Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Back to the story already

We battled our way into the Citadel of Hope. Begrudgingly, we gave up our vehicles, but surprisingly, we met little resistance once we got into the grand edifice.

“Have we beaten them?” I mumbled out loud. “There aren’t many fighting back around here.”

“Don’t bet on it,” Eve answered. “They’ll keep fighting until they’re all dead. They know that they have us outnumbered and all they have to do is kill us, then they can go back to harvesting the resources of this planet. Unless…”

“Unless what?” Hudson gulped.

“Unless the Cerebrate here has something planned for us,” she answered.

“Oh man…”

“Yeah, well we’ve beaten them this far,” Major Rocksun stated. “What could they possibly have left?”

“You don’t want to ask,” Eve muttered.

Suddenly, creatures ripped from out of the walls and floors; with terrible howls, they lunged towards us.

“They’re coming out of the walls! They’re coming out of the goldarned walls!” Hudson wailed. “Oh man, we’re screwed! Game over!”

“Does he do this all the time?” Rocksun asked.

“All the time,” I assured him.

“Hunter-Killers,” Eve said. “They’re tougher than your typical Hydralisk.”

The creatures lunged at us, but we poured our firepower into them. I had them reeling with my sonic stun blasts, but they wouldn’t go down. They were enraged and howling, but like Eve said, these creatures refused to stop until they were actually incapable of doing so.

We fought our way to the top of the Citadel, the creatures were tougher than I could ever have imagined. We found out though that if I held them at bay with the sonic attacks, the others could take them down with our own weapons.

We followed the energy readings to a rooftop and discovered some sort of strange orb. It rested on an odd pedestal and was glowing with some unusual alien energy.

“I can now feel the evil emanating from this device,” Queen Galacta told us over the comm. “Surely this is my brother’s doing.”

“Galactor the Evil Galactic Overlord,” I thought out loud. “Haven’t heard his name in a while.”

“This energy…” Eve peered intently at the orb. “So odd… I can feel home through it.”

“This thing must be warping space and time,” Rocksun said. “This is what made all the changes; caused the Zerg and Eve to be pulled through to here.”

“Well then what do we do, man?” Hudson asked. “I say we frag it.”

“We may have to,” Rocksun conceded. “Maybe there’s a way we can shut it down, though.”

Eve stepped towards the orb. In response, the globe gave off waves of energy, forcing her back. The energy built up and a rift opened up above. Within it, we could see an airborne legion of Zerg creatures drawing closer.

“I don’t think we have a choice!” I yelled above the din. “We have to stop this now!”

Wave after wave washed over us and Eve dropped to the ground. Rocksun rushed over to steady her.

“What is that?” the Queen’s voice just barely registered over the static. “What is going on down there?”

“Oh man.” Huson aimed his pulse rifle at the warp.

“Stand by, Your Majesty,” I answered. I quickly ran over to the staircase that we just traveled up. I heaved my boot into the metal railing and kicked it free. I hefted the ornate metal and stalked towards the orb.

“Wait, Jon!” Rocksun yelled.

I swung at the orb. There was a horrendous clanging noise and my whole body shook.

“Jon!” Rocksun yelled again.

I swung once more and felt the orb give way to my makeshift bat. I felt energy pour over us and heard its roar.

Eve howled out, Rocksun yelled a third time.

Then there was nothing.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Attention! Your attention, please!

I wanted to make an announcement to all my loyal readers, there will soon be another Junior Intergalactic Gladiator gracing our lives. Below are the ultrasound pictures:

We are going on 16 weeks, so the baby will be born in July. Kiera is also very excited about becoming a big sister and is ready to help out. As you can see in the pictures, the baby is waving and sticking out his tongue, so we're pretty sure he's a boy.

Patricia's doing well, though she's had morning sickness (usually at night) and a lot of fatigue. Of course she has her odd cravings, but I'm taking it all in stride. Yep, I'm a real trooper all right.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Into the Valley of Death Rode Four

Rocksun, Hudson, Eve, and I were exhausted from our push into Zerg territory. We were very near the Citadel of Hope, but we were also surrounded by the Zerg on all sides.

