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    Thread: The Defenders a new galaxy and a new beginning

    1. #11
      High Tension Thinker AKA Genius at work krm398's Avatar
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      Chapter 8: New All Around



      Two weeks later and things were really getting in gear. The ships had new engines, new computers and new missile launchers and new missiles were getting made from the old pattern. They too would be ready, when enough had been made to load them all. Griffon never stopped mentioning that the kids were doing their best to help get the old ships ready and that Ken, working on his own had found the old missile design for them and had it brought to the base. The opponents of his plan were slowly looking the other way, and he had messages sent to another 6 more people and two agreed and were picked up right away. That made the program look better and when a few more came a week later, another class started while Ken, Krys and Casi made their first trips to the practice range to see the way the new ships felt in combat and to make sure the upgraded beams worked according to plan.

      The Chief that Ken hired got into his work with full fury, and when anyone saw him, he was always yelling about something. But he got the job done, and in a time frame that made others jealous of him and his people. Ken had the ship ready for the first attempt, and jumped into another sector and back, showing that the new engines, and long range navigational targeting worked well together, and the navigation computer showed that they had successfully made the required jump in much less time than anyone had imagined possible.

      “Thats fantastic!” Master Griffon declared as he saw the report, this meant that once it was properly armed the ship was ready for patrol duties, and then the detractors would quickly run out of things to say. “Make sure those missiles are sent over the second they are ready, and begin making the newer, heavier beams using the old weapons frames. With the larger frame and the newest equipment they should be a much more devastating weapon than they have now.”

      “Yes, research says two weeks tops, they have a prototype working now and is in testing, once they are sure its safe, then production will begin,” He heard as his assistant read from the research report.

      “And that other matter?” Griffon asked as the man looked much more sober after a second.

      “A fleet of 4 ships has been spotted at checkpoint alpha, just 3 light years from the core sectors. It appears they jumped in to see if anyone would run out to meet them.” The man said as Griffon nodded seriously. They moved closer and closer all the time now, and the drones that kept them at bay were nearly all gone.

      “We’ll show them now...” Griffon said looking serious, “ the new drones are getting ready and these first three will be out and about in less than a week. Then they’ll see that they waited too long to attempt any trouble here.” And with that he ordered him away and sat back to relish the thought that his office and their first three students were the front line of defense against the outer galaxy, and the troublemakers in it.

      A few days later, Ken was standing talking to Christian when a small electric vehicle pulled up towing three flat carts stacked full with long , thin boxes.

      “Sir!” The driver called as he stopped very carefully, “ your missiles are here, there’s 50 for each ship, and more is being made and put into the warehouse for later.” He said handing the orders to Ken who nodded and thanked him and told his new Chief to get them loaded.

      “You heard the Captain, get our 50 on board!” He screamed as workers ran to and fro with grav beams and the first cart started getting empty pretty fast. “ And make sure that they get loaded into the tubes, and not just stacked up in cargo!” He demanded as he rushed to see for himself.

      Ken pulled out his coms too and called the other dock and told Krys the missiles were all sitting here and he’d send them over as soon as he got his unloaded.

      “No problem, I’ll have a cart come get mine, let them sit there for a few minutes and we’ll be right over.” And the link went closed. Not ten minutes later, he came riding in on a vehicle along side the driver and three men jumped off and started loading the cart they brought with them, and even before they were done another cart pulled in and started on the last pile.

      “I left Casi know they were here so thats her people.” Krys mentioned as Ken nodded with a big smile. They were finally ready and he mentioned that he was going to let his crew have the night off to see friends and others before he pulled out, since he didn’t know for sure when they would be coming back in, and Krys agreed it was a good idea as he jumped back on the vehicle as his people yelled they were done. “See you at dinner tonight then,” He called as they pulled away and started back to the opposite side of the shipyard where his ship was docked.Ken went on board and made the announcement and everyone seemed happy with it and as he checked all the systems everything seemed more than ready for tomorrow.

      “Its going to be a long patrol I think,” He said to his new Chief as the young man agreed, “ I just hope we all come back safely.” And with that comment he walked off the ship and went to get ready for dinner.

      The ship got empty pretty fast after that as everyone got their last night off for a while. And as the dock got quiet for the first time in a while a single solitary figure walked over and looked the ship up and down. Getting this old vessel and the others ready in just a few weeks was a tall order, but they did it, and he saw that while his people didn’t have the instincts to fight alone, when faced with an impressive commander they did their very best. He walked towards the other ships sitting in different bays, and gave them all his private blessing, and his escorts waited nearby until an important call came in.

      “Mr. President, sir, the Barron Ambassador wishes to speak to you.” And he hurried his little prayer and returned and started away.

      “The first line are now officially ships Captains, see to it...” he mentioned as a young aid nodded agreement, and the call was made.


      The new ‘Captains’ were all sitting at a table having a good dinner together and the room full of scientists and engineers smiled looking at them now. Just a few weeks ago they were oddities, and feared, but now they were what everyone wished they could have been. Strong, intelligent impressive, and not willing to compromise for anything, on a world where compromise was the rule of law, or nearly.

      Thanks to them and their backers the Empire had a second chance, and not a single person there saw it as anything less. The enemies were at the gates, almost literally, and their ships were reported daily close by. Only the Gods knew what would happen when these few met their massive numbers, and they knew others were in training even now, if they got ready in time.

      The new officers finished their meal and just started to get up to leave when a loud sound was heard and they looked around as every person in the room jumped to their feet and saluted them and Casi looked like she’d cry but fought it off and Krys stood as tall as he could and returned it as did Ken and finally Casi too and Ken stepped forward to make the announcement that they weren’t going out to die, they had friends and they’d all be back, and as officers they all would protect their ships and the people on them, and after his speech he recycled his plate and empty tray and started towards the door and the hall beyond as did the others, to the applause of everyone there.

      Once outside, Ken looked a little less sure of himself, but he bucked up and tried to act tough for everyone else as that same little girl, the alien hunter from before, ran up and smiled and slid something into his hand and he took a quick look and his face went beet red.

      “At times like this I read that it helps to have someone waiting for you. I know you haven’t said anything to anyone so far, so until you decide, you can keep this to look at when things get tough.” and with that, she was gone down the hall and out of sight, as Ken started to put the little screen into his pocket but Casi grabbed it right away to get a quick peek and it made her face red too, and Krys just couldn’t resist, and he smiled wide a minute later, and handed it back to Ken who wouldn’t even look up at them now.

      “Didn’t I tell you...” He whispered and walked away as Casi got a quick chuckle and Ken nodded it might be true after all, that little girl looked thin as a rail in that powder blue jump suit she always wore, but it obviously wasn’t true,and he put the video screen away until he did need a reason to go on.

      So many ships, so little time

    2. #12
      High Tension Thinker AKA Genius at work krm398's Avatar
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      Chapter 9: First Patrol



      Captains Hawking,Rollins and Haskell were in full Captains uniforms the next day, each by their own ship and walking up the line of officers that had been assigned, or asked for to crew them. They made the customary little speech and then everyone cheered and went inside and got their regular uniforms on. As Ken sat the bridge for the first time as a full Captain, he looked a little less for the wear, but he smiled as well as could be expected and called for power to the engines, as the ship drifted slowly away from the shipyard, and all three started out into space.

