difficult with the current circumstances, Felonious." Ihsss replied, and she sat with a sigh in the command chair.
"Acknowledged," Felonious replied, shaking his furry head.
"Engineering to Bridge..." A voice said, and Ihsss breathed a sigh of relief when hearing the voice of Voloxa, their Engineer.
"What is your status report, Engineer?"
"Partial auxiliary power is restored. No change on the engines. They are still out of order and at full impulse power." He said, "We had decompression in those areas, and we have major radiation happening down here from the core. Main power is off-line and the main engines are off-line. We'll have the full auxiliary power back on line in a few minutes.”
"We felt the ship decelerate, but we're still a bullet at twenty space knots. We need those engines now. Ihsss said, "We're out of control on a collision course with planet six, a gas giant in this system. Get to it, mister.”
"Aye, Captain." He said, and the channel closed.
Ihsss turned to Veloxa at the helm. "Maneuvering thrusters, helm. Get us to all stop or alter our trajectory as we approach the planet."
“I'll try, Captain. Thruster power is down to thirty percent. " Veloxa replied, hitting the control on the console.
Outside the blue flames of the thrusters could be seen on the hull as the ship slowly responded. It was still a bullet that was heading for certain destruction.
Just as the Clouds approached Saturn, several large ships rose up into the sky and headed toward the crippled starship of the future. Astro-fighters from Saturn base also streaked up into the starry sky, and like the other fighter wings of the other planetary stations, they were with the visitor quickly, watching for any signs of life aboard her.
"USS Tristan here..." A voice said, "We have the visitor on scanners." No contact, they are out of control and we can't raise them. We are moving to investigate and link up our battle group two with the Marauder. "
"The ship looks dead, Captain. They might have killed all hands. " Zack Johnson said as he sat in the cockpit of his Astro-fighter, flying with twenty of his squadron members toward the smoking Star Cruiser. The fighters stayed with the Star Cruiser on its left side, but kept a respectable distance from it.
"Estimate impact on Saturn in about twenty minutes. They have warped into the sector but are dragged into the gravity of the planet. They are not slowing down.”
"Keep trying to raise her." A voice said and they recognized it as General Singleton.
Out in space, the ship still streaked toward Saturn, and inside, Ihsss and Veloxa worked at the controls to help adjust their bullet course toward the planet ahead.
"The ship has turned at one half degree," Veloxa reported.
“Felonious, how about the moons...? Can we safely land there?” Ihsss asked, as she turned to her feline science officer.
"The planet has thirty-one moons, Captain." He said, "Analysis of each one is completed. The outermost moons, twelve, range in size from three to fifty kilometers, almost two to thirty-one miles, with irregular "long and loping" orbits. Out of those thirty-one moons, number two is the largest one.”
“Just that one will do Felonious.” Ihsss snapped and he nodded.
"I am analyzing now. It has a relatively large diameter of about five thousand kilometers, or three thousand and two hundred miles. It has an unusually thick atmosphere that is composed of mostly nitrogen but may have as much as a tenth of methane and smog, with traces of ethane, acetylene, ethylene, and hydrogen cyanide.” He reported, "The planetary temperature is at around negative one hundred eighty degrees Celsius, or negative two hundred ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit as measured by Earth people."
Felonious paused as the computer completed spitting the analysis on the screen.
“Atmosphere scans indicate it is surprisingly dense, resulting in a surface air pressure of about one point six times that of a class M planet. The surface scans indicate that the planet's surface is cold enough to have pools, even seas of liquid methane, perhaps nitrogen, and for frozen methane to persist for extended periods. Moreover, liquid fuel-like liquids may also precipitate out of the atmospheric smog. Hence, this planet is thought to have an abundance of the organic molecules that are thought to be the precursors of life.”
“Will we be able to make a soft landing, Felonious?" Ihsss asked, and the feline science officer grimaced.
“If we do, skipper, we are going to make an awfully loud boom, if the analysis holds true.” He replied, "Liquid fuel and methane are very volatile substances, even in a cold state."
“Well, we won't know till we try. Thyrac, set course and Veloxa, can you slow us down for a fair soft landing? " Ihsss asked.
"Aye Captain, I'll do my best.” Veloxa said, touching the control on her console.
"Course plotted." Thyrac added, hitting the buttons, "And engaged in the computer."
Their ship slowly and painfully turned, as it sped toward Saturn and was still out of control. As it did so, down in engineering, Voloxa ferociously worked to get the engines back on line. He stared at the console as he worked and at a flashing yellow light. He struck it with a tool on the top of the machine, making a dent in the top of the metal. A moment later, a whir sounded, and a green light indicated the status of the system he was working on.
"Come on, you piece of Placto!" He shouted, hitting the console in frustration. He heard the system whir and the systems flashed to come back on line. The engines hummed as they stopped their thrust.
"Auxiliary engines are back on line, Captain." Veloxa shouted, sitting on the bridge.
"Bless you, Voloxa. Go Veloxa!" Ihsss gave the order, and the Insectoid Helmsman pressed the control.
Outside in space, the ship painfully slowed down, but it was far too late as Saturn's gravity had already taken them. It took them away from Titan, with a violent jerk, and the ship began to heat up as it entered the gas atmosphere of Saturn.
"Set a low orbit." Ihsss ordered, "One quarter impulse." The engines whirred and the ship set a trajectory change.
"Helm is answering," Veloxa reported, but shook its large insect-like head, "Controls are sluggish and slow responding."
“Pressure on the hull is increasing, fifteen hundred palas per square inch, sixteen hundred, seventeen hundred.” Felonious announced, "Twenty-five hundred palas and increasing."
"Any change in our speed?" Ihsss asked, and Veloxa managed a nod.
"Engines are reversing and they are slowly bringing us to a stop.” Veloxa replied, “Gravity is very strong and she's fighting it.”
The ship began to shimmy and shake. Veloxa and the crew sat on the bridge and held on to the arms of their chairs. Many of her crew were thrown from their chairs or thrown against the bulkheads.
“Everyone, hold on! Arrggghhhh... " The reptilian captain muttered, "It's going to be a rough ride."
There was a yelp on the bridge as a few went flying forward as the ship lurched and wallowed to an abrupt stop. Sitting calmly at their console, the two Veloxa Insectoid hardly winced as the pressure threw everyone forward. Ihsss flew out of her chair and ended up near the helm console on her butt.
"What the heck?" Ihsss thought, looking at the view screen as a haze appeared on the screen.
"Orbit has been achieved. We are in a stationary orbit. Steer to get us out of orbit and into escape velocity? " Veloxa asked after both the helmsman and navigator glanced at each other, both letting out a half-audible sigh.
"Negative, take us up to the gas surface, but no further." Ihsss ordered, "Maintain orbit. There.”
Veloxa's hands danced on her console.
In the Astro fighters that tailed the Star Cruiser, a pilot named George McGraw saw the change, and he smiled. Other pilots whooped and guffawed loudly in the headset, much to the dismay of the staff on Pluto and the other bases and ships that listened to the chatter of this entire strange event.
"Astro fighter three here," he said, "The ship appears to have life on board. It made a course correction and the collision course was averted.”
He smiled broadly but he also let out a sigh.
“It's in Saturn's outer layer of atmosphere and safely in a stationary orbit opposite to the station."
"Tiger three... great work." A voice said, "Stay on station, and give as much assistance as you can."
"The U.S.S. Tristan is on station." Another voice said over the channel, "We'll stay on station until the fleet arrives. The Astro-fighters can return to base.”
"If you can hear these Magellanic Clouds, welcome to Sol and Saturn Station." Commander Farrell murmured as he stood in the Pluto control room.
Cheers and handshakes were exchanged throughout the control room for the staff on duty in three bases. The commander of the Saturn base turned to the radar operator.
"Scan and get a fix on that ship." He instructed, and the operator nodded. He clicked the controls and immediately located the crippled Star Cruiser.
"The ship is in stable orbit on Saturn. It is not moving, Captain." He reported, "Analysis indicates by thermal scan that their power systems are below normal. The ship is maintaining a parallel orbit, opposite to Saturn Base, on the other side of the planet as indicated by Tiger Three.”
"Send the Marauder to assist and cover it with Battle Group Two."
“It will be my pleasure.” The young operator said with a grin, and he turned to make the call.
On the bridge of the Star Cruiser, the crew worked feverishly to get the systems repaired. They floated freely to the mess outside the hull of the ship and went outside to start repairs on the exterior of the ship. However, Ihsss stared at the beauty of the stars, remembering a long time ago, back to her youth on her planet, when she too dreamed of being in space. As she stared at the brown orb, a twinkle not far off caught her eye, and she turned.
"Felonious." She said, and the feline officer turned to where Ihsss pointed.
"We have a company."
Ihsss saw a small blip in the background of stars, and realized it was the Earthling's ships on the way to help. The reptilian Captain turned with her cutter, and helped with repairs on her beloved ship with the others working out in space. She cut away the damaged section and turned to a small repair drone that held small plates that floated nearby. Five of them moved the large plate to the skin of the ship.
Meanwhile back aboard their ship, in sickbay: Captain Abraham Avatar, of the Yamato Space Battleship, blinked his eyes. He managed to wiggle his finger and found out he could move his head slightly, peering down at his feet to realize he was still in a uniform.
"Where am I?" He thought, "Who am I?"
A second later, he heard voices and the chamber opened, to temporarily blind him as it hurt his eyes. Two creatures, pulled the tray from which he lay, and a willowy face looked down upon him. He revolted, struggling, but could not move.
"What on Arth?" A wispy voice said, "He's alive?"
"I don't know the doctor." Replied the Insectoid voice, "I bet it is when that static charge passed throughout the ship."
"Pull him out." Falora ordered, as Avatar looked blankly at the strange beings. He tried to squirm and move but found he could not.
"He's going into arrest." The assistant said, grabbing the defibrillator unit. He hit the human with a zap and the arrest stopped. The heart of this human beat once again, the same one preserved by the water of Aquarius, and who had died at his post, saving Earth.
"Start the IV mixture at once." He said, "Watch him carefully and make sure he is sedated. I'm going to call the Captain."
"Sickbay to bridge," he said, "Come on, pick up someone."
"Hi 'Mthss here..." The young communicator's voice replied.
"Get your mother." He said, "We've got a problem down here in sickbay."
“I'll connect you. She's outside the ship helping with repairs.” Hi'Mthss said as it crackled over the intercom.
At her console the young communicator hit the switch and connected him to the space suited figure of her mother who worked outside.
"Captain Here." Ihsss said over the intercom, floating freely near the skin of the ship, outside.
"Captain," Falora said, "I need you to come back in and come immediately to sickbay."
"What's going on?" Ihss replied, "What's wrong, doctor?"
"I just need you to come back in." He said, "We've got a little problem here, in the way of our passenger. The one we picked up on the derelict."
"The body we picked up on the Yamato's hulk?" Ihsss asked, "What's going on, Doc? What are you on about? "
"Please just return to the airlock and come to sickbay." Falora said, "Please...!"
"Acknowledged," Ihsss replied starkly, "I will be right there."
She closed the channel abruptly.
"Felonious, something is happening back onboard with the good doctor." She said, as he floated nearby, "Take charge. I will return shortly.”
A few minutes later, Ihsss walked into the sickbay, the doors obediently opening for her, and she was still dressed in her space suit. She grimaced, fuming about being called back inside. They had work to do and needed to get it done before they could move out of here to link up with the Earth Ships on their way to Earth.
"What's going on, Doc?" Ihsss asked, and the familiar bleeping of a heartbeat echoed through the chamber. She had a surprised look on her face, and a look of annoyance as well, when she saw Avatar's body on the life bed.
"He's alive." Falora said, "And before you ask why we did it or why he is not dead, We did not revive him. It must have happened when that short circuit and power surge went throughout the ship. "
"Uh... ooh-kay..." Ihsss said, surprised, and suddenly unsure of what she was going to ask next.
His statement had startled her, dissipating her annoyance and anger for being taken away from the repair efforts. The reptilian female walked toward the body of Avatar and stood next to the fuzzy-bearded old man. The same one she had said a few words of wisdom to. She wondered if he was alive then.
Could he speak? Ihsss asked, and Falora shook his willowy head. His large compound eyes showed a deep, troubling expression.
"We have him sedated." Falora said, "He went into arrest when he saw us, and I wouldn't blame him for that, coming back from the dead like he has. I know one thing, Ihsss, we are in deep trouble. "
"You aren't kidding." Ihsss said, "But this human sacrificed himself against all odds, saving his crew and home world. When he is stronger, I want to talk to him. Any man who is physically capable of completing that task can fight alongside me at any time. Besides, I think he could hold the secret to getting out of this mess with Cybertron and us arriving back in their time. "
"What about the Yamato crew?" Falora said, "They know him as a hero and who died. We should have let things alone.
"Well..." Ihsss said, "They are now in this fight and were the first world to be destroyed. I am not going to let that happen if the Cybertron are planning to attack Earth and in addition, whatever happens, Avatar surely sacrificed himself. He is still a hero, no matter if he is alive or dead. He gets a burial, or a hero's welcome. It would be a win-win for Earth, his crew, and Avatar himself. So I think this revival might have guaranteed us an audience with the Earth government.”
Falora nodded his willowy head slightly.
On the bridge, Hi'Mthss sat at her console, finishing the repairs to the communications station. As she switched it on, static echoed from the speakers and the young communicator grimaced until the sounds of chatter echoed over her headset from the Earth ships that had come to help.
"... from U.S.S. Marauder to S.S. Magellanic Clouds. Please respond. " A voice said, "Repeat, Earth Space Destroyer, U.S.S. Marauder to Clouds, please respond to this transmission."
Hi'Mthss turned to the console and picked up her headset. “U.S.S Magellanic Clouds, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra, the communications officer speaking."
On the Fuyuzuki, the operator turned.
"We got them!" He chortled, and the Captain nodded.
"This is the U.S.S Marauder here." The human Captain said, "We are en route to you to offer assistance and your escort to Earth. Is your commanding officer there?"
"No, she's outside the ship." Hi'Mthsss said, "I'll connect. Please stand by." Quickly, she hit the console. Down in the sickbay, Ihsss looked down at her communicator.
"Ihsss here," she said, "What's up Hi'Mthsss?"
