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    Thread: OK I'm back, first story...Hidden Truth

    1. #11
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      Chapter 15: Spies Among Us


      Alice made sure that she apologized too, the next day when their first tests got started. But it rolled off Carla’s back like water off a duck, and she seldom even spoke during the entire day. It was a sure thing that little trick put some stress on the Team, since it made it look like no one here was trusted, but now it was the other way around, and even when they went back to their rooms after the tests, there was now an armed guard at the ends of the halls, just standing watching.

      “That could have gone better.” Alice mentioned at lunch that day as her Team members nodded sadly.” But it needed done, and now we know that the rumors are true. With someone like James around this Team can fight almost forever, while we will run out of power in less than an hour, if we aren’t careful.” She mentioned as everyone agreed.

      “But the Commander did say that its not impossible for men to do the same thing for us, we just haven’t gotten the research data yet.” She added as even Alice agreed to that.

      “And with the start we just had, it might be a long time coming.” Got mentioned, as even Alice heaved a big sigh and went back to eating.
      They had heard that James did this job, but in their labs it was more of a legend than a fact. Because as far as they were concerned, it was impossible, but here it was just another day.

      But they had all seen it themselves, over 400 points recharge before they even left the room. That was impressive to say the least, and after asking a few people they heard stories that were just as impossible, like going on a date with him, eating dinner and walking home was worth more than 700 points. No fooling around, no crazy making out, just being there, holding hands and talking. His own personal power must be enormous, and they also heard that one person had dated him and spent the night in his room, and her power level went through the roof, well over 800, a mark their research had said was impossible until now.

      “The Second Generation implant must have enormous power.” Alice said on the phone, as the person on the other end agreed.” The Commander has terrific abilities, his weapon seems to be a spear he can throw, but those that have seen it says its more like a missile, and has long range.” She went on as even her contact looked thoughtful at that.

      “But it doesn’t explode, it uses what he named a Purple Void...” She said as the man looked shocked.” Like a Black Hole only under control.” She added as the man nodded silently and said she had done well. With this info they had learned more in a few days then in all the time before.

      “This little expedition was well worth it.” He told her as her eyes lit up and she agreed.” Keep doing just like we said, and watch and listen. The daughter seems willing to talk and help, the son we know next to nothing about, so concentrate on him.” He ordered as she agreed and the link went closed and she went back to getting ready for bed, but the security Team copied the entire conversation, and laid it on Carla’s desk for her to see the next day, and that was going to be a loud, and long discussion.

      Cathy heard too and rushed to stop Carla from going nuts on them when the daily meeting started the next day. She left her know that they had seen this coming, and that no new information was being leaked so thats why they were getting so desperate.

      “Let me handle the meeting.” She said as Carla agreed, hesitantly but she did.

      The Teams came in, got seated and now the meeting got going. Cathy informed them they had a security leak, and then played the entire message right from the phone call, and Alice’s face grew redder and redder.

      “Wow, you want to know about me...I’m honored.” James said as Cathy stepped back and left him run with it.” Hmm let me see, I like tea instead of coffee, my favorite food is buffalo chicken, my favorite TV shows are Reality TV..hmm my favorite person? Hmm I guess thats open for discussion at the moment, but I have a few that I’m considering, right ladies?” he said and Cathlene’s face got really red, but she was smiling pretty wide as one girl silently pointed out.

      “I Command the Proto Team and under my Command we have never lost a team member...knock on wood.” he went on as many laughed and he smiled pretty wide for everyone.

      “I heard you use a sword.” Alice called out as James agreed, then added more to it.

      “Blades...” he said as she smiled at Carla’s face growing red.” I use all sorts of blades, swords, knives, even spears.” he said and she saw that some of what she heard was true.

      “I’d like to see that sometime.” She added as Carla jumped to her feet and James agreed before she could say a word.

      “Morning practice is right after meetings, get your suits on and meet us on the practice field.” James said as Cathy agreed and Carla flopped back down looking like everyone was suddenly ignoring her.

      The meeting was over fast enough, and all the Teams went out to the practice field with Cathy right along side and her full research team with her. They set up the targets and all the scanners and Alice saw that even here nothing was left to chance.

      “So you want to see?” James asked as they all agreed and he put his suit on right there in front of everyone as a few even looked away for a second. But when it was done he was wearing his black and red suit and smiling wider than before. He put his arm out as far as he could reach and called..’blade’ and a sword appeared and Alice nodded and smiled back at him, he then reached out again, and the sword went away and a dagger appeared as even Cathy looked surprised, since he had never shown them this before.

      Then it went away too and his spear appeared, and Alice looked noticeably impressed, since no one she had ever met could change weapons once they were in their suits.

      He stepped forward and tossed it and it stuck in a large target some 20 yards away and Alice said it looked like a serious weapon and he smiled and raised his hand for something as Cathy screamed for him to stop. But one snap of his fingers and a hole 2 feet wide appeared in the target and the spear was gone and Cathy whined that no one ever listened to her, as Alice’s whole team looked shocked he would do that right in front of them.

      “I showed you mine, now you show me yours.” He said, as Alice looked a little embarrassed the way he said it, but she stepped up and raised her arm and a flame shot out and burned the target to ashes in a second, as her Team cheered for her. “ 100 points of power for one target.” James mentioned as he held up his scanner too, and Alice stepped over to see.

      “Now try this...aim carefully then fire a short burst... try and think of a fire bullet... not a beam.” he said as Cathy got the scanners going and Alice gave it a try and a short burst went flying and burned another target a second later.

      “ 30 points...” He said showing her the scan and she looked really happy because now she could stretch her power level out and do more damage to the enemy. “We learned a long time ago that knowing how to use your abilities isn’t enough, you have to control them to the tiniest detail, right Cathlene?” he asked as she agreed and a long heavy beam shot out and destroyed a target, and a second later a stream of tiny bullets ran out and wasted the entire target set up, as Cathy called for new targets to be brought out.
      “Both of those attacks used 100 points.” James mentioned as Alice looked impressed and Cathlene said that learning how to control the power was just as important as having it, and the practice session went on with James giving advice to every member of the Masters, while Cathy got to see every weapon they had, whether they realized it or not,and what their possibilities might be for the future.


      Chapter 16: Camouflaged Intentions


      The practice was over soon enough, and as everyone went for their showers Alice looked oddly to see James walking out of the building with his suit still on, and Charlene saw her watching him and laughed out loud.

      “He doesn’t take showers with us.” She hinted as Alice’s face grew red. “The shower room here was made for us and since he’s the only male, they never built one just for him. He showers back in his room.” She said as Alice pretended not to care.

      But after they all got into the showers Alice and Cathlene were side by side in their stalls and after a minute Alice just had to ask.

      “The Dean seemed really upset that James gave us lessons today. She only stayed a few minutes then walked out on the practice session.” She hinted as Cathlene admitted it was true.

      “She’s a control freak, and James tends to do things his own way, which sometimes upsets her badly.” Cathlene added as a few others admitted it was true.”But in an emergency, the man is seldom wrong, so I’m not afraid to let him Command.” She admitted while Alice just nodded that she understood.

      “You two are a Thing here then, right?” Alice asked and it seemed that Cathlene was lost for something to say and might have dropped something in the seconds after the question.

      “No... of course not...” She finally got out as a few other people got a good snicker in there about then.

      “Thats Bull...” Someone said off in the distance as Cathlene demanded that it wasn’t true, and that they had no real relationship of any kind.

      “Not that you haven’t tried...” Monica said right out loud, as Cathlene gave her a dirty look. “And that one night that your power levels toped out at over 800, remember?” She hinted as Alice and her Team nearly choked thinking it.

      “Thats impossible!” Alice screamed as Cathlene tried to ignore them for a while.” Isn’t it?” She asked as she was told that it was very real, and they were still waiting to hear what it took to get it there. As Cathlene grabbed her towel and left the showers, and people were still calling asking for details when she ran from the room.

      “Oh My God..” Cathy said sitting in her office with her head in her hands, now the new girls knew almost everything about their little base, even the rumors, and it was way more then they were planning on telling them if they had a choice. “Damn you girls, you need to think about whats going on.” She grumbled and sent messages to each of them on their phones and the rest of the evening things got a whole lot more quiet around the base.

      But it was too late now, and Alice sent a special message through the Internet back to her base saying that they were being treated like one of the regular Teams here, and that she wanted to stay around longer, and got permission to stay as long as they’d allow them to.

      Day after day the tests went on, some small adjustments were made and James’s lessons went on too. By the end of the first week the new Team was better off then they would ever have been alone, and while James seemed happy to make new friends, Cathy and Carla were going spastic over what they might have learned that they didn’t want them to.

      The message Cathy sent out stopped the free flow of information between the Teams, but they had already learned a lot, and set out to prove it one way or the other. One member of the Masters got caught trying to get into a secure terminal and was sent to her room under guard for a day, while Alice negotiated her release. Another went around asking a million questions, hoping to get some serious answers, but was quickly told that this was a high security base, and answering her questions would put them all at risk.

      Carla was ready to throw them out by their necks, but James asked for her to hold back. Not only were the new Team members getting stronger under his leadership, they were getting studied as well, and the base now knew a lot more about how they were training back home and what technology they were trying to add to the older implants.

      “There’s nothing more we can learn from them, they are in the way.” Carla demanded as Cathy disagreed and they got into it again about security and the troubles the new girls were causing.

      “We’re allies...and we’re learning from each other. In the future we’ll be fighting side by side so this is important.” Cathy added while Carla just stormed out once again, and Cathy started wondering when it would really hit the fan around here...and how bad it might get.

