Cyanos Geosynchronous Orbit Bravo – CSA TET-2 Control Room
Thursday – afternoon (the previous day)
Hanne: FLIGHT – COMMS: Incoming transmission from Chancellor Saxe.
Commander Tova: COMMS – FLIGHT: Patch the Chancellor though to my viewer.
A small image of Chancellor Saxe’s head and shoulders appeared on Commander Tova’s holo-viewer.
Chancellor Saxe: Good afternoon Commander – We have an update for you on the core power up.
Commander Tova: Excellent. The Bugaarian Queen is growing restless – I’m not sure how much longer we are going to be able to stall her.
Chancellor Saxe: We have now secured a number of new cyan stones that will increase the power of each TET core reactor. However the power-up is dependent on one rather unusual requirement. The new stones for the cores can only be activated to their full potential, by three stones, that the Chief Designer calls the lode stones. These three lode stones are held by three lode bearers who are the only ones who can activate the power-up – called the tri-luminal effect. The lode bearers will travel up to one TET each on the next available shuttle in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Commander Tova: Very well. We shall see that these core reactor engineers are all made welcome and given everything that they need. Our teams are at their disposal.
Chancellor Saxe: There is one more thing you need to know Commander. The three lode bearers are not core reactor engineers… they’re two neko-humans aged twelve and thirteen, and a Hunde who is fourteen. In fact your COMMS officer will know the Hunde – he’s her brother.
As soon as the holo-call with Chancellor Saxe was terminated, Commander Tova turned in her chair and looked at Hanne.
Commander Tova: COMMS – FLI…
Tova slid her headset to one side and spoke to Hanne directly with a very bemused look on her face
Er… Hanne… Get me Commanders Ddraig and Kranz… and you better stay on the loop, y’all are never going to believe this…
Friday – morning (the next day)
Now that Indigo had been boosted into space, and was free of its cumbersome boosters, it could now fly under its own power using its high efficiency, neutron induction loop engines. Jarvis eased open the throttle and set course for TET-2. The launch trajectory meant he would deliver Dieter and his cache of stones to Commander Tova first, and then carry on with his delivery run; Jaak to TET-1 with Commander Ddraig, and then lastly delivering Tag to TET-3 and Commander Kranz.
Straight forward, no dramas get the job done, home by tea time.
Hanne: Shuttle Indigo this is TET-2; Shuttle Indigo this is TET-2: Are you receiving over?
Jarvis: TET-2 this is Shuttle Indigo – receiving you loud and clear.
Hanne: Shuttle Indigo, be advised of potential hostile combatants in the sector. Expect an escort of TET fighters to bring you in. Request you use your stealth, cloaking and evasion auxiliary.
Jarvis: TET-2 all understood and will action as advised.
Within moments, three TET fighters appeared alongside and took up positions, one on each flank and one taking the lead on point.
Jarvis turned to Jaak and pointed to the lower right control panel.
Jarvis: You’re up Jaak! Time to flip that switch – SCE to AUX!
Jaak: Um – right – OK!
Jaak reached over and flipped the switch. Then as if a bucket of invisible paint had just been poured over the shuttle, Indigo quickly disappeared from sight and more importantly any prying hostile sensors.
The formation continued on and they were soon approaching TET-2.
As they neared the TET, there was no mistaking, and no missing their intended destination. The dazzling blue iridescent TET cores could be seen from the surface of Cyanos, which looked like an incredibly bright star in the night sky. Close up however, it was another thing entirely. It was a sight to behold.
Jaak: Holy hole in a doughnut Batman! That core is massive!
Hanne: Shuttle Indigo, use modified thruster approach vector protocol, NCC-1701.
You are cleared for landing in docking bay 1.
Maintain SCE-AUX until hard dock complete.
Jarvis: TET-2, all received and understood.
Just as Indigo slowed from induction engines to thrusters, a lone bug fighter appeared directly in front of them, flying very erratically. It was making extremely haphazard dives and loops, directly in the path between the shuttle and the final approach to the docking bay.
A swift apex weapon proton laser burst from one of the TET fighter escorts, dispatched it into an imploded mass of acid green. There was no time to alter course or swerve, Indigo flew straight through the sticky mess, with thick green globular remnants of the bug fighter smearing right across the front windows.
Tag: Ewww! That was gross!
Jaak: That was close! Where did that come from?
Jarvis: Bugaarian scout. The closer they fly to the TET core the more erratic their flying gets. Some of them have even flown straight into the core – fortunately, they don’t fly out again. Our fighter patrols have been picking off those boogers all week.
Dieter: Pick em, lick em and flick em!
With a final gentle burst of the landing thrusters, Indigo glided smoothly into the docking bay.
Jarvis began the shut-down procedures, while watching for the docking bay lights to indicate that hard dock had been achieved.
Jarvis: OK Jaak – flip the SCE-AUX switch back to norm.
Then as if a bucket of water had been tipped over the shuttle washing the invisible paint off, the stealth, cloaking and evasion auxiliary deactivated and Indigo re-appeared on the deck of the docking bay.
Jarvis: Nicely flipped.
Indigo had arrived perfectly intact, albeit a little smeary. The TET deck crew where already wheeling ladders up to the front windows, squeegies at the ready to clean off the bug remains.
The other thing the boys immediately noticed, was that as soon as they had entered through the docking bay portal curtain, that gravity had returned and it now felt like they were sitting properly back in their seats and not floating weightless against their harnesses. It had been great fun, eating snacks and drinking from juice pouches while they had been weightless on their way up. However, more than one bubble of juice had imploded against their noses, before they had got the hang of it.
Jarvis: TET-2 Control, Indigo confirms hard dock and internal and external pressures equalized. Request permission to open hatch.
Hanne: Indigo, we confirm hard dock and pressure equalization – you are cleared to open the hatch.
Jarvis: Right Master Dieter – this is your stop. Let’s get you and your cache of stones unloaded, looks like we are getting you boys up here not a moment too soon.
Dieter: Thanks Jarvis! You are the best – the best shuttle pilot that is!
Jarvis: Couldn’t have done it with out my co-pilot.
Jarvis looked across to Jaak, whose ears fluttered about bashfully at the compliment.
Hanne: Indigo, Security Officer Lambertus is waiting to bring Dieter up to the control room. Once he and his cargo are unloaded, standby for departure vectors.
One of the deck crew had entered the shuttle to help Dieter out of his seat and harness while two others were already taking the the first cache of cyan stones out from Indigo’s cargo bay.
The time had come for Dieter to leave the others and say goodbye.
Dieter: Well guys – this is it. Laters then, see you when we have kicked that bugs ass!
Tag looked as if he was about to burst into tears, so Dieter took a moment to give Tag a squeeze on his shoulders and a long slobbery lick up his face.
Dieter: You’ve got this buddy. Remember when you helped me get my head out of that rock? When you helped those miners? That’s Cyanos right now with these bugs. They are gonna need you, me and Jaak to help them get unstuck. You up for it?
Tag, snuffling back a sniffle, reached out and gave Dieter a fist bump and nodded.
Tag: Yeah we’ve got this! See ya later Diet.
Then, as Dieter stood on the docking bay deck he watched as Indigo melted again, cloaked from view before departing through the portal curtain to the awaiting fighter escorts. Then it was onwards to deliver the remaining boys and stones.
Security Officer: This way Sir. I am SECO Lambertus. Commander Tova is waiting for you in the control room.