“We’re hurt, tired, and severely outnumbered,” Rocksun said over the comm. “We’re low on energy and ammo and these guys look ready to tear us to pieces.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” I replied.

“Bring it on,” Hudson said. “I’m too tired to be scared.”

“It’s been nice knowing you guys,” Eve added.

The swarm of Zerg creatures loomed over us. Monsters of all shapes and sizes drooled and leered at us but did not strike. It was as if whatever force was controlling them was savoring the moment.

Eve cursed loudly. “Come on, you stinking Cerebrate! Send them! Give us your worst!”

“I don’t think egging them on is that good of an idea,” Rocksun stated.

“Does it matter?” asked Hudson. “In a few minutes, it’ll be game over.”

The ruthless aliens nearest to us raised their talons, their lipless mouths approximated a cruel imitation of a smile. They bore down on us.

Suddenly bright flashes sizzled all around us. Many creatures vaporized instantly, while others scattered with their rough hides scorched by the attack. A shadow slowly loomed over us.

“Yeeehaw! The cavalry’s here, boys!” I shouted excitedly. High in the air, the battle cruiser loomed over us, firing its powerful energy cannons down on the Zerg creatures.

“I take exception to that boys comment,” Eve laughed. “But that thing sure is a pretty site!”

“Everybody stand by,” Queen Galacta’s voice crackled over the comm system. “We’ll have this mess cleaned up in no time.”

“I’m surprised you got that thing very far!” Rocksun exclaimed with a smile. “I didn’t think she’d get past that mountain we blasted her out of.”

“She doesn’t have much more in her, and I definitely wouldn’t take her into space,” the Queen replied. “But she has enough to help you out here.”

The batteries from the battle cruiser made short work of everything around us. On the ground, we mopped up anything else in the way. Hudson, particularly, assailed his targets with renewed vigor.

“Come on! Come get some!” he shouted while standing up on the seat of his hovercycle and firing endless rounds from his M41A Pulse Rifle. “Come and get it, baby! Let’s go, yeah, come on! Come and get it you bastards! You too! Oh, you want some of this? Eat some 10 mil, suckers!”

“Easy there, Hudson,” I called out to the private. “I think we got ‘em.”

“Really?” Hudson looked around at the carnage. “That’s right, you’re dog meat you stupid aliens! Ha!”

“That was some very good shooting up there,” Rocksun said into the comm. “Who was doing the firing?”

“That would be me, Major,” Lombarr replied.

“Lombarr? Wow. When this is all done, I’m gonna give you a medal!” Rocksun answered over his radio.

“That’s pretty funny, Major,” Lombarr answered. “But I outrank you, I’m Captain Lombarr now.”

Major Rocksun let out a low whistle at the thought.

“Major,” the newly promoted officer continued. “We’re getting an unusual reading from the Citadel of Hope. Our sensors are still too damaged to get an accurate reading, but there is definitely something going on there.”

“I see it was well from my scopes,” the commando leader agreed. “I’ll wager your new paycheck that whatever is the cause of all this is happening right there.”

“I’ll bet Hudson’s paycheck that you’re right,” I added.


“OK,” Rocksun said determinedly. “Time to head into the Citadel.”

“We will cover you from here,” Queen Galacta announced. “Good luck, warriors.”

I thought of the legion of creatures that we just worked our way through. I thought of their snarling and snapping jaws and of their strong, piercing talons. I thought about how tough it would be working through level after level of these creatures in a confined space. Good luck? I thought.

“Yeah, we’ll need it,” I muttered.

Monday, January 22, 2007

They are who we thought they were

The Chicago Bears are going to Super Bowl XLI.

Image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Yes, normally I don't subject my Jr. Intergalactic Gladiators to this kind of stuff in my posts, but this is pretty exciting for those of us who are fans of the Bears.

Image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

Image courtesy of the Chicago Tribune
I promise that for my next post I'll return to my usual inanity and Zerg-kickery. Today though, we'll just sit here and quietly reflect on Thomas Jones' 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns, Bernard Barrians's impressive 33 yard TD catch, four fumbles caused by the Chicago defense, Drew Brees' safety, and Rex Grossman's competent quarterback play.