      But as Carla stomped down the hall and into her room she was more then just upset. Her control was being taken away, first by the U.N. and now by her own people. She had dozens of new ideas to make and test but she refused to work on anything new with spies in the base, and now her own people were sending information and updates to her enemy, the U.N., through the new Team and they were getting improvements to their implants that Carla had no intention of giving them.

      “They don’t deserve my help, any of them.” She grumbled and slowly she started to see that maybe the real enemy was here, not out there, and she wondered why she hadn’t seen it sooner.


    2. #12
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      Chapter 17: One Straw too Many

      Carla was barely holding on...to her control as well as her sanity. Cathy tried her best to smooth things over between them and it helped, but she too disagreed many times with the way Carla wanted to do things.

      During one test Carla drove one of the new girls to the brink of death, as her power level dropped to 4% and she passed out and fell face first onto the track. Cathy screamed, and James ran in and laid his hand on her chest and after a minute she opened her eyes again as her levels came back up to 25% from nearly nothing.

      “What the Hell was that??” Cathy screamed as Carla left her know that the new scan results showed better info than before, and with that new tests and improvements could be made.

      “You almost killed someone!” Alice screamed as well, and Carla turned on her, telling her they volunteered for these tests and had no right to scream about anything.

      “So long as James is here, you cant die.” She added as even Cathy’s mouth dropped as Alice helped the girl from the track and back to the shower room.

      “You’ve gone too far Mother, honestly...what were you thinking??” Cathy screamed as she too went inside to see how the girl was doing now and even James asked her what her problem was, and she finally just threw her clipboard onto the track and asked if he thought he got his power for free..if any of them thought that no one had ever been hurt or killed making the implants or testing them... as his eyes dropped thinking it.

      “YOU are a new generation of Humans, maybe a new Evolution too. The tests are hard, dangerous and needed, or we wont know the limits that the implants...and you have.” She screamed, as many there weren’t too happy thinking this way.” If you think you’ll ever become stronger, faster or more powerful do you think it can be done for free, ever??” She asked and ran away screaming to herself about ‘fools and idiots’ and even James had to sit down to think about what she had said, and the Team had a sad look on their faces, since they had refused to think about this before but were being forced to now.

      “My Mother needs a long vacation.” He finally said right out loud, and a few there agreed.

      “But we cant shut down the Base for any reason, can Cathy run it in her place?” Cathlene asked as James nodded yes, saying he was sure she could. “Then how do we do it, get her to rest I mean?” She asked as James said he’d take care of it, and walked away, and tests for the rest of the day were canceled and he went to tell his Mother that he would not be a part of her tests until she took some time off , and she wasn’t too surprised... she had seen this treachery coming... refusal to work, refusal to help her even save their world, and refusal to listen to her demands at all. She was sure it would come to this, and so she made some plans of her own, and said she would leave for a while...to rest...and James said it was a good idea, and as he walked out she sent a message, and late that night a single ship came through the tunnel and Carla got picked up and left with them, back the way they came.

      The next morning, James was sitting down for breakfast when Cathy came walking in and asked to join him. He said sure and she sat down for a minute and asked if he had seen their mother yet today, and he admitted he didn’t.

      “Her beds not been slept in, and one of the pilots said she asked for a ride out to the researchers base late last night.” She said as James looked sadder still.

      “She promised me she’d take time off and get some rest.” He said as they both got up and he walked away from his breakfast.” Lets call out there and see what she’s up to.” he said and they both went to the office and made the call.

      “The Dr.?” The little researcher asked as Cathy agreed.” Yes, she was here late last night but she left with the Advanced Research Team around midnight.” She said as Cathy looked oddly at her.

      “Advanced Research Team? Who’s that?” She asked as she was told that Dr. Carla and been talking to Choka, and they started their own Research Team and now after 2 weeks of talk and negotiations, they came last night and took her back with them, and she had bragged that she was going to be the only Human to ever go back through and to see their world, and they shook on it and then took the little shuttle ship Choka brought back through and left, and no one had seen her since.

      “Why is there a problem?” The researcher asked as Cathy forced a smile and said no, she was just not told that was all, and the link went closed and Cathy sat back in her office chair until it nearly tipped over backwards and James asked what was going on.

      “Mother got tired of all the rules and regulations she had to work with here...” She said as James looked at her oddly, “ so she negotiated a deal with Choka and went to their world to do her research.” She added as James nearly fainted thinking it.

      “Mother defected to the enemy.” Cathy said softly and even James didn’t want to believe that, but there it was, as real as real could be.

      “For the love of....” James screamed as he jumped up and Cathy just sat there watching him going off on his mother for being so selfish, even though she was not here to hear it. “She knows everything! She built the implants and did all the research even into better ones, and she took all that back with her!” He screamed as Cathy nodded her head that she knew and James finally sat down with a thud, and dropped his head into his hands, looking like he might cry.

      “What do we do now?” He asked as Cathy said she had no idea, but one thing was clear, they couldn’t use the implants and their research any longer, they had to come up with something else, something different or they were going to be lost when the next generation of aliens wearing improved suits came through the tunnel.

      “Maybe...” Cathy whispered as James looked up to hear better.” Maybe ships...we have gathered all the wreckage from dozens of the flying ships they use. If we can get our researchers going on that, maybe we can build flying ships of our own. Not just fighters like now, but cruisers and destroyers, just like they use, only with our weapons.” She added as James looked a little more hopeful.

      “Dont give up on the suits just yet either.” he said as she asked him why, knowing their mother knew all about them already.” Remember Cathlene and I doing our own little research that time? After that,we both had great ideas about new weapons and they worked! I’m thinking even mom didn’t think that would happen, and if I’m right, everyone will have at least 2 levels of power in these suits, maybe 3, but they wont activate until the power level is high enough.” he said as Cathy nodded happily and said this new plan just might work, and even her mom couldn’t tell people about research she had never seen, and James agreed and new research got started that very day.



      Chapter 18: Spreading the Wealth


      “There’s just one thing though.” James mentioned as Cathy nodded right along with him.”We need all the help we can get, so lets send Alice and her team home tomorrow with the second generation implant plans, and let them get started on that. Once they see those they will be busy for months getting a set made and by then maybe we’ll have something better to show.” he said and Cathy agreed and the call was made, a copy of the specs and blueprints put on a memory stick, and James went out to tell the Team they were leaving, all in the time of one afternoon.

      Alice was with the other teams in the pool when he came walking in, and as the girls looked up Cathlene almost went running over to see what he wanted, when he waved his hand and called for Alice, who immediately took it the wrong way.

      “He came to see you in your swim suit.” One girl said as Alice smiled wide and straightened it out as best as she could and then walked over all smiles to see him. But that was as nice as it got, as soon as she got to him James left her know that training was over, and her Team had to be packed and ready for their plane first thing tomorrow, and her face fell and she looked really shocked.

      “We had a meeting...” he said as she nodded and waited,” we’re giving you the second generation plans, just like you had hoped to steal, and we need you personally to take them back to the U.N. and get them started. We’ll continue working here on better improvements and some new research we just started. Tell them we will share everything we learn with them and we hope we can protect the world together.” he said and walked away as she stood there, totally in shock.

      “Whats the matter?” Someone called, as Alice turned towards them with that look on her face and the room looked as bad as she was.

      “We’re done here...” She finally said loudly,” everyone in the Masters go get all your belongings together, we leave first thing tomorrow.” She said and grabbed her towel and ran for the shower, followed by her whole team, as Cathlene and her team looked on in shock and bewilderment.

      “Is it just me, or is something weird going on here?” Monica asked as Cathlene climbed out of the pool and went and got dressed too, and went looking for James to find out what was really going on.

      She found him a while later and demanded to know what was happening, and why the Masters were being thrown from the base.

      “No one is being thrown from anywhere.” he declared as she wasn’t at all sure that was true.” They came here to learn from us and we trained them, adjusted their implants and gave them the second generation plans to take back with them, so there’s no reason for them to stay, and we need them to get these plans back so their people can get started on them too.” he said seriously as she watched him carefully for any sign he might be lying.

      “Isn’t Carla going to be upset that your giving away her research when she demanded they’d never get it?” She asked as James just smiled and said that she wasn’t saying anything about it, and for her that meant that either they talked her into going on vacation so they could get on with it, or she finally agreed, something she felt was not going to happen.

      “Let me talk to her then and I want to ask about a few things.” Cathlene started as James told her Carla wasn’t on the base today, and that meant to her that they finally got her to go on vacation, and then that gave them the chance to do as they pleased while she was gone.

      “Shame on you going behind your mothers back..” She said but she was laughing so he knew what she was thinking, and she still didn’t know the truth.

      “Things can only get worse from here..” he admitted as Cathlene looked really surprised he was being this negative, it just wasn’t like him, and she decided they needed to talk more about this, but not out here where everyone could hear.

      “Can I stop by later?” She whispered as he smiled and nodded it was OK. That would give her a chance to question him better and not out here where just anyone could hear, and she waved and walked away, and James checked to make sure the Masters had left, and now they could plan a full meeting for tomorrow to tell everyone what had happened and what they were planning next.

      Cathlene came knocking on his door around 7 that evening, and he left her in and told her to have a seat. She did of course but it was right at the bottom of his bed again, and he was quick to notice.

      “You look stressed, come have a seat,” She hinted as James did sit down and she gave him a big hug. “I missed you.” She said as he said he missed her too, and they fell back on the bed together and went right into their second session of ‘charging’ to relieve stress... and just for the fun of it.

      The alarms went off in the lab and Cathy turned to check out what was happening, and a few people got a quick chuckle to see both James and Cathlene’s power level going through the roof, again.

      “If they keep this up I might get a sister in law.” Cathy hinted, as a few people laughed as she shook her head. But the levels kept rising and as they passed 800 again she hinted that the lab technicians needed to raise the maximum level on the chart, since it only went to 1000.

