Mission Born: Space Twins - Chapter 17
Chapter 5 Twins Divided
Chapter 6 World's Apart
Chapter 7 Escape from Planet Orc
Chapter 8 Twin's Flight
Chapter 9 Docked in Space
Chapter 10 Knowledge Unbound
Chapter 11 Decisions
Chapter 12 Training
“We only have a day before the fleet should come out of translight, and the modifications to our ship are not enough to take a direct hit from all of the barrage. So, what can we do in a limited amount of time that will ensure our own survival?” Walter laid it out plain.
“Welllll, I think we should have a breakaway section of the ship with the shield attached to the top. Maybe place boosters on the ship to shoot it away from the shield at the last minute. Whaddya think?” Jess ended her idea with a smirk and twirled in her chair like a little girl.
Winterlocke stopped her chair so it was facing him and hugged her. “I think that’s brilliant! Jess, let’s get this plan going. I just hope they have the boosters we need.” He smiled and pulled her up by her shoulders and started down the landing ramp of the ship. They had practically been living on the ship for a day and a half. A few training missions had shown promise for what they were planning to do in order to get Argent off of the heavy cruiser.
Walter turned to Kat. “You think we can do this, Kat? I mean, I know we can… I’m just askin’ what you think….”
Kat’s smile was genuine, and she came over and ruffled Walter’s hair. “Wally, we are going to make it, through sheer will alone. I have to say, Winter and I have never worked with two as good as you. Most Templars are not as inventive as you two. It’s weird. It’s like the universe came together and put us all in one small group at just the right time. It amazes me every time I think about it.”
She went over to the small fridge they had on the ship and pulled a beverage from it, and then threw another one to Walter. He barely caught the small can before it hit him in the chest. “Hey now, Kat. You know I’m not great at catching things….” He laughed and opened the can drinking the sweet juice, which reminded him of the apples on Earth.
“Okay, well I am going to take a nap, since it might be awhile before they get back, if that’s okay?” Walter laid down on the couch and tried to get comfortable.
“That’s fine, Wally. Just be ready for when they return…. We gotta get this done before the fleet shoots into our sector and drops their bombs.”
Before she had finished talking, she could hear Walter snoring. “Ah, Kid…” She just sighed and then sat down in the pilot’s chair.
It was almost twilight when they got every booster in place. The shield platform was beveled upward, in order to project the shield in a wide array. If it worked right, and that was a big if, then they would take the brunt of the barrage and the remaining force would spread outward from the shield. This would save the main population of the Mermen and stop a catastrophe that could claim the lives of the oceans throughout the world. The boosters would shoot them away from the shield platform after it activated, catapulting them down into the atmosphere where they would have to pilot the ship carefully, or they could burn up.
They were all tense, but you could almost feel the thrum of nerves inside Winterlocke. “We need to be ready…. You, kids, get some sleep. I’ll watch the communications from Urlanna’s headquarters. Kat, you should get some sleep as well…”
He was interrupted quickly by Kat’s hand slapping him on the back, hard. “Old Man! You really gotta calm down. I’ll get the rest I’m gonna get, same as the kids… Sit down and rest yourself.” She smiled and pushed him back into a flight seat. “We’re gonna be alright, right kids?”
“Yep, I know it, ‘cause I fitted most of the boosters myself!” Jess gave a thumbs up, feeling it fit in this moment.
Walter nodded, “Yeah, Winter, we’re together on this. We have a greater chance because of the variety of skills we bring to the project.”
Winterlocke smirked, “THE PROJECT, eh?! You already named the mission. Wally, let me guess, you are keeping a log about this?”
Walter looked up sheepishly, “Well… Yeah, people need to know what happened here. We never knew what the Council was doing…. We woulda stopped it, if we could have….”
Kat looked at the twins in a new light, “You two blame yourselves for this?” She shook her head and sighed, “You never had anything to do with this, other than as innocents on Earth. And the moment you knew about what they were doin’ you did somethin’ about it!”
“True….” Walter sounded like he wasn’t really buying it.
Suddenly, a blaring alarm started from the communications linked to Urlanna’s HQ. They all started at the blaring noise.
“Aw, crud, guess we aren’t gonna get any downtime.” Jess muttered.
Kat hit the comm panel and responded, “Project: Shield here, what’s the damage?”
“The Fleet is here. They have five ships, including the Heavy Cruiser Winterlocke’s brother is on. They will be in range to fire the barrage in fifteen minutes. You are ‘go’ for liftoff…. Good Luck!” Urlanna’s chief was a good guy, at least he seemed to be. They had not had contact with any of the Mermen except for providing information and resources to them for their ‘project.’