      “I guess we’ll see you in a week,” Casi mentioned as everyone agreed and she added she was getting the patrol along the western edge of the system and Krys mentioned he had the northern edge, and Ken nodded that his ship was going east from the base, and they all smiled and looked like they had something more to say, but neither one of them said anything anyways.

      “Be safe...” Ken got out finally as they all agreed and one by one the ships disappeared into space and even the President himself felt a tug seeing them go, but he wasn’t about to say anything about it.

      “How is the second group coming along?” He asked as he turned back to work, and their reports came in and he smiled that they too, were going to be ahead of schedule and he’d need more ships very soon.

      The ships each had monitoring of the others in case they got jumped and didn’t get a chance to call for help. The old ships were very automated, considering what Ken had seen on his world, he had full weapons control in his Command Chair and that made him both Captain and weapons officer, but it couldn’t be helped, not an officer on board would make that call but him, and he knew it all too well.

      He also had full verbal commands linked to the master computer, so when things got busy just giving the order was the same as doing it himself, probably faster, and he had decided a while ago to use that ability to its fullest.

      “Entering sector MJ 213,” He heard as he agreed and they turned on every scanner in the ship and his command screen, a long, yellow mist like 3d screen above the heads of his officers, gave him full view of everything in scanner range, and that was a long way out from where they were sitting now. It showed a few trading ships and identified them as friendly, and far off the right, it showed scrap...and there certainly shouldn’t be any out here, so he ordered them in that direction.

      “I want a full analysis of that wreck,” He added as the officer to his right agreed and a minute later it was on screen for him to see. The ID code found in the wreckage was the ship Columbus, a trading vessel of the western region, and while the ships ID was found not a single piece of cargo was here with it.

      “Looks like we were a little too late,” He mentioned almost to himself as he called the computer to make a report, saying what they had found and make sure the correct authorities were notified so the owners could know what happened to their ship and cargo.

      “Maybe not,” He heard as he looked up to see two medium sized ships coming their way slowly and they got a serious scan before they got in weapons range.

      “Identify those ships,” He ordered and they were found to be Barron corvettes, and he nodded that they had crossed the boarder a long time ago to get this far.

      “Who are you and what business do you have out here?” He heard as a mans face came on the screen and Ken smiled wide and acted like it might all be a mistake.

      “Just happened to be traveling through, and saw the wreck, you never know what you might find in war time.” He mentioned as the man nodded agreement but didn’t give him any better looks than the grumpy one he started out with.

      “Identify yourself, we have no reports of ships of this type anywhere in Mayan space.” He demanded as Ken’s face fell and he became very serious indeed.

      “I am Captain Kenneth Haskell, of the Mayan corvette Star fire, and we will be asking the questions, mister, like...why are Barron military crafts in Mayan space, in close proximity to wreckage of a civilian freighter? Consider your answer carefully, or this little misunderstanding will definitely blow up into a full scale war.” He said and then just waited for the first shot to be fired, but it didn’t...they slowly dropped back as the officer looked shocked to see any Mayan ships out here, much less an armed vessel with a nasty new Captain in command.

      “We...huh...were on patrol on our side of the boarder and saw an explosion so we ran in to check.” He lied and Ken didn’t even give him any credit for trying.

      “Two corvettes against a freighter, what kind of fight did you expect? And I thought military Captains had honor...” Ken added as the man looked more than a little upset right that second.

      “You can prove nothing!” He demanded as Ken finally smiled again, he just had to push a little harder to get the results he knew were coming anyway. “ We don’t take orders from young men in odd ships just because they say they represent the Mayan military, we don’t even know of any Mayan military at all, so who are you, and this time, you better speak much more carefully.” He went on as Ken sat back looking very relaxed and he ordered their identification to be broadcast, and the man looked shocked once again.

      “The Mayan Defense Force? When did that happen?” He stumbled as Ken reminded him that they had no responsibility to inform ‘pirates’ about their military or its different sections.

      “Pirates!? Why you...” The mans started and a second later a beam shot past his ships nose and a second ship jumped in, another corvette and another nasty new Captain and Krys added that if they weren’t careful there would be a good deal more wreckage in the area very soon, and the Barron ships immediately jumped away, leaving the two corvettes to talk about their first new intelligence since they left home.

      “Barron’s Kingdom, should have known,” Krys added as Ken agreed, it was a large Kingdom right next door to Mayan space and they had been adversaries in the past, but he was sweating a little when he looked back up.

      “But we turned them around without a fight, this time, and we got a real good scan of their ships and weapons.” He said as Krys nodded he had done well. “ Computer send this new report at once make sure the President knows just who his troublemakers are.”

      “And I better get back, there was wreckage in my area too, but no ships so far. I’ll call if I need you.” He added as his ship jumped away as well, and Ken sat back and took a big sigh as his crew looked around and waited for instructions.

      “Now that thats over, lets finally start a nice quiet patrol, come around on our main course and begin, at half speed.” And everyone nodded and the ship turned and Ken didn’t feel too bad looking so scared their first time, these scans showed they had heavier weapons than he had, and with more than one ship, he would have been in real trouble, and when the report made it to the Presidents desk, he ordered the new beams be on the dock waiting when this first patrol was over.

      So many ships, so little time

    3. #13
      High Tension Thinker AKA Genius at work krm398's Avatar
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      Heres a little report for my few fans, this is going to be a good, long story. Book sized probably. I just finished the 24th chapter, so sit back and relax, theres more to come.

      So many ships, so little time

    4. #14
      High Tension Thinker AKA Genius at work krm398's Avatar
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      WEEKEND SPECIAL...

      Chapter 10: Retribution



      The two Barron corvettes jumped back into their space and made their report, and the regional commander wasn’t at all pleased to see it.

      “Mayan Defense Force? So, they finally got tired of us helping ourselves to their ships and cargo.” He mentioned and everyone nearby just nodded and waited. “and this new man, this Captain Haskell, he’s not a Mayan at all! Look at his hair and attitude, they recruited him from somewhere else... probably nothing more than mercenaries,so thats how we didn’t see this coming, its a brand new section of the military, even our spys wouldn’t know about it until it was too late.”

      “It looks like we wasted our best opportunity to take over their Empire by worrying and moving ahead slowly, now there’s going to be a shooting war to settle this. At least they have very few new people, or we’d be seeing others, we only saw two so far and both light ships, there might still be time for us yet. Order the attacks to continue, and get every piece of Mayan technology we can. It might be useful before this is over.” He demanded and his aids went away to give the orders and the commander sat back wondering where they had found these new people, and what their orders really were.

      But even as that was happening, Casi met her first enemy ships and they didn’t pause for a second to attack. Her beams came on and raked one corvette all along the side, but they didn’t penetrate very well, and little major damage was done. She topped that off with a missile strike and the ship fell back, with a gaping hole in its side and its partner ship ran in to cover it. The new armor on her ship was doing pretty well at taking some hits, but she was very upset that the little beam weapons didn’t do much at all against these small vessels. And she was taking a good hit again when Krys jumped in and opened fire on the last ship and it went up in flames as two missiles slammed into the middle and ripped it open badly.