      “You don’t really think they can max it do you?” One tech asked as Cathy just smiled wider still.

      “I know my little brother pretty well,” She said pointing to the levels as they went up.” He’s not pushing his luck or hers, so this is just necking and petting if that, can you imagine if they got serious?” She asked as one man sitting at the control panel looked serious and said they better not think that way then, as Cathy asked why not.

      “If the doctors specs are right, then the implants only have a tested maximum range of from 0 to 900...” He said as Cathy looked a little more worried then, as the new numbers showed 850 and were still rising.

      “What happens if they reach 900?” She asked as the man went back to read them again and finally said no one knew, she never thought it would happen, and Cathy saw this might be something all new, good or bad, and had a medical team on standby as they watched and waited.

      “Shouldn’t we just stop them or give them a warning?” One lady asked as Cathy asked who wanted to tell the Commander they were monitoring his sex life...especially when thats exactly what he was supposed to be doing.

      “I hate to think it, but this is for the best, and its not some experiment my mother forced on someone, its Nature doing its thing, and they seem really happy to try again after that first time.”She added as the number got very close indeed to 900.

      “Its not like we’re watching him on camera or anything.” She added since they certainly weren’t but one young lady did mentioned there were cameras in the room but Cathy growled at her and the rest of the troublemakers saw that idea wouldn’t fly.

      “Make sure every scanner in range is running, this it getting pretty close to my moms maximum settings.” Cathy said and sat down to watch the numbers rise as they touched the 890 mark and didn’t look like they were slowing down much at all. “Have a med team standing by and tell them to wait, no running in unless we tell them to.” She said as a team got their things together and went out and waited just one hall away.

      “ 895...” The one tech called as Cathy looked very serious and someone asked if she was sure they weren’t having sex in there, and she didn’t have anything to say right now.

      “They better not be...” She hinted as the alarms went off all over and the scale turned over 900 for the first time ever.

      “Heart rate is high but thats to be expected.” One tech said as everyone ran from screen to screen checking things.” Respiration is high too but nothing dangerous.” Cathy heard as she almost called to tell them to stop, but the numbers seemed to level out at 920 for her and 900 for James and then just stayed there as their heart rate and respiration started to drop.

      “And the implants?” She demanded as the one man stared for a long time at the screen then looked around slowly.

      “These readings make no sense.” He admitted as everyone ran to see. It showed that the implant was running full out to keep up, then at the last minute it slowed down but the power level kept going up.

      “It makes no sense, how can it run slower and still make more power?” One person asked as Cathy sat back looking shocked.

      “Ha,ha,ha...” One older man said from another screen. “If it were an old truck... I’d say it shifted gears.” he said laughing along, but Cathy slowly turned to look at the team and demanded they go over every number, every speck of data, and then ordered Cathlene into the lab, and she jumped up to get dressed before she even knew why.


    3. #13
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      Chapter 19: Raising the Limits


      Cathlene came walking into the lab and was grabbed up and taken in and had a dozen machines hooked to her in a few minutes. She kept saying she felt fine but no one listened, and when she was in bed and all connected to scanners and machines Cathy walked in all smiles and shook her head slowly.

      “You two didn’t really go all the way tonight did you?” She asked softly as Cathlene’s face looked like it would explode any second.

      “No, no we didn’t, but whats this all about?” She asked as Cathy laughed and asked if she was too busy to check her wristwatch and when Cathlene did her eyes looked like they’d fall out.

      “Congrats, its a new record.” Cathy said with a wink and Cathlene knew now why she was in bed and on a dozen new monitors, they were worried she might be broken somewhere.

      “Alarms went off in my office and I had a hard time stopping the techs from turning on the cameras to see what was happening.” She hinted as Cathlene looked faint.

      “There are cameras??” She gasped as Cathy said no one turned any on, but James was getting quite the reputation for breaking all kinds of records since he got here.

      “You have a small following among the male technicians too.” Cathy whispered as Cathlene looked embarrassed.” But the way things are going it looks like they are all out of luck. Now if you don’t crash your implant, then maybe we’ll learn something new.” She hinted as she went on to explain that even Carla never thought anyone would go over 900, but tonight they had and the implants worked, if a bit oddly, and Cathlene laid back thinking that she had broken a record and didn’t even try.

      “Two things to keep in mind though,” Cathy mentioned while no one was around.” This is James’s job, not just for you personally even though it appears he’s pretty happy about it when your around.” She started as Cathlene looked pretty happy. “He will have to do things like this with everyone... and I mean everyone... when needed so keep that in mind..no jealousy after a fight, and no kids before the war is over, do we have a deal?” She asked as Cathlene tried to say she wasn’t even thinking like that as Cathy just waved her away and walked out. But her words made Cathlene think, and it made her sad that James would make other girls as happy as he did her, but that was his job.

      They kept her overnight and when the meeting happened the next day Cathy made the big announcement, saying they had good..and bad ...news.

      “First..the good news...” She said as the new power levels came up on screen and Cathlene and James both looked away. “new records..” She said as people burst out laughing and Cathlene looked around trying to make them stop.

      “And Cathlene and I had a nice talk, no jealousy when James helps charge other girls, and no kids until after the war.” She said as James turned his back and all but fainted, and the room burst into laughter.

      “Whoa...Cathlene and James, its not like we didn’t see this coming.” Someone called out as Cathlene jumped up swearing she had no plans to get pregnant now or later, and James smiled and agreed, and not a soul acted like they were listening.

      “If any of you did your jobs correctly, these readings might be yours.” Cathy said slapping the screen, as things got a little more quiet. “Now the bad news. I sent the Masters home yesterday with the second generation implant data. I had a few people asked if Carla wasn’t going to be upset and screaming when she found out.” She added as people waited to hear what she said next.

      “Carla will never say a word about this because she left the research labs and we aren’t sure she will ever return. She was doing some secret negotiating with Choka and when she got tired listening to the U.N. and us ordering her around, she called and they came for her. Carla has defected to the enemy, and become a researcher for the Unknowns.” She said seriously and the entire room went dead silent.

      “Its a joke right?” Monica asked as Cathy shook her head no, and the room was in shock.

      “We must keep going and even are starting new and fresh research that mother never was into while she was here. James mentioned that the implants were mom’s project but she limited herself to certain things, and never thought of things like this new record last night. But he thinks that with higher levels we will learn more, like his blades improvement and Cathlene’s machine gun. By the way did you think of anything else after last night?” She asked as everyone turned to Cathlene who admitted she was on machines all night and never got to sleep, and James looked away seriously and refused to say.

      “I expect to hear the second you do... got it?” Cathy demanded and Cathlene nodded she did, and James apologized for not telling everyone yesterday, but he said this was private business between their Team and Carla and not anyone else needed involved, and now everyone knew why he looked so deadly serious yesterday when he came for Alice, it was the only way he could keep from letting them all know while the Masters were still here.

      “James also said he thinks every one of you has a second level weapon in your implant, but then most of you have been so scared and embarrassed that you refused to charge, and so you haven’t learned a single thing more then my mother taught you. So when you grow up a bit and see how important this is, then maybe you’ll all learn something new.” She said and closed the meeting and her and James walked out and even the big news about the new record was lost in the seriousness of the last part of the meeting.

      “Drugs and surgery cant help us now.” Cathlene said softly,” Only James can help us get stronger, so think about that.” She said and she walked out to leave them all to think about it, and being called childish or scared made a few angry but then they also knew they had deserved it, and while Cathlene and James were working hard to improve they had sit back and watched and did nothing, and that thought made them think that embarrassing or not they needed to do something or fall behind, or be replaced.


      Chapter 20: Pushing Forward, Softly


      Out of the 6 members of the Team only Cassandra and Cathlene had ever charged up using James. Even though they knew nothing really happened, they all had excuses for why they wouldn’t try.

      “I’m engaged..” Judy said softly as people around her nodded they had known.” I love him very much and will not cheapen myself with another man, even someone as nice and gentle as James. I gave him my word that he would be my only man, ever, and I cant go back on that now.” She admitted while many there agreed she was doing the right thing, at least in their eyes.

      “And I’m..”Connie started looking sad and scared, as a few others smiled and said they knew about her too...she liked women... a LOT and it showed in the showers and when they were dressed for practice sometimes. “The reason Cathlene and James get charged up together so well doesn’t have a thing to do with me, having him around doesn’t do a thing for me.” She admitted while others nodded and said they understood.

      The ones who had refused all had a reason, some silly, but still.These two were very serious while a few others were just too embarrassed or too religious to even try, Cathy sat back in her office rubbing her eyes and listening to them go on and on and looking very sad. The world was coming to an end, and she had people here that were great workers but refused for one reason or another to follow the plan, and because of that they would die on the battlefield, and she was surprised it hadn’t happened yet. The implants give you a lot of power, but in exchange it takes a lot too, so not a single person on the Team could go a full battle without running out, and possibly dieing because of it, and she refused to let that happen to people who had become friends but what she had to do now was just as hard.

      Judy and Connie got called in for an examination, and when they left their implants stayed, and they knew why. They were given a great severance pay, enough to help live well for quite a while, for their past service, and the bus carried them back to the city and dropped them off.

      Nobody knew for sure what was going on but at the meeting the next day they were told, as eyes dropped all around the room.

      “I wont force anyone to do what they don’t want to do, but I have very limited resources, so I have to keep only those that are doing their very best.” Cathy mentioned as people looked shocked and a little worried after seeing what just happened. “I’m sending a call for replacements and I’ll see what the U.N. sends me, but from now on think about this...we are only 6 here and we have worked for months to protect our friends and loved ones from death. If thats not a good enough reason to work harder then I’ll be forced to replace many more until I get a full Team that will do their best to save us all.” She said and walked out leaving James and the girls to talk a while and he took this time to bring Cathlene to the front of the room and together they answered a lot of embarrassing questions that people were afraid, until now, to ask.