"Captain of the Earth Space Destroyer, Marauder, is on channel three." She replied. I stood up and walked out of the office."I'll be right there, daughter."
"You're back aboard?"
"Yes, Hi, the good doctor needed me in Sickbay." Ihsss replied, "It seems we've got a little problem. I'll see you in five minutes."
She got up from her chair, nodding to the doctor who was logging the vitals of their new patient. The doors opened obediently, allowing her to pass through.
"Aye..." Hi, replied, relaying the message to the Earth crew.
Five minutes elapsed, and Ihsss walked onto the bridge, still in her space suit.
Ihsss had been deep in thought while she was in the lift, and thinking about the body of Avatar who was now alive and well in her sickbay. As the doors opened, she stepped off onto the bridge.
"Yea... a win-win situation for whom..." Ihsss asked herself, and she walked toward the communications station where her daughter sat. Hi'Mthsss turned her head and nodded to her mother.
"Put it through, Hi, M'thss, instructed, and her daughter nodded.
"Captain T'Larra here," Ihsss hissed, "Commander of the SS Magellanic Clouds."
"Clouds, this is the Marauder, glad to see you are still with us. We are en route to you and will be there shortly to assist and escort you to Earth. The Earth Commander, Charles Singleton, is quite anxious and is looking forward to your arrival."
"Yes, Captain." Ihsss replied, "Also, I am just wondering why our ship was attacked."
"We don't know, but you were attacked by another vessel, Captain," replied the Marauder's Captain. "It was not one of our ships. Our fighters engaged and destroyed it.”
“How bad was your damage?”
"Bad enough, we lost only a few of our crew, the rest were wounded." Ihsss reported, "We could use any personnel to assist. It is appreciated and perhaps this will strengthen our respective planets in future relations.”
“We have a tender standing by if you need one.”
“We'll be there in a quarter of an Earth hour."
"We are not ready to move out. I am making some temporary repairs before we get under way again. " Ihsss declared, "The others can be done in flight. We sustained considerable damage.
"We will, however, set the proper increment." Ihsss said, "We look forward to meeting you, Clouds out."
Hi, Mthss closed the channel.
Wait till they see Avatar's body. They are in for a big shock. " Ihsss told her daughter, managing a low, throaty chuckle.
"Why?" "Hi she replied, looking up at her mother curiously.
"The short circuit we experienced brought that man back to life." Ihsss murmured, and Hi's scaly eye ridges rose up in alarm, arching slightly. Her mother nodded at her response.
"Yea, I know the feeling. I did the same thing." Ihsss replied, grinning, "Continue monitoring traffic, I am returning to the ship. Notify me when the Earth ship arrives. You have the con. "
"Aye..." "Hi she replied, as she walked to the lift and stepped in, the doors closing behind her. She turned to the others who were watching the interaction and the dialogue between the Earth ship and the clouds. Hi'Mthsss nodded in response to their questioning looks.
Let's get started.So we’re ready when the Captain comes back aboard and we can link up with the Earth fleet. " Hi'Mthsss told them, and there was a grin on all their faces as they resumed repair stations on the bridge.
The Ihsss, on the other hand, returned outside, kicking herself free of the airlock, and floated once more among the stars.She grabbed one of the tools and she helped weld one of the plates on the ship. Next to her, Felonious had a plate in hand, and they worked to get a piece of the plate that was damaged loose.
"Wow, what a mess." Felonious remarked, and Ihss grinned.
“It could be worse. We could be in space right now.” She replied, and he chuckled, taking up the plate from the drone to position it in place. He reached out and grasped the welder, and a bright arc appeared as he welded the new plate onto the skin of the ship.
"Captain, the Earthlings are signaling, and are now on station." Hi 'Mthsss' voice echoed over the speaker in her helmet, and it made her turn to see many ships before them that surrounded their position. The crew watched as many space-suited figures appeared from the ships and moved toward the Star Cruiser.
"Wow, quite a welcoming committee." Felonious observed, making Ihsss laugh.
When Ihss turned, she saw a space suit next to her, and she turned as the Space Destroyer Marauder hovered above her. The space-suited figure was a human and he, like many others, stared at the crew members of the Clouds in fear when they saw the reptilian features and then the feline. The young officer smiled, meeting her face, and he put out his hand.
"Lieutenant Michael Farragut, Space Destroyer Marauder." He said, "We're here to assist and escort you to Earth."
Ihsss' crew, a ragtag bunch, drew their weapons, and Ihsss put up her hand. She met the commander's face and stared at him, suddenly revolted, as he was to see their faces. She took his hand.
"Ihsss T'Larra." She replied, "Commander of this ragtag crew of the starship, SS Magellanic Clouds. We are at your service.”
An hour elapsed and their ship was repaired in record time. Ihsss and the young officer stood on the top of the starship. In the windows, the reptilian Captain could see her crew. She moved to embrace the human officer warmly.
"I will see you on Earth." Ihsss said, "My crew and I thank you, and your government, for your assistance." The young man smiled and saluted. Fifteen minutes later, Captain T’Larra arrived on the bridge. "Veloxa, power us up, and plot a course parallel with the Earth Space Destroyer and their fleet."
"Aye, Captain," he said, smiling as she sat down. She sat in her seat, her gaze panned to her crew.
On board the Marauder, there was great discussion among the crew about the strange beings they had seen on the ship, called the Magellanic Clouds. The ones who had assisted out there said very little, other than that they thought they were weird, but seemed really intelligent and nice. Outside, the clouds paralleled the Space Destroyer, keeping up with it and staying alongside it. Hi'Mthsss sat watching the view screen, listening to the chatter of the communications that went through to the other planets and ships. They soon arrived on Earth. Thankfully, with the battle at Pluto, the whole SOL star system was on full alert, which made it easier for the clouds to travel to Earth.
"Earth Control..." Hi'Mthss said, "This is the SS Magellanic Clouds, requesting landing clearance."
"This is Earth Defense Control. Permission granted. Land at coordinates twelve, fifty one, forty three."
"Acknowledged, and with thanks." Ihsss replied.
"Continue with the landing procedure, and I'll be in sickbay." Captain announced," turning to walk off the bridge.
"The captain is off the bridge." A voice announced it as the doors closed behind Ihsss. The lift moved swiftly to Deck 5, and the cab opened, allowing her to exit. Walking with quick steps and a long stride, the reptilian captain arrived at sickbay. She walked through the hatch. Ihsss had walked fast, practically ran to the Sick Bay, eager to see the patient that the ship's doctor was treating, a hero of Earth.
"Doctor Platt." Ihsss said, as the willowy doctor turned and eyed the captain, "How is our patient?"
"He's a little confused and awake." replied the doctor, and Ihsss met the face of Avatar, with his bearded, seamed face and confused expression.
"Who are you?" asked Avatar. "Where am I?"
"You are on board the SS. Magellanic Clouds, a vessel of the Thyrnn Government." Ihsss replied, "Captain, do you remember what happened to you?"
"Who am I?" Asked Avatar, "What are you?"
"He was dead, clinically." There is no memory of who he was. " Platt replied, "This is very bad."
"You are Captain Abraham Avatar of Earth, Commander of the Yamato." Ihsss informed him gently. "You had died saving the Earth and somehow were revived by a static charge."
Avatar listened in silence, his mouth open and his face showing no hint of recognition of the name that was spoken many times by the willowy Doctor or Ihsss.
"Sir, we're taking you home." She said, "To Earth."
"Earth…?" Avatar replied with a questioning look and frown appearing on his face. A moment later, the intercom whistled.
"Bridge to Captain," Hi’Mthsss’ voice said.
"Ihsss here." replied Ihsss, touching the button on the wall intercom.
"Earth Control informs us that we are on final approach to Earth." Hi'Mthsss replied.
"Okay." Ihsss replied, "I'll be up in a moment."
"Acknowledged," Hi'Mthsss replied, and the channel closed. Ihsss turned, walking toward the doors that slid obediently open for her.
"If he's strong enough, bring him to the bridge." The Captain said, "We're about to land."
"Aye…" Platt replied and he walked to stand beside the befuddled Captain Avatar. The doctor hit him with an injector, and he had the human back lay back.
Ihsss walked quickly down the hall, still in awe that Avatar was alive. As she headed to the turbo lift, that would take her to the bridge, her mind was in turmoil at what she would face. The man who sat in sickbay was dead, that was a fact, and yet by a strange twist of fate that he had once more been brought back from the dead. He was a hero, to the earthlings, and she wondered how they would react to have a hero returned to them. She stepped into the lift.
"We have an interesting problem." She muttered, "I wonder how this is going to turn out."
She had no idea, in fact, how Earth would take this and knew they had now only a few minutes before they would land. Slowly, her eyes trailed the lift, and the doors snapped open. Again the familiar sounds of the bridge assaulted her senses and she stepped onto it.
"Captain's on the bridge!" A voice announced. As Ihsss approached her chair, she nodded to her First Officer.
"Report..." Ihsss ordered, crossing the bridge and to her command chair.
"We are on final approach Captain." Felonious said, getting up and moving to his side, allowing the reptilian woman to sit, "We have a trajectory plotted and we're prepared to lay it in."
"Very well…" Ihsss replied, and turned to her daughter.
"Earth Defense Control, this is the Magellanic Clouds, on final approach and on final landing procedures." She said warmly.
"This is Earth Defense control, affirmative Clouds we have you on course, follow beacon and welcome." The strong voice said.
"Clouds acknowledge and confirms." She said, and she made a throat cutting gesture. Hi'Mthsss closed the channel.
"Veloxa, you're on manual." Ihsss coached.
"I got her Ihsss." Veloxa replied, "It's been a while."
Veloxa's claw-like hands danced over her console, holding the ship level, as it entered orbit.
"We have orbit Captain." Thyrac announced, "The Marauder is descending."
"Hold here in an asynchronous orbit, and when ready follow them in, but keep a wide opening." Ihsss said, "We don't need to crowd them."
"Aye…" replied the Helmsman and Navigator simultaneously. Outside in space, the ship maintained steady orbit and waited for the window that allowed the ships to move freely through the atmosphere for landing on the surface.
Behind Ihsss, the willowy doctor appeared on the bridge and beside the doctor is Captain Avatar, dressed in his uniform. Ihsss had turned and the crew of the bridge was on their feet. A mass salute was directed at him. A smile appeared on Ihsss' face, meeting the crew's faces with a nod. As for the human Captain, he slowly raised his hand and returned the salute. A loud applause echoed across the bridge.
"We are at thirty thousand kellins, ready for decent." Felonious announced as the crew resumed their duties.
"Retros active," Veloxa added, "Holding steady trim and descending."
"Very well…" Ihsss replied, as the view below was of a green landscape, and a vast blue ocean. A large twinkle on the landscape indicated the city, the one they would be landing at and on the airfield tarmac.
"Captain Avatar, I had you brought to the bridge for a reason." Ihsss said, "Do you recognize this place?" The confused human shook his head, and Captain T’Larra motioned to the doctor.
"That's your home." Ihsss said, pointing to the view screen.
"Earth analysis is complete Captain T'Larra. Planet has nitrogen oxygen atmosphere, rates nine on the planetary scale, class M. Mostly nitrogen, oxygen, but it has mild traces of carbon and methane. Pressure is twenty nine, point nine three, gravity one point one in strength." Felonious said, "Average temperature is seventy four degrees ranging from arctic to searing in rating. It has seven major seas and several major mountain chains in several areas on the visible continents."
"Sounds quite cold…" Ihsss said, "Average altitude?"
"Some places its sea level to over ten thousand in the mountains." Felonious replied, "Sounds actually unique…"
Captain Avatar watched in bleak silence, his mind in turmoil of where he was, or what he was looking at. The planet to him did not ring a bell as being familiar to him.
"Clouds veer six degrees to port, and land at landing bay twelve." A voice said and Veloxa's claw like hands danced rapidly, making the ship veer slightly. The dampeners for the motion hummed into life, but not quick enough. Avatar hit the rail.
"Are you alright?" Platt asked, beside him in a flash. The willowy doctor glared at Veloxa. He silently cursed at the Insectoid Helmswoman, shaking a tentacle at her.
"Sorry Doctor." The Insect Helms-person apologized.
"Keep it steady Vel." Ihsss cautioned, "Not too many bumps."
The ship outside was aglow, as it continued through the atmosphere. The hull red by the heat and friction being subjected to the ship as the gravity and envelope rubbed against the skin of the ship. Ihsss turned to Captain Avatar, who held his head with his hand.
"Where am I?" Avatar said, "D-did we save Earth? Who are you?"
"You are on board the SS. Magellanic Clouds." Ihsss said, "A ship of the Thyrnn government across space. Do you remember what happened to you?"
"What happened to the Yamato?" He rasped, "The last thing I remember was the explosion."
"You saved your planet. You saved them all." She replied, "We are at Earth though, by your calendar it's been one year since you did that. You were killed in action."
"Was the ship destroyed?" Avatar asked, and Ihsss nodded.
"We found you outside the solar system. We did not revive you, there was an attack by a new mutual enemy and it fired upon us, casing great damage. You were in stasis when a charge of energy ripped through your body and somehow you were brought back to life. You seemed to be preserved in a partial vacuum and low oxygen state in the section we found you in." Ihsss explained, then managed a toothy grin at his reaction to his astonished position.
Avatar said nothing, as he gripped the rail, and Ihsss turned to the view screen
"Your reputation precedes you." She formally said, "You exploits are almost legendary, as are the Yamato's crew."
"I was only on one mission, to Iscandar, and the second one to save Earth." He replied, "But it is my thanks, you should have left me where I was."
"There is another adventure happening and Earth will have to fight again." Ihsss told him, "Perhaps with your help we will be able to solve both our dilemmas. Perhaps to save Earth from destruction and also return my crew back to the time we belong."
Avatar was stunned, as Ihsss casually turned toward the helm.
"You are not from this time?" Avatar asked, "A time-warp?"
"Affirmative..." Ihsss replied, "Approximately six hundred years. We were pulled through an anti-matter vortex after tracking a task force rumored to be doing a time warp of their own. We were jumped and destroyed a scout ship that pulled us into the anti-matter vortex they created."
"That means you are here to change history?" Avatar asked, "What about the paradox?
What exactly is your mission in our time?"