      “The beams might be OK for drones, but the missiles are the heaviest weapon we have right now.” He called as she admitted she had seen that already. Together they turned on the wounded ship but it managed to escape just as the last missile fired got to it, and Casi thanked him for helping, as she looked a little raged right now. “Thats why we’re here, so next time you owe me.” He added as he jumped again and she smiled thinking that she might have been alright alone, but just knowing the link was working made her and her crew feel a lot more relaxed, if that was even possible.

      The Council President was not happy at all, in just a few days their new forces had seen and destroyed a ship and wounded a few others, they took small amounts of damage themselves, but their self-repair units were working and they would be OK for now. He got scans and videos of the fights and he soon saw that his biggest problem was the Kingdom next to them and had been all along. They knew of their peaceful ways and used that to get all the free technology they could, until now, and he made a call and an older man came on the link and they smiled at each other for a second before speaking.

      “A new Defense Force, what a surprise...” He heard as he smiled back at Glen Glass,the Chancellor of Barron.

      “You knew we wouldn’t let you have your way for long.” President Clark mentioned.

      “So then, you hired mercenaries to defend your boarders? How very unprofessional is that?” The Chancellor asked as they both smiled widely and stared back at each other.

      “They’re not mercenaries, they are new citizens of Maya, and they’ll be around from now on. They will live, work and retire here someday and add to our diversity where we left ourselves become to complacent. They believe in fighting for what they want or to protect their friends and loved ones, so we will do our best to support them, and we will defend our boarders against any and all threats.” The President added, very seriously as his old friend nodded he understood.

      “I’m willing to bet that your new friends will leave you when things get tough, and with only a handful of good pilots, we have the numbers advantage, by a factor of 10/1 “ He added as they both just smiled again and acted politically correct for a second.

      “We’ll see about that, its not like you’ll stop your aggression now that your people got a taste for piracy...” The President started as the Chancellor looked ready to scream, “ but know this...we will defend ourselves up to and including the death of our enemies, so tell that to your ships captains, their free rien of space is over, and maybe someday, we’ll be testing your defenses.” And with that the link went down and the President called in one ship at a time to get new weapons added and even before their first weeks patrol was over, they had increased their damage potential, and safety, substantially.

      Within a few days they were all back in, and getting their ships checked over. Casi was nodding a lot as Ken walked over to hear her mentioning that some of the new armors she was testing worked better than others, and the tech nodded agreement and took the report away.

      “See you made it in one piece,” He said as she laughed and agreed.

      “It had its moments though,” She admitted and he agreed to that too, but just then a call came and they all got it at once and as they each opened their coms, a short message was on it, with a note saying their first weeks pay was in their accounts, and they all looked surprised. They knew from the start that they were hired to defend, but with all the work and lessons and making new friends, they had forgotten and Casi looked surprised she got paid for a kill for her fight with Krys against the two corvettes, and that bonus was pretty substantial indeed.

      “We get paid well,” Ken mentioned as she agreed wholeheartedly “ one weeks pay here is what I’d make working construction in a year.” He mentioned, and she made a few changes, and sent some money back to her grandma, something she had decided that she’d do when the time came. She also knew that Krys would be doing the same thing, since his mom was in bad need of medical help, and they were not what you’d call well off.

      “Its nice they set this up so we could send money home,” Casi mentioned as she worked and Ken laughed and agreed, he didn’t even want to know how much trouble they went through to get conversion from Mayan currency to every world they came from, and many others as well, he was sure there was a whole section somewhere that did nothing but keep track of it, and he gave them big credit for getting the job done.

      “They are trying hard to keep us happy,” He admitted as she went along with that too.

      “Speaking of which,” Casi added with a huge grin and Ken looked away to keep from seeing her big grin. “ have you seen that girl since you got back? She’s made it pretty clear what she has in mind.” She said with a big smile as he refused to look her in the eyes right now.

      “Cassandra...” Ken mentioned as Casi’s face grew into a huge smile,” her names Cassandra, it was on a letter she added to the end of that video she gave me. She claims in it that shes not in love with me or anything just trying her best to help me get through this troubling time.”

      “Even if I did like someone that much, I’m not sure I would have given them a video of myself to carry around....by the way where is it now?” She asked as he gave her a dirty look, like he’d carry that thing with him.

      “On board ship in my cabin, locked away,” He mentioned seriously as she got a good laugh and he looked embarrassed even talking about it.

      “I have some friends I met since we got here and we girls talk about guys and other things, trust me...no matter what she says no one would give something so personal to anyone they don’t care about...she’s lying...” Casi added as she waved and went towards the main offices to see about something only she knew for sure, and Krys nodded agreement to her last comment as Ken tried hard not to think about it just yet.




      Chapter 11: The Cassandra Paradox



      Ken went to make his report as well, and when he came out he went to get some lunch. The ships were getting rearmed, with new beams on those that didn’t get them yet and all the little damages fixed before the next patrol. He found out the second wing would be ready in another week or two and that would add a few more people, and ships to their little fleet and it would help a lot.

      He got some lunch and sat down to eat as a few people said hi and waved, and as he sat there he saw Cassandra watching him carefully out of the corner of his eyes and he almost walked out in embarrassment, but he knew he needed to see about this, so he turned around and waved for her to come over, to the glee of nearly everyone in the room at the time. She too didn’t seem too sure but she slowly got up and walked over, and sat across from him as he stopped eating to talk.

      “Cassiopeia thinks you like me...a lot....and thats why you gave me that video, is that true?” He asked straight out as she disagreed about the whole thing.

      “My family is famous for being the perfect psychiatrists, and we know how very stressful combat should be. If you didn’t have a form of release of some kind, then your mind might snap and you’d become useless to us.” She went on with her nose held high and Ken wasn’t sure she was being serious or joking for a minute there.

      “So...” he started looking around to see who might hear,” you gave me that video of yourself so I could....release stress...while looking at your video?” He whispered as her face got bright red and a few others close by heard it and went nuts.

      “NO! Absolutely not! You’ve completely misunderstood the meaning! It was so you wouldn’t feel so lonely on long patrols. The research says....” and she was off on some talk about stress levels and the need for human companionship, and he sat there, looking embarrassed and sad for her at the same time. She had, if you believe her, given him a short, very sexy video of herself changing cloths, with a big smile, and even closeups, and she seemed to think it wouldn’t make him excited, or that her choice of videos might not be too revealing to be just for ‘companionship’, or to stave off loneliness.

      “I must admit, it showed me something I didn’t realize.” Ken added as she stopped to hear,” your not as thin as that suit you wear seems to show.” He added as her face exploded in a new, deeper form of red and one girl at the table next door gave her a big thumbs up for the effort,and a huge grin, and that made her even more embarrassed.

      “If you want, I’ll return it, since you obviously didn’t know what you were doing at the time, and no offense, but showing someone something like that, you’d better care a lot for them, on my world even people engaged might not be so forward.” He mentioned as silently as he could as she refused to even look at him as he got up and walked away and several girls nearby ran over to see what she had done.

      “A video, of...yourself...now thats getting the jump on a lot of us!” One girl mentioned as Cassandra refused to say.