Go Bears.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Our Approach to the Citadel of Hope

We pressed forward, systematically working our way through this evil brood. The Citadel of Hope was closer than ever. Major Rocksun, Private Hudson and I using the capabilities of our weapons to their fullest, deadliest extent. Eve played vanguard, any rushing Zerg couldn’t see her until it was too late. She also directed the six nuclear missiles with extreme accuracy. Though that does lead me to wonder how someone could qualify as a marksman with nuclear weapons. “Gee, you were off by a hundred meters, but it took out the target anyway, congratulations, you’re an expert!”

“That was the last nuke,” Rocksun said with little emotion as the mushroom cloud dissipated into the atmosphere. “It’s just going to be us from here on out.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” I said with acerbic chuckle. “According to everything we’ve calculated, the Queen’s Castle should be just over that ridge.”

“I think you’re right,” Rocksun agreed. “Eve, can you check it out to see what’s over there?”

Eve decloaked next to Rocksun’s tank.

“I need to take a quick break,” she huffed. “It’s been a long day and I need time for my equipment to recharge.”

“Good idea,” Rocksun agreed. “Everybody take 5. There doesn’t seem to be anything around here, but stay alert nonetheless.”

“You got it,” I said as I stretched and shifted in the cockpit seat of my Goliath. “Got any beer?”

“Negative on that, Jon,” Rocksun chuckled back. “When this is all said and done, we’ll have to go out for a few.”

“You can count me in,” Eve added.

“We’re so close, man,” Hudson said from his Vulture cycle. “Why don’t I take a look ahead and let you know what I see.”

“Hudson, wait!” Rocksun called out, but the brash private revved his motor and was speeding towards his destination.

“Colonial Marines!” he shouted over the comm. “First to go, last to know!”

“That doesn’t even make sense,” Rocksun muttered.

“Most of what he says doesn’t make sense,” I replied. “All part of his charm.”

“Aw heck yeah! I am the ultimate badboy! Check it out!” Hudson laughed while kicking up dirt. “State of the art! I’ll kick your butt and you’ll like it. Time to—ulp! Oh man!”

“What is it?” I quickly charged up the small hill in my Goliath. The articulated legs skidded to a halt when I saw what was ahead.

“Game over, man,” Hudson wailed.

“Looks like they saved the best for last,” I cracked. “There’s quite an infestation problem here, Major. We’re in big trouble.”

“How big could it be?” the officer replied as his tank rumbled towards us. “We already worked through most of their—aw geez.”

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Deep in Zerg Territory

Private Hudson and I quieted down as we made our way deeper into the alien territory. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision on our part, the friendly rapport between us kept us pretty loose while we were pressing forward and I could tell that although Major Rocksun didn’t appreciate the ribbing, he was going along with it and not getting too angry.

As we destroyed the Zerg colonies and the purple ooze on the ground receded, we began to recognize some of the terrain features of what once was Throneworld. We could tell that we were nearing Queen Galacta’s Citadel of Hope. It appears that the Zerg colony itself began near the Citadel, which I could understand. Building your own empire on top of a fallen enemy is all part of the spoils of war and has happened a thousand times over in galactic history. What drew them here, though, was a question I could not answer.

The Zerg along with Eve and the cruiser she was in were all sucked through some sort of time warp. What caused it and how did it occur here? Somehow I just knew that the answer lay ahead. If only we could all survive long enough to find out.

In the meantime, the nuclear strikes took their toll on the Zerg. Their response to our assault was brutal and instinctive, but they just couldn’t compete with our combined firepower after those explosions. From the command center of his tank, Major Rocksun led us and directed our weapons effectively and efficiently.

Eve was cool and efficient with her work, too. It appears that her training and abilities are very well suited for what we are accomplishing here. She and Queen Galacta hit it off pretty well earlier, I am sure that when this is all said and done, Eve will have a place here. It appears that Major Rocksun would appreciate that very much.