"We are here to eliminate Aquarius. It is being used as a base for a Cybernetic race called the Cybertron that has enslaved the universe in our own time and destroyed Earth as their first conquest. It is because you have wave technology and is the only race that can stop them. So they returned to this time, to destroy you here, so they could win the galactic war back home."
"Oh." Avatar replied curiously, and he shook his head.
"Descend and land." Ihsss said, turning to the helm, "All hands brace for landing."
The ship hovered and a thud as the massive ship landed on the landing legs that touched the cement landing field.
"Power down complete." Veloxa said, turning and the crew was on their feet.
"Hi." Ihsss said, "Inform Earth Defense Headquarters We are down and ready to disembark."
Outside the many pilots watched from the hangars, and near their planes, as the sleek Star Cruiser Class Starship descended. It is the size of the EDC Frigate, but visibly in need of a paint job after the many patches it received to fix its hull. There were many whistles and comments about the sleek craft.
Inside the ship, Hi'Mthsss turned to the Captain when she issued the command.
"Aye Captain," She replied and a few minutes later Ihsss, Felonious and Platt, along with Hi'Mthsss walked to the hatch on the side. It is here that the reptilian Captain pushed a button, and the gantry unfolded from the side of the ship. Her gaze turned to Avatar who stood next to them with several guards. The hatch hissed and opened, allowing the breeze to enter the ship, as well as the sunlight. Ihsss squinted, and she stepped out on to the gantry. Below, several platoons of soldiers and vehicles had surrounded their ship.
"A monster..!" A voice said, and rifles were all aimed at Ihsss. Behind the guards, the Earth delegation and the maintenance crew, General Charles Singleton walked up toward the field with his top aides. Scientists also were on hand. Singleton squinted upward at the gantry, his eyes widened in surprise as Ihsss, and her ragtag officers walked toward them, surrounding Captain Avatar. Ihsss stepped forward when guards stepped in front of them, their weapons lowered at them.
"Withdraw." Ihsss muttered, raising her hand. Beside her, their security guards went back up the gantry. At the top of the gantry, they took posts at the ship's hatch. Captain T'Larra, on the other hand, stood in front of Charles Singleton, the aides, guards and everyone. Each one of Ihsss' officers saluted formally. She glanced at a few of the pilots, who had come to stare at the occupants of this strange visitor. They had whistled and catcalled, but fell deathly silent when they saw the group.
"Captain Ihsss T'Larra, Commander of the SS Magellanic Clouds a ship of the Thyrnn Government." She said, stepping forward, "These are three of my officers. To my left, the First Officer/Science Officer Felonious Purrtz, Standing on my right is my daughter, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra, Communications, and the ship's Doctor, Falora Platt."
Singleton nodded to each. "These are my aides Mitty Mc Donald and my Chief of Staff." General Singleton said, "Guards take your posts. Please this way."
Around the entire vessel, guards of Space Marines took up positions, holding their rifles ready and dressed in battle gear.
"And, forgive me," Ihsss said suddenly, "Almost forgot. Someone you know, and know well." Her officers parted and behind her, that Captain Avatar stepped forward.
There was a gasp by Singleton and the guards. Each one saluted formally.
"Abraham!" Singleton breathed, "But how?"
"We found him on the bridge section of Yamato outside your solar system. It seems on the way a static charge revived the body after we sustained several direct hits." Ihsss said, "Our report is right here."
The reptilian Captain handed him a disk. "There is a report on a great armada that is headed this way, the disk contains data from our long range probes. Some serious firepower is coming your way."
"Please." Singleton said, motioning to a jeep. They drove off the field. The crew of the Clouds was taken to Headquarters, where they were interviewed from which they told of the Armada. Analyzing the data, collected by their hop in the time continuum and by their probes, it revealed and confirmed Earth's worst nightmare as a fleet of ships raised up from the icy blue ball of Aquarius. The picture abruptly turned to static.
Ihsss walked with General Singleton, and together they headed to council chamber, from which their full report would be heard by the council. There were collective gasps that echoed through the council chamber and everyone stared in silence at the presenter of the information. Ihsss T'Larra herself. The reptilian woman stood clad in a uniform of the Thyrnn military, a dark blue tunic, pants and black boots, bearing the shiny emblem on her collar despite the sleeve markings. Over her tunic, she wore a leather jacket that resembled the old style aviator's jacket.
"I am finished Sssirrr." Ihsss said with a nod, and she stepped back from the podium as the council sat staring at her in silence.
"We must act." Commander Singleton added, "If Ihsss is correct, this armada will be fifty times more powerful than the combined Dinguil Fleet, the Black Nebula Empire, the Bolar, and the Comet Empire. A battle, if we do nothing, will result in Earth's annihilation. We must start work on rebuilding the mechanized fleet, around the clock, and reactivate the finest crew of the EDC who would never give up a challenge."
"Have you located all of the Star force crew for reactivation to duty?" A council member asked.
"I have, and already we are filling them in on what is happening." Singleton replied, "Including the Wildstars, who is on their last assignment, pulled from Mars, as well as others from Neptune and Uranus stations."
"Commander T'Larra, if I may, you did not specify how you ended up coming to this time." The President of EDC asked.
"We were tracking the armada ssssthips as it sssstarted their time warp. We were attacked, and upon destroying the sssscout, it opened up an anti-matter vortex and it dragged the remaining Cybertron and us into it.
"From how far in the future?" A council member asked, "If I may be permitted."
"Sssix hundred years…." Ihsss said, "All I am authorized to tell you that the battle you face is with a muchth sssuperior technology. With our joint effort, we should be able to win the day. It will be much harder, I realize, without the Yamato."
Ihsss met the council's reactions, with a silent toothy grin, knowing she had persuaded them into action and she nodded to Charles Singleton.
"I will gather my crew, and fill them in at once." The reptilian officer said, and with that she saluted formally. She glanced down at her wrist, speaking into the wristband that she wore there.
Meanwhile, in the Central Hospital, Lieutenants Emily Montgomery and Denise 'Watts' Watson stood outside on the hospital's grounds, in the gardens located off the main lobby of the Federal Hospital. It is here they both had come from their room together, staring in silence at the futuristic buildings of Federal City/New Tokyo on an observation platform above the outside garden on the ground floor and over the street.
Together, they had come a long way from a couple of months ago, suffering from hibernation sickness, after their recovery from their tomb of over two hundred years. They had been mistaken for dead, and sent to the morgue, until technician noted their vitals and the wiggling of their finger, indicating they were quite alive. What had happened, the charts had been mixed up with two soldiers killed in the raid by the Dinguil with the stasis members. The two young officers of the past had been taken to ICU for three weeks, and put in a room after where they were partially welcomed and debriefed by the EDC staff. Denise and Emily also had undergone the royal treatment in the way of recovery, finally able to relax, enjoying a break outside to inhale the clean air of a new world and time. One time that would soon assimilate them into it, soon enough.
"HEY, you two…!" A voice said, "Here you are! We finally found you, after trooping through this damn hospital!"
Denise and Emily turned to meet the smiles of two familiar faces of Melinda and Amy approaching, both clad in uniform, being led by a young nurse they recognized as Nova Wildstar and her husband Derick Wildstar. Emily and Denise managed a hearty laugh at the complaint by her friends, from her group, and her classmates of a school far away in the past.
Amy had found out on accident when she was working in the hospital trying to find a Commander assigned there to bring him a message. She had found their floor and had walked in to gasp and bolted to embrace them both who were equally surprised to see her. Melinda had come to meet her friend at the hospital and Amy had taken her to see them. She had been equally astonished to see them and gasped openly before hugging them warmly. They jammed for many hours and were glad to see them, even before they were brought back from the dead.
Lieutenant Panstingle grinned at the memory. Now they were together at last and meeting again in a different part of the hospital. They had been given a bit of freedom to move around as therapy. The pair of them peered at the futuristic city and just floored by how far they had come into the future.
"Hey!" Denise replied, warmly embracing both of them, and Emily followed suit. Both noted the still unfamiliar uniform and the unnatural long hair that draped to their mid-back. Denise smiled as she recognized the rank of First Lieutenant for Melinda and Full Lieutenant for Amy.
"So… they're letting you have free roam of the building now?" Melinda joked, "Letting you off the leash and letting you take in the sights, eh."
Laughter followed, but quickly became solemn.
"Yes, it's a minor reprieve from the warden." Denise joked back, and both Amy and Melinda laughed.
"It's so great to see you two." Denise replied, "It seems like a dream to see a familiar face in a strange land. It feels like a dream, like we are going to wake up and find we didn't go anywhere."
"Yeah, that's for sure Denise." Emily added and winked at her friend. She half turned, to peer at the wiry Lieutenant Commander walking toward the elevator with the young Sergeant who had been his guide from the beginning. Her eyes brows rose in quiet astonishment and the young woman thought she was seeing a ghost as the pair walked together to stand outside a lift. He was dressed in uniform, and had glanced up at the group, as if to know they were there, smiling broadly and saluting formally.
Emily had to shake her head, almost unbelieving at what and even whom she had just thought she saw before her.
"Hey, you okay?" Denise asked and Emily turned to grimace before nodding.
Miss Montgomery returned her stare at the elevator and Denise had turned, almost too late, to catch the glimpse of the semi-familiar face that had held her in Federal Hospital. She had gasped, as he stepped into the turbo-lift.
"…Yeah you get to spend the time wanting to see everything." Melinda agreed, "But you probably won't have the time to, though. It is better than spending it in a room as a bloody guinea pig, being poked and prodded."
"Hey, you guys okay?" Amy and Melinda asked, examining them and seeing their astonished expression. They had clearly not been paying attention to the conversation at hand. The two young women both had paled slightly at the young officer who had stepped into the lift. Both Emily and Denise had turned back to their friends when they asked them a question.
"Yea, fine." Denise lied, "We're waiting for Doc to give us the green light and get us the hell out of here."
Here she paused and grimaced.
"They are taking their sweet time about it. Commander Mitty McDonald of the EDC Admiralty visited us and took some information, so we have been partially welcomed back to the realm of the living."
"We were visited too." Amy admitted, making Melinda nod.
"Have patience, it takes time." Amy agreed, "Soon you will be able to really explore. We have been active today taking in the sights, its nothing like you would ever have believed existed. Travel long distance here, is like a few minutes, we did a day trip to San Francisco and it is simply amazing. It was nothing like the original city."
"So what's it like being in their military?" Emily asked.
"Different." Melinda replied, "For this military. Nevertheless, it mirrors just what we went through two hundred years ago. It can be tough sometimes. Our duties right now are light, and are in the Headquarters building. We both are assigned as messengers right now.
"What are your duties supposed to be?"
"Mine is a nurse in the Hospital." Amy replied.
"Mine will be working on Computers and Radar." Melinda replied, "Probably on board a ship somewhere in space."
"We're just waiting for training courses to open at the academy, and released from medical by Doctor Sane for full duty."
"Sounds like it can be fun." Denise chided, "I can't wait."
"Changing the subject," Emily said suddenly unnerved, "So are you doing any better, Nova?"
Glancing down, Nova smiled as she held her belly, pregnant with Derick's child. They had conceived on the beach, after they had been married.
"Well the cramps are not so bad now." She said, "The nights aren't so hectic and sleepless."
Nova turned to glance at Emily and company, who were grinning openly. She suddenly had a strange feeling and here, she turned her head, gazing down the walkway and then upward on the side of the building of Federal Hospital to its many windows. When she got to one, a big surprise awaited her and Nova's eyes widened when she saw Captain Avatar standing in the window. Her mouth had dropped open when she had spied a ghost from her past, and stared in astonishment at the man who had died aboard the Yamato. He was their Captain for their first mission, having died, and now sacrificing himself to break the water column of Aquarius on their last mission, igniting tritium using the wave gun's energy.
"D-Derick…!" She gasped, her eyes holding the window. Her hand found Derick's sleeve, her eyes staying on the window and she tugged it. Nova stared into the eyes of the Commander of the Yamato, a hero of Earth. Her husband, Emily, Denise, Melinda and Amy had been talking and he turned when he heard her stunned voice.
"Nova…? What is it?" He asked, noting her hard look as she stood up, returning the salute of Avatar. Derick had stared at her in question.
"Fifth window," Nova stammered, "Derick, just please look, tell me it's impossible."
Wildstar turned his head and his eyes found the fifth story window of Federal Hospital. Derick without thinking, returned the salute too.
"It's just Captain Avatar…" He replied, and they returned to talking. Derick had stopped speaking after a moment, and both Wildstar and Nova had met each other's astonishment on their faces in silence as their head turned quickly back to the window. It was the cliché of the double take and both of them, with their own eyes saw him standing there. He was alive and well.
"I-I don't believe it!" Derick breathed. Avatar had lowered his hand, smiling as the couple only glanced at each other before they ran toward the doors. Amy, Melinda, Emily and Denise were on their feet and right behind them. They commandeered a wheelchair for Nova when they reached the doors. They ran into Doctor Sane who with, Homer, Eager, Dash, Thomas Orion and Sandor had been walking together. When they saw the group, they moved to the walls of the hallway. As they ran by, Nova was pushed speedily along in her wheelchair, and she motioned to them.
"What's going on Wildstar?" Sane asked, "What's the rush?"
"You would not believe me if I told you, Doctor Sane." He huffed, "You have to see for yourself."
They joined Derick, Nova and the others to run down the hall, boarding the elevator, piling into the extra-long car that was setup for moving gurneys between floors.When Nova and Derick, and the Yamato crew had ended up on the fifth floor, they ran down the hallway. They stopped before they missed the doorway and turning slowly, they entered the room.
As Wildstar walked into the room, with the Yamato crew and the members of the stasis crew behind him, they all stared upon the figure that stood in the window. The person sensed them and half turned: Smiling.
"Captain Avatar!" They all breathed, and a low murmur rippled through the group. It was Sane had been with him when he died the first time, and the second time they had watched him die. They were all startled. Nova took one look at Avatar and she fainted sideways in the wheelchair.
"Nova…!" Derick said, holding his wife as he looked up at the grinning face of Avatar.
"Captain…!" He breathed.
"But it's not possible." Sane said, "We saw the ship destroyed!"
Nova moaned, and behind him, there were just astonished gasps and murmurs by the Yamato crew as they stared at a hero. It was as if he had once again cheated death, and he had brought hope to them again, along with inspiration.
