Second Novel in the Destiny Series
Alex and Barbara are, at last, to begin their primary mission. By every possible means, they must somehow turn planet earth around and in conformance with the Sentient Accord, Articles of Order and Alliance Command Doctrine. And it must all be accomplished from the shadows. Worse yet, the Scienta, the founding race, have been very clear of the dire consequence of failure. And so it begins. . .
“Colonel Stevens to Perella flight control, requesting departure clearance.”
“You are cleared for departure, Colonel. Misses Colonel has already checked in and is ready to release docking clamps on the space home. Be advised, sir, Korellan fighters have been spotted in this sector. First Admiral Neemah has assigned an escort. Two pods will be on your wing and four on your wife. You two have fun, now.”
“Copy that, fun it is,” Alex said, piloting toward the bay doors, and open space.
“We are all a little curious, sir. When will we see you again?” the flight control officer said. “I must admit, things won’t be quite the same without you guys.”
Alex laughed. “Not to worry. I’ll be around, from time to time, just to aggravate you boys.”
“Anytime, sir — looking forward to it.”
Six additional battle pods fire maneuvering thrusters and followed him into space. Four peel off, headed for Barbara in the space home, while the last two positioned at each side of Alex.
“Can any of you confirm the Korellan sightings?” Alex asked.
“Yes sir. I happened to be at the scanning station when they were spotted.”
“What is your name, Pilot?”
“Lieutenant Motom, sir.”
“How many fighters did you see, Motom, and where were they headed?”
“Well, sir, I saw eight blips. But Conoley, my friend manning the scanner, said that only six of them fit the Korellan profile. The other two are something else.”
“What kind of something else? They must have some idea.”
“If they did, no one said so. They were just sitting there, at the edge of scanner range, sir.”
“Check your long range scanner, Colonel,” an escort pilot said. “I think we just may be in for a firsthand look. The blips are closing on us.”
“I’m betting they won’t start anything this close to the Perella,” Alex said. “Barbara, are you getting this?”
“Yes, Alex, I’ve been listening. And so have my escort pilots.”
“Would you like us to take a look, Colonel?” Barbara’s lead escort asked.
“I think we’ll all go check it out,” Alex said. “Barbara, you stay near the Perella, but activate ships weapon systems, just in case. And contact Neemah in the flight bay. Tell him what we are up to. I would appreciate the standby squadron on high alert.”
“Can do,” Barbara said. “You be careful, Babe.”
“Alright, Boys. Let’s go knock on the door,” Alex said as they opened thrusters wide and raced toward the Korellan ships.”
“They are scattering, sir.”
“Yes, I see that. A pretty good sign they are up to no good. I want to know what those unidentified ships are. The three pilot’s closet to me, stay on my wing. I’m following the big starboard blip. The rest of you take the other one. Do not engage unless you have no choice.”
“Aye, sir,” the pilots said, separating into two formations.
“What do you make of that thing, Motom?” Alex said as they got near enough to see the ships.
“Well, sir, it sort of looks like a roving recorder. Stations used on survey missions. Sensitive machines that pick up and analyze both audio and visual data from orbit. They can penetrate solid matter, recording what is beneath in great detail. At least ours can.”
“Would that include ships?” Alex said. Motom thought for a moment.
“Of course, sir. And I believe they may have been within scanner range. The equipment aboard this type of ship is more sensitive than normal, Colonel. What do you want to do, sir?”
“Reduce speed and continue the approach. Let’s see if there’s somewhere else they’d rather be.”
“You were right, Colonel. There they go, and at maximum thrust, I’d say. Should we follow?”
“Not today. Let’s return to the Perella, pick up Barbara and continue the mission. But set scanners to maximum, gentlemen.”
“This is First Admiral Neemah. What just happened, Colonel Stevens?”