Of course, I realize that I haven’t described very much of our battle or provided any good images of our struggle. It’s exhausting the amount of work that we’re doing here. Like I said, our alien enemy is ferocious and relentless, but we are winning. The Cerebrate lies ahead though, and I have no doubt that it is going to be our toughest battle yet destroying that thing.

“Just another day at the office, huh?” I muttered as Zerg exploded in front of my automatic cannons.

All I got in response from Rocksun and Hudson were grunts of affirmative.

Monday, January 15, 2007

So what is the Major's first name anyway?

We were pressing forward into Zerg territory; Eve was cloaked and scouting ahead, looking for a place to call down the next nuke.

“So why don’t you tell Eve your first name?” I asked Major Rocksun over the radio.

“It’s… personal,” he answered. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Oooh, can we guess what it is?” Hudson chimed in.

“No!” Rocksun’s brusque voice cracked through the speakers.

“Hey, is it Adam?” I asked. “That would be cool, you know like ‘Adam and Eve.’ Very Twilight Zone.”

“I think that was in One Step Beyond, wasn’t it?” piped in Hudson.

“No, I’m sure it was Twilight Zone,” I replied.

“Maybe it was The Outer Limits,” Hudson suggested. “Oh man, remember that one Outer Limits where the astronaut is in space all alone and then there’s this alien there and he looks like some dude in a rubber suit?”

“Weren’t all of them like that?” I asked.

“Alright, at ease you two,” Rocksun growled.

“What about Night Gallery?” Hudson asked. “Wasn’t there an episode about an Astronaut named Adam who meets a cavewoman named Eve?”

“I’m not sure,” I answered. “That does sound familiar, but I think that’s from the Twilight Zone.”

Hudson considered it for a minute.

“I think you’re right, Jon.”

“I said knock it off,” Rocksun growled.

“Planet of the Apes had sort of an Adam and Eve thing going on,” I said.

“You Maniacs! You blew it up!” Hudson imitated the final scene from the movie. “Ah, damn you! Damn you all to hell!”

“That’s like Soylent Green!” I exclaimed. “Soylent Green is people! It’s people! Ahhhhh!”

“I said knock it off, you clowns,” Rocksun yelled. “I’ve never seen any of your Earth entertainment, I have no idea what you’re talking about and it all sounds terribly obvious and painfully derivative. We are on the mission of our lives and you two are cracking wise like a couple of stupid monkeyboys!”

“Stupid monkeyboys?” I sniffed. “Wow. You sure do know how to hurt a guy.”

“I’ll tell you what, sir,” Hudson suggested. “You can just let us know your first name and we’ll keep quiet.”

“I’ll tell you what, private,” Rocksun countered. “How about if I shove your head so far up your plagnar that you’ll have no choice but to keep quiet.”

“I promise that I’ll keep it a secret,” Hudson prodded. “I’m good with secrets. I’ve never even told anyone about that secret mission that I led that one time that turned out to be illegal.”

“I said that I’m not going to tell you.”

Hudson was quiet for a moment.

“Is it Adam?”


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Eve of Destruction

With the queen and several technicians onboard the once-downed battleship, Major Rocksun, Private Hudson, Eve and I headed towards the Zerg colony. Hudson was in the Vulture while I manned the Goliath. Eve was riding shotgun in Rocksun’s siege tank and would continue to do so until we got to the point where we needed her invisible on foot. That’s not a bad trick turning invisible like that. I think her armor is what allows her to cloak. She has a cloak cloak.

“What are you laughing at?” I heard Hudson’s voice crackling over the radio.

“Ah nothing,” I replied. “Just thinking about something.”

“Keep the chatter down, boys,” Rocksun reprimanded. “We are getting close to the first target.”

We came to a short, rocky cliff and I was amazed at the sight that was before me. Scattered across the terrain were several bizarre structures. Many of them looked unique and all were pulsing slightly as if they were alive. I reminded myself that they actually were a living organism. The ground between all the structures was covered in a jelly-like substance which seemed to connect everything.

