“I hate the killing part.” Glen repeated himself.
“I lost track,” Boston admitted.
“That was not much of a story,” Alice said. “You were handed the timer, like that wasn’t too easy, and the rest was pretty much just blood and killing as far as I can tell.” She looked at Lockhart in his wheelchair. He had something on his mind, and responded to her stare by looking up.
“I always liked the name Cassandra, though I know better than to call the Princess that.”
“You better not,” Glen said and a little smile touched the corners of his lips at the thought.
Fyodor interrupted. “I do not speak with a Russian akzent.”
“I don’t like the killing either.” Pumpkin shivered and shook herself like a dog shaking off water.
“No one does.” Sergeant Thomas spoke but it was almost too soft to hear. The next word they heard clearly and it came from the weapons room up on the flatbed.
“Incoming.” Farquanded came to the door and shouted. Bill had his eyes on the gauges.
“Where away?” Glen asked. He was thinking of Captain Hawk at the moment.
“Thirteen from the west and another thirteen coming down from the north.”
“Alice. Quick. How many ships on a typical Vordan cruiser.”
“Warship,” Alice corrected and she scrunched her face like she was accessing unfamiliar information, which she was. “Thirteen attack craft, three shuttles and one or two auxiliary ships.” She un-scrunched her face and smiled. “One has a garbage scow.”
“Garbage?” Boston sounded surprised.
Glen nodded. “You don’t think the human race has cornered the market on garbage, do you?” He rubbed his hands together while he thought. “Half of their resources and two thirds of their attack craft.” Glen concluded. “Sergeant Thomas. You need to find Colonel Veber and prevent him from calling in F-15s. Tell him he can keep them over the capitol just in case but we don’t need that bloodbath here. Fyodor, you need to turn on the screens I installed on the Stealth and warm it up. We will be leaving shortly, I hope.” He looked at Alice, Boston and Pumpkin in turn. “Pumpkin, you can get little again if you stay here for now. I may need you to carry a message quickly at some point.”
“Oh, thank you. Thank you.” Pumpkin resumed her natural fairy form and zoomed up to Alice and Lockhart before she settled on Boston’s shoulder. It was hard for a fairy to remain in their big form for long, and Pumpkin had dutifully stayed big for long enough.
“Lockhart, you get the women. Sorry, but someone has to do it.”
Sergeant Thomas saluted and ran off. Fyodor waved as he ran in the opposite direction. Glen ignored them both as he crawled back up the side of the trailer and entered the room where Farquand and Bill were studying their consoles.
“Estimated time of arrival?” Glen asked. Both men shrugged. Bill, who watched the long range scanner as well as the disposition of the protective screens had no idea how to read a Kargill police chronometer. Glen got a headache figuring it out.
“Five minutes from the West. Seven from the North.” He paced a lot.
When the western group arrived, they took up a formation where three ships attacked from each of the primary compass points while the thirteenth came in low, about six yards off the ground. That ship crashed into the screen and exploded. It temporarily pushed the gauge into the red zone, as Glen and Bill were calling it, but only for a second or two. Meanwhile, the Vodan weapons were having no effect on the screen, but Farquanded was having his way with them. Just by using the secondary weapons as instructed, he targeted and took down four Vordan attack craft before the group arrived from the North.
With only eight craft remaining, the western group pulled back and let the northern group have a turn. They had evidently been talking because a half dozen ships took off for the heights and came hurtling back in a tight formation, their main guns on full power, concentrated on one spot.
“Damn!” Glen remembered a bit late. He jumped over to the back wall where he left his escape pod communications ball connected up to the laptop and the main system. He switched it on and instantly every Vordan communications device on the planet got a rendition of the theme from Star Wars. He jumped back.
“We are hanging in the red zone,” Bill shouted. Glen only needed a moment to target the main gun.
“Ready to switch off.” He yelled right back at Bill though the man was right next to him. Bill nodded. “Now.” Bill switched off. Several peripheral Vordan shots hit the ground but the concentrated shot of the group of six never came close. Glen fired the main gun. The beam was as wide as a skyscraper and it simply disintegrated six Vordan fighters—turned them to dust while on its way into the heavens. Down below, humans covered their eyes against the brightness. Some thought the shot might not stop until it knocked a hole in the moon. In the air, the Vordan anywhere nearby had a difficult time staying aloft as the shot created a terrible vacuum. The fighters wobbled, and two crashed. By the time the Vordan were ready to resume the attack, Bill had the screens back up and Farquanded had resumed picking off fighters with the secondary weapons, weapons that now seemed like no big deal.
Glen kept his eyes on the visuals. “Damn,” he said it again. The eight from the West must have hobbled together some sort of communication because they headed out as a group, not back the way they came, but for the secondary target, Washington. “Hit the scrambler.” Glen ordered, and Farquanded hit it. Every Vordan fighter still up and in range started to trail smoke and came down. The two out front in the group headed for the capital, however, managed to stay aloft—not to say they were undamaged. Glen ran to the door.
“Pumpkin. Find Colonel Veber and tell him two Vordan fighters are headed for Washington and he can F-15 to his heart’s content.”
“Got it,” Pumpkin said, and it almost looked like she saluted before she vanished in a flash. If you blinked you missed her.
Of the eleven ships that were brought down with Vordan still alive, only four Vordan were taken prisoner, and these only because they were badly wounded and did not have the means or chose not to kill themselves. That meant twenty-four Vordan were casualties. A dozen humans also made the list. Two F-15s went down outside of Washington, and ten marines and Men in Black lost their lives in the roundup effort, three when a Vordan surrendered and blew himself up along with his escort.
Two hours later, as the sun went down, Glen, Alice, Boston, Lockhart, Pumpkin and Sergeant Thomas stepped up the ramp and into the stealth bomber—company jet. Josh and Wilson, the two young men Glen and Alice had met on that first day were there along with Fyodor who had the jet gassed up and ready to go. Bobbi was mad that she had to stay behind this time, but she had work to do consoling the President, among other things, and making sure Colonel Veber got back in the hole he crawled out of. Miriam, the marine, turned out to be a great help with that problem.
“Where are we headed?” Fyodor asked the obvious. “You said Cape May.”
“We need to go a bit further than that, but certain ears don’t need to know.” Glen walked to the cockpit while Josh took up the co-pilot’s seat. When Boston wheeled Lockhart aboard, Wilson welcomed her home with a stack of papers.
“Thanks a lot!” Boston complained, but everyone else laughed except Pumpkin who volunteered to help.
“No, no.” Glen discouraged the Pumpkin helping with the paperwork idea and turned back to Fyodor. “We need to go to Bermuda,” he said. “Right to the heart of the triangle.”
“You know,” Alice perked up. “Two days ago I would have said you were out of your mind.”
“And you would have been right,” Glen responded with a grin before he got serious. “It has been a busy day, people. No story tonight. Everyone needs to get some sleep.” Of course, no story did not prevent Glen from remembering a pressing story in his dreams.
NOTE: To read this story from the beginning or to read any of the stories of the Traveler please click the tab “Traveler Tales.” You can read the stories on the right independently, or just the Vordan story on the left, or the whole work in order as written. Your choice. –Michael.