      “I never knew you had it in you, and believe me there are a few girls that have been thinking of something to get his attention themselves.“” Another mentioned as she demanded it was nothing, just a mistaken experiment, and they all laughed and went on and on until she jumped up and ran out screaming.

      “It’s not what you think, its not like that, someone needed to show him...that we care and worry about him...and his mental health. It just happens that I did something first, and he’s offered to return it,” she said a little sadly for a second,” so there’s no harm done.” She demanded as she ran out and the room got a good laugh from it all, now if her father didn’t hear about this...fat chance... then it might blow over, but they all knew they wouldn’t let it, and this was just the beginning.

      But Cassandra’s father did hear, and he wasn’t too pleased that his idea of ‘fraternization’ between the new crews and his people had hit so close to home. Master Griffon heard the report, a very personal report made by one of Cassandra’s friends, that said she had a crush on one of the new pilots and she had very openly showed him her.....feelings....for him and he had not taken it too well. Saying on his world what she did might be considered pornography, something that was never mentioned,and he looked faint to think it.

      “My little Candy....doing pornography....unthinkable!” He demanded,while almost out of breath at the thought, as the young woman smiled at his disgust and she was quickly waved away and she went to tell everyone that the ‘deed’ had been done, and they could all sit back and watch the fun from here.

      The call went out minutes later, and Ken was seen running towards the teaching area. Everyone had heard it on the open PA system but even the President didn’t understand why Ken was being recalled, so he asked one of his men to find out. Once they completed their training, they were full time ‘employees’ of the government, until they decided to go it alone. But the private industries had been slow to ask for their help, and they needed an income, so patrols were it for now. But to recall a graduate was rare, and he waited to see why.

      Ken ran into the office and the door closed loudly behind him as he walked over to the desk and saluted Master Griffon, as he stood there with his back turned and Ken held that pose, waiting for him to return it.

      “What have you done?!” He heard as he admitted he didn’t know what he was talking about. “ My precious little Candy, reduced to pornography over some....some....mere pilot. Unthinkable!” He screamed as he turned around and Ken saw the wild look on his face and the look of death in is eyes, and he stepped back a step, in his time here among these quiet and peaceful people he had never seen someone so intense before, and it shocked him.

      “Candy...who’s that?” Ken asked while his mind refused to focus except for the sight before him.

      “Cassandra, my little darling, my sweet little girl, and YOU ruined her!” Griffon screamed as Ken nearly fainted thinking the little alien hunter was Griffon’s daughter.

      “Let me assure you, I’ve done nothing, this is all a misunderstanding.” Ken added swiftly but Griffon wasn’t in a mood to listen and as he walked around the desk, Ken started looking for a way out of this, just as the door was ripped open and a young woman was standing there, panting, and with an evil look in her eyes, that even Master Griffon stopped short seeing.

      “Daddy...what are you doing!??” She demanded as he wilted away and she walked over and grabbed him by the shirt and started back towards the door. “ We’ll be right back...” she added as Ken swallowed hard and nodded in silence. It was quite the sight, a young woman, a full head shorter than her father, and at least 30 pounds lighter, dragging him out the door like it was nothing, as he whimpered and whined and begged her for her forgiveness, and as the door closed behind them Ken fought off the urge to have a good laugh about it, but held it in,at least for now.

      The ‘talk’ went on for a little while and Ken waited to see what was happening. Soon the door reopened and Candy and her father, now looking totally beaten, came back in with her holding his arm and guiding him back to his desk while she smiled widely and asked if Ken was alright.

      “Yes, thank you,” He managed to get out as she stopped by the desk and the Master apologized for getting upset over what he now agreed was a simple misunderstanding. “No harm done sir.” Ken added, as he started back towards the door.

      “Please be a good friend to my daughter, Captain, I get a little over protective from time to time, so she has to remind me to behave.” He admitted as Ken smiled and nodded he understood, and he went out the door with a quick salute and it closed behind him. “but, Candy, a video, really? And how detailed was it exactly?” He demanded after Ken had gone.

      “Thats none of your concern,” She said seriously, “ and I’m not your little girl anymore. I’m a grown woman now and I’ll start acting and dressing like it from now on.” She declared as he almost cried seeing her this serious when talking to him. “No more of these outrageous outbursts of yours, understand? I’ll never have a normal life if you don’t let me make my own mistakes.”

      “But I’m here to help you avoid mistakes...” He whined as she shook her finger in his face and he stepped back and sat down behind his desk with a plop.

      “Some mistakes young women want to make for themselves,” Candy said all too seriously, “ and if this is one of them so be it, but no more of this!” She demanded and left him there, whimpering and regretting she had ever met an alien, or grown up for that matter.

      So many ships, so little time

    5. #15
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      Chapter 12: New Ships and New Decisions



      The President got the message about what happened an hour later and even he got a big grin from it. It was well known that Carl was overly protective of his kids nearly to the point of incest, but he never did win an argument with Cassandra who had her own ideas and a strong will. If thats what this was about then he’d take no part in it, since it was clear that Carl had lost the first round anyways.

      But they had more to worry about for now than a girl with a crush, no matter how serious. The second crew was ready and with them their new ships. They weren’t as big as some of these old vessels, but they were technological marvels... not needing any crews at all,they could be flown by the Captain alone, making him or her the true ‘pilot’ of the ship. They were small, fast and well armed but compared to the older ships they looked tiny, not much more than a fighter craft, with mental controls. The second crew had been flying them for a week and got really used to them by now, but they were still in short supply, and they’d have to see who got these first few and who got the older ships until more were made.

      He called a meeting and as everyone arrived the two teams saw each other for the first time, and made sure they got introduced. The new crew had a nice assortment of people, two girls and two guys. One young man was tall with medium brown hair and a big smile that never seemed to fade, that was James Hanson, the other young man was a little on the ‘nerdy’ side, shorter with glasses and even though they offered to fix his eyes he refused, saying this was who he was, and it didn’t bother him, and they left it go. He was Frank Jefferson, and the expression ‘nerd’ never seemed to fit anyone better. He was in love with the Mayan technology, and actually had ideas that were used in the new ships as he worked to get ‘acquainted’ with the ship assigned to him.

      The two girls were both blond and one just a tad shorter than the other, one, Karen Smith was an athlete, and ran every day for exercise. The other, Catherine Holdings, was a macho type for a girl, with good strong arms from working out and short bland hair that she said was ‘easier to take care of this way’ meaning she didn’t like primping and messing with long hair so she just didn’t have any. They were both nice and friendly and after their introduction, they all took their seats as the Commander came into the room.

      “I see you’ve gotten to meet each other, team two, you might like to know that the first team has been on patrol for a few weeks now and has a kill to their name. We aren’t demanding fights to the death between ships, but to think it wont happen is just crazy, since the enemy has begun attacking at their every opportunity.” He mentioned as even now, Ken could see them trying to not talk about combat, the very thought of it made them uncomfortable.
      “But we have a problem, we only have 4 new ships so far others will be coming off the lines shortly but we need to see who gets these first few. The first team has combat experience now and has been with us longer, so we’re going to let them choose.” he added as Frank demanded that his ship was his and had been ‘customized’ to his exact specifications, and even the teachers there nodded it had and the President said they’d consider that before it was over. So they all left the room together and Ken, Krys and Casi got to see the new, little ships and their comfortable seats, much like the learning center seats had been. But after piloting bigger ships these weren’t too impressive to see even though they each got a chance to ride in one and do some maneuvers. As they each got out and walked over a little while later, the President asked what they thought and they looked oddly at each other before answering.