“There it is,” said Eve as she pulled herself out of the tank. “That purple stuff along the ground is called the creep. It connects the entire colony together. It won’t hurt you, though. What you want to look out for is that.”

I looked over and saw some sort of thing surrounded by the creep. It was pulsing like the other structures, but it appeared to have some sort of tentacle on it as well.

“Sunken colony,” Eve stated. “There’ll be many of them out there. They’re designed to protect the colony from attack. There are spore colonies in the creep, too, but they’re only useful against air units. We don’t need to worry about those.”

“After the first nuke detonates, we move in to destroy anything still moving,” Rocksun added. “Take out any of those tentacles first, then any creatures, then any of the structures still standing.”

“Got it,” I replied.

“No problem,” Hudson asserted.

“All right,” Eve cloaked herself and vanished from sight. “Here goes nothing.”

“Be careful,” Rocksun cautioned her.

“Always,” Eve replied then invisibly made her way to the colony.

“Missile number 1 is ready for launch,” Technician Lombarr announced over the radio. “Waiting for the signal.”

Shortly, our scopes detected the laser beam hitting one of the structures.

“Nuclear missile launched,” an automatic warning sounded over our comm systems.

“Incoming!” Rocksun yelled after a few minutes. “There it is.”

Eve disengaged the targeting laser and retreated to a safer distance. We shielded our eyes as the nuclear blast produced an enormous flash. After what seemed an eternity, I looked up and saw the mushroom cloud dissipating high in the sky.

“Looks like I got a lot of them with that blast,” Eve reported over the comm. “It’s safe to move in and clean up the area.”

“Toasty,” Hudson sneered from his hovercycle. “Let’s go stomp them bugs!”

We moved down closer to the colony and worked our way through all of the remaining Zerg. Most were already severely wounded. They did not put up much of a fight. From there, we moved on to the structures and hit those with our cannons and grenades. They didn’t last long, either.

“That was easy enough,” I said. “I don’t suppose it’ll stay this easy the whole way, will it?”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” Eve replied. “Now they know we’re here.”

“Let ‘em come, man,” Hudson said defiantly. “Game over for them.”

“Think we got enough nukes to take them all out?” I asked.

“We’ll see,” Rocksun answered.

We pressed forward to our next objective.

“Remember what you said about telling me your first name?” Eve asked Rocksun.


“I’m holding you to that.”

Monday, January 08, 2007

Tanks for the memories

“The antigrav generators are ready to go; the next step is to blast us out of this rock.” Major Rocksun reiterated his plan to free the ship, then use its nuclear arsenal as a means to work our way towards the Cerebrate controlling the Zerg on this planet. “Once we get to the Cerebrate, we need to either subdue or destroy it. I’ll defer to Eve’s expertise when we actually get there.”

“Yeah but if we use those nukes, then we’re not going to last very long ourselves,” Hudson asserted. “Between the explosions and the radiation, it’ll be game over for us.”

“The suits we’ll be wearing will protect us from the radiation,” Rocksun replied. “Additionally, those of us inside vehicles will be protected by their systems. Unfortunately, Hudson, you’re on the Vulture. That cycle’s got no protection.”

“Oh man. Maybe I’ll just ride in the Goliath with Jon.”

“Can’t do it,” I said. “We need all the firepower we can get.”

“Oh man.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll be equipped to take care of any radiation on your suit,” Rocksun stated coldly. “Just don’t go straying into the blast area or anything.”

“Easy for you to say,” Hudson’s voice cracked just a bit. “You’ll be in that tank! The Zerg won’t get to you in there.”

“Hudson, we don’t have time for this.” Rocksun looked the private square in the eyes. “You will be operating that cycle and you will like it. That’s an order.”

“Yes sir.”

“Now if everyone else here is ready, I’m going to head out and start shooting that wall.” Rocksun started walking towards the cargo bay, I ran to catch up with him.

“Let me do it, Major.”

“Not going to happen, Jon.” Rocksun forced me to keep step with him. “This is my job.”

“Look, sir, your place is here to protect the queen.” I strode next to the commando. “I can operate the tank. Let me do it.”

