Aoraki – Chancellor’s Building, Office of the Chancellor
Friday – morning
It had been a long and torturous week for the Chancellor. Ever since the story broke on Monday evening with the destruction of TET-4 the media had been all over it like stink on a skunk. An explosion that big in the night sky is not very hard to miss even by the most unobservant of the general populace. He had run the daily gauntlet of the media scrum that had formed, awaiting his 1 pm updates on ANN, Aoraki News Network. His appearance at these news conferences and answers to questions were always accompanied by his most concerned and serious looking frowny face, while actually trying to give as little real information away as possible.
In his office there were several large holo-screens, one with 24/7 wall to wall news coverage, and others that were linked directly to the TET control rooms and any real time feeds that they had of incoming transmissions from the Bugaarian Queen, and the launch and progress of the Shuttle Indigo.
The screen with the TET-2 control room feed caught his attention.
Rönd: FLIGHT – TACTICAL: Detecting large scale deployment from the Bugaarian ship, Delta-1.
Chancellor snapped out an order to his aide-de-camp.
Chancellor Saxe: Perkins! Get Layan and Altai up here! Now!
Perkins: Yes, Chancellor I will call them at once.
The Chancellor started to pace up and down his office fretting over what might and could happen with this new development.
Chancellor Saxe: Perkins, where is the shuttle? Has it delivered those boys yet?
This was only about the tenth time in the last hour that he had asked but Perkins dutifully found the latest update.
Perkins: Chancellor, the Hunde boy Dieter arrived on TET-2 fourteen minutes ago, and Jaak, Altai’s son has not long arrived on TET-1. The last boy Tag will arrive at TET-3 in another 12 minutes.
Chancellor Saxe: Crazy hair brained idea! The entire fate of the planet resting on three boys playing with their knuckle bone rocks. I don’t know what Layan thinks he is playing at, but he better be right for all our sakes.
Naturally the Chancellor was most concerned about his own political vulnerability, quite sure that an invasion by a marauding vegetation destroying swarm of insects, led by a maniacal head removing queen would severely dampen his hopes of re-election.
Chancellor Saxe: Perkins! Summons the Hundeerde Ambassador – I need an update on the Dog Squad fighters we asked for.
And so it went on. More pacing, more demands, more updates and more questions to his long suffering subordinate.
Perkins: Chancellor; Layan, Altai and Ambassador Schönheit are here.
Chancellor Saxe: Finally! Show them in, and bring coffee and see if there are any of those cupcakes I like – the ones with the pink frosting and sprinkles.
Perkins showed the three visitors into the Chancellor’s office. His previous irritable demeanor changed in an instant. He gave a somewhat forced smile, the same one he had given the boys a couple of days ago involving his mouth but not his eyes.
Chancellor Saxe: Gentlemen! How pleased I am to see you again! Please, do all take a seat.
Layan and Altai took a seat on the opulent dark brown buttoned leather couch, and Ambassador Schönheit took a seat in one of the prodigious leather wing backed chairs at the end of the heavy marble and oak coffee table.
Chancellor Saxe: No prizes for guessing why I have asked you all here gentlemen, the Bugaarian queen has just dispatched an entire swarm of her bug fighters and our TET fighters have engaged them. They are holding their own for now, but they are severely outnumbered.
Ambassador do you have any update on the arrival of your Dog Squad fighters?
Ambassador Schönheit: My latest information is that our Dog Squad is currently in hyperspace approaching Cyanos at flank speed. Estimated time of arrival at position Foxtrot-Oscar-Bravo is ninety minutes.
The Chancellor suppressed his feelings of irritation. He had requested assistance from the Hundeerde Presidentum two days ago and he had waited a full day and a half for confirmation that the Hundes would send help. Even travelling flank at hyper-speed, the distance between Hundeerde and Cyanos was twelve hours.
Chancellor Saxe: My government extends its most grateful appreciation for the Hundeerde assistance and support. Of course we also appreciate that your own son Ambassador, is now a pivotal part of the plan to defeat the Bugaarians.
Gold Two: Its too late – I can’t hold it!
The number of TET fighter losses continued to slowly rise over the next hour as the battle raged. They continued to watch the screens from Saxe’s office, helpless to do anything except watch and wait to receive further updates.
Commander Tova: Hang in there TOP CAT – help is on the way.
The mood in the Chancellor’s office lightened with expectancy for just a moment when Commander Tova began to make contact with Dog Squad Leader Schulz.
Lionel: FLIGHT – GENO: Be advised – downward dog will take us out of the lane for secure lemon squeezer transmission.
However, when TET-2 had to make its attitude adjustment to resolve the ionic static wash interference, the secure feed to the surface was lost.
Saxe jumped to his feet with a half eaten cupcake in his hand.