Kat sat down in the pilot’s seat and fired up the engines. Everyone else took their seats, and buckled in. “Here We Go!” Kat punched the ship’s engines to full power and they shot into the sky. The small island they had been on turned into a cloud of dust beneath them.
The force of the gravity on their bodies almost felt like a crushing effect. The blood drained from their pulled-back faces which were staring rigidly through the visor of the ship. They saw five ships closely hanging together, like a school of fish. This was exactly what they had planned for.
“You guys ready?” Kat called back over her shoulder. Without waiting for a response, she shifted her right hand to the translight ignition button. Walter grimaced and focused on not passing out. Doo-dad, snugly fit below the translight computer, fed it exact coordinates from uploaded scans of the Fleet formation. The moment Kat hit the button, they shot forward and suddenly stopped. They were right next to the shuttle bay of the Heavy Cruiser.
“Alright Jess, hit it!” Kat yelled over to Jess, who was seated at the gunnery station. She aimed the cannons at several weak points along the portal opening of the bay. Firing every cannon simultaneously, a flared burst of lasers hit the outer edge of the opening and the bay’s protective shield fell. Kat slipped the ship past several of the shuttles that floated out because of the sudden decompression into space.
There was a figure standing on the landing pad of one of the shuttles that had exited. He waved, and the group smiled as one. Kat swiveled the ship so that the entry ramp was extended to him. Argent was in a marine’s combat spacesuit. He walked up the ramp with the magnetic boots used in boarding assaults. As he entered the airlock, Jess activated the ramp closure. The moment the airlock opened, Argent ran in and buckled himself into the couch where Walter was sitting.
“Hey, Wally, fancy meeting you here!” Argent slapped Walter on the knee and smiled through the helmet’s visor. Walter just grinned and shook his head in disbelief. Argent hadn’t lost even a little of his positivity.
“Well, friends, I think we might want to make our escape…. NNNNNnn-now.”
Argent tried to get the last word out, but Kat had already shot the ship out of the shuttle bay. She was accelerating past the other gigantic forms of the ships in the Fleet, and called out to Jess. “Jess, hit the shuttles that flew out. We need some debris to mask our signature!”
Jess yelled out in affirmative and blasted the shuttles into multiple pieces, the explosions also helping to distract the Fleet.
“Doo-dad, we ready?!”
The little bot bleeped in what seemed to be a positive sound.
“Here goes nothin’!” Kat hit the translight engines, shooting the ship into a mini-jump yet again. They were now far enough away, that the Fleet could not hit their ship with their guns.
Walter held his head in his hands to keep himself from passing out. His head hurt badly from the mini-jumps, and the queasiness was not easy to hold back, but he was successful.
“Good job, Lads and Lasses! I am supremely impressed!” Argent removed his helmet and his hair stood up in a ring of static. He used his hands to smooth it.
Winterlocke looked over at him and just shook his head. “Brother, we still have to stop the barrage….”
Argent looked at Winter and realization hit him, “Uh, how are we doing that?”
Cutting his question off, Kat flipped the comm system and contacted the HQ. “HQ, how much time til they fire the barrage?”
“They can fire now. We don’t know why they haven’t yet….”
Argent laughed in an almost giggly way. “I sort of downloaded a virus. It was activated the moment the Heavy Cruiser was attacked by your ship. I had it broadcast to the other ships as well. It will only last a few minutes, though….”
They all laughed then. The tension of wondering if they would fail, along with the exhilaration of having succeeded in rescuing Argent, came together in one long guffaw from the group. Argent looked at them all and smiled. “See! Being positive always pays off… and it’s funny too!”
“Project: Shield, the barrage has started! You are ‘go’ for shield array!” HQ blared through their comms in a panic.
“Got it.” Kat calmly responded.
“Hold on everybody!” Winterlocke shouted as Kat flipped the ship so that the shield array was pointing toward the incoming missiles. The missiles blipped on a screen close to Jess’ shoulder. They could see the red blips slowly approaching the green symbol for their ship.
“This isn’t going to be pretty….” Jess commented and squinted as if waiting for something to hit her.
“Jess, they aren’t even close yet.” Walter told her, and then shrugged.
“Yeah, yeah I know… I’m just getting’ ready.” She checked her buckle and made sure she was securely strapped into her chair.
Argent buckled himself in as well and turned to them all. “Well, if we don’t make it… it was nice seeing you all again!”
The group almost shook their heads and sighed as one, almost.
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