Major Rocksun stopped and leaned closer to me. “I need you here. If there’s one person who I can depend on to protect the Queen, it’s you.”


“You think I’m going to trust the Queen’s life to any of these other yahoos?” He waved off in the general direction of the briefing. “You may just be some lucky idiot from a backwater planet, but you’ve got what it takes and that’s what matters.”

“Lucky idiot?” I grinned. “I resemble that remark.”

In a short span of time, Rocksun rolled the tank out of the bay, dropped the stabilizers and raised the shock cannon.

“Standby for firing,” he announced over the comm.

“We’re ready,” I answered.

“Be careful,” Eve added.

“Always,” Rocksun replied. “Here we go.”

The immense cannon fired. The entire cavern shook with the impact against the cave wall. The smoke cleared and a large hole stood where solid rock once was.

“I’m not all the way through yet,” Rocksun announced over the comm. “Recharging.”

Another blast from the powerful cannon left more pulverized rock scattered across the ground.

“Firing again.”

After a third blast, a ray of sunlight peered through the rock. Rocksun fired several more times around the hole to open it up even wider.

Suddenly, several small Zerg poured through the tunnel that the Queen, Hudson, and I traveled down to find the ship. They ran straight for the tank and physically attacked it, hitting the weapon with their quick strikes. Rocksun cursed over the comm. He didn’t have any way to fight them back from within the tank. If he popped the hatch, they would surely tear him apart before he could do anything.

“Zerglings!” the Queen said.

“I have to get out there.” I started to sprint from my viewpoint on the bridge to the docking bay. It’ll take several minutes to get the Goliath up and running. I hope Rocksun can last that long.

“Hold on, Jon,” Hudson called out while looking out the window. “Check this out.”

I looked through the window and saw the Zerlgings collapsing to the ground. Their flesh tore away and they fell, twitching and bleeding.

Out on the cave floor, Eve suddenly shifted from invisible to visible. Smoke wafted from the barrel of her rifle.

“Thanks,” Rocksun said. “You sure are handy to have around.”

“Don’t worry, I got your back,” Eve said coolly as she shifted her rifle to her hip.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Preparing for the Eve of Destruction

Eve and Queen Galacta were sitting at a table in the galley talking. They were talking about Eve’s past and about the current fate of the planet. Mostly they were just talking. They seemed to really strike up a bond, as close a bond as a time-displaced invisible commando and a Queen whose realm has been overrun by a horde of monsters who shouldn’t even be there could possibly be.

Eve spoke of her childhood. She talked about how her psychic powers were discovered at an early age and she was conscripted into the military. Many like her were given training, a rifle, and protective gear, and then sent out on missions to destroy the Zerg. With her abilities, she was an excellent scout. Life was typically harsh and the innocence of childhood was far removed from her life.

Queen Galacta spoke of Her father, King Galacton IX and her brother the Evil Galactic Overlord Galactor. She spoke of growing up a royal and of her weissponig, she spoke of the wonders of the galaxy and the just rule of Her leadership. Eve could easily have scoffed at the Queen’s elaborate lifestyle and opulent Citadel of Hope, but she seemed to really understand her new companion.

They spoke for a while until Eve excused herself and stepped out of the galley. In the corridor, she quickly found herself face to face with Hudson.

“Listen, uh, Eve,” he stammered just a bit. “I hope I didn’t come off wrong when we first met back there.”

“Uh huh,” Eve crossed her arms and looked at him skeptically.

“Yeah, I’m not such a bad guy, you know.” The private gave her a sort of half smile. “I’m just really emotional sometimes and we just fought our way through some of them giant bugs and stuff. I was really wound up and I apologize.”

“Really?” Eve’s eyebrows lifted and her incredulous look softened. “I’m surprised you’re willing to admit that.”

“Oh, I’m just full of surprises,” he answered. “I want to tell you something else, too.”


“Since we’re calling this little operation of ours Eve of Destruction, maybe before this goes all down you and I can share an Eve of Passion.”

“I knew it!” her exacerbated look quickly returned. “You’re all alike. I knew this was coming and I let you do it anyway! Ugh!”