"But you died on the Yamato." Sandor agreed, "We all saw you ignite the Tritium aboard her and saw the ship explode. We saw the ship sink into the water of Aquarius. How can this be?"
"Attention on deck!" Denise shouted, saluting rigidly, and everyone snapped to attention. Everyone turned as General Singleton and Commander McDonald entered the room.
"As you were," Singleton replied, turning to the others.
"I know everyone has a lot of questions, but Avatar is here because of a fine ship and a miracle by the waters of Aquarius. I too am pleased to see him as all of you are." Singleton’s voice boomed.
Behind Singleton were silent gasps, as Ihsss T'Larra, Felonious Purrtz, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra and Falora Platt walked in behind them.
"It is because of these people." Singleton said, "May I introduce the crew of the Magellanic Clouds, A ship from the future."
"Future…?" They asked.
"They arrived here through an anti-matter explosion and came from another time, approximately six hundred years from the future." Singleton said, "They have information on an enemy building at Aquarius. The crew here has readily volunteered to go with you… Your new mission is to destroy Aquarius and keep it from our enemy's hands"
There was a few glances between the Yamato and stasis members.
"You will all be briefed." Singleton said, "Her crew is repairing her ship at this very moment. The command crew of the Whirlwind will be the Yamato crew, and the strike team will be led by different officer, since Major Aguilera is now deceased. Operational control has already been transferred to new officer, and he is on his way to a briefing for the strike."
Emily gasped at the notion and Denise put a hand on her shoulder. She wondered if the officer she saw was that person.
Little did they know the Lieutenant Commander, who was to take control, had been at Bellbrook too. The young officer still had strong feelings for Emily, glad to see they were alive and well after the mistake thinking they were deceased. He tried not to get too emotionally involved as it was a very long time since they had met centuries ago. He of course remained objective, focused on the assignment. As the group stood there, Derick put his arm around Nova's waist, having been revived, and stood up shakily from the wheelchair.
"Now to the issue at hand," Singleton said, "Welcome home, Abraham."
Cheers followed by all hands, as Nova embraced the Captain, the same way she had when they were last to leave the Yamato before he had taken it to be destroyed. The crew of Yamato, for them, this was a semi-good omen. Despite the death of his or her comrade who had saved everyone at the memorial.
"Although a little strange." Nova murmured, and Derick glanced at her, nodding sharply to the thought.
"It is almost as if something keeps changing, first we saw his death and now again he has been reborn." Derick whispered, "I wonder if this has anything to do with the Magellanic Clouds crew?"
Nova managed a shrug in reply.
"I don't know Derick." Nova answered, "It could be."
Elsewhere, in the Headquarters building, Lieutenant Commander Miller walked down the corridor to the conference room, running a tad bit late for a briefing with a special-forces unit assigned to destroy Aquarius. As he makes his way down the sterile white corridor, he managed a glance at his chronometer and grimaced as he read the time. '15:57' the numbers said, and he let out a sharp exhale realizing he is almost twenty minutes late, held up elsewhere on the base.
The young officer is clad in the standard light blue, blue uniform and he carries a leather briefcase containing their orders from General Singleton. The same one was given to Major Aguilera before his death, and selection for this team. The young officer carries a stern, cold expression on his face, as he walks down the corridor, and very troubled by the plan of attack, having reviewed the battle plan earlier in the day after the meeting with General Singleton and his staff. He moved silently through the corridor, absently returning salutes as he kept his mind focused on the plan. The plan was to warp into the sector where Aquarius was located, and drop a team in a landing craft to the surface where they would plant charges to destroy Aquarius' Tritium Mine. The only trouble was it was in the middle of over fifty or more Cybertron warships that orbited planet, with dozens on the ground, including troops.
In the conference room, his team waits for the briefing to start and Sergeant Major Perry quickly inspected the team, making doubly sure that everything is in order for the Lieutenant Commander, assigned to replace the Major. Manual grimaced at a young harried Lieutenant, his direct superior for this team and his directly responsible as the second in command sitting near the door watching for the new officer. Perry met his look and nodded his head just as the Lieutenant Commander entered.
"Attention on Deck!" The Lieutenant exclaimed and everyone was on his or her feet as the second and command stood and saluted the Lieutenant Commander.
"As you were..." The young Lieutenant Commander replied, casually returning the salutes and he stood at the head of the long conference room. He panned a glance at the surroundings and to the others in the team, clad in the green and black uniform of the EDC Space Marines. He smiled when he saw Sergeant Major, the only man in the stasis crew who turned down a promotion to a Warrant Officer. He took another couple of stripes, making it three up and three down. His reason was that it took more than just a rank to execute a mission. He is an old friend the Lieutenant Commander had known two hundred years ago in another time and place. He nodded a silent greeting to him.
"I am Lieutenant Commander Miller. I am the replacement for Major Aguilera, assigned to this strike force." He said formally. "As you have probably already read, I am just another EDC officer, assigned as Second in command aboard a Heavy Cruiser. I am fully qualified, however, briefed on the technical data of the Aquarian waters that powered the stasis chambers. If you must know, I am also from the twentieth century. I do apologize for the uniform, but my green and black one has not been issued yet."
"We've been briefed already on the change of command, Commander." The Lieutenant said formally.
"Excellent, if everyone is ready then we can dispense the formalities and get right to it." The Lieutenant Commander said sternly, sitting in a chair at the head of the conference room table.
He briefed them fair on the information at hand, given to them by the Magellanic Clouds crew, and in some detail of their objective, Aquarius. He noted the heavy hardware that would precede the invasion force, and the fighters that the Space Destroyers assignment to this task would encounter. Other information was clearly outlined for the mission objective and each stage of the drop.
"The drop information is way off, they want us to warp in aboard the Destroyer and drop at three mega-meters from the planet atmosphere." Nathaniel told them, "I actually disagree with the tactic. We would be dropped into a meat grinder of fifty Cybertron warships. They would be all over us, warp or not, before we are even airborne and inbound to the planet surface."
"Who the hell setup the tactics for this mission?" Perry asked, "What they are asking here is suicide."
"The headquarters tactician team and intelligence unit set this up." Lieutenant Minezati chimed in.
"You know that's an oxymoron, right?" Manual asked and Nathaniel grinned broadly, even the Lieutenant. Everyone read on, glancing at the overhead chart diagram related to the information on the page.
"How I see this: We need a ship that is better suited than warping into the sector and getting hammered by fifty plus to one odds. We need a ship that is equipped with a cloaking device or jamming device. It is the only way this is going to work is to get us in close to the drop point. The ship can stay in orbit, so long as it remains cloaked until extraction, and with maybe a diversion to keep the enemy busy while we do the drop and extraction." Nathaniel declared, "Whoever set this plan does not have a clue what the hell they are talking about."
"Attention!" A voice said, and everyone was on his or her feet again. The Lieutenant Commander turned to see General Singleton, Commander McDonald, Ihsss T'Larra, Felonious Purrtz, Hi'Mthsss T'Larra and Falora Platt enter the room.
"As you were…" The General replied, motioning to the Clouds' crew to be seated.
"I apologize for being late," General Singleton, said formally, "I'd like the Clouds' crew to be on the strike briefing. They have readily have volunteered to help with this mission, and are the ones bringing the tactical and recon data to us."
"No problem, General." Lieutenant Commander Miller replied, "We were just going over strike targets, and reconnaissance data."
"I heard your comments from outside. I hope you have a better solution than what was prepared by our tactics team?"
"I don't at this moment, sir." The Lieutenant Commander replied, "But by the time the strike team gets anywhere close to that damn planet, we'll be jumped by a whole strike force. There is no way and hell to pull it off. Not even enough time to power up the wave gun to take a shot at it."
"I see," Singleton, replied, "Do you at least have a recommendation?"
"What we need is a ship that is either well armored like Yamato, able to take hits and keep on fighting, or a ship that is equipped with jamming mechanism, and/or a cloaking device. We also should have a task force, to keep the enemy busy, while we slip in to do the drop and recovery." The Lieutenant Commander suggested and glancing once, he noted the reptilian Captain had a toothy grin on her face.
"I have a sthholution." Ihsss declared, "The Magellanic Cloudsss is sssso equipped. Sssset the Yamato crew in the Destroyer, with your task force to act as a decoy and lure the fightersssth and part of the task force off while the Clouds sslips in and deposssitsss the team in atmosphere in their landing craft. Then standby, cloaked, until ready to evacuate and hit the detonator as we leave orbit."
"Detonator is set for ten mega-meters. I will up it to fifteen and give us some leeway." Lieutenant Minezati said, "I will have our resident tech set that up. Is there anything you all might need, besides the detonator and high explosives?"
"Let see, some night vision, goggles, infrared scanner, and various anti-personnel weapons that can be effective against Cybernetic targets." The Sergeant Major chimed in, "Or the equivalent of equipment. I would recommend mainly claymore mines, which shoot out explosive charges for up to fifty feet. Just to cover our escape, if things get dicey."
"A wise precaution but we don't need to be bogged down with too much unnecessary equipment." Miller replied, "This is going be a fast in and out job and we're not taking on the ground forces if there are any. Maybe the guards and selected targets, but we are going to keep a low profile."
"Well we need to cover our tracks, if we alert the task force by removing those targets." Sergeant Major Perry replied icily, "Best to be careful."
"Very selective targets…" The Lieutenant Commander replied, "I concede the point though, safety net if things get out of whack. I got that. This has to be done fast, smooth and cleanly."
"That looks good on paper, but when it comes right down to it, the grunts are going to get the brunt of the action." A corporal said gruffly and Manual shot him a dirty look.
"On that note, Lieutenant Minezati and I will be in the trenches with you, not monitoring from ship bound." Nathaniel replied, "I firmly believe in hands on support, and pulling my own weight."
"Great, we're going to be babysitting the brass instead. How many combat mission have you been on Commander?" Another voice said sarcastically, and Manual cleared his throat in annoyance.
"Just so you know, the chances of us returning in one piece just doubled with the Lieutenant Commander on board." Sergeant Major Perry replied coldly, "He's not just a computer major, he has combat training in order to lead his stasis group. He knows how to fight and how to fight hard. Do not let his background fool you. He volunteered for stasis like I did and after served aboard a fighting ship taking fire and hits to save his comrades."
"Yes Sarge." A sub servant voice replied, and he glanced at the smiling Lieutenant Commander.
"Keep it covert as possible." General Singleton suggested. "But keep an alternate plan, just in case things don't go well."
"Aye, we'll work on that and have something before the day is out." Nathaniel replied, nodding.
For the next few minutes, there was a bit of a Q&A session, getting the final details in order for the strike. Lieutenant Commander Miller stepped out on the balcony nearby, and gazed out over the futuristic city that he technically been reawaken in and now had been living a new life. Sergeant Major Perry joined him.
"We're almost ready skipper." He said, "You need a break, you should go to the Hospital and see Emily and Denise before you leave. They'd probably love to see you."
The Lieutenant Commander grimaced as he glanced at his friend.
"They don't know I am here and alive you know." He said, "I don't think they would remember me, it has been a long time since I saw them and now even longer."
"Well you don't know until you try, dude." Manual replied and he saw his old friend grin ruefully as he nodded.
"On a personal note, I am glad you are alive and well, along for this ride. I never knew you were so into this technical stuff."
"Yes, I got hooked with Star Trek." Nathaniel said and he did his best William Shatner Kirk impression making Manual laugh heartily. The grizzled officer followed suit and the two men became solemn after a moment. The Sergeant Major placed a hand on the Commander's shoulder.
"It's been a long time, not since Wilcox. I read you went to college and all that, studied up on that stuff, did you have a wife at all or military service all your life before stasis?"
"What is this, twenty questions?" Nathaniel asked with a mock serious tone, but hid the smile on his scarred face. He had not answered him directly, but by his expression had told Manual a lot, making him nod.
"You know, Amy, Melinda and Amanda knew you. It took them a moment, but they figured out who you were." Perry replied, "And me too. It should be no difference, two hundred years or not. Better bring flowers for them though, just in case."
The Lieutenant Commander glanced at the grinning Sergeant Major who stood next to him. He returned the wide grin with a quirky half-smile. The young officer could not believe what he was hearing.
"Oh right, flowers, heard about that did ya?" Miller asked, and both men regarded each other for a moment before bursting with laughter, quickly becoming solemn.
"Well, it was a very moving gesture for Melinda and the others." Manual told him, "It might work to smooth things over for Denise and Emily, welcome them into a new century with a friendly face."
"You know Sergeant Major… you have knowledge that expands beyond your years, and rank." Nathaniel said with a chuckle, "I'll be sure to do that, and it's a shame about Seth. I'd really like to see that bastard again, always going out a hero, saving the day."
"Yea me too, He was one heroic son of a bitch." Manual replied with a smile and he nodded sharply, "My knowledge is all part of the service, sir."
The Commander nodded his head and turned to enter the conference room, followed by the Sergeant Major and he took a seat. Sitting in the chair, the young officer turned his head to listen to General Singleton outline the strategy with the Clouds' Captain, partially Ihsss’ staff and the strike team. A few minutes later, the briefing broke, and he walked down the sterile white corridor to a turbo-lift.
"Hold please!" A voice called and a young woman dashed toward the lift as the Lieutenant Commander of the past held the door. She entered the lift in a hurried huff.
"Thank you sir..." The young woman said and he nodded silently to her.
"Level please." The mechanical voice said, and the officer grinned.
"Air tram/Federal Hospital level…" He declared solemnly.
"Level two please." She replied, and he remained silent, studying her with his eyes. The young woman is attractive, a young Warrant Officer 3. She wears a gold bar with three red dots on it, pinned to the collar of her green and black uniform she wore over her attractive figure. She has long auburn hair and green eyes that seemed to twinkle in the light like emeralds. The young woman glanced in his direction and he managed a smile at her before turning front.
"Not bad." He thought, "A little young for being a Warrant Officer."
The lift stopped at the level and the doors opened, allowing the Warrant Officer to get off the lift. Turning her head, she winked at him and he managed a sheepishly grin at her as the doors closed. A moment later, the lift hummed into operation as it quickly went down to open its doors at the Air tram / Hospital level. As it arrived, it did so in the familiar whoosh, as the doors opened allowing him to exit the cab. Here he walked across the half deck that connects the stairwell to the Air tram deck, the Federal Hospital and the Headquarters building. He paused to put on his aviator glasses and hat. Here, he took in his surroundings quickly and paused to watch as the trams landed and left, watching the many people unload and load from them. Many of the people who stepped out from the trams wore the familiar EDC uniforms and others not. Some walked in groups, dispersing to other trams or to the stairwell leading to the half-deck that connected the Hospital and Headquarters building where he now stood. A few exited from the terminal to go into the city.