      “No...” James said after one question,” we have never even been undressed from the waste down.” he admitted as at least one looked a little better.

      “But what do you force us to do to get so excited?” Monica asked while her face was so red it looked like it was on fire.

      “James wont force you to do anything, besides as women we know we are all different. What one person might really enjoy and get excited about another might not like at all.” She admitted and James gave her full credit for trying hard to help settle this.

      “Oral sex?” Jamie asked softly as James cleared his throat and said that nothing like that had happened yet, and he never asked for it either, as her face was really red but she smiled anyways and looked relieved.

      “No one gets hurt, no one gets used or abused, and nothing weird or vile ever happens. Its just like a date with someone you like, nothing hard core at all.” Cathlene mentioned as the room did smile and whispered between themselves for a while, as Cassandra stood up and reminded them that she too had charged with James, twice, and they had never been out of the public eye or even kissed a single time.

      “My power levels went to 700 after our little date in town.” She admitted while everyone listened, “ and since then that has become my new average. If I get enough rest and take time off once in a while, my levels come back up to that every day.” She admitted and even Cathy had to turn away to check that, and it was true.

      “So if she keeps this up..Cathlene will have an average level of 900 after a while.” She mentioned as even Cathlene had to think about that.

      “I cant say thats true, its the first time I’ve heard about this.” James admitted while Cassandra added that she had kept very close tabs on it since then and it always went back up there if she rested enough.

      “My average before was always 620...but now its always higher then that, and thats thanks to James, and we never even went to his room together, just out to lunch.” She mentioned as a few others got a big smile, and even Cathy saw she was leading them towards doing things simple and easy enough it wasn’t worse than dating at all.

      “Then why haven’t you been to his room and tried to push your total up further, like Cathlene did?” Monica asked as Cassandra got very quiet and said it wasn’t the girls job to ask, as James almost laughed, but she looked so terribly adorable right now, with her red face and embarrassed look that he couldn’t help himself.

      “What about after the meeting then?” He asked as she thought about it and the other girls were watching really close, and she agreed, and a few looked surprised.

      “Alright...but nothing crazy... or I’ll break you arm, got it?” She hinted as James just laughed and the rest of the room went right along and he put out his arm for her and she took it, and they walked out and after they were gone Monica asked if Cathlene wasn’t getting jealous because he left with another girl.

      “He doesn’t belong to me,” She admitted loudly as everyone waited to hear, “ he belongs to all of us.” And she too walked out and a big discussion went on even after they left, and some saw that maybe they were just being silly, and Cathy saw that at least 4 women were going to be staying on the Team for a while yet. And Cassandra returned to her room later with a new personal record of 790, and even Cathy saw that even little things gave them improvements.


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      Quote Originally Posted by kevin398 View Post
      I wonder when the site started deleting out things like quotation marks in the stories. I noticed it while reading some of my old stuff, and its doing it now too, as you read you see whats going on, but just glancing over the page its hard to see whats speech and what isn't..
      I'll have a look into it kevin. Some updates need processing.

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      Chapter 21: Tearing Down and Rebuilding


      The U.N. was in its glory seeing the second generation implants coming off the line. They were twice as strong as the first gen, and half the size, making it easier to implant people and wear them comfortably.

      The message from Cathy saying they lost 2 people due to problems in training didn’t satisfy too many people, but the fact they were now 2 people short messed them up, because they just weren’t ready yet to take on all the work themselves.

      So it came down to asking for volunteers, and when the Commander mentioned it to the young women training there one hand went up with a possible explanation.

      “ While we were there, one of the girls mentioned she couldn’t wait to leave, because she was getting married.” Alice said as the Commander nodded seriously and thought that was probably what happened to one of them then.

      “They also had some problems with people who were getting really tired fighting with the Dr. too.” She hinted as the Commander just rolled his eyes at that one.

      “She is a very stubborn and egotistic woman.” He added as many just smiled.” We have dealt with each other off and on for a couple years, and she hates giving an inch without getting a mile.” he said as many just chuckled. “Thats what made us worry about how we got these plans, but our researchers say they are indeed legitimate, so we’re more than happy with that.” he added while another of the team mentioned that the whole time they were there, Cathy and James were pushing Carla to go on a vacation, and he smiled and nodded he knew and supported them.

      “If that is what happened, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes when she comes back.” He added as many got a good laugh at that.

      “They were good people who only wanted to help.” Alice said as her Commander said he thought so too.” If they got her to go away for a while, then this is them doing everything they can to help us.” She added as many agreed.

      “So heres the reason for our meeting then,” he said as the room got quiet,” they have asked for 2 replacements for the girls that left. They claim they can find their own eventually but they are short now, so they are asking for volunteers that are already trained, to join them. Of course their Team gets better support than ours, at the moment, but we’re working on that too.” he said as the room talked back and forth knowing that this assignment meant working with James too, and after a while several said they’d go, and he said he’d choose and let them know by morning, and the room emptied out as he sat back to check the list.

      A few of these names surprised him, but not too badly. If they wanted to go then he wouldn’t hold them back, and he chose two girls that had already been there for a while, so they would fit in pretty quickly he thought, and in the morning, Alice and Debby, one of her teammates climbed onto a plane and were off once again, back to the base that had thrown them out not 2 weeks ago.

      At noon the next day they stepped off their plane and right into the hands of Cathlene and her Team. They welcomed them back and then rushed them into a car and back to the base to get them settled in. No one mentioned Carla on either side, and that seemed like a good thing for now. No matter what happened after this the word would get out eventually, and so Cathy and James asked them not to tell until they were sure they could be trusted, and everyone agreed, at least for the time being.

      But it was a sure thing that the U.N. would find out, and that would throw the entire system into disarray, and Cathy got ready for a fight to keep control of her base and school because that fight was a sure thing when they found out Carla had defected. The military had always wanted full control, but she wouldn’t give it to them. Now with her gone that fight would happen again and she wasn’t about to give in either.

      But she had more pressing things to worry about too. She had a meeting with the Engineering Team and the Mechanics, and she asked them how their research was going, as the Team Leader just laughed like it was nothing, and others just smiled and waited.

      “Thanks to the research team we’ve gotten lots of good information. And since there are dozens of wrecks, lots and lots of free parts,” he said as Cathy agreed.” if you allow it, we can gather from the wrecks and build the prototype you asked about. Do you still want an escort sized ship?” he asked as she said she wanted a ship for the Team to use for personal transport. Something small to medium in size and with some weapons for defense, and it needed to be faster than a helicopter, and fuel efficient, as he nodded as she spoke.

      “Keep the price as low as possible, use used parts and weapons and make something faster then theirs and more maneuverable.” She went on as even the mechanic team started questioning if it could be done. “It needs to be able to run from battle to battle, carrying our Team and a small crew, and outrun ships of the same size. I don’t care what weapons you use on it, but it cant be undefended.” She went on as the leader finally cleared his throat and laid out plans for an escort vessel that looked a lot like some of the Navy’s, only this one could fly, and after seeing it and hearing their speech she agreed, and the new flying prototype ship got the official OK.

      “And I need it tomorrow...” She said with a chuckle, as eyes fell out all over the room as she turned and laughed and said ‘ no pressure’ and the room looked a little better knowing she wasn’t serious, at least not totally serious anyways.

      “We’re going to need more tools...and a lot of labor.” The Leader said and they started laying out plans for their first trip to gather parts and a warehouse off the edge of the campus was opened up for the work, as tools and students from the engineering classes and mechanic classes all moved their tools there for the duration.

      The plans were for a smaller ship, capable of holding a crew and the attack team for days if not weeks at a time. It would have weapons too, but that was for later, and while the construction team was thinking maybe a hundred yards long, Cathy stopped them and said she didn’t want a battleship just a fast transport ship and her idea was maybe 75 feet long as the construction leader disagreed saying that would be too small for weapons and the alien shield technology, and besides the warehouse they got to work in wasn’t big enough to build the original one he planned on, he knew that, but the negotiations went on as piles and piles of parts came in from all over and when the frame got built, it was 150 feet long and 2 stories high. Small by military standards, but certainly big enough for a dozen people and supplies.

      “Once we prove we can do it...then you can build your battleship.” Cathy said, laughing as the work went on and alien engines got set in place and thrusters to guide and turn it, and finally the top deck and a swivel mount for a missile launcher. Firing small medium range missiles that some fighters used, with a range of 20 miles they sought out the engines of enemy ships and destroyed them, or tried, but they had helped in some battles before and so they were the main weapons mounted in a box looking mount on the top of the small ship, up front, as it was built.

      Cathy covered up what was going on by asking for the missiles for base defense, and after a little talk she got them, and she had enough to keep the ship safe for one battle at least, or help to protect it, in the very least, she also got a pair of the little beam weapons the aliens used for missile defense, and mounted them on either side, and soon it started looking like this might work yet, as slowly nearly everyone in the school got their hands on it and the ship took shape more quickly then the mechanics thought possible.

      While the enemy ships were all purple and white, this one was going to be military gray, so there was no mistaking who it belonged to and why. Cathy knew the second they got this working she’d need to send the plans over to the U.N. but that didn’t bother her, they’d need all the help they could get. But she made sure that the paperwork for it showed it was built and owned by a private group, the Proto Team, and she worked it around so that James was the owner, and no one could steal it from him , not legally anyways.

      The paperwork showed that James spent every dollar they paid him for fighting on the little craft, and it was matched by money from the research team who did the original blue prints. Since they would give the blue prints to the U.N. for free, then they had no reason to question it and the military would get the plans for free too, so she was pretty sure they would leave them alone, since they would use it for battling the enemy anyways.