      “If I take this new ship what will happen to my crew?” Ken asked and was told they might still remain in board, since someone else would command it until more ships were ready.

      “But I just got a crew that works well together,” Casi mentioned as the President looked surprised they could be thinking that way. “ Its nice and all, but to sit there without getting up to walk around or have a meal, I think it would drive me nuts.” She said as even Krys nodded he understood that.

      “A week at a time sitting in one seat with no one to talk to but the computer? I’m not sure I’d like that either.” He mentioned as they all agreed.

      “Mr. President...the enemies have already mentioned that we are flying ‘little ships’ and that we don’t look too intimidating this way. With these new high tech ships they might be very fast and powerful but war isn’t always about what works but what it looks like or how impressive it is. These would make great fighters, and I’m sure we’ll need a lot of those, but new ships for the war? I’d say these are too small, and not nearly as powerful as you’ll need when they bring in larger ships. We’ve fought corvettes up until now, what happens when the cruisers come in or destroyers or battleships, will these alone stop them?” he asked as everyone there looked surprised and shocked and Ken handed him a chip he had been working on himself, and he mentioned that it was a rough draft, but it would be better than these, as the man thanked him for his work and handed it to one of his assistants.

      “Then, you don’t want these new ships?” he asked still shocked as Ken shook his head no, followed by Casi and Krys who all agreed that their old vessels were bigger and more powerful or at least AS powerful as these, but they were bigger, more impressive to see and even at that the enemy thought they were small. To step down into even smaller crafts meant that even if they worked well, they would impress no one at first sight, and Frank cheered that he’d get to keep his custom ship and the President agreed they would all stay with what they had, and he’d see about more ‘impressive ‘ ships next time, as everyone smiled and then went their ways, getting ready for their next, or first, patrol.

      Team two was sent out in pairs, since the first team mentioned that even their bigger ships didn’t impress anyone so far. They traveled around the into places where no one had been before and they did flush out a few enemy ships that fired a few shots and then disappeared when they started taking damage themselves. It seemed the enemy ships were not very combat oriented so far and that helped everyone, as Ken mentioned on the coms and even the new people agreed they needed more practice before any real battles began.

      “They wont retreat forever,” Ken mentioned as everyone agreed, and they left the new people know that they were being monitored and help would be on the way if it was needed.

      “Thats good to know,” Karen added and everyone smiled at each other for a second.

      “Well, back to work everyone, lets see if we cant chase these ships out of our systems for a few days at least.” Frank commented as they all got a good laugh, and the coms went silent for a little while longer.

      So many ships, so little time

    6. #16
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      Chapter 13: Fight or Flight




      In a few days they were back on the docks again, and shaking hands before their time off. They had been lucky with some small damage to one of the new ships and a glancing blow from a missile on Ken’s corvette. The turret had caught it at the last minute or the entire side would be opened up instead of just the small gap in the hull near the engineering section where a piece of armor went flying. But either way everyone made it in alive and one enemy ship went home badly damaged and without the convoy he had been attacking.

      It was still a small skirmish war , and they were happy with that since it was being fought between small and maneuverable ships instead of massive warships that Ken demanded would be coming soon.

      “Don’t say that, you’ll jinx us,” Catherine mentioned as they laughed but Ken just smiled and walked away and they all knew he was serious, and that they were probably wrong to try and laugh it off.

      “I’m too tired to worry about that now," Casi added as everyone agreed, and one by one they went their ways and their ships got checked over for their next patrol and they got a day or two off to rest up.

      But Ken was not happy with the way things were going, so he went to see the President himself, and was told to wait and he sat down in the outer office and waited, until he actually fell asleep sitting there. But he was awakened by a secretary later on who said the President would see him now, and Ken straightened his uniform as best as he could and walked in and saluted as the older man just waved it away and offered him a seat.

      “Is there a problem, Captain?” He asked as Ken looked like he wasn’t sure what to say now that he got here and the President waited with a big grin until he finally spoke.

      “Something’s wrong, on our patrols,” He said seriously as the President looked shocked he could say that. “The enemy doesn’t stand and fight, they attack then jump away, their not fighting seriously, and that bothers me.”

      “But, its in our favor isn’t it? The new team is getting some experience and they’ll be more ready when the real fights start.” He mentioned as Ken nodded but that comment seemed to bother him more.

      “ When will it start, the real war,and why should they care, why?” He demanded as the older man looked worried now too,” why should they care if we get more practice or better as we go along. Isn’t that against what their side in this conflict needs? Is it in their best interest to see us get better or more powerful?” He asked as even the President looked surprised he hadn’t seen this before.

      “If I was in command, we’d jump into their systems and attack their bases, and fleets that were docked there, then retreat after doing massive damage, why haven’t they done that or attacked us more forcefully? They certainly don’t need to fear our numbers and they know that, so why not attack more seriously and remove us from their field of view? Once we’re gone then they could have full run of the systems and no one would bother them.” He said seriously as they both sat there for a minute thinking.

      “Your right, it makes no sense , since they have superior numbers and equal technology why aren’t they pushing their advantage?” He asked himself more than anyone else and they sat there for a while in silence. “ I’ll have intelligence look into it, there’s got to be a reason. Until we know something new, get some rest and try not to worry, I’ll put my best people on it.”

      “Thank you, sir, the answer to that question will make me feel better once I know because frankly, it has me baffled.” Ken added as he saluted and walked out and the President sent his best team of investigators out to see what they could find.

      The answer surprised even him, the enemy was waging a one on one war against them. Their military leaders were so disgusted fighting against such small and old fashioned ships that they refused to attack in full force, saying the military code of chivalry demanded a fair fight, and they were holding back watching for one.

      Corvettes against corvettes, that had been the war up until now but if they made bigger more powerful ships, wouldn’t that mean the enemy had to send in bigger ships too? And the thought that this was happening gave the President a headache thinking about it.

      “Chivalry, really?” Ken asked a day later as they both shook their heads in silence,” even on my world chivalry ran out on the battlefield ages ago, to see it here is....incredible.” He said slowly as even the President agreed.

      “But if thats true, then if we make bigger ships they’ll have to send in bigger ships, thats how it works, right?” The President asked as even Ken shrugged in silence.

      “There’s only one thing I know about this...” Ken whispered as the older man waited, “ it cant last. If the wrong person dies in battle, their family and friends wont agree to this ‘code’ thats how it happened on my world. Chivalry ran out because it was too regimented, too civilized, and frankly, war is not civilized, and never has been.”

      “Thats the way we see it too, so do you think this is some sort of plan to confuse us?” He was asked as Ken laughed out loud.

      “If it is, its working,” He added as they both shook their heads in agreement. “ but don’t hold your breath for it to continue. This makes no sense in a modern world so it has got to be a plan of some kind, and it will some to a serious stop, very soon.” Ken added as he saluted and walked out and the President sent his people out again, to make absolutely sure that this was not some trick.