The area also reminded him of a movie from his century a long ago, the first Star Trek Movie, over two hundred years ago. It reminded him of the scene where Admiral Kirk arrived by air tram at Starfleet Headquarters and stepped off the tram onto the flight deck. The air tram deck looked very close like it did in the movie and he managed a grimace at the familiarity that this area shared to a science fiction movie of the past. The only difference though he was in Tokyo, rather than San Francisco. Turning he returned salutes from a chief and a petty officer who walked up the steps and headed toward the door, leading to the Headquarters building. He managed a grin, suddenly feeling good as he returned the salutes, and glad he was back in the saddle after two hundred years of stasis.
Here, the young man of the past walked down the sterile white corridor, after entering the hospital through the double doors, leading to the Tram deck. He made his way to the main lobby where the turbo-lifts for the hospital are located. Entering the main lobby, he panned an unfamiliar glance to the surroundings before pushing the button to call the cab that would take him to the third floor to their room. The young officer was not aware that Denise and Emily were still on the ground floor in the gardens with Amy and Melinda. He pulled off his cap and his glasses, hanging them from the front pocket of the uniform.
"Level please." The lift's mechanical voice said, interrupting his thoughts and he turned his head.
"Level Three." He ordered, and the lift's doors shut.
"Thank you." The lift said, and it hummed into life as it rocketed upward to the third level. When it arrived the doors opened with a whoosh, allowing him to step out into the sterile white corridor. Here the young officer walked quickly toward the familiar nurse's station and they stood respectfully when they saw him. Nathaniel nodded to the familiar, youthful nurses who worked this floor with the head nurse, and the ones he recognized from his time here in the Federal Hospital.
Major Downing, of course, glared at him, and muttered a growl at the others at the desk.
"As you were," He said quickly, flashing his coded identification, "Please, carry on."
"I am here to see Lieutenant (JG) Montgomery and Watson. What room are they in?" He asked formally and he eyed Major Downing, the head nurse for a moment who looked up from a chart she was reading.
"Three forty-five." She replied, "Visiting hours, are long since over, Commander." The officer glanced at the chronometer on his wrist and he managed a grimace. It was a bold-faced lie, there was still a lot of time before the visiting hours were over, and dinner was to be served, at least forty-five minutes, to an hour.
"Major. My visit is not a social call." He replied, "I am coming from General Singleton's office, official business."
She rolled her eyes, and scoffed silently at his statement.
"Just get your butt off my floor." She told him, "I can call security you know, you are not welcome here."
"Look, Major, I don't have to be here. You know, I can always report the uncooperative staff of the hospital to the EDC Commander." He said sternly, "Just let me do my job and what I am ordered to do. He orders, I move, it is that simple. You of all people should understand performance of your duty."
She grimaced at the statement and said nothing as he stood there.
The young Lieutenant Commander, realizing his good mood had gone, tapped his hand on the counter a couple of times before departing toward the rooms. He had pointed out discipline, and carrying out orders of a superior officer. He had a job to do and he knew it. He continued purposely down the hallway and spied Angie Stethem leaning in the door of their room. She was dressed informally, in a casual non-military outfit, a rather attractive attire of a red tunic and pants. She had the symbol of the EDC pinned on the breast of her jacket.
"Nathaniel!" Angie said formally, "I was just thinking about you."
He grinned at her, and he eyed her curiously, at the attire. He noted no uniform. It was the first time he had seen her outside of a uniform and she was rather attractive in the new age outfit.
"Ah, a social call I take it?" He asked and she nodded.
"How'd you guess?"
"Your outfit gives you away." He replied gently, and she smiled at him. She stood to spin in place and he managed an impressed nod.
“Beautiful.” He complimented and it made her flush slightly.
"Don't you ever get out of that uniform Nathaniel?" Angie asked, "You ever let your hair down?"
He grimaced, shaking his head.
"It is a rarity if I get time off." Nathaniel said with a smirk, "So what's the caper tonight?"
He found himself almost afraid to hear her answer.
"Was planning to take Emily and Denise for a little R&R, get them away from the hospital for a while but they are not in their room right now." Angie replied grinning, "I received Doctor Sane and Commander McDonald's permission of course."
"Hrml, interesting…" The young Lieutenant Commander replied casually, echoing the same words of someone from a very long time ago, when he was part of a Bulletin Board System in the past two hundred years ago. He turned his head to a young nurse who walked by, putting out his hand to stop her. She smiled as she nodded to the young officer of the twentieth century.
"Excuse me nurse, do you know where Lieutenants (jg) Montgomery and Watson are right now?" He asked, and she glanced at the doorway.
"Oh they are on the ground floor, in the Hospital Gardens." The young woman replied, "They aren't back yet?"
He shook his head at the nurse and she grimaced.
"Thank you nurse, we'll get them."
He put out his arm for Angie.
"Shall we go?" Nathaniel asked and she laughed, taking it. They walked together passed the nurse's station to the turbo-lifts. Stepping in the cab that arrived he turned to the speaker.
"Level Please." It said.
"Level one, Lobby…" He replied.
"Thank you." The elevator's voice said.
"Up your shaft…!" He replied quickly and the lift jerked downward.
"Temper, Temper." The young officer replied sarcastically, as Angie laughed loudly.
The Lieutenant Commander managed a quick grin at her mirth, feeling a bit better that he was able to see a smile today by someone, instead of being given attitude for the job he had to do.
"You stole that from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock from our century." She said, smiling, "I always knew you were a Trek nut."
"Yeah and it never gets old." Nathaniel remarked, "These lifts have a really well done AI programming and are almost human. Therefore, you can really piss them off just a bit. You should hear the ones in New Joisey."
She laughed again.
The lift hummed into life, as it moved rapidly downward and soon stopped at the first level. The doors opened with a whoosh and together Angie and Nathaniel stepped into yet another small hall that looked like all the hallways in the hospital, a sterile white one, with the familiar blue and red stripe and the EDC emblem blazon on the wall in gold. Ahead of them, it is only a few feet on either side, and it connects the large plush lobby of Federal Hospital. This lobby is an open room with plush carpets, tiled walkways and furnishings throughout. It reminded both newcomers to this century of the Doctor's office they had been at in San Francisco, Presidio where they had been screened and accepted for stasis.
Walking along the hallway, the soldiers snapped to attention and saluted by presenting arms in response to the couple’s salute. The guards themselves wore thick battle armor, and held large nasty looking rifles as they stood guard. A glass wall, with automatic doors separated them from a plush green area with granite walkways, oak benches, fountains, and manufactured streams that ran under the many trees that line the garden. A stairway led upward onto a large platform that overlooks the edge of the garden and out over New Tokyo/Federal City.
Together, the couple saw Denise and Emily with Melinda and Amy outside, staring at the futuristic buildings that surrounded the hospital and headquarters building. He noted the breeze that whipped their long hair as they stood out in the sunlight. He motioned to his classmate and fellow stasis member, putting a finger against his lips, signaling for her to be quiet as they stepped onto the escalator leading to the open second floor, An automatic door opened them to pass through it and then closed behind them. Nathaniel was glad to see Emily and Denise, thankfully alive and well.
“But what cost with Seth gone.” He thought and grimaced. The officer wondered if she would forgive him for not taking the action he should have, and taken her as a girlfriend long ago as he rightly should have done.
The first thing Nathaniel and Angie also noted was on Melinda's collar was the shiny single silver bar on her collar marking her as a 1st Lieutenant, and on Amy's collar of her blue and dark blue uniform, she wore a set of double bars marking her as a Lieutenant too. Amy wore the uniform like him, the blue dark blue trimmed uniform of the Space Service, while Melinda wore the unfamiliar green and gray uniform of the Space Armed Forces. He put on his cap and the mirrored dark aviator glasses.
“…Jesus this place is huge." Emily remarked, "It's not like I expected."
"It's hard to believe isn't." Melinda asked, "Two hundred years, a lot has changed."
Amy managed a laugh. "You aren't kidding, I didn't even recognize San Francisco when we visited and we spent a year and a half there. We took a day trip there and it was amazing. It is nothing like it used to be."
"I can only imagine what San Fran looks like now or even where we are from originally. Even by the looks of Tokyo I agree wholeheartedly, too much has changed in two hundred years." Denise replied as she smiled, but it faded when she sensed Angie and Nathaniel nearby. Melinda turned her head to regard them for a moment.
"Attention on deck!" She called out halfheartedly, and everyone snapped to attention. Everyone saluted and the young officers regarded the group before returning the salute with a nod.
"As you were," Angie replied quickly, sarcastically waving her hand, "Jesus, relax this is a bloody social call.
"Hi Angie… Lieutenant Commander…" Melinda said, greeting the duo warmly. She had glanced at the others, knowing that Emily and Denise did not recognize him by the expression on their faces.
"This is weird, I was just thinking of you both." Amy said with a frown, "You pick the strangest moments to show up."
Both Angie and her companion glanced at each other to smile, a chuckle rippling between them. As Denise and Emily stood there, they were staring at the couple quietly, as if to study them. A sudden familiarity came over them when they recognized Angie from their old school a long time ago.
"Yea, but it's always great to see a familiar face again." Denise said, embracing the young woman warmly when she recognized her. Emily had followed suit. Both women did not recognize the man clad in the unfamiliar blue/dark blue trimmed uniform that stood beside her, however. They both exchanged a puzzled look, noting his stolid ominous silence.
"So… they let you out for a bit off the floor to roam the hospital, that's a good sign." Angie said and there was laughter that followed by everyone.
"That's what Amy and Melinda said." Denise replied with a smile, and a chuckle rippled through the group.
"It feels great to get out a bit from the stuffy room for a moment." Emily replied, "Get to, at least, see the outside and feel the real wind and breathe the real air for a change."
"I know that feeling all too well." Amy replied with a smile of her own, making small talk.
"Speaking of that, how would you all like to get out of here and have dinner away from the hospital cafeteria food?" Angie asked, "I got permission from Doctor Sane and Commander McDonald, to take you out for a few and show you around a bit in your new home. Maybe hit a few clubs too and are acclimated to this new century in the way of how things are around here in this century. He thought it would be good for you two to start getting acclimated to the surroundings and the time."
"I don't think I am in the mood for clubbing." Denise said, "I think I am way out of touch with the times."
"Me neither." Emily said, "This is a whole new generation, who'd want someone like me who is out of time and place?"
"Plenty of people would. No doubt of that." Melinda replied and she grinned, "This new generation, as you put it, is still well versed in the funky monkey."
There was laughter from the group. They both glanced at the face of the young officer who stood before them, his scarred face showing clearly in the light despite the beard and patch. He had not said anything to them, only studying his friends in silence. He had not smiled or showed any emotion once so ever.
"Speaking of new generation," Denise said with a smile, pointing at the Lieutenant Commander, "Where'd you find this hunk of man in this century, and does he have a brother?"
"Yeah, no kidding…" Emily added with a laugh, "He's not a bad looker at that, despite he had been injured. I hope, like hell, he is single too, now that Seth is gone. I really need someone to talk to after all the hell we have been through together.”
Denise had pointed at Nathaniel who frowned slightly at the reference. Melinda, Amy and even Angie chuckled at the frown he gave her. All three of them strongly knew his feeling for the term 'Hunk' that was used to describe him. Denise had not recognized him from the hospital where he had held her in his arms after fainting. Miss Watson had swooned in the corridor, the young officer beside her in a flash to quickly catching her and held her until the medics had arrived. As he had held her, they revived her, only for Denise to peer at the group then to the grizzled officer and faint dead away again.
"He's not from this century. The Lieutenant Commander here is the leader of my stasis group that was wiped out by that terrorist bomb." Angie explained, "From our group there was only two of us, I am thankful it I had someone to see me through this place when I woke from stasis. My first sight was him, standing over me, his face bandaged but recognizable, and all smiles."
"I didn't know there were only two of you, how awful." Melinda said with a grimace.
"Me neither." Amy said with a gasp.
"You guys aren't married are you?" Emily asked, and the couple glanced at each other for only a moment, smiling as he winked at her. They both then laughed aloud.
"Uh no…" Angie replied with a wave of her hand, blushing furiously, Her blush had made the small group chuckle among themselves, grinning openly at her obvious embarrassment.
"...Although we are together a lot and rightly should be, as it seems like we are. He never asked, or hinted though."
Her tone had shown annoyance and he grinned shaking his head.
"Why not…?" Denise asked suspiciously, "You make quite the beautiful couple."
Angie blushed deeply again, smiling politely and nodded to her classmate. Beside her, the Lieutenant Commander was broadly smiling. Emily noted that his smile was the first sign of emotion in the last ten minutes of banter among them.
"Thank you." They both replied simultaneously, and glanced at each other again, grinning.
"We both have our duties, and it kind of keeps us both busy." Angie said and he nodded.
"Not right now… maybe after the mission ahead of us." The young officer intoned, glancing at Emily and then Angie who was smiling. They heard the rough voice and it had surprised them.
“Jesus, he can speak.” Denise murmured sarcastically and he merely shrugged.
"I just have to ask this, what's with the eye patch and scar. I thought the medical science came a long way from the twentieth/twenty-first century." Emily commented, "According to what I have been reading in our catch up learning."
"It did. This is about what is considered normal." He prompted, "I had a piece of shrapnel from the chamber cut the stasis chamber open like an egg and into my skull. I lost sight in the eye, so they patched it and fixed my face at least to be presentable. It is a work in progress to restore sight in my eye and remove the scar."
Denise clearly was astonished by the revelation, "And you still are in the service? They must be hard up for people."
"I can still be useful with one eye it seems." He replied, "You can do a lot from a console now days. It won't be too long and I will have use in my left eye again."
"You know, you really seem familiar to me." Emily said with a playful frown, "Have we met before, sir?"
"Yeah, me too…" Denise said with a curious tone, and both turned their head to stare at the young man before them.
Both had noted his overwhelming, looming demeanor, but that was because he was put into a command capacity. He tried to not to be friends with his group, but a leader when he was on duty.