Chancellor Saxe: What the goddamn blazes are they doing up there?
Layan: The secure downlink works only on a very narrow band, transmitted from the lemon squeezer array, which requires extremely precise positioning of the station by the guidance and navigation officer. He will have had to change the attitude of the station temporarily, realigning it so they can resolve the hyperspace ionic static wash and speak with Schulz.
We will get the signal back as soon as they return to secure alignment.
Sit down and finish your cupcake Chancellor.
Sure enough a couple of minutes later the secure transmission was restored and the Chancellor finished his cupcake.
Schulz: All TETs! SOLAR FLARE!
The Chancellor again jumped up from his chair this time crushing another cupcake in his paw, sending crumbs all over the carpet and sticky pink frosting oozing through his fingers.
Chancellor Saxe: What are they doing now? Why are our TET fighters running away?
Like a father patiently explaining to his child why they can’t have ice-cream before their dinner, Altai calmly explained to the Chancellor what was happening.
Altai: They are making a pre-arranged maneuver. The TET fighters are making a tactical retreat to give the Dog Squad enough clear space to make a fresh surprise charge on the bugs. They made the jump from hyperspace with their landing lights on full lux. This will cause the entire bug swarm to turn and fly directly towards them, but the squad will be ready to take them down with their electron particle disruptors. The bugs won’t stand a chance.
On confirmation of the successful raid on the bug fighters by the Dog Squad, the Chancellor leapt clear out of his seat, and made a very undignified fist pump.
Layan: Yes, yes, we have succeeded in eliminating the queen’s bug fighters.
But I would hold off on sending out the signed photographs just yet Chancellor.
We still need to defeat the Bugaarian Queen and we still have to get the stones installed and activated.
Surface to Space, Group Conference: Secure Channel
Friday – early afternoon
Since the conclusion of the Foxtrot-Oscar-Bravo battle, tensions had eased back a couple of notches in the Chancellor’s office. They had even managed a light lunch and a bathroom break. Saxe still remained a little jumpy every time a transmission came through on one of the TET Control holo-screen feeds.
The group conference was now underway.
Commander Tova: …
Layan and Altai, would you please outline the plan to power-up each TET core and ultimately destroy the Bugaarian ship.
Layan and Altai gave their briefing.
Dieter: So what you’re saying is that we’re gonna fire a buzzy-bug straight up that bug ship’s whizz-stick?
As all the males in space and on the surface squirmed, Ambassador Schönheit couldn’t help but exchange a glance with Altai, acknowledging an unspoken and shared understanding between fathers of teenage boys.
Hanne: ALL STATIONS – COMMS: She is coming.
Any easing of tensions that Dieter’s remark may have made, immediately evaporated.
If the Chancellor’s office had condition colours, then for the Chancellor at least, it just went to #ff0000 100% saturated red.
As the tension ebbed and flowed in the office as each event transpired, Chancellor Saxe sat and figeted on the edge of his seat occasionally asking the others present to explain or clarify a certain thing.
Chancellor Saxe: What does ‘hot straight and normal’ mean?
Perkins who had been lurking in the corner, had just helped himself to a glass of water and was in mid gulp. Half of it ended up spurting out his nose, and he quickly excused himself to compose himself in the bathroom.
Rönd: BREAK! – BREAK! – BREAK!
Delta-1 is firing!
By now the Chancellor was sitting on the edge of his seat, with one paw over his mouth, as if he didn’t trust what might come out of it at that moment.
The TET’s shields held.
Blaze: Core is at nine-zero-zero percent!
It’s gonna blow!
The tension in the office was now palpable. Everyone was holding their breath.
Dieter: Hoo boy! I bet that tickled going in.
The Ambassador allowed himself a brief slip of his usual diplomatic decorum, tilting his head to one side, and then slowly nodding.
Ambassador Schönheit: Yup. That’s my boy.
After Layan, Altai and Ambassador Schönheit had left, Chancellor Saxe turned to Perkins looking rather pale and shaky.
Chancellor Saxe: Right now Perkins – I think what I need is a cup of tea and a lie down.
Previous: Episode 46 – Operation Whizz-Stick
Next: Episode 48 – Double Bacon
“Right now Perkins – I think what I need is a cup of tea and a lie down.”
Think we all do 🙂 typical politicians – cupcakes? Yep!
With frosting AND sprinkles. Just sayin.
Alternative title: Cup Cake. Tee hee.
All I can say is that it’s a good thing Saxe wasn’t really a part of any of the actual tactical planning. Would be an interesting situation for him if a secret video of him nearly melting down ten times were to make it out to the public.
Only ten? Well… as the author said… he had a hard week. Lolz.
Author’s commentary: I kinda enjoyed this Saxe episode. I confess I have slowly been twisting his whiskers a little more each time we have seen him.