      But at the offices of the Barron First Fleet a talk was going on even now about this very thing. A young officer was demanding that this childish plan stop as an older, more seasoned Admiral smiled widely at him and tried to explain.

      “Our men and women need a feeling of accomplishment,” The older officer mentioned as the young man looked sick having this discussion again. “ if they win battles from sheer numbers what kind of accomplishment is that? NONE, thats what, but if they win a one on one battle against an officer of equal ranking, weeeelll.... thats something to brag about, and a moral loss for the other side too. They lose the ability to say we abused the battle and we get the right to brag we won fair and square. Winning this way makes our people feel superior, as they should and not cheap and disgusted by their win.” Admiral Glass declared as the young officer nearly spat in his face.

      “We have the numbers, we have the ships and crews, and we could crush them in a few days if you’d let me!” He demanded as the older man waved him away as a foolish child, which didn’t go over very well at all.

      “And what would you gain from such a wild and erratic battle? Nothing...your people would feel disgusted and the victory they fought for would seem cheap and dirty. No, we will win with honor and dignity, not cheap tactics and massive numbers. They see what we’re doing by now and my intelligence says they’re working on bigger and better ships. Soon you’ll get the chance to use your military might in a good battle, so cheer up. your times coming.” he said and waved him away like his opinion meant nothing, and today at least it didn’t.

      The young Major walked out and stormed down the hall, his immediate superior was living in a fantasy world of honor and dignity. Wining was all that matters, and He’d see to it they did win even if he had to go over the Admirals head to get it done.

      So many ships, so little time

    7. #17
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      Chivalry? Well, now this is interesting....
      I can understand the satisfaction of a fair fight between equal forces but still......

      "Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum."-Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus
      (If you want peace, prepare for war.)
      Path to Profit Vol. I-The birth of Armacorp Alpha and The Nomadic Manufacturer(concept, flaws, potential solutions)

      Path to Profit Vol. II-From Scout to Commander(as soon as I make an impression of 2.0)

      The Paladin Order(still working on it,....got the ``writers block again``)

    8. #18
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      Ideology in war? Is there room for friendly battles and handshakes after? Stay tuned.

      So many ships, so little time

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      And here it is fans...the WEEKEND BONUS.....

      Chapter 14: Rebellion


      The old Admiral saw the writing on the wall, he knew that many people around him left him go because of his past glories and his son, the Chancellor protected him. But this was a different time and the people around him acted like he was a sick old man now, and he saw it clearly. They wanted everything done quickly, at any cost, and he disagreed and they were getting tired of it. He also knew that he was being watched, by both sides, and he left a message slip saying that his time as Commander was nearly up, and big changes would occur when that happened. It wasn’t exactly right feeding information to the enemy, but they had been as careful and honorable as he and he appreciated that from them. They needed to know that hot heads were coming soon, and if they were to survive they’d need to be ready, and even as he thought that the coms link buzzed and he saw his son on the link and he smiled at him who returned it.

      “ Major Carlson was here just now, father...you cant keep antagonizing him like this. He has the ear of half the war council and they too are demanding we get on with it and do some major attacks. Can you at least compromise a little and see what happens? I understand your ideals and agree with them, if it were only possible to wage war like that, but it isn’t, you know that too don’t you?” he asked as even his father smiled at his concern.

      “We wage the wars, we decide how they will be fought, we are the engineers of their battles. If we decide to battle honorably, everyone wins, but once we drop this ideal and attack without honor, people will die, in vast numbers, because being civil even on the battlefield will stop and barbarism will rule. If you leave him and his kind take command, be ready for losses, big losses, because our enemy is our equal no matter what he says.” Admiral Glass added as even the Chancellor agreed, but it was nearly out of his hands now and he mentioned it as they both agreed.

      “Then when our losses and deaths start to disgust even these fools, remind them it was their doing, not ours.” he said as his son agreed, and he had the Admirals retirement on his desk that afternoon, and he signed it, taking away any blame for what was about to happen, and protecting his family from the disgrace they were sure was coming.

      And, thanks to the Admiral the President got that message that very afternoon, and he saw who had been protecting them all along. He was a good man and a great warrior in times past and he made sure a gift for his retirement was sent to him and a card, thanking him for his ideals, and a meeting was called and everyone was told the reason things had been going so well, and that things were about to change.

      “So from now on don’t expect any civility on the battlefield.” They were told as they admitted they thought it was too easy, but they certainly weren’t complaining. “New armor that we tested lately will be added to your ships and the improved beams are on them all now. Our research teams are working on heavier models of missiles that will fit your launchers too, so if things truly do go bad, then we’re on the right track at least and the third team is in training now, and more ships are being staged for use, as well as a new cruiser design, made possible in such a short amount of time by Captain Haskell, our engineering officer.” he added as some got a quick applause for him and Ken just smiled and waved it away.

      “We were indeed fortunate that a great man like Admiral Glass was in charge for the beginning of this war but that has changed, and his replacement will be a more radical military man who believes that winning is everything, so lets not let him have his way, understood?” He asked as everyone got a good cheer out and their next patrol was quickly set up. Their scanners and early warning systems would be used more from now on, and their enemies would be more brutal, that they knew, so from this moment on it was war as usual, live or die, and little else and every member of the patrol teams felt the weight of that talk, since they had been getting used to the easy fights from before. Now, as they jumped away from the dock, it was no longer a sure thing that any of them would return, and the number of killed ships was going to go up a lot, or they wouldn’t make it back at all.

      Krys was the first to see the new patrol tactics, as two corvettes jumped in right next to him and opened fire without saying a word. He was ready though and the first two missiles got shot down, followed by a real ripping along the entire one side of the first corvette, as it tried to get out of his beam range, and failed. It was adrift now and the second attacked and one missile did get through and armor as well as two of his engines was gone a minute later, but he focused all firepower on it now and the front section was gone a minute later as his twin beams sliced through it like a sharp knife and the ‘guts’ of the ship came rolling out, including some bodies that somehow managed to fit through the big cut. Almost instantly his computer warned him the ship was going critical and he just managed to get far enough away with his damaged engines to avoid getting caught in the blast as the ship was vaporized by the reactor exploding.

      He managed to sit back for a second to catch his breath as two more ships jumped in, only this time it was the patrol of Karen and Frank and they asked if he was alright.

      “I took a hit, but I got them both. One was totally destroyed and the other is over there...” he said pointing as Frank announced that he’d go see and Karen rolled her eyes at him.

      “Anything electrical or mechanical and he has to see,” She reminded Krys who just smiled and nodded. “Will you make it back alright or do you want one of us to follow you?”

      “Don’t split up no matter what, these guys aren’t messing around now, and their using their missiles more too.” Krys mentioned as she thanked him for the info,” we’ll be fine the only casualty is one engineer who got thrown around a lot. He seems to have a broken arm, but we’ll make it back for repairs alright, so you two get moving, they might have another group jump in to see what happened soon.”

      “We’ll wait to see you jump first then we’ll return to our patrol.” Karen demanded as Krys nodded agreement and after a few minutes trying the ship did jump away and she called Frank to go.