      Half the school was working on it by now, it took only a week to strip an escort class enemy vessel that fell not too far away. The metal panels and all the hardware got dragged back and cleaned and stacked in the warehouse, and the frame got brought back in big pieces, and then cut down to suit.They didn’t need to reinvent the thing, they had a dozen to look at, just cut it down to a size they wanted and put it back together, and everyone in the school knew about it and were all waiting to see how it turned out.

      In the 2 weeks since Alice and Debby came they were kept really busy with tests and adjustments, telling them they had to be ready to fight when the enemy came back through. But they had never been told the truth, and they just assumed that Carla was on vacation, and no one told them any different.

      But now they were as ready as they could get and James and Cathy decided that if Carla was coming back she would have done it by now. So at the morning meeting, James stepped forward and told them the truth, and Alice looked like she might faint when she heard it.

      “Defected??” She asked as James said they were calling it that because they didn’t know for sure what she was doing there, but if she was returning they figured she’d be back by now.

      “Choka and the research Team were talking for a week or more before she left, and it was all about some Advanced Research Project.” Cathy added as everyone there agreed.” What the devil that was, if anything, we don’t know. Mother never wrote a note, never made a file entry, nothing about it. We spent the next couple of weeks going over every bit of info trying to see what she was planning but we never found out.” She said as the room got very quiet.

      “So we feel its time we left everyone know. I’ll be calling the U.N. as soon as this meeting is over. Then we’ll go on with our research like always, and be ready for when they come back through. Even if Mother is working with them now, we still have to protect our world and its people.” Cathy said as everyone agreed.” I appreciate the new members working so hard to get ready, and I’m satisfied that you are now. So keep up your training and we’ll be in fine shape when we’re next needed.” She said and dismissed the meeting and went to do just as she said as James sat back looking tired and the Team got a big smile at the way he acted.

      “You’re a terrible liar...” Alice said after a minute and everyone agreed.” I was wondering why you got so cold and serious the day you threw me out, and I have to admit this never came to mind.” She admitted as James just laughed and said he knew he didn’t fool anyone, but they didn’t even know for sure what was going on yet, so telling people would have been a waste.

      “So whats this Advanced Research Project they were talking about?” Cathlene asked as James just laughed saying that they never found out, and he thought it was just an excuse for them to meet without making it look too bad, and a few others agreed.

      “Even my mother wouldn’t do anything to help the Unknowns, at least thats what I’ll tell anyone who asks until I see for myself. She’s a crazy person about research, but she wouldn’t do anything to hurt this world or its people. I’m sure of it.” He said and walked out as everyone else got up to go for their daily training, and Alice sent a quick message across saying they told them all about it today and she agreed that even though Carla may have had a breakdown, she would never do anything to hurt their world, and her Commander had to agree, and so they all waited and watched to see how right, or wrong, they were.


      Chapter 22: New Ideas, New Tests


      Another month and nothing bad happened. The old warehouse looked like a bee hive, with hundreds going in and out. The sound of tools running and flashes of welders and torches went on day and night, and even the U.N. Representative who visited was impressed that they could start new research as fast as they had.

      “We learned of the Dr.’s defection the same time as everyone else, but we are glad to see you’re going along with business as usual.” She said as Cathy assured her that they were not slowing down a bit, if anything having her mother walk out on them sped things up, and the lady agreed, looking up at the metal walls that were magically going into place on the little ship.

      “Once we can prove we can use the alien technology, then this little ship will be our Team Transport, and I’ve been told that it will out fly and out run even the helicopters that we normally use.” Cathy added as they walked out together. “ The blue prints will be sent to the U.N. the second we prove it works, then the military can built whatever size they want from them.” Cathy added as the lady smiled, seeing that she had it all planned out.

      “You really think you can convince anyone that the Team Captain paid for this ship himself?” She lady hinted, as Cathy smiled wide and looked very serious.

      “We pay our people very well, as per our contract.” Cathy added as the lady did agree that they paid them an enormous wage for dealing with the enemy, and bonuses for ships brought down and enemies captured or killed. So yes, if you were hard working, the amount would be incredible. “My brother is the Team Commander, and the Special Unit himself, and has improved his combat skills to the point that he personally brought down a battleship, 4 cruisers, and 3 escorts, PERSONALLY.” She added as the Rep looked shocked and very impressed.” He is also a member of our Research Team and helped two of our members design new weapons that left them stay in battle longer. He alone can throw a battle one way or the other... so yes...he’s very well paid.” Cathy added as they walked into the offices and the U.N. Rep agreed that he was something special.

      “And he recharges the Teams powers?” She added, not really a question, since everyone knew, thats why he was called the Special Unit. “How does that work, exactly?” She asked as they got some coffee and sat down to talk.

      “We never give our basic instincts enough respect.” Cathy started as the lady waited to hear.” We sent all our research to the U.N. and they are working on it too. Basically, under certain conditions my brother generates more power then he can use personally, and he can transfer that power to another Team member, no matter who it is. If they get too low on power its dangerous for them, and could, in theory, kill them. He watches them all and transfers some of his power to them for their safety, so they can continue to fight even after becoming exhausted.” Cathy explained as the lady looked impressed and smiled a crooked little smile that Cathy saw and knew the next question before it even came..

      “I hear he’s quite the ladies man too.” The lady hinted as Cathy laughed and said he was a normal young man with all the needs and desires, but that was what gave him the extra power to use.

      “He likes girls, and the girls like him.” Cathy added while they both got a huge grin.” One hug and he can bring up a team members power level by 400 points in less then a ten minutes.” She remarked as the Reps eyes popped open wide. “On the battlefield he can run from one to another and do this for hours and they all will return alive and well. And they understand that treating him well keeps them safe. Of course there is one that cares for him a little more then the others, so we had a talk about that, and she agreed that for now she’d let him do his job without too much trouble.” She said as a chuckle came from the older lady and Cathy poured them another cup of coffee.

      “The U.N. sees that you’re doing the best job possible, for now, so you can expect our full cooperation in the near future.” The lady announced as she stood and shook Cathy’s hand and as she walked out she said to make sure she kept James busy, because their intelligence people saw a time coming when the next wave of enemy ships would be coming through, and Cathy left her know that they were always ready, and they waved as the lady got into a car and went back to the airport.

      “We’re clear for another few months.” Cathy whispered to herself, and she called to inform the Team that trouble was on the horizon, and James made them train an extra hour each day then and they understood that they needed to get stronger, and through that, and a simple habit he undertook of giving each of them a hug after practice, their power levels went slowly up from their normals, and Cathy saw that soon their fears would be all gone and they could really power up before each battle.

      Of course a few were still embarrassed by it, but they knew it was necessary so they allowed it, and after a week or so it became just another part of training, and even though it barely made any real difference in power... the idea was there...that you could go to James for help and he would be there.

      After one day of training and a good hot meal, James was laying around in his room listening to music when a knock came at his door. He was getting used to Cathlene coming in pretty often now and Cassandra had been here twice so far, and so he went to see who it was today, and when the door opened, Alice was standing there all smiles, and even before he said a word she walked right in.

      “I’ve been told that Cathlene has a average power level of 850 now and is trying for 900. In my old Team that would be impossible, even here its not easy I’m sure. But if we are going into battle soon I want my levels up, so I came for my hours worth of charge.” She said with a giggle and James just laughed and welcomed her in.

      “Its not too hard...” he admitted while she laughed and said that was a funny joke, and he looked oddly at her. “I think you have the wrong idea.” he said and they both sat down on his bed and he told her what he does and how it works and she looked a little surprised.

      “The way Cathlene acts, we all expected a lot more.” She said as James just smiled and said that Cathlene was special, and she tried harder than anyone to get her levels up.

      “To be honest...” Alice said with a nice little kiss to get things started.” I don’t think for Cathlene it has a damned thing to do with higher levels.” She whispered as James laughed and admitted she might be right, and the ‘charge’ got started big time.


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      Have noticed some new shows coming out mentioning God as in a mistake is made and someone dies young. They do of course play it up as funny and the entire show goes that direction. But I wonder, even though this person might have an inside track on many things what would their real life really be like?the usual girl/boy stuff I'm sure but wouldn't many on their new world covet what they know and can do? Might see about this.


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      Chapter 23: New Attacks, New Toys


      Sure enough, a new attack came just 3 days later. The enemy brought a fleet with one battleship, and several cruisers. Then the usual robots and escorts and it appeared they were ready to stay a while.

      The Team flew out in their old helicopter and started the fight, the smaller ships now flew around more, firing smaller weapons to keep the team busy, while the bigger ships attacked ground targets and destroyed some major buildings before they could get stopped. It was obvious they were changing up their ways of doing things, and they were using the fact that they only had 6 people to their advantage, and James saw it right away.

      “Cathlene, you take half the Team and attack the escorts and bring down as many as you can. I’ll take the other half and attack the bigger ships.” he said as they agreed and he and 3 others flew off while Cathlene and her team went to work shooting down the escort ships that were trying to keep them busy.

      James got them into position and Monica opened fire with her armor piercing rifle, and started doing damage. Alice was with him too, and her specialty was rockets and missiles, and she sent a wave of little rockets into the enemy fleet and one cruiser took a lot of damage.

      James went for the big boys, and his spear flew through one wall and inside a cruiser, and a second later it split in two and fell to the ground. The battleship saw the attack and turned its big guns on them and they needed to scatter until James got his second hit in, and half the guns on the front deck exploded and flew into the air, and fire and smoke came billowing out of the huge hole there, and it tried to turn and get away, but they didn’t get the chance.

