Thursday, November 13, 2014

Events Unfold (Mission Impossible - 21)

The Raven slid into the docking bay with ease, spacecommand loomed in the background as the satellite docking station paired perfectly. Piteer was getting to be an excellent pilot. Dranke looked over at the airlock as it cycled out the air from the satellite station and Nina stepped through. She looked at him with a poker-face as she beckoned for Dranke and Kell to follow her. Dranke felt a sinking feeling, but he kept his growing panic under control as he followed Kell out meekly.

Nina took them through a number of corridors. Dranke estimated that they were now in the heart of spacecommand. He was right. They came upon a huge stateroom, ornately decorated for style rather than function. It was rare to see this kind of place in space, where form followed function, but he held his tongue. The Leader sat in a easy chair, looking comfortable. He was heavily modified, and all one could really see as human was his face. The rest was encased in a dull blue composite. "Welcome back Captain, you have done well. I wanted to update you on what has been happening, since we need you to know about our plans." Dranke bobbed his head, not sure whether he should bow or salute, he did both. The Leader smiled. "As you probably guessed, the voice in your head would have been Jen, the Hnnet who you met with Ed last time." His eyes twinkled with merriment. Dranke was astonished. This was something he had not expected. The Leader continued "The Hnnet have found that they can communicate with us, very much like how they communicate with each other. I thought it was telepathy, but it's not. We don't know how it works, but it does."

Dranke looked at Kell who grinned "Yes Sir, I have found that it has been very useful to communicate with the Hnnet, and they can communicate across galaxies." Drake did not like this at all - more secrets! Outwardly, he kept a calm and open stance. This was the Leader ; not some army bigwig. He waited patiently. The Leader said "We have all the information we wanted. Please don't blame Kell, she was under strict instructions to keep you in the dark." Dranke nodded "Yes Sir. I was unable to communicate back." The Leader did not look surprised "You need to be paired with the Hnnet to be able to speak to them that way. For me it was automatic, but Kell required a slight enhancement. You will need one too." Dranke nodded.

Kell said "Jen has confirmed to us that the space outpost was actually destroyed. It was a decoy. And it 'proved' to the Jexx that their weapons were useless against the Hnnet. The space outpost was replaced with another one which was under propulsion just before the attack." Dranke took it all in. Things were becoming clearer. He now knew that Kell was someone who would always have her loyalty with the Leader. But who could blame her? What would he have done in her place? His mind was racing ahead. "And the Jexx murder?" Kell nodded "We expected something like that. The Jexx trios are not a family unit. They are guards. The Hnnet suspected that to be the case. Commander Yod is a different phylum from his guards. They are actually different races of Jexx. Our mission was to get Yod to defect, which the Hnnet have been working on for a long time now; and to neutralize the Jexx. We have achieved both. Dranke could not help but feel a grudging admiration for Kell and the Leader. He also realized he was out of his depth.

The Leader dismissed them and Kell and Dranke were led to a large cadet mess where the rest of the crew were having real food after popping food supplements. There was cake and cookies and real coffee which was steaming hot. Dranke settled down with Fenie and Piteer who were already stuffing their faces. It had been too long since they had been to Earth proper, and Vaxe remarked that they were due for some time off. Kell nodded imperceptibly and Dranke announced a three day holiday. They more than deserved it. He wished he could knock off too, but he knew the business with commander Yod was something he could not afford to ignore.

With the rest of the crew departing by space capsule for the Earth proper, only Kell and Dranke remained at spacecommand surrounded by hundreds of cadets in spanking new uniforms. Dranke was amused at how young and fresh they looked. He also realized that before his posting, he must have looked very similar. He was now getting a bit of a beard, and he stroked it affectedly. Kell was speaking "We need you to complete the enhancements captain. Will tomorrow be okay to schedule them?" Dranke nodded "Yes. And I want to know everything that happens with commander Yod." "I will tell you all I can" Kell promised. He did not miss the teasing tone in her voice.

Nina joined them later and ran the captain through the enhancements and the process to be followed. The three of them sat in the mess until they had to retire to their rooms. It had been an eventful trip. They all needed their downtime. There was much to be done, but they had time, and they still had not received further orders... Dranke lay in his bunk thinking of recent events. He did not last very long, and was asleep before he knew it. He dreamt of enhancements and secrets.

Pic courtesy:Serendigity (Space City) from Pixabay

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