      “One minute...they have some fascinating stuff here, different from what we’re using...” he said as she finally screamed that more enemies were probably on the way and he finally agreed and they returned to their own area and started their patrol again.


      The next day it was Casi, who saw a set of three ships jump in. Two corvettes and a bigger ship, even bigger than hers and she called at once for help and everyone heard it. She dropped missiles immediately and one corvette was gone a minute later while the bigger ship got off a few shots but her shields and armor managed to hold them back, as her beams sliced nicely through the side, and part of the ship lost atmosphere and stuff came rolling out the hole. The other corvette was coming around for a frontal blast when a second ship arrived, and sliced through the hull like a machete going through ragweed, and the little ship exploded and the bigger one tried its best to turn away at the last minute. Casi managed to get a set of missiles into it too, and after a minute they surrendered, in exchange for the right of free passage back home for the crew, and everyone agreed.

      They rigged for towing and Casi dragged it back to the base where it was met by some intelligence men who asked some important questions before sending them home and they found out very quickly who their new enemy commander was.

      “Colonel James Fredericks...” They heard at their next meeting,” a career officer with political ambitions, the very worst kind. He’s got this plan that winning the war quickly will make him a war hero and then it’ll boost his political plans and get him an Admiralty, or maybe even a job on the Council of his country. A very dangerous man in this job, since he’ll sacrifice anyone or anything to make himself look good.” The President said, as everyone looked sad about it.

      “It hasn’t worked so far...” The President heard as he smiled and agreed.

      “And our Captain Rollins, with assistance from Captain Haskell, captured an enemy cruiser giving us a lot of free information about their bigger ships, and their future plans, since the crew is talking freely.” He added as everyone cheered and Casi got a quick pat on the back for her work. “Enjoy your time off, this war is just getting started.”

      With that the meeting was adjourned and as they walked out Karen gave Ken a quick slap on the back and he gave her an odd look.

      “Well aren’t you becoming quite the little stud muffin?” She asked almost like it was a fact and he asked her what she meant by that and all she did was throw a thumb over her shoulder and he looked that way to see an embarrassed Cassandra waiting for him, only this time she was well dressed, and didn’t look at all like the shy little thing she had pretended to be all along.” Have fun, you little stud, you.” And with that everyone just left him there,as they both stood looking embarrassed and they each waited on the other to say something.



      Chapter 15: Apologies



      After a minute or so just standing there people walking by started laughing and Ken saw they were the butt of everyones jokes, so he stepped closer and asked Cassandra if she had eaten yet, and she said she hadn’t. They turned and walked, side by side, to the lunch room and got a meal and sat at a table off the side hoping everyone would ignore them for now. But it wasn’t going to happen, as they both could see. And finally, being just out of patience, Cassandra spoke to break the ice.

      “I must apologize for what happened, my father is...well...” She started as Ken remembered the time and smiled at her trying to be politically correct right now, but even she saw she was failing miserably. “ oh, alright then, my fathers a freak. He goes way,way past over protective, but in his defense its not just me, but all my sisters, he just cant help himself.” She said with a deep sigh as Ken couldn’t help himself either, and got a good laugh from it that he had been saving up since that day.

      “How many of you are there? Sisters I mean,” Ken asked as she finally seemed to settle down a little and smiled.

      “Three of us, I’m the middle one, I have one younger sister, thats Cathy, and one older, Phyllis. It seems father and mother wanted to try for a boy, but it never happened so we have a family of girls that he just cant let grow up. Even my older sister sees someone she likes... secretly, because he works on dads staff, and if he found out god only knows what he’d do to him.” She added with a chuckle and Ken got one in too, and after a few seconds the ice did seem broken as they both sat smiling.

      “You look nice in that,” Ken offered as she smiled wider and thanked him.

      “In this I don’t look so much like a boy either.” She admitted as they both tried not to laugh about the odd jump suit she always seemed to be wearing before.

      “Your dad help pick out your cloths too?” Ken asked as she rolled her eyes and he laughed again.

      “He wants us all to stay 12 forever, and god bless him he tries his best to make it happen. I do love my dad but after a while enough is just enough.” She added as even Ken agreed. “ So, do you forgive me then, for what happened?” She asked shyly as he smiled and nodded agreement.

      “I’ll accept your apology, since I’m pretty sure the one your dad gave me was under duress,” he mentioned as she nearly choked on her food and they both sat there, talking like a couple of good friends for the rest of the meal, while a few close friends watched from across the room.

      “Looks like its finally happening,” Casi mentioned as Karen and Catherine asked what she meant. “ Cassandra was after him the second we made it to the cafeteria the very first day, going on and on about aliens and ufos, but everyone I asked said her entire family are scientists so ufos and aliens are sort of what they do for a living.” She said as they all laughed, “ Ken’s a little dense too, and he totally refused to think she liked him there for a while, and the fact shes Master Griffon’s daughter doesn’t help them either.”

      “Griffon’s daughter? Whats Ken thinking? I’ve heard from everyone he’s a madman when it comes to his children.” Karen said as they all agreed.

      “But somehow, even after Ken got dragged in for a talk.... it came to this.” Casi added as they had their lunch and watched as Ken and Cassandra talked and laughed and finally, walked out together, while everyone watched and waited for something good to happen, which didn’t, at least not in front of anyone.

      “We should all be so lucky,” Casi added almost silently as they all agreed.

      “It’ll happen, you can be sure about that, we might be aliens here but there’s a whole world out there just waiting for us.” Catherine mentioned as Karen stopped her flat.

      “Three worlds,” She added as they all laughed. It was true on their home worlds they had friends and others they had never met yet, but they were just average kids there. Here they were heroes, and had good friends who they liked, so their chances of finding someone really special was a lot better here, or at least it looked that way.

      Ken and Cassandra walked around talking about many things after they left the lunchroom. They were seen down by his ship, and then up in the ‘scenic overlook’ where you could see the ships coming and going. It started to look like they’d spend the entire day together and even Ken noticed she wasn’t in any hurry to leave.

      “This has been nice,” He finally mentioned as they stood there, looking out at the spaceport below them and she nodded agreement.

      “I’d like to be here for you whenever you come in, if your OK with that.” She mentioned and couldn’t look him in the eye for a minute from embarrassment.

      “Being here for me might mean more than walking and talking, are you ready for something like that?” he asked as honestly as he could and she looked up and they gave each other a big smile and she nodded she was ready. “Then maybe we should go somewhere and...discuss it further, what do you think?” He asked as silently as he could and she smiled very wide and took his hand and agreed and they walked away together, and disappeared for the rest of the day.

      When everyone was in the meeting room getting ready for their next patrol, Ken walked in with a very wide grin and the whole room got a good ‘ah’ out and he acted annoyed by it. But it was plain to everyone he wasn’t upset at all and seemed very happy about the whole thing.

      “Someone got lucky this weekend,” He heard whispered as he tried not to even look around to see who it might have been, but his smile said it all, and he ignored them after that.

      The meeting started and stopped and everyone went to their ships for their preflight checks,and Candy was seen standing nearby and waving and wishing him well, and he waved back, and went inside. She was definitely smiling as wide as he was and no one thought for a minute that this would be the last time this would happen. But they also didn’t know that everything that happened had been seen and watched and that someone was not happy at all.