      James was on fire today, and with Monica shooting holes in every ship within range and Alice flying at high speed then dropping a wave of rockets into another ship, they were doing great, and the enemy knew their plan to divide them up was a failure, and the remainder of their fleet returned at full speed and went back through the tunnel and out of sight, while fires blazed on the ground from 5 ships that were shot down during the fight.

      “Good job everyone.” James said and checking his canner saw that all the flying around and shooting had drained Monica too much to alow her a safe trip back, so he flew in and gave her a big hug, and she put her gun away and hugged him back and her power came back up in just a few minutes.

      “Monica hugging James, never thought I’d see the day.” Cathlene said as her team flew over to wait for them too. As James gave her a dirty look for teasing, and the rest got a good laugh.

      “And its wasn’t so bad either.” Monica hinted, as they turned and flew away and got loaded up for their trip home.

      “Just think,” James said with a big smile. “once the new ship is ready we can lay down or even get a shower before we even get back to base.” he said as everyone smiled and the chopper pilot saw that his days were numbered,and he smiled too.

      When they got back James took a walk to see how the construction was going, and was surprised to see Cathy there with a team of military officers that came to see for themselves.

      “So, what class do you think it will be?” One man asked another, while Cathy reminded them it was for personal transport for the Team, and wasn’t really a military vessel.

      “The actual purpose doesn’t matter, the Registration needs a classification.” The Admiral said looking it up and down.” Its small, by our standards, and according to the specs it will be fast and maneuverable. By size alone I’d say maybe an escort ship, but with these specs....” he stopped to think as others waited to hear and James walked up as silently as he could.

      “A Cutter.” The Admiral finally said as many there agreed. Like the small fast ships used by the Coast Guard, they were used to get somewhere fast, attack or just scan for enemies then report to bigger ships that were on the way. Submarine warfare was their specialty, and rescues of downed planes and wrecked ships, and James got a big smile thinking it, because guarding their coast from the Unknowns was exactly what they would do. “Ah, Commander Hudson you’re here, I hoped to meet you.” The older man said as James shook his hand and a few others that were thrust his way.

      “I understand you have millions of your own money in this job, is that true?” He asked as James quickly said it was.

      “And bounties for a cruiser and battleship from the battle today.” he added, as the entire team there got a really serious look, and the older man smiled wide and thanked him for his service.

      “Our Team will be available for battle starting next week.” he whispered with a big wink.” I hope we can still call on you when you are needed.” he hinted as James agreed, saying he hoped getting ammo for his main weapon wouldn’t be a problem when the time came either, and they both grinned and seemed to have an unwritten agreement, as Cathy just stepped back and left him go, since he seemed to be doing really well.

      “Your Team, my Team and a barrage of missiles and rockets. Then lasers, swords and armor piercing rifles.” James said smiling really wide. “I think we’ll make the enemy think twice before coming here again.” he said as even the Admiral smiled and said ‘amen’ and Cathy took them back to the airport, while James watched the engineers starting to load water, and fuel into the tanks and James called one man over and told them that he wanted a red and white paint job when they were ready, not gray, because that was the signature colors of the Coast Guard, and the man made a note and said the paint would be ordered today, and they’d have people on it by tomorrow.

      And the first test flight would be ready in a few days, and James couldn’t wait to see how it went, or what problems they might have getting it working. But he knew that things like this were needed,and that the enemy wasn’t going to stop coming, even if some thought they were still ‘testing’ them, something he didn’t believe for a second.


      Chapter 24: Testing,Testing


      By Friday that week the place was a madhouse, with officers from every branch of the military there to see. James and Cathy had on their best cloths, and were showing everyone around, and his Team got hands shook and a few offers that no one would admit to also, but when high noon came the Cutter was the main attraction, and after sitting inside the warehouse for months. It hummed to life and slid out, barely clearing the ground, and then stopped and went straight up, just like a helicopter, and at 500 feet leveled off and just hung there, almost silently, as cheers and applause were heard all around.

      “I heard it was a tiny little thing,” One officer mentioned as a few laughed.” It doesn’t look that tiny to me.” he said as it turned and sped up and in a matter of a minute or two was out of sight.

      “Never thought I’d see the day ships would fly...” One older officer mentioned, as many with him agreed.

      “I hear it can do 500,” Another mentioned and one officer said at this size if it did 300 he wanted 6 for his new unit, and everyone laughed.

      “Light Missile Cutter...” The information person was saying on the PA, while people waited for it to come back around. “Current test speed...350 miles per hour, making its turn, now...” he went on as many there nodded happily to see it was doing pretty well. “Uses Liquefied Natural Gas for fuel and is so efficient that a 1000 pound tank will last it for 6 months of steady flight.” the Head Researcher said, and people oh’d and ah’d all over as the massive thing flew in, stopped right over their heads, then slowly dropped down to land almost silently again on the special concrete pad they made for it.

      Cathy and James stepped up now and took the microphone and she told them all why they were doing this, and why they started a new research project so quickly.

      “If the enemy can come and go through the skies, then we should too. This ship will replace the helicopter we have been using for a long time. Its larger, faster and better armed, and will surely give our enemies something new to worry about.” She said as many applauded for her and James stepped up with his Team around him and said that after a few more tests they would be on call when they were needed, and they were handing out the plans for the ship, and lists of parts they got straight from enemy wrecks all over.

      “With a concentrated effort, I’m sure there will be a lot of ships like this in a year of two.” James said as some just laughed.” I look forward to flying along beside you in battle.” he said as the whole area applauded and cheered and the crew of the little ship walked up and waved and the Captain said it flew even better then expected, and a pair of researchers walked along handing out copies of the ships plans, and a lot of people took them before they left.

      By dark they were all exhausted, and the school had tight security around the ship, with spotlights on it all the time, and several armed guards. They also made sure that security on board was just as tight, and the computer that ran the thing had level after level of passwords and codes just to get it to run.

      James and his team were getting some rest and tonight he was alone, and glad of it. The head engineer waited until everyone was gone, then admitted at high speed the ship vibrated and shook, but they had a a good idea why, and his people were working on it. The next time it flew, it would be in a battle, and Cathy made sure that everything was ready, and each Team member had a small bag of cloths to be taken on board and a bunk assigned to them for long flights and big battles.

      The Team had a room to themselves, complete with bathroom and shower, and James had a ‘cabin’ right up the hall, and he wondered why, as she reminded him he was the Commander, so on board a ship that would be the Captain and the Captain doesn’t sleep with the regular crew, and he agreed and forgot about it for now. The next day they were all there, bags in hand and walked up the gangplank to get settled in. They were taken below and shown where to put their things and James was impressed that the place looked so nice inside and even the bunks were pretty comfortable.

      “Where’s my room?” he asked the guide, and he waved for him to follow and they walked down the hall a few feet and he opened the door to a nicely decorated room, with a queen sized bed, mini bar next to it, and a tacky looking party ball hanging from the ceiling, and the girls all burst out laughing, as James gave the guide a dirty look and he swore thats the way Cathy had ordered it done.

      “We’ll see...” James added as the man excused himself and left the room, trying not to laugh and Alice jumped up and down on the bed as Cathlene yelled for her to behave herself.

      “This is nice...” she said and landed flat on her back and laid there looking at the ceiling.” what...no mirrors?” She asked as James growled at her and the rest of the girls actually got a good laugh at that.

      “OK out! Everybody out! James needs to get his stuff put away too and so do we, so lets get done and we’ll be ready when the time comes.” She said as Alice said she was ready now, as Cathlene dragged her off the bed and pushed her up the hall. And as she started out the door she looked back at James who winked and pointed to the overhead ball and Cathlene got red faced, and slammed the door shut behind her.

      This was something new and the Team needed to have confidence in the ship too. So they started doing short trips for training, and there were some odd looks that first day when they gathered on the deck for exercise class and the ship lifted off and flew a 100 mile circle checking out the adjustments and improvements made to the thrusters and engines to get the vibration out of it and let them fly smoother. It was an odd feeling, standing out there in midair when the ship pulled away from the base and started gathering speed.

      The PA came on telling them to either take a seat or come inside, because during high speed travel someone might get blown off the deck. Of course these people had little to worry about, this was all just for security, because everyone here could fly. But they all sat on nice comfy chairs along the sides and as the ship made a turn Alice was cheering and making noises about how great the wind felt and how fast the ship was, as a few others looked less thrilled, but were hanging on for dear life.

      “Three hundred..” the PA said as James nodded and gave the crew in the control room a big thumbs up, as they started back towards the base again.

      “We need to get used to living, or at least traveling, on a moving ship. We might be thousands of miles from the base at times, and days will pass before we make it home again.” he added as many agreed and Monica said that it would take some getting used to, in the helicopter they were in tiny little seats and strapped down, as James agreed that the seat belts might help a few feel more secure, and he made a note to add them to the seats on the outer deck too, just to make people feel better.

      “It’ll be lunch time when we get back.” he mentioned as many agreed.” How about we have our first lunch on board the new ship? I know for a fact they brought some decent microwave meals on board, and there’s lots of water for coffee and tea.” he added as a few saw him pushing them into getting used to the ship sooner rather than later, and they agreed it might be a good start.

      The ship landed and the crew got off for their lunch and James and his team went into the little lunch area where there were drink machines and a microwave, and snack vending machines too. He got some coffee and they took turns looking through the meals that were on board and one by one they got something and sat down to eat.

      “Umm,” One girl said trying a bite as James smiled wider for them.” roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy. When you said ‘microwave meals’ I thought you meant like MRE’s from the military.” She added as James got a good laugh about that.

      “I’m a single young man living alone and have been for a few years now.” James hinted as many chuckled along.” I know the very BEST microwave meals.” he said as he and everyone laughed.

      “The spaghetti and meatballs aren’t bad either.” Monica added as Cathlene agreed that hers was good too.