"Perhaps, a long time ago in the twentieth century," He replied solemnly, "If memory serves, it was around nineteen eighty six to eighty eight."
"We were in Bellbrook then." Denise replied with a start, "How on Earth could you know and have been there? You probably read it in our military files."
“Yeah, especially eighty-eight when I arrived there.” Emily added and he nodded formally.
"Like Amanda and Manual, we served in the same west coast high school the rest of the years I had to be there for graduation. I was in Ohio three years though." He prompted again, and became quiet, almost solemn as if he were waiting for something, recognition perhaps. Angie glanced at the playful look on Nathaniel's face, when he started thinking of another time and place they all were together. He was thinking of all one hundred and thirteen class of nineteen ninety-one and the one hundred and thirty five class members of ninety.
“So long ago...” Angie thought, “I miss them too Nathaniel.”
She managed a sigh as she thought of their friends.
"Well, I certainly was glad to see him when we were in training together with many others from all walks of life and creeds." Angie said, "I didn't expect to see him again after he left Bellbrook and years later in San Francisco, California at the Presidio Base of Stasis Operations no less."
"When I learned you and Watts here…" He started to say, and he motioned to Denise.
"Say what?" She interrupted, snapping her head toward him, her face showing total astonishment, "W-what was that?"
He had dropped a deliberate rock solid clue of his identity to the young women before him. Melinda and Amy smiled at her nickname.
"I said when Emily and Watts here were…" He started but Denise interrupted again.
"There are only a few people who know me by that nickname, and that has not been in a very long time. That was a revelation from Doug Woolard from a class in Junior High when we went to see a movie as a class, Some Kind of Wonderful." She had said it in objection and he smirked, continuing anyway. It was not without a slight nod his head and wave of his hand.
"Well, when you both were mistakenly marked as deceased, I was pleased. The records were only mixed up with a couple of soldiers killed in the last war on Earth with the Dinguil Empire. That was one hell of a war where we both had our baptism of fire." Nathaniel said with a smile, "I was glad to see the secondary group and the familiar faces though, after it was all over. And for your information, Miss Watson, We were in Ms. Depinto's class in nineteen eighty-seven. Some Kind of Wonderful was the film we saw together as a class and you earned that polite nickname."
"There is no way anyone knows that. How on Earth did you know that?" Denise demanded. "Who and the hell are you? It's not in my military file."
"May I present Lieutenant Commander Nathaniel Miller, Second Officer aboard the Heavy Cruiser SS Kosheo," Melinda prompted, "Former member/leader of stasis group 215, and old friend to Bellbrook High School class of nineteen ninety and ninety-one."
"I am at your service." He said with a slight bow, and he saw the astonishment on their faces when he straightened.
Emily shook her head in disbelief as she peered at him in silent surprise. The Lieutenant Commander nodded sharply, and smiled broadly at the young women who stood before them, that he had not seen in decades, now centuries. Memories of a youthful face appeared there for both of them and as the pair silently stared at him, only briefly, they finally bolted to embrace him warmly. The young man was surprised when Emily put her arms around him, shaking her head to plant a warm passionate kiss on his lips. He put his arms around her, holding the passionate kiss and embrace for almost five full minutes. There were smiles all around and there were whistles by passing military personnel. The trio around them, their friends grinned as two minutes elapsed, then glanced at their watches and shuffled their feet as they stood there as ten minutes elapsed. Angie had done the same thing when she saw him for the first time, and after they had recovered from stasis, so glad to see him. Emily drew back, smiling, her eyes wet, as his kiss was sweet, filled with passionate promise.
"It can't be… I do not believe it! But it is!" Emily gasped, "I remember you... We were next to each other in homeroom classes next door to each other. I never thought I would see you again after you departed. Where did you go? How have you been?"
She kissed him again, holding him tightly. not wanting to let him go. Emily smiled brightly, as she drew back and peered at him in silent surprise.
“Damn you look sexy, after all these years.” Emily observed, and he smirked.
"You both look great too!"
The pair both smiled, and blushed slightly.
“It is so very good to see you guys, alive and well. By the way, how is your back after that fall in the hospital, Miss Watson?"
"Hospital…?" Denise asked and she thought about it for a moment, and through the haze of disorientation and pain, she remembered his face blearily in her mind. She gasped.
"It's nothing really, don't worry about it." Denise said with a wave of her hand.
“I am so astonished to see you!”
"Same here, I seems like yesterday I remember, we waved at each other every morning, and passed each other in the hallway during fifth and sixth periods." He replied with a smile, "I never forgot you or the others in the nineteen ninety class and ninety-one class."
"I think you were in my second period class, and fifth period class." Denise said with a frown, "You were an annoying little shit. I didn't like you, ya know."
"Gee, thank you for your support." The young officer replied with a sarcastic tone and he stepped back. "So what do you think of me now?"
He opened up his arms and he bowed slightly.
"I don't know exactly what to think." Denise replied icily and he laughed, moving to embrace her. He jumped back, blocking the strike when she moved her leg and there was a brief pause. He stood in a martial arts stance of readiness. Both glanced at him before he made a motion with his hands and straightened.
"I have come a long ass way from that annoying little shit." He prompted, making Denise frown. "I think you will like me better than I was. Besides that's not really giving a guy a sporting chance."
"So true, it was a surprise for all of us." Melinda replied, and Amy nodded too. There was banter and laughter among the group as they sat and talked, catching up on the centuries that past. Denise herself was astonished, but had also agreed to his statement that he was so very different from that young man she had met centuries ago.
"So you are a Lieutenant Commander, Jesus, how'd you get that rank?" Denise asked and Emily nodded her head with the same question, "We only got two stripes after stasis."
"You are looking at an honest to god hero." Angie replied smartly, pointing at the young officer beside her and noted the modest look on his face.
“Oh hell, I'm no hero.” He prompted, and grimaced waving his hand.
"Yes, you are. A very brave man who charged down the guns and our baptism of fire, as you call it, learning the ropes of a new century. Saving many people from certain death when the enemy sneak attacked during the Dinguil War, and he stood his ground to protect those who were still alive and get them to medical.” Angie prompted.
“Jesus.” Emily exclaimed, putting her hand to her mouth in silent astonishment and Angie nodded.
“We both earned our stripes during that time, and we hardly knew what the hell we were doing, but we showed valor and initiative. Command took notice for that. But like Nathaniel we enlisted, or in this case were drafted into the service during the turmoil that prompted stasis, and both met in the Presidio when they were screening volunteers for stasis.”
He managed a smile and a nod to Angie who grinned back.
"That must have been unnerving." Emily murmured and he shrugged.
"Angie and I both were shot twice in the line of duty herself. It was a pretty hard core, a fine how do you do for waking in a new century, that's for sure." He prompted, "You both are lucky, and so are the others."
Here he pointed at Melinda and Amy. "At least you all will get a full term in catch up learning at the Academy and ease into your assignments to learn the ropes gradually and not under fire. You and Emily will also have that benefit."
"I hope we can make it." Emily remarked casually, and he nodded.
"You will, do what they tell you no matter how stupid it is, and follow orders. If you don't know, ask questions for clarification." He shot back, "That's how you survive the service."
"I hate to interrupt, but how bout we all go to dinner and catch up on old times." Angie suggested, "I'll alert Manual and Amanda. We can talk then."
"Sounds good to me," Melinda replied, and glanced at the nodding head of Amy who stood beside her. Nathaniel also was nodding.
"Great idea…!" The Lieutenant Commander exclaimed, "I know the place to take this lot to, Angie. Let's try the restaurant we found on main street, great food. My treat,"
"Oh I know what you mean, that place is nice." Angie replied, "I hope you like Japanese. It is a great little place we found a few months back."
"Your uniforms should be in your room by now too. So should some clothes for off-duty. We should stop by and let you get dressed in proper attire." Captain Stethem told them, "You guys can make the choice what to wear." Both Denise and Emily had a surprised look on their faces.
"You actually got us some uniforms issued?" Both women asked with surprise and the young Captain nodded. "Yes, with compliments from General Singleton himself, his staff, and Commander Mitty McDonald his aide."
"Send our thanks to the staff there." Denise requested, "For everything they have done for us."
"Will do, shall we go?" Angie asked, grinning when Nathaniel put out his arm and she took it, all walking through the door into the sterile hallway. They waited for a turbo-lift cab to arrive, and it did so with a familiar whoosh. They all stepped into it. Lieutenant Panstingle hit the button for floor three and the lift moved upward to open onto their floor. They walked in a group toward the nurse's station and Nathaniel smiled at the young nurses who staffed the desk. A few moments later, they all stood outside as Emily and Denise slipped into the garments on their bed and stored the rest in a locker next to the beds.
"Okay you can all come in." Emily called and the group entered to stare at the familiar EDC uniforms. Both wore the familiar blue and dark blue uniform that Nathaniel wore. Both dubiously stared at the mirror in the room at the uniforms and both busily pinned the rank insignia, as well the the insignia that marked her as a Computer Tech. Denise pinned the symbol of as operations specialist on her collar for Radar/Analysis. The uniforms were cut properly, flattering the formidable curves of their bodies.
"Damn, you both look great in those uniforms." Amy complimented.
"I hope we put them on correctly." Denise complained and glanced at Emily who was smiling. The two grabbed a pack containing their new identification cards and slipped on the dog tags around their neck to put them under the uniform tunic. Turning their heads, Nathaniel and Angie both were smiling too, nodding in approval. They spent a couple of minutes going over the new military courtesy how to salute and rank recognition.
"You really know your stuff." Denise asked casually and he snapped his head to look at her.
"Don't worry you'll learn the ropes quickly. It's not hard to survive the service."
"So, are you both ready for the good times?" Amy asked, politely interrupting and both Emily and Denise turned their head to nod.
"Yeah bring on the chow and party." Denise and Emily said simultaneously and both paused to grin.
"Just like it was two hundred years ago?" Emily replied and there was a brief chuckle, "I can't wait, bring it on."
Together they walked toward the door and into the hallway. Angie led the way with the young Lieutenant Commander as they headed toward the turbo-lift on the other side of the nurse's station. Emily was in one arm and Angie in the other.
"Curfew is ten hundred." Nathaniel said, "We'll try to have you both back here by then, there is a place I am going to take you. I at least owe you both a look of a very special place here in this century."
“Curfew? Jesus, I feel like I am sixteen again.” Emily exclaimed sarcastically, and there was laughter among the group. Angie, however, had perked up on Nathaniel's statement and she nodded, realizing he was talking about the memorial where everyone was buried.
The turbo-lift cab arrived with a whoosh, and the doors slid open to reveal Amanda and Manual.
"We got your message." Amanda said quickly, glancing at Denise and Emily with a smile before she and Manual both warmly embraced them.
“And you guys look great.” She said.
“Those uniforms really suit you, right sir?” Manual asked, turning his head to Nathaniel who was nodding.
“And beautiful as ever.” He murmured, making Emily blush slightly.
"Thanks." Emily and Denise said together, smiling broadly.
"Say, what rank is that?" Emily asked, pointing at Amanda's collar, "I never have seen a pin like that one even in our own century."
"She's a Warrant Officer." Angie replied quickly.
"So what do you think Sergeant Major?" Amanda asked, glancing at him sideways "What do you think of this dream team of the past."
Manual managed a polite, impressed nod.
"They look damn good." He declared as he nodded impressed at his friends and stasis shipmates, "Although I wish more of us survived the whole damn project. Eddie would have loved this."
"For sure…" Amanda prompted, "Same with Sherry and the others."
"This way…" Angie said, and they all stepped into the turbo-lift. She pushed the button for the lobby and the lift hummed into life as it moved quickly downward to the street level. Together, in a group, they stepped into the large plush lobby of Federal Hospital. It is an open room with plush carpets, tiled walkways and furnishings throughout. It reminded both newcomers to this century of the Doctor's office they had been at in San Francisco, Presidio where they had been screened and accepted for stasis.
Emily noted several guards posted in the lobby with thick battle armor and large nasty looking rifles as they stood guard. Many times as they passed enlisted, and higher ranking officers who they returned the salutes formally. The Lieutenant Commander merely nodded his head or flashed a quick salute to them, despite their rough looking frowns. Outside on the street, they peered at the buildings that loomed around them, the scale much different from their perch high above them. Several Air-trams appeared into the sky as they moved on their courses to other cities. Glass tubes for the monorail system were high above them, and it reminded them of Disneyland in their century.
"So what do you think of the city?" Angie asked, peering at the astonished expressions of their frriends. Both he newcomers glanced at each other.
"It's big." Denise replied, "I didn't realize how big, until you are on the street level."
"Yeah, and it's a bit unnerving." Emily chimed in and the young Lieutenant Commander managed a chuckle.
"We probably all were the same way. It took a guide for me if I had to travel around to other cities." He mused, "It was hard as hell to get used to, always forgetting where you are and what century you are living in. You will acclimate over time though."
"I know this is New Tokyo, but have you been home yet, Nathaniel?" Denise asked, "I know you were from the San Francisco area."
He shook his head.
"My duties keep me here a lot of the time when I am ashore. But usually I am aboard ship."
"So why the hell are you going on the strike team to this Aquarius, if you are assigned aboard a ship?" Denise asked, "That makes no sense."
"I have knowledge of the power sources for the stasis chambers and technical knowledge." Nathaniel replied gently, "They temporarily pulled me from my ship to assist in the strike because of that knowledge of the chambers, their power sources and because I am also from the twentieth century. With Seth gone, someone had to fill in as C.O."
"I want to see his grave, is that possible?" Emily asked and Denise nodded in agreement. Melinda glanced at Angie who smiled warmly at her friends.
"Yes we can." She replied, "Anytime you like."
"There's something else I can't wait to see." Denise said, "Actually serving aboard a ship in space. We were just entering space travel to Mars two hundred years ago. That's hard to believe."
"They have stations on all the planets, or orbiting stations. Ships and people actually serve in those places too." Angie explained. "Earth has advanced a lot since we were in the twentieth century."
Lieutenant Commander Miller nodded to Angie, who led the way, and the group chatted, joked, laughed and carried on while on the main drag. The newcomers took in the sights of the city. There were whistles and catcalls from civilian clothed personnel who stood outside the surroundings disco-techs. Denise and Emily smiled. A few minutes later, Angie stopped at the entry of the restaurant they frequently had inhabited while in New Tokyo, the one they found on today's internet.