      Just a minute after Ken’s ship pulled out of the docks, a call came and Candy went to see what he wanted, but when she got to the house, all her things were lined up out front and a car was waiting on her.

      “Whats all this?” She asked as her dad stood by waiting, with the most stern look she had ever seen.

      “I’ve decided that you need to go away for a while. So you’ll be visiting your aunt Clare on Terra II for a few months.” He said without a hint of a smile or a blink of his eye,and her face fell and she looked extremely surprised.

      “You cant do this...” She insisted even as her things were getting loaded into the car.

      “Its been done,” He added seriously as she looked too shocked to speak. “ I feel your being too impetuous here, and your making some bad mistakes. You need time to think more clearly, and so does he. This time apart will prove wither there’s anything real between you, or if its just childish lust.”

      “I will never stop caring for him so this is a fools errand.” She demanded as he just shrugged and turned away.

      “We’ll see...your ship leaves within the hour, you better get going.” And with that he went inside and Candy looked like her world had collapsed as her mom walked over and gave her a hug , apologizing for all this trouble.

      “Take a vacation for a while, this wont last long you know that, you shocked him finding someone so quickly, and he’s upset that he was part of the crew that brought these new people here.” She added as Cassandra looked up with tears in her eyes.

      “I’ll go but I’ll be back sooner than he thinks, so don’t let your guard down. Father has done some odd things in his fight to protect his little girls before but this....” She said with a really sad look,” I may never for give him for this...ever.” The driver called everything was ready and she got in crying all the way, and her mom watched with a tear in her eye too, because she felt that she was right, and her family might really be starting to fall apart right before her eyes.

      She walked inside to see Carl watching out the window and she shook her head sadly.

      “It was the right thing to do,” He whispered as she walked by slowly.

      “If you believe that, then you truly are a fool.” She said, and she too went away and left him standing there, all alone.

      So many ships, so little time

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      Chapter 16: Terra II




      The trip only took a couple hours, but when Candy got off the transport, her aunt Clare was seen waiting and she ran over and gave Candy a big hug and walked her to the car while someone loaded her things in the back.

      “So, a really big fight this time huh?” She asked with a big grin as Cassandra nodded agreement. “ What set it off this time then?”

      “I have a boy friend now, a really nice guy too,” Candy mentioned as her aunt nodded and waited to hear more. “yesterday we spent the day together....and part of last night too.”

      “So, you two actually...” Clare started as Candy nodded it was true. “ your first time?” And Candy agreed again.

      “Then that makes it your fathers first time too...first time finding out his little girls a real woman now, that must have been quite the shock.” She mentioned without even looking towards Candy at all but she knew she had just now realized that this was probably why she was sent here.

      “You used protection right?” She asked quickly, as Candy made sure she knew she wasn’t stupid, and that Ken had also demanded it. “That’s good then, we’ll see how your dads feeling in a few days, after he realizes that you actually came.” She added as Candy nodded without saying a word, but with this deadly serious look on her face, and Clare saw that, this time, things were different, and that this wasn’t a little girl letting her dad run her life anymore.

      “Forgive him, he’s a father worried his girls are leaving home too soon.”Clare added almost silently as Candy looked her way for a second and didn’t blink an eye.

      “Not this time, he‘s gone too far!” She said as even Clare stopped talking and drove on to the house in silence.

      But Candy didn’t even know how far it had gone this time, or she would have been a lot louder talking about it. Ken was just getting to his patrol route when he got a call too, and he took it inside his office and as he sat there, waiting, Carl made it abundantly clear that Cassandra was gone, not just not home, but not even on the planet, and that his ‘attentions’ were no longer needed or wanted by Carl’s family, as Ken’s mouth fell open as he sat there in shock.

      “Why? What did I ever do to you?” He asked and Carl spent the next few minutes, nonstop, explaining just how he felt about losing a daughter so very young. “ Master Griffon, you haven’t lost anything, I’d never think of taking Candy away from you or your family.” Ken insisted but Carl wasn’t listening as he went on and on and left Ken know that if anything came of the night they spent together, that he’d get a first hand look at the legal system on their world, and as Ken sat back in silence, and shock, the link went closed.

      Ken stayed in the office for a little while but slowly got back to work. It would be a week before he made it back home and then he’d see what really happened, but he was pretty sure that Candy was gone. To where, he didn’t know and wouldn’t be told, but he knew now that their feelings for each other was completely against her families wishes, or at least her fathers, and that they may never see each other again.

      The transmission was also monitored by the intelligence people who reported it directly to the President. He sat there, shaking his head and wondering why he ever let Griffon head such an important and delicate mission in the first place, and he decided that, that he could fix, and he called him in and after playing the call, asked for an explanation.

      “It’s personal family business,” He was told as he reminded Carl that he had dressed down an elite officer on the open coms, and it was not a ‘personal problem’ any more. “He assaulted my daughter,he’s lucky to be alive now.” He said finally, with his nose in the air as the President looked very sad for him.

      “First off,it was consensual...we monitor the new recruits carefully as you should know,” The President started as Carl demanded it was all a lie, “ secondly,Cassandra is a adult, under our law,and she has her own rights in this.Ken is a good man, and SHE chased him since his first day here, as evidenced by everyone who knew them.If anyone might have charges brought against them it might be against her for stalking! But Captain Haskell took it all in stride and said nothing, but now that he’s shown interest, you step in and go caveman on him, you idiot! He’s out there doing a very dangerous job, and needs our support, not someone treating him like a criminal which I’d say in this instance is not true. Your the one who’s been acting shamefully, and now I need to decide what to do with you.” He demanded as Carl saw that his family matter had stepped into his professional life, and for a second he seemed a little frightened by it, and for good reason.

      “I can understand a father worrying about his children, but Carl, this is way,way over the top. First you kidnap your own daughter and send her away, then verbally assault an officer under MY command for doing nothing wrong. What’s the matter with you!?” He demanded and went on without waiting for an answer.

      “You’ll be relieved of duty as the officer in charge of the Defenders mission, effective immediately, and Cassandra will be informed that she can return any time she chooses. If I was her, and I will mention it, then I’d see about living apart from you for a while and let you reflect on your mistakes. Now you can go,I know you need to look for work and I’ll let you to it.”The President added with a wave of his hand as Carl begged for another chance, but didn’t get one. With this disgrace on his record he’d be lucky to get a decent job, and he knew whose fault it was, that damned captain did this to him, and he’d never forget it.

      Cassandra got the message a few hours later, and then decided that it was true. The longer she stayed under her fathers roof the more obsessed he became, so it was time for her to get out on her own, and, sadly her mother agreed. She mentioned she’d help her look for a new place when she got home and Candy thanked her saying she’d stay for a few days to visit her aunt and then return, and it was done. Carl was a beaten man, to some,but he kept is nose held high over the whole thing. He got another government job almost at once, and everyone knew he had help, but he woudn’t get an important job working with aliens ever again, he had made a mess out of that, but he went on and seemed to let it all slide, something even his family knew wasn’t true, and they hoped he forgot it before he did something even more rash and ruined the rest of his life.

      So many ships, so little time

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