      “I take good care of my Team,” James added and said that he made sure they had a good assortment of drinks too, from regular tea, to coffee to cold drinks, and everyone agreed they could be comfortable like this for a little while at least.

      “And enough bottles in his quarters for some mixed drinks.” Alice hinted as James said not to even think about it, and she got a good giggle there for a second.

      “A few little adjustments here and there and I think we’ll be just fine.” Cathlene said and everyone there agreed, and they finished their first lunch on board and after cleaning up, started off towards the base.

      But as they came out of the cabins one girl rushed to the side and threw up, very, very hard too, and James stepped back wondering what was going on. He looked around at Cathlene and pointed and she walked over and asked gently of she was alright, and if the food didn’t agree with her, but the girl just shook her head and threw up again and James asked if it was the Flu, or some other bug, if so they needed to rush her to the doctors, and the girl finally admitted it was something completely different from anything he had asked, as Cathlene looked shocked and a few other girls oh’d and ah’d as James turned and started bumping his head on the cabin wall.

      “The man who did this better not be on this base.” James said sourly as the girl looked sad.” Cathy just got the whole Team back up to power and the ship ready. When she finds out she’s going to kill him.” He said, as the girl apologized for not being careful enough, and they all walked down the gang plank and to the waiting cars, and James saw that special circumstances would have to be made for the Team, because with a group of healthy 20 year olds, these things were going to keep on happening, it seemed.


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      working on a new story about a young man that got killed too early by accident and gets another chance...yes,yes, there's a few of these out there now but I never like how they rush into things, they need to fit everything into a season just in case, but in mine it might well become a book..lol


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      Chapter 25: Special Circumstances


      “Debby Smith?” Cathy asked as both James and Cathlene agreed, as she covered her face with her hand and looked like she’d cry.

      “It would appear she was dating seriously before transferring here. They were planning on waiting until after the War to get married.” Cathlene added as Cathy looked to the ceiling and screamed ‘why me!!’ and James had to look away to keep from laughing.

      “God... can things go any worse around here?” She asked to no one in particular. “Good thing I started researching a Second String Team just in case of something like this.” She mentioned as James asked when she did that.

      “ 2 months ago. It made perfect sense, and the U.N. was pretty happy with our research and the new Team we were building, so we got some extra cash to work with. We had almost 100 people on our reserve list that are safe to use implants, and 6 more that have been given the shots to get them ready. So today I guess we add a new girl to the implant list and bring one in. Since Debby cant stay active for much longer the way things are going.” She added as James agreed, and the next person in line got the call and was in the base hospital that day getting ready for the implant procedure, and James told Debby not to worry they would figure it out, and she knew when she started showing or feeling too bad, she would be removed from the Team and the implant from her, and she would become just another young woman again, and he said he hoped she would be happy for the rest of her life, and she thanked him for the comment.

      The next day at the meeting Cathy came through the door like a woman on a mission. She slammed down a stack of folders and demanded every lady there come up and chose one, and as they stepped forward, the folders were all various forms of pregnancy prevention.

      “It has become shockingly apparent that the End of the World is not enough of a reason to stop people from making babies..” She declared and for a second a few laughed, but not for long. “So..since we need highly trained and healthy people on our Teams, everyone here must use contraception of one kind of another, thats an order! We cant spend millions of dollars training people to lose them like this. So it’ll be your choice, our base doctor is very well versed in all these types, and more if you dont see what you like here, talk to him but do it before seeing any more young men or whatever floats your boat.” She screamed as Alice...of course...just had to ask one thing, as she pointed to the ‘elephant in the room’.

      “Is James going to have to use something too?” She asked as James looked embarrassed and shocked and Cathy turned on him without a second thought.

      “Are you attempting to make babies with someone?” She screamed, as even the Team slid back a bit in their chairs seeing her attack him openly.

      “Hell no!” He said right back, and she turned back and said that James was on a tight leash and if he got anyone pregnant she would probably be in this very room, and Cathlene looked away and tried not to look eye to eye with her as James said not to worry, he wasn’t going that far with anyone, and had no intention to in the near future, as everyone looked a little surprised to hear that, but no one said anything.

      “Lets make this perfectly clear.” Cathy said loudly, as even James stopped to listen.” Anyone getting pregnant from this day on gets sent home immediately. No questions asked. I have a list of 100 new candidates that can be trained, and sooner or later I’ll get a Team that will stay for the duration. I actually wanted a Team of 10, but I cant even keep 6 around now!” She screamed and walked out and James stuck his head out the door to make sure she left, and then closed it and looked around at shocked faces.

      “Ladies..” He said softly and handed out the fliers and they all sat back to read them and see what they might be willing to use, even those that swore they were not dating right now, and James said they had to under stand that it takes months to get a person trained well, and they couldn’t afford to lose someone too quickly after that, and they did agree, even though they were a little surprised by Cathy’s attitude today.

      And Cathy felt bad too, but she got to her office and sat there watching James smooth the ruffled feathers and telling them it would be alright. He and Cathlene had not been seeing each other that much now either, and that was good too. He never thought of the one thing that she was forced to consider. On any day, one or more of the Team might never return, and if it was someone you loved, then that pain would last for a very,very long time.


      Chapter 26: Modifications


      Cathlene waited for a day then went to see Cathy, who left her in and asked what she wanted.

      “You mentioned that the Team will eventually be 10 people.” She said as Cathy agreed.” Then why is there only 6 bunks in the girls room?” She asked and Cathy said they had more in storage but they weren’t needed yet.

      “I suggest you add at least 2 more, while the mechanics and maintenence people are still working on the ship. It could be done in a lot less time then having to drag it all out again later on.” she added and Cathy did agree.

      “Good idea, James already has them working on something else might as well get this done too.” Cathy added as Cathlene asked if it was the seat belt thing, and Cathy agreed, but said James was going a step further with it.” he’s having them add a small wedge shaped wall on either side that comes off of the Command Center and goes back either side for a short distance. That will break the wind off of the rest area, so the ship can travel full speed while people are resting or just out there watching the clouds go by. That trip at 300 miles an hour spooked a couple people I hear, it probably would me too.” Cathy admitted as Cathlene agreed and left, and Cathy added one more improvement to the new ship.

      “TV in the break room..” Alice yelled when Cathy asked them at the next meeting what else they thought the new ship needed.

      “And what TV stations do you think you’ll get running from fight to fight?” Cathy asked seriously and James cleared his throat and she looked his way.

      “Doing 300 or more doesn’t mean a thing to a TV signal that travels at the speed of light, but other than that, almost every company has satellites sending signals all over the world, a small dish antenna and we could adjust it wherever we go and not really have to mess with a lot of companies.” he mentioned as Cathy nodded and smiled.

      “Ahha!” Cathy said after a minute, and a few got a chuckle at that,” Satellite TV, they brag a lot about no where is too far away, lets see what they really can do.” She said as many cheered and James nodded appreciatively.

      “Thanks sis, if we are going to be traveling for long periods of time, our time off needs to mean something too, and I know you already have a doctor and nurse team coming on board too, right?” he asked as she agreed, saying that they were setting up a clinic on board for emergencies and other times a doctor would be needed.

      “Yes, traveling from battle to battle you’ll need one, and other people along the way will too. So we got a young husband and wife team right out of medical school, and they are setting up the clinic right now, just one floor below your quarters.” She said and that stopped Cathlene from asking where it was, because she hadn’t seen it being worked on on their floor.

      “Sounds like we’re going to be well set up then.” James added as everyone agreed, and each person had some little thing they would like to see on board, and Cathy gave them all serious consideration before closing the meeting.

      “I got the call this morning.” Cathy said on the way out the door.” The Masters are active and in battle right now near Baja California, a tunnel opened and they started towards the cities along the coast, and they moved in and stopped them. They are doing pretty well I hear, but we’ll be keeping an ear open just in case, so no one leave the base today, got it?” She said and was gone and Alice got a little quieter for now, since her old Unit was out working, and at the moment she wasn’t.

      The Team went about their normal routine of training and then getting lunch and Alice seemed a little out of it, but she did her best. The others just kept waiting, because if the battle was a large one, or they drew it out for long, they would run out of power and need help. It surprised Cathlene they hadn’t heard yet one way or the other, because hours had passed and they either were done fighting or low on power a long time ago.

      But Cathy back in the office wasn’t waiting and she was having a loud discussion with a General Harris about that very thing.

      “What do you mean they are out of contact?” She asked as he said that under the circumstances, losing contact for a short time wasn’t unusual, and she gave him a dirty look.

      “They were doing well and several ships were shot down, and our Air Force was backing them up.” He went on as Cathy agreed. But when the second wave came in, we had to withdraw for refueling, and rearming and they fell back to get some rest before starting the battle again.” he said as Cathy informed him that if they were low on power that it would take a day to recharge enough for battle, as he looked away and said they had some help getting their energy back, as Cathy looked more than a little surprised and shocked.

      “I was told no one had a person like my brother to use for emergency recharge.” She added as he failed to say and she saw it right away.” DRUGS??” she screamed as he said it was only for emergencies and that after an hour or so they would be fine again.

      “The implants can kill them if their levels get too low, and its hard on their bodies when it drops too much.” She hinted as he agreed.” So adding the sudden rush of energy drugs into the mix and you might just kill them all...if it hits too fast their hearts could explode!” She declared as he said that their research had never figured out how James could do what he does, and Cathy reminded him that to get this far took her mother 10 years of research on one person , as the man looked surprised.

      “My poor little brother lived through Hell getting to this point, and now he’s working to keep people safe all over the world. If you don’t hear from your Team soon tell us, and we’ll come and help search, if its not too late already.” She said and closed the link and sat back looking mad.