"We're here." She murmured and she opened the door.
'The Silken Rose.' The sign read and a smell of oriental cooking heavily permeated the air.
"Smells good," Denise said, "Hope they have good food."
Stepping through the doors, they stood before a podium in a rather large entry foyer that connects with the eating and service areas. The foyer itself has a fountain in one corner and a bench adjacent to it. Seating in the form of tables littered the room and booths along the windows. It is two levels and there is a sweeping staircase here, leading to the floor above them. Throughout the adjacent room that connects the foyer, it is decorated with many panels of brush paintings and ancient writings. The floor is tiled with a white decorative tile trimmed in blue. Plush dark maroon colored carpet lined the floor throughout the restaurant. Above them, old style Japanese lanterns hang from the ceiling to light the rooms. Angie turned to the young oriental man, who stood at the podium, holding menus and who nodded formally to the party.
"Haw many in your party prease?" The host asked and Angie glanced at the group quickly. All were fighting a grin.
"Seven." Angie said, and the host nodded.
"One moment prease, I have to setup yaur tabre."
"Thank you." Angie replied, bowing slightly to the host who smiled at her.
"You know the customs well." Denise complimented making Angie smile as she motioned to a nearby bench and they all sat, laughing and talking amongst themselves. Many people, non-hilarious groups seated and unseated, frowned as they watched the rowdy group of people in the foyer. Laughter echoed through the room, as the Lieutenant Commander made a joke relating to the host that was about to seat them.
"Dis way prease." The host said, and they all stood, and they followed the oriental man toward the corner table that was setup to seat all eight of them. Menus littered the table. Nathaniel and Manual stood as the women sat first, and they took a seat a moment later. A young woman appeared at one end of the table with a touch pad.
"I am here to correct your drenk ordar." She said, and there was sharp laughter.
"Gee, didn't know there was anything wrong with it." Amanda spouted off and more laughter followed.
"I'll have a Rong Isrand Ice Tree." Nathaniel said and there were choked snickers among the group.
"Pardon me?" The woman asked and he frowned.
"You know a Rong Isrand Ice Tree?" He repeated and she frowned at him. He muttered a silent curse under his breath.
"Long Island Ice Tea…"
"Ah-so, yes..." She said, putting it on her pad.
"Beer…" Manual said.
"Prum Wine." Amy said solemnly, with a deadpan straight face. More laughter echoed the room.
"Excuse prease?" The women asked, cocking her head apparently not getting the humor behind their responses.
"A grass of prum wine...." Amy repeated, "Prease." The girl frowned, trying to understand the patrons before them.
"Jesus." Amy muttered to herself and aloud she spoke quickly. "Plum wine please…"
"Make that two." Melinda said.
"Make that three." Amanda added.
"I'll do the beer thing too." Denise ordered.
"Tequira Sunrise." Emily said and there was a smile all around.
"Ah so, Tequira Sunrise…" The woman replied, and she managed a grin at the group, suddenly understanding their humor. She realized they were teasing her, making fun of her accent.
"Uhm, just a soda…" Angie said, glancing at the Lieutenant Commander who showed surprise on his face.
The young woman nodded before she walked away and conversation resumed the hilarity at the table at the dismay of the other patrons. Their laughter echoed the restaurant, comparing notes on what they saw so far in this century. They shared humorous stories of their arrival into this century. When the drinks came, they all were distributed quickly and the waiter, a young oriental kid stepped up to the table.
"Can I rake your ordah?"
"Yes, so long as it's in a neat pile." Manual said jokingly and there was laughter among the group.
Other patrons frowned at the table containing the stasis volunteers, quickly finishing their meal and leaving. Soon the area around them was empty except for a few patrons. Orders were taken quickly and the discussion continued, turning to sex in the twenty-third century. A topic not appreciated by a full Colonel who sat two tables over with his wife and four children. Two older ones wore the uniforms of the EDC and two younger ones sat beside them.
"…I wonder if that's possible in zero-G. That would kind of get a bit weird don't you think?" Manual said with a laugh.
"Nah probably it's done the same way. We can always try during the moon flight, on our time off together." Amanda commented followed by loud laughter from the others.
"Whoa, Jesus, get a room you two." Denise laughed.
"Been trying, but there is no time." Amanda replied drunkenly and there was laughter and banter among the group.
Sitting at the table the Colonel glanced many times at the group of stasis volunteers, grimacing annoyed at the trash talk and taboo topics while they waited for their meal. They drank at least two rounds of alcoholic beverages as they waited for their food. The Colonel, finally fed up, shook his head had pushed back his chair and walked toward the group sitting two tables over from them.
"Excuse me, Lieutenant Commander." The Colonel said formally, and Nathaniel looked up in surprise, staring at the birds on the green and black collar that now stood at his elbow. He quickly deciphered the ranking recognition.
"Yes, Colonel," He replied after a moment, addressing the superior officer "How may I be of service, SIR."
A quick hush fell over the group, as they turned their heads respectfully.
"Your voice is carrying, a topic I rather not have my young children overhear you and your party flap your big mouths about."
"It happens to be a public place Colonel, but we will try to keep it down a touch, and maybe keep the topics PG rated." Nathaniel offered and he turned his head back to the group. The high-ranking officer shook his head.
"Consider it an order and I prefer it as a courtesy to STAND, when you address a superior officer." He droned, and Nathaniel frowned, slowly standing.
"I know who you all are. You should not be wearing those uniforms." He said with a touch of disrespect, "You didn't earn them, not in this military boy. You are all dinosaurs in comparison and are hardly all EDC material. I'll see to it you people don't last in this man's military."
"Oh I heard an asshole boy." Manual said, pushing away from the table, as did the others in the stasis group readying for action.
"With all due respect, Colonel," Nathaniel said with a snarl, "Fuck you, Sir. We didn’t need that bullshit."
He snapped off a fast salute with the middle finger extended and there was a brief pause, as he turned his back on the officer. At first, there were surprised looks on the faces of the stasis group, their jaws dropping open in awe at what was just said by the young officer, and their friend. A low hush rounded the table, as smiles appeared on the stasis member's faces. They stood up a moment later, applauding the Lieutenant Commander. He smiled back and bowed slightly at the waist.
The stunned Colonel stammered and sputtered as his face turned dark purple with rage. "How dare you speak to me in that manner, do you know who I am?"
"No who… The pope…?" Manual spouted off and there were snickers among the members of the stasis group. The Lieutenant Commander put up his hand calling for silence.
"Colonel Samuel Allen Jackson, Saturn Station." He rasped, "Your, err… a superior officer."
"Yea…? Bully for you. I will have you know, Heir Colonel, we did earn these uniforms and we are definitely the kind of people you would want as EDC material. We fucking aye earned it, putting our asses on the line for Earth, king, country by risking two hundred years and possibly death in that deep freeze." The Lieutenant Commander snarled belligerently, "And what did we get for it? We lost fifteen people, good men and women in that bloody stasis project between two groups. As well, we lost two hundred years, our friends, our families, everything we cared about, a home and got a world that totally forgot about us. That is what we got; we were screwed, blued and tattooed at the same fucking time. You welcome us home, with some fucked up bullshit like this. Nice fucking welcome, nice fucking century and with all due respect, which I have none, you are an asshole, sir."
"Doo-rah…." Manual replied, glancing at the stunned expressions on the stasis member's faces and then to the hard expression of the Lieutenant Commander, his friend and high school buddy of long ago.
A stunned silence moved across the room, as the Colonel stammered, his face turning purple with rage again. Nathaniel paused as he glanced at the group, then to the room at the others present. His comments had drove the point home, to remind them all that there was a lot of life lost among the stasis crew and sacrifice made to protect Earth, just like the many who died in the Star Force. Everyone had forgotten that fact, and he merely reminded him or her of the sacrifices involved that the group had been through and lost. There were stunned expressions on a lot of the faces present, and regret on a few of the others, his point very clear to the situation at hand.
"I think we are done here gang." Nathaniel said, turning to his friends and they nodded slightly, as they stood in silence. Here, the young Lieutenant Commander used a card and paid for the meal they had not even received yet, and for the drinks that were not quite finished before they filed out into the street.
"I want to go find a bar and drink till I am not sober." Nathaniel said sternly, "To forget that asshole's face. What a fucking jerk, I surely wanted to pop him a new one. It would have been worth a haul in the brig, being a higher rank or not."
"I'd be right with you too, skip. Who was that person anyway? He had a lot of fucking nerve." Manual aked.
"He's one of the battalion Commanders of Saturn Station." Angie replied, "He's a stickler, every times he comes to Earth the EDC hops to. They give him spit and polish or you hear him bitch from lower ranks to upper echelons. The Command Generals listen to him. He is some great hero and tactician within the EDC. He could cause you great grief, now that you told him what you think of him."
"He's an idiot." Amanda murmured, "We did nothing wrong, but have a normal conversation. Even though we were, I admit, getting a bit rowdy. But when did that stop us before though, when we were together painting the town red in San Francisco?"
"Hey it's us." Melinda replied, "Old and new friends on our first meal together as a team, together again after two hundred years… That guy just needs to pull his head out of his ass and cut us a little slack."
"You certainly gave them something to think about." Angie mused and Nathaniel turned his head to smile.
"I meant every fucking word too." He replied.
Turning, the group heard conversation and music. A crowd of people stood outside a bar, drinking and talking. They went toward it.
"Hey wait up!" A voice shouted, as several uniformed officers, patrons while in the restaurant where the Colonel had walked up on them, all carried bags. They handed them to them.
"You all forgot your meal." A Lieutenant told them, "Don't worry the boys and I settled up for you at the bar. You guys have some brass balls, excuse me ladies, for standing up to Colonel Bonehead, Jackson." The stasis group smiled at the politeness of the youthful officer. "So where are you all headed, it's early for heading in."
"We’re looking for the nearest bar, sir." Manual spoke up, and there were smiles as they pointed to the bar they were walking toward to have a drink and a meal of some sort.
"Ironic that is the hottest bar that EDC inhabits." He told them. "Come with me, the first round is on me."
There was a cheer by the group as the mingled with the officers and enlisted that had seen the fight at the Silken Rose. As they stepped in, the place was crowded with uniformed personnel, and not. A few of them glanced at the door as the stasis personnel entered and some stepped aside allowing them to head to the bar.
"Hey look it's the group from the past!" A voice said, and the room fell to a hushed silence as applause thundered among the uniformed personnel.
"I am buying you the next round on us." A full Commander declared, "For your bravery and service for Earth. You guys are the bravest people I have ever met, second to the Star force and deserve a top brash welcome into the century the right way."
"With thanks." Nathaniel said formally.
"…And for telling Colonel Samuel Allen "Bonehead" Jackson where to fracking go." Another voice said and laughter followed. "He'd the hardest dick in the EDC and you stood up to him. That takes some huge brass balls to do that."
The speaker paused sheepishly, glancing at the women among the stasis personnel and nodded. "I was speaking figuratively of course… with my apologies ladies."
"Don't worry about offending these ladies they probably could take you down before you could say Jack Robinson." A voice said, and heads turned to see Alex Sandor who walked toward them all, raising his hand in greeting.
"Apparently news gets around." Nathaniel said to his group and there were smiles among them, "Looks like we're famous."
He put on his aviator glasses and he moved to the bar where beers were put in their hand. There was laughter among the stasis volunteers. The conversation moved through the bar like wildfire.
"A toast," A voice said, "To the bravest men and women in the EDC and the newest sensation. May they have profitable careers, long lives and welcome home!"
"Thank you all." Nathaniel replied holding up the beer mug before they all downed it as a cheer echoed the bar. Laughter followed as conversation resumed and they stood drinking, clearly welcomed by the personnel in the bar. Turning his head Manual grinned when he saw Cory Conroy, Dash Jordan, Christopher Eager, Homer Glitchman and Chief Yamazaki standing at the bar. All found their way to the stasis personnel and Sandor clapped the Lieutenant Commander on the back.
"How are you doing there, Lieutenant Commander?" Sandor asked and Nathaniel turned, grinning.
"Not bad, you sir…?" He replied, "The mission ship out date is in a couple of days, are you all ready?"
"Yea, all set and briefed, we set about the Heavy Space Cruiser Whirlwind tomorrow and get situated with the crew and the Captain."
Nathaniel nodded and he turned to the barkeep. "Keep them coming, our plan is to wake up in the alcohol ward and love every minute of it!"
Laughter and cheers followed as the Lieutenant Commander chugged another beer as they chanted.
"I like your guy's style." A voice complimented.
"We got a secret admirer!" Manual boasted, holding up a mug and handing it to the speaker who smiled broadly. Music resumed, as stories and conversation moved through the bar, making the stasis personnel feel welcomed by their peers. Better than what they got with a certain Colonel. They inhabited a back table where they feasted on the Japanese Food from their first stop and continued with the beers, bought by many of the patrons.
Meanwhile in the office of the EDC, Colonel Jackson stood at attention as he waited for General Singleton and General Sloan to acknowledge his presence.
"General, your new recruits from the past clearly was out of control and I want to file personal charges against that Lieutenant Commander, their leader." He said with a sneer. "What's his name… err… Miller. He was disrespectful, rude, and uncooperative. He threatened a superior officer and refused a direct order."
"I think they probably had a very good reason." Singleton replied firmly, "They were probably blowing off steam after all they have been through."
"They still need to learn discipline and honor to wear these uniforms." Replied the Colonel and he glanced at Command Mitty McDonald who was slightly smiling.
"They should not be wearing those uniforms, not until they earned the right to wear it." He said, "I want him on the block, and to learn what it means to be in the EDC and know discipline."
"I am glad you find this amusing Commander." He said sternly.
"It's not amusing, it's very serious." Mitty replied coldly, "According to your charge, he broke seven regulations of proper conduct as an EDC Officer. They were in a public place, though, not as they were on base or anything. They had permission to be off base and off-duty to take in the sights and acclimate themselves to life in this century."
"They all had permission of Doctor Sane, who thought in a medical opinion, that it would be very helpful." The General added, "If you think they are unfit for duty, I can have them confined to the Hospital until they are officially released by Sane, and they start and complete OCS school at the Academy or training."
"I think some time in the brig should be added and see how they like that." Colonel Jackson replied, "I don't like being made a fool of."
