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PostPosted: Mon Aug 9, '10, 4:48 pm
Part 4: The space voyage

Note 1: The term "Force" denotes a specialized technique user within the military.

Almost two weeks had passed since the D.S.S.(s) Aeroprism, FireStorm and Hammer had broken from the orbit of Dezo. Sandy Ryan appreciated the time away from her desk. Being surrounded by her trusted elite troops, not to mention being able to see her husband alone for several hours a day, was truly a blessing to her. All in all, she wished that this trip would last a few more weeks. She was however getting the impression that Ryucross would not be the deserted crystal she hoped it to be. In the last few days, she grew more and more worried by how much pressure Adam was putting on her troops. Training exercises were more frequent. Drills, emergency procedures, combat training, shooting practice; especially for the Forces. There was a special unit of fifty elite force users directly under the general's command. Adam was putting them under a lot of stress, constantly demanding improvement and performance. He was obviously worried about Ryucross, there was something he didn't tell her and she didn't like it one bit. At first, she was foolish enough to wonder what could possibly go wrong on a small scale planet with three Nova cruisers in orbit, but her general's attitude let her conclude that more trouble than she wished for was most likely waiting for them.

She did not know exactly when they would reach their objective. Adam had told her that they would reach it somewhere late this day. He had spent a lot of time in cartography, calculating and studying. She managed to drag him out of yet another training session, insisting that they had to go over the mission procedures again. She dragged him to her quarters and it took quite a while to convince him that she didn't give a damn about mission procedures. At first, he was a bit irritated to have been interrupted without any "really serious reason". She didn't really like the sound of these words. "Ryucross is near, Adam. You've spent the last two weeks telling me how important and difficult this was going to be. You need to rest, relax and unwind. So do your men. These poor forces are extenuated. You need to remember that you're the only one with training from Esper masters. And half of them never saw any Esper training at all. They don't have as much resources as you do. If you want them to perform well when duty calls, let them rest."

She didn't like it when Adam looked at her that way. It usually meant he had something he wouldn't tell her. "What?" She asked without much reverence. "I was just thinking about how such an insatiable woman you were." He answered. "Oh! You're just assuming that because you're a pervert!" She answered with a smile. She got closer to him. "Actually I was thinking dinner with candles. One last quiet meal away from the mess hall before the storm begins." She looked in his eyes, he smiled. "That sounds like a wonderful idea."

Three hours later, she was resting in her husband's arms on her comfortable but small military bed. It was small according to her taste, but it was still a whole lot larger than the generic military bunk. On a starship where every cubic meter of space counted, being a commanding officer had privileges. Snapping her out of her thoughts, she heard what she had dreaded for a few hours now, a soft hum followed by a feminine voice. "General, we have reached the coordinates you indicated." Inside her woman's heart, it wounded Sandy to see how quickly his husband simply replied. "Excellent, I'm on my way."

The bridge doors opened and Freeman stepped in. "As you were." He replied, out of habit, to his subordinate's salutes. "Captain, what's our exact status?" He stood near the helm's console, looking at navigational coordinates. "General, we are at the exact location you required, 20 342 000 KMs from Dezo. The Hammer and FireStorm are 1000 KMs behind us as requested. No sign of the planet but we are still scanning." Freeman took a few seconds to double check the coordinates. "That won't be necessary captain. Open a frequency to the other two cruisers." "Channel opened sir", replied the lieutenant in charge of communications. "This is Freeman. Move to half speed and come close to us. When you reached our position, come to a total stop." Both captains acknowledged the order and the crew of the Aeroprism patiently waited as the other two ships closed in. "Both ships report positions acquired general." "Good." Freeman nodded. "Give me the central monitor, scanner at… 4… 18… 46. " The monitor turned on and showed empty space. The bridge doors opened and Colonel Ryan stepped in as well. "Did we find it?" She asked with the usual cold voice she displayed in front of her troops.

"Let's find out." Freeman said, looking at the monitor as he removed the Aeroprism from his belt pocket.

General Adam Freeman held the precious artifact in his closed left hand. He noticed how unsettling was the silence taking over the bridge of the D.S.S. Aeroprism, the lead attack ship of Mota's offense division. Even the ship's computers seemed to stop their redundant noise out of fearful respect, as if they too waited for what was going to happen next. At first, maybe it was the enormous amount of stress related to being so close to the end of such a long quest, but Freeman felt the whole situation was kind of silly. He was about to use this relic which had always been named "Aeroprism" inside a ship he named after the same relic. All that in order to make a legendary planet appear out of empty space to save his people.

What if it wasn't there?

Maybe his calculations were wrong. Worse even, what if the legendary Ryucross didn't exist? What if it was all a big load of ridiculous tell-tale crap Espers clung on to so they could comfort themselves in the wake of this coming darkness? This whole mission would have been for nothing. He could of course make up twenty different and perfectly valid excuses, but that was beside the point. It HAD to be there.

How would he proceed? Should he take a ritualistic approach? This was after all a sacred relic to uncover a sacred place…

Then he looked at his people. As opposed to what he had half expected, none of them were staring at him. They were doing their personal job, some stared at their consoles, others were working on their stations. They patiently waited for what came next and clearly, none of them felt like this was a ritual or a ceremony, but simply a military operation that had to be done according to their general's orders. Of course it was silent. They all knew this was an important moment, but this gave them no sufficient reason to blankly stare at an empty monitor and drool. Freeman felt silly. The simple dreamer inside his soul went back to his figurative sleep and the General took control, once again.

Last edited by Aeroprism on Mon Aug 9, '10, 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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