      She knew the call would come, so she ordered the Team and crew on board the ship and started towards the western U.S. now over 1500 miles away. If they got there soon enough then maybe they would find someone alive, but if not, then she would make sure that the U.N. heard about this illegal use of drugs on the battlefield, and she made that call too, and was told that not everyone was as lucky as the Proto Team and some ‘allowances’ had to be made, and she went off on them saying that they would rush to help anyone...and was asked if James could cover every Team on the planet? And she had to let that discussion go, for now, as the representative said he under stood what she was saying, but that during war chances had to be taken to save lives, and she hung up on him to stop from having to listen to any more of their ‘logic’ about why Teams that were protecting them were forced to take drugs to stay alive.


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      Chapter 27: Teaming Up To Save the Day


      For three hours the ship flew on with everyone trying to rest while they could. The lost Team had a communication set built into the suits, but unlike theirs this set had a range of 50 miles, obviously the U.S. was trying to use whatever they had laying around instead of making custom tools for their Team.

      They also had an emergency beacon, but because the enemy might hear it, they weren’t using it right now. Cathy got all the info she could from them, and while they sent fighters to help keep the enemy at bay, their rescue helicopters had not found any trace of them.

      The coordinates for the search was sent to James, and they made a dash for the spot and started calling, hoping to get a response. But in the first hour they got none, and they moved a little further away and started searching again.

      “If they were anywhere in this part of Baja they would have called.” James said as everyone agreed.” so I’m thinking they moved further out, maybe onto a small island along the coast, hoping the enemy wouldn’t find them.” He said and it made sense , so they started searching further and further away from the center of the area, waiting to hear a call or a beacon being used.

      But in the first day they found nothing, and when they reported back it didn’t sound too good for the missing Team, and James said he would stay and continue to search, because it made no sense that at least one of them hadn’t survived.

      “Ok the U.S. forced the enemy ships away so you have empty air space for now. But if you don’t find something soon we’ll have to call off the search.” Cathy added as James agreed and even Cathlene looked sad when he told them the news. If it had been them she would have wanted someone to keep trying, and James agreed saying they would continue looking as long as they possibly could, and the Team declared that the search wasn’t over by a long shot, and Alice sat by the radio calling for anyone who would answer, and James had the ship drop down to a lower altitude hoping that being closer might make a difference.

      Meanwhile, the missing girls were huddled together on a tiny bit of land well away from the coastline. They came here because an escort ship was following them, and even hurt and tired, they hopped from land to land hiding from it until it got called away. Now they were exhausted, tired and hungry, and one girl had a broken leg, and others had some good cuts and bruises, but they were happy to just have survived.

      “Our power levels will return eventually.” Chandra, their new Leader said while trying to keep their hopes up, but their ‘energy boosts’ were all gone now and they had no emergency food or water,and this was their second day alone out here.

      “I cant believe they aren’t looking for us.” One girl said, as Chandra said they definitely were, but they had no idea how far away they had flown.

      “Cheap pieces of trash...” Another girl said trying to call for help but getting nothing and no returns at all to her screams, as everyone looked pretty angry their communications couldn’t reach their base, or anything even close by.” The battery on mine is almost gone too.” She said and that didn’t leave them much more to work with.

      “Everyones power levels are back to around 200...” Chandra said as everyone agreed.” if we wait until morning we can fly back to the coast and from there maybe find a search helicopter.” She hinted hoping to show them it wasn’t over yet.

      “If we get one person high enough, then Radar will pick them up too.” Another girl said as one volunteered to try, but Chandra refused saying once they gave their hiding place away they would all be done for. This way they would have enough power to run if necessary, and everyone agreed with that.

      But in a few hours they were laying there in the shade of a few trees napping when their guard yelled saying the escort ship had returned, and Chandra jumped up to look and there, just at the horizon was a ship, and she swore they might have found them, but her folding binoculars said it was red and white, and she knew that every enemy ship was purple, and so she called out on her radio, and got nothing and noticed the batteries were nearly gone on it too, and she pulled out the emergency beacon and flipped the switch and after a minute or two, the sleek looking vessel started getting closer and closer.

      “Masters...” She heard as it got closer..” can anyone hear me?” James was calling... as she waited for them to get closer and called back saying their batteries were nearly dead, but they heard him, and he smiled and looked like he’d faint any second.”This is Team Proto, we’ll be coming close to you in a minute can everyone get on board safely?” he asked as Chandra said they could if they got close enough, and she got them all together and they hobbled out onto the beach to see this red and white angel drop down and touch the water not 100 years away, and they flew out and dropped on board and the medic took everyone below and gave them water and food, and did their best to patch up their cuts and put a splint on the girls broken leg, as the ship rose back into the clouds and turned to go towards the coast, and the base of their friends, and to make sure they got returned home safely.

      “I almost forgot about this ship.” Chandra said as James just laughed. “ Like you...it’s a one of a kind.” She said and gave him a peck on the cheek as he nodded and walked away, and Alice gave her friend a hug and said she was glad they found them.

      She told the story about how they tried to escape but were followed by a fast, small craft, and so had to play leap frog to hide from it until it got called back and disappeared over the horizon.

      “We started calling the second we decided we would stay put...but our radios had weak batteries and soon only one had any power left.” She said as Alice screamed that the officers in charge were still scrimping on their tools, as the other girls agreed.

      “But don’t you worry, we’ll see to it you get home, and pretty damned fast too.” Alice said and in an hour they were slowly dropping down until the General screamed for them to stop, as James looked surprised and asked why.

      “No place on this base is heavy enough to set that down here.” he said and even James saw that something this big would take a lot of concrete to land on without breaking, and he agreed saying they’d hover close to the ground until the Team got unloaded, and the General gave him a quick salute and rushed out to be there when they landed.

      The Masters stepped over the side and dropped down to the ground and got met by their own medics and their Commanding General, as James waved over the side and turned and the ship went back into the clouds and started making a run for home, after a job well done, and some big brownie points from the U.N..


      Chapter 28: Well Done and Welcome Home


      They arrived early the next day and as the ship settled into its dock, cheers went up from all the people waiting there.
      They rushed them into the conference room and they had food and drinks and cake, with words on it that said: “First Rescue and First Long Distance Trip”, and James and the crew got to shake a hundred hands as they settled in for their heroes welcome.

      “The Research Department would like to say thank you for the best test the new ship could ever have.” The one man said shaking James’s hand until it felt like it would fall off. “We knew everything worked well, but under these extreme conditions, and a full speed run for hours, there were some doubts. But now we know things are great, and we can get back to increasing the over all speed.” He went on, as James looked a little pale and whispered ‘doubts?’ as many there laughed.

      “The overall speed is a little slower than they first thought it would be.” Cathy mentioned as she walked up. “But then someone customized the ship after the original designs were done and added a few more tons to it too.” She said laughing, as James just smiled and agreed. “But the U.N. is gushing about how it got there in good time, far exceeding what any helicopter could have done over such a long distance. So all these new details are being sent today so they can add them to their test results too. That will stop some there from saying the technology isn’t ready for use yet.” She added as he agreed and said he was proud of his Team and their new ship, and any improvements would be great by him but he’d keep it just as it was if need be, and the head researcher looked like she’d cry hearing it.

      “Don’t you worry,” She whispered as she walked away.” It’ll only get better, you wait and see.” And then she was gone, as Cathy patted James on the back for a job well done, and the party got really going with cheers and speeches and soon everyone was as happy as they could be, and for now the war was forgotten, and they were happy to have made it home.

      But at the U.S. West Coast Base the Commanding officer and Chandra were going at it, and he wasn’t winning.

      “I understand a budget,” She screamed, as he sat back trying to look calm.” but communications are key to any success, and our limited range and poor battery life almost left us all die out there this time. Surely better communications cant be that expensive.” She went on as he admitted that they used a standard police set up for close combat situations, and the rescue from the Proto Team made them look pretty bad, so better systems were on the way, and she thanked him and walked out, and finally he could heave a big sigh and made that call. Starting today satellite radios were going on every Masters suit, so they could call for help from anywhere on Earth, and he knew she was right. If they had better equipment then their own rescue team would have found them not their rival team from across the country, and he wouldn’t be getting this flak from his Commander either.

      And in another meeting much further away, senior people from all over the Empire sat there arguing back and forth about some serious stuff there too.

      “The skirmishes are getting more expensive, and we’re losing ships.” One older man complained but one group just stood there laughing, saying the robots could make small ships like this in a day, and with their huge Empire, materials were no problem.

      “These new people are a wonder. If we leave anything behind, in a matter of months they have something similar. They make things from nothing, and use it against us. The People are thrilled to see someone standing their ground for a change, and they even have Fans now on every planet.” The older man said as many there just laughed.

      “And they always will give you a fine, hard fight.” Came a voice, as many there turned to see Carla sitting there in fine new cloths and with a huge grin while many there waited to hear her advise once more.” Your Entertainment channels are all abuzz with their praises, some small groups that don’t care for some little details of your civilization like some odd rule, or taxes, see them as heroes that are punishing you for your sins. But we know that they are just barbarians, and I can vouch for that, but they do give a good fight and will continue to if you let them.” She said as many there oh’d and ah’d and she sat back even more confidently then before.

      “Maybe just a little longer then...” was the official response, as everyone got up to leave the room and one middle aged man stepped up and smiled at Carla and she smiled back.

      “Isn’t this exactly what you wanted?” he asked as she just laughed and said she had no idea what he meant, and she walked away with her assistant on tow, and he just laughed, knowing that as long as the Entertainment Industry was happy making Trillions of credits on them, the people of Earth would have a reason to exist. Since they had been proven not to be direct descendants of the Empire then they might become a threat in the future, and they could never allow that.


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