"Yes, yes, if they make it back from their assignment in one piece. Singleton replied firmly, "They are shipping out soon to Aquarius on an assignment that could lead to their deaths anyway. The rank increase was there, to thank them for their service for Earth, and at least give them a sense of purpose back in a new world."
Jackson gasped quietly, astonished by the statement. He grimaced suddenly feeling a bit foolish when they were only trying to be human again in a new place and time.
"Who came up with the plan anyway, that Lieutenant Commander?" Sam asked and General Singleton shook his head. "The tactician team did that, he only adjusted the plan slightly utilizing the new ship that came to us as a visitor to Earth. Their mission is to destroy Aquarius. If they fail, we are faced with a large task force headed to Earth."
"Outstanding you are going to drop them all into a meat grinder?"
"No, actually, Lieutenant Commander Miller and Sergeant Major Parry are taking a squad of twenty-four Space Marines aboard the Space Cruiser and they are going to lead the assault personally on Aquarius."
"For that…?" Colonel Jackson asked, "One ship versus a task force? That's crazy."
"We are sending the Star Force aboard the EDC Whirlwind and Task force two to act as decoys, to keep the Cybertron task force busy. The SS Magellanic Clouds is equipped with a cloaking device and is going to slip in, deposit the team and extract them when the job and charges are set."
"If they succeed at this mission, I want to have these charges pending dropped against them all, Sam. I would like them honored like the Star Force, welcomed fully in the EDC and the new century." Singleton said formally. "It is the least we can do for them. They have nothing else left of their old lives, they might as well be acclimated in this century."
"I guess if you say so, sir." The Colonel grumbled. "I can concede if they do something extraordinary like pick off Aquarius I will say yes to that."
"Do we know where the stasis personnel are right now?" Singleton asked, "I would like to see them here immediately."
"No, General." McDonald replied, "They were at the Silken Rose. Where Colonel Jackson reported they were and they left in the middle of their meal."
"Oh they were in the Mikado District." Kitano piped in, "I know the area, and can locate them if you like, sir."
"I have no idea where they went, but I was glad to see them go." The Colonel grumbled.
"Alert the security forces to pick them all up." Singleton ordered, "And brought to Headquarters. I do not want any force used. It is an order, nevertheless."
"Aye, sir…." Mitty replied, hitting the button on her console.
Back on the Clouds, Ihsss and her crew sat on the bridge as they went over the plan and checklist discussed with Earth forces. They filled in Veloxa, Thyrac the Insectoid Helms woman and Navigator, Voloxa the Insectoid Engineer and Kwai Mao, the Weapons' Defense operator. The three who stayed to oversee the repairs to the ship while the Captain, First Officer, Communications Officer and Doctor went ashore to negotiate with Earth Defense Command.
"So that's it, they set charges on Tritium mine and one blast should globally destroy Aquarius?" Thyrac asked, "It's that easy?"
"Looks that way, or at least have the Earth Defense Forces hit it with their Wave Cannon." Ihsss replied, "They need to have at least one hundred and twenty seconds to setup and blast it though, not possible in the middle of fifty Cybertron Ships, possibly more by now that are on planet and the now probably several legions of robotic solders on planet. I think the charges the team sets on the mine will be sufficient to affect the whole planet's destruction."
"How much explosive did they calculate that it would take?"
"Approximately twelve, 500 pound charges set in multiple locations." Ihsss replied, "After the Earth forces set it and they evacuate, everyone will draw back, us and the EDC Forces from the planet's location within fifty parsecs. The planet will have an explosion equivalent to a Reverse Super Nova of a dwarf Star."
"Tritium implosion…?" Voloxa gasped.
"It will implode the planet and into a black hole. It is theoretical Physics." Felonious responded quietly, "It will destroy everything in this sector, but better that than the Cybertron War Machine attacking Earth."
"What happens if the Cybertron are not destroyed?" Veloxa asked suspiciously.
"That will be sucked in the back hole, trapped forever in another time, space or dimension." Felonious replied, "The remaining ones will be destroyed by the Earth forces. If we destroy the planet here, the Cybertron will lose the war in the future."
"The odds are about seven thousand, two hundred and fifty one to one." Felonious quoted, and there were grins, "For success. I think those are good, personally.
"So when do they report here?" Veloxa asked and Ihsss met the Helmsperson's bug-like features.
"In a couple of days we are departing Earth, bound for Aquarius." She replied, "If they pull this off, we win back home, and we can return to our own time. Well for some of us that is.”
"If we do that, there is a guarantee that we have sealed the fate of the Cybertron and possibly can go home quicker." She said, "I do appreciate your readiness and volunteering for the mission."
"Sounds dangerous, but I'm all for that." Felonious said, "But we could always stay too."
"And rewrite history with our presence on our respective home worlds?" Ihsss asked, "I know I can't return home, but most of you can."
"Rather stay in space, we have had too many fun adventures together, it wouldn't be the same." Kwai chimed in, and Ihsss grinned to nod politely.
"I agree." Veloxa replied with a smug grin and Thyrac nodded his head.
"You have my thanks for your loyalty." Ihsss declared happily, "Repair stations please."
"Aye, Captain." They all said and the group broke up and went to their posts leaving Ihsss in the center seat, contemplating the plan. Inside, she was a bit uneasy for what they faced before them. She wondered about the mission and her home world, who no doubt knew of their adventures. Ihsss also wondered if it would make a difference, so she, her daughter, and many others from her planet could return home.
"Let's hope we are successful." Ihsss murmured, and glanced at the busy bridge, standing to walk toward Felonious who lay on the deck, his furry head in a small compartment as he repaired circuits of a nearby console for the science station. Kneeling, she assisted him.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo/Federal City, the security forces combed the city and the many streets but were not able to find the members of stasis who were out somewhere on the town. A convoy of military vehicles moved down the street in a straight line, passing many people who eyed them suspiciously. They stared at a young woman, a Major who was put in charge, to find the stasis crew in the city. She is quite attractive with shoulder length blond hair, blue eyes and she wore the familiar green and black uniform over her attractive figure. She had great luck in the EDC, having moved through the ranks quickly for her bravery for the last two wars that had been fought on Earth against the Black Nebula, and against the Dinguil Empire.
"Major Fleming." A young sergeant said, "Headquarters on the squawk box." The young Major took up the receiver of the radio, standing as she touched the button.
"Fleming here…" She said formally.
"Report Major." General Stone's voice echoed over the speaker, "Have you located them yet?"
"Negative. We are still searching." She replied, "Should we step up the search, and check building to building?"
"No not yet, but check places like local bars and so forth." Stone ordered, "They are out there somewhere, and make sure you are not lenient bringing them in. Use whatever force you need."
"We might need another unit out here, sir." She said speaking into the microphone, "New Tokyo is a big city after all."
"We'll send two more units to assist." Stone said, "We want them here, in an hour."
"Yes, General…" She replied and quickly handed the microphone back to the sergeant, a look of disgust on her face.
"We have an hour to find them." She said sarcastically, "But there will be two more units linking up with us."
In a different part of Federal City/New Tokyo in the bar, the stasis crew sat together with the Yamato crew. They laughed and carried on telling stories of the past and the city they had been station in while training in, San Francisco. The Yamato crew in turn listened in amazement, as they described the region and the peninsula where the city that never sleeps was built on. Turning his head, Lieutenant Commander Miller spied two troopers enter the room, led by a young woman. He also noted two guards outside.
"It looks like we have some company." He mused and the others, clearly intoxicated all peered blearily at the troopers and their leader.
"Yep, I smell bacon." Manual declared, "Looks like they are looking for someone. I hope the people they are looking for… aren't in too much trouble."
"Spread out and search." The Major ordered and the group of troopers moved through the crowd. The troopers turned to ask a question to a couple of the patrons as a young Lieutenant cycled around to stand next to the table.
"Quick get lost, they are after you." He said, "They were asking about your group if they had seen you. Don't worry I have your back, get moving out the back door into the alley."
The stasis crew ducked into the crowd, after abandoning their booth, and together they made their way through the kitchen. They found the back door as described.
"Hang tight and stay in the shadows, there are several guards outside the alley." Nathaniel warned as he drew his Astro-automatic from its holster.
"You aren't going to kill them are you?" Angie asked, "That's murder, they'll throw you in a penal colony. They don't fool around here."
"Hell no…" He replied, "It is just in case they start shooting first. I set my pistol for a low power setting. It will act like a stun setting."
"You can do that?" Angie asked and he nodded.
"Read the technical documents on it."
"Show off." Angie said jokingly and she placed her hand on his shoulder.
"Follow me and stay in the shadows." Nathaniel whispered and they all crossed the alleyway onto the other side where there was more clutter to conceal them. They moved in the opposite direction of the alley only to find it was a dead end. Melinda touched a door that opened and they all entered. Minutes later, navigating the dark building, they came out on a side street, not far where the guards were posted.
"Apparently that Major didn't think we'd get out." Manual said with a whisper and all turned to Angie who motioned to them.
"Come, this way." She told them, "I know a place where they won't look now, and have probably already checked it."
Angie led the way, turning on a nearby side street and together they made their way to the edge of the city. They noted a checkpoint setup at the road and yet Angie led them stealthily out on the cement footpath that would lead them to the memorial on Hero's Hill.
A half-hour later, they arrived at the memorial, passing the stone markers by the sea wall and turning to climb the hill to the top. Emily and Denise panned a gaze about the memorial at the shrubbery and plants that surround this solid granite monument. They recognized the gravestones for the Yamato crew and now the stasis crew who had died in the name of peace and for Earth. As they approached the center of the memorial, both the newcomers glanced at the many tombstones on the grassy area below the obelisk and statue of Captain Avatar who stood staring out to sea. Nathaniel and Angie saluted the statue as they passed it first. Melinda, Amy, Amanda and Manual all followed suit as they too passed it by. Angie led them twenty-five feet away to the new graves where the stasis crew's now lie. Denise and Emily gasped aloud at the names they peered at on the tombstones.
"Holy shit," Emily exclaimed, "Is this where they buried everyone?"
"Yep..." Angie replied, "We are the only two who were put in before the terrorist bomb went off, and destroyed everyone. This is your group's graves."
Emily stood before the angry raw, freshly carved tombstone with Seth's face carved on it. Tears filled her eyes as she placed her hand on the cold stone. Denise stood staring at the names of her friends from stasis, very flabbergasted. They had the same reaction, as did Melinda, Amy, Manual and Amanda when they had visited the memorial. Denise silently read off the names to herself. 'Doug Woolard', 'Christina Cook', 'Sherry Carnelli', 'Edward McKee', 'Katherine Lewis'. Both newcomers stared at the faces that were carved into the stone tombstones, and she shook her head sadly.
"So it is true." Denise murmured, "They are gone and I really don't know what to say, or how to feel right now. Part of me is happy to know they probably did not suffer, and the other part of me is sad for the loss. Who was responsible for us being left in stasis anyway? Was it our own government? Was it the scientists? Was it our own military?"
"That's irrelevant now. It's over and done, and then some for two hundred years." Nathaniel replied, "It shouldn't matter, they are at peace now. Oh yes, and I will have you know that Seth gave them all a top brass send-off. I was in the crowd and saw the action."
"I bet he did." Emily replied, grimacing as she scanned the large granite memorial.
"I can only imagine your eulogy." Denise said with a smile, "For Seth when he died."
"I did the one from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Movie from the twentieth century, when Spock died and Kirk read his eulogy."
Denise and Emily both laughed loudly, "I knew it would be 'Trek' related!"
Emily embraced the young officer a smile on her face.
"I don't know about you, they were damn fine words." Angie chimed in, "Very appropriate. It sure shook up the people in the EDC when he did that too."
"I can only imagine." Denise said with a laugh.
"Seth was one heroic son of a gun." Melinda said suddenly, "He protected all of us single-handed, without a thought about it, when he charged those guns. He died as a soldier should on his feet and fighting to protect us all."
"Just like him to be a Hero." Emily said with a smile and Denise nodded.
"He was always that way." Denise replied, "You should have seen the medals and commendations he got in our time. He moved up the ranks even in basic training. The son of a bitch was a natural born leader."
Nathaniel laughed, and nodded his head. "Yes he was. I watched him afar and was the reason he joined the service. He went Marines, I stayed Navy, but we helped each other out as much as we could. I gave him a lot of recommendations and letters to his superiors complimenting his service. Too bad his brothers couldn't have served too, and were here, we'd have a party then."
Emily laughed at the mention of the word party, so did Denise and the others.
"He had brothers?" Denise asked, and the Lieutenant Commander nodded slightly.
"He had all younger brothers." He replied, "All good kids, they were all close."
"I'm going to miss him." Emily said, "It's going to be tough without him."
"So will I..." Denise added and Nathaniel nodded too. His jaw dropped open as a thought crossed through his head. He reminded himself about space travel and time travel, thinking of the Magellanic Clouds who had come from the future.
"I think I know a way to bring him back." Nathaniel thought suddenly, "If the Clouds warped from their century to here, why not sling shot and warp again and go back and ambush the Cybertron who were on the hill waiting for everyone to show up. We could ambush an ambush."
He thought of his whispered idea to Ihsss of the Clouds and her reaction, dismissing it with a wave, engrossed in the briefing. He grimaced at the thought, and knew it could make her very happy if they were together.
Angie noted Nathaniel was deep in thought. She had asked him a question and he did not respond. She put a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey, are you okay?" She asked, and he turned his head sharply to nod.
"I was just thinking." He replied, and she raised an eyebrow quizzically at him, sensing a drop in mood among the group by his silence.
Angie wondered what he was planning, or wondered if it were the assignment he was on was affecting his mood. Inside Nathaniel hatched a plan, and with luck, to his advantage could carry it out, after they destroyed Aquarius. He could right a wrong that had happened, and his best friend had been killed. He would discuss it with Ihsss T'Larra, the Captain of the Clouds, and see if they could change history. They would return to this time and the Clouds could attempt the journey home.
"But first, we have a mission." The Lieutenant Commander muttered, and he went over the mission in his head, as his crew prepared for departure for Aquarius in two days. Their mission is to destroy it and keep it from the Cybertron, who are attempting to change the time stream here to affect the future, where they would succeed in taking over the universe. The only group to stand in their way is the Star force and the stasis crew.
To be continued - Episode 4, The Departure for Destiny!