“Hey baby, once you’ve tried marine everything else is just routine!” Hudson wagged his eyebrows.

“God you’re disgusting,” she sighed. “If you spend half the amount of energy fighting the Zerg as you do trying to hit on me, then we’ll beat them easily.”

The Terran Ghost stomped past the Colonial Marine, punching him hard in the shoulder along the way.

“Yow! Make it hurt so good, baby!”

Eve nearly crashed headlong into Major Rocksun, he quickly put his arms up to steady her.

“Whoa whoa, are you OK?” the commando leader asked.

“Yeah, I just, oh! You men are all alike!” she huffed. “All you want to do is shoot off your mouths and shoot off your guns!”

“What are you--? Oh were you just talking to Hudson? There’s a reason he’s a marine. You can wind him up, point him at the enemy and let him go, but I wouldn’t trust him much further than that.”

“No, it’s just that…” her voice trailed off. “I should have seen it coming a thousand clicks away. I am psychic you know.”

“Well, you’ve just been through a lot,” the officer replied. “You were pulled through a timewarp while in the middle of suspended animation. You’re the only one who survived on this ship’s crew, and now a group of strangers are depending on your help in stopping these Zerg.”

“You’re always ready to take control of a situation,” she looked into his eyes. “Aren’t you?”

“That’s my job.”

“I’ll bet you have no problem with the women,” she stepped closer.

“To be honest,” he answered. “I’m not that, uh, experienced with them. My duties to the Queen keep me busy.”

“Really?” she breathed heavily. “When this is all said and done, if we get out of this alive, remind me to thank you for all your help… Thank you properly.”

“Don’t worry,” Rocksun replied, trying to sound cool. “When this is all said and done, I will be sure that you’ll have a place here with us.”

“I would like that very much.”

“My pleasure, Eve.”

“You know,” she said suddenly. “You know my first name, but I only know you as Major Rocksun. What’s your first name?”

Rocksun exhaled heavily. “I haven’t used my first name in a long time. Maybe when this is all said and done, I’ll let you know what it is.”

“I’d like that very much.” She leaned closer to him. Her warm breath danced lightly across his neck. Her pouty lips drew close to his.

“Major, the antigrav generators on the ship are powered up and ready to go,” a technician popped up in front of the two. “This ship is ready to hover!”

Eve slid back against the wall, Rocksun straightened out his tunic.

“That’s great, Lombarr,” the major said to his subordinate. “Good work.”

“Well you didn’t sound too happy,” the tech responded. “I’ve been working on those things for a year.”

“I’m happy that they’re working,” he replied. “It’s just that your timing’s not that good right now.”

“You told me to tell you the minute they were online,” Technician Lombarr insisted. “I’m just following your orders.”

“That’s fine, it’s just—” Rocksun paused and decided to switch tactics. “Thank you, you did great. Why don’t you take a break and go get a bite to eat in the galley?”

“Yes sir, but I--!”

“Just go. Thank you.”

“Yes sir.” Technician Lombarr turned and headed towards the galley.

Major Rocksun turned back towards Eve, but during his conversation with the tech, she had quietly slipped away.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No nukes is good nukes

Major Rocksun and I were working with technicians checking out the nuclear arsenal housed within a bay of the large ship. Hudson was nearby, but he was busy engaging in his third helping of ham and lima from the autochef.

“All of the missiles are still functional, sir,” a tech reported to the officer. “We are now working on their launching mechanisms to ensure that they will work.”

“Good,” the major nodded.

“Looks like the only issue in our plan is the fact that this ship is buried under a mountain,” I commented. “I don’t think there’s any way we can fire those up through the rock without making a big mess of everything.”

“I’ve been putting a lot of thought into that,” the Major replied. “I have a plan for that. Come this way.”

The commando leader led Hudson and I into the hanger bay of the ship. Different types of weapons were strapped down to the deck.

“A lot of this didn’t survive the ship’s crash,” Rocksun pointed at scraps of armor littering the area. “I found the technical specs for some of these weapons and I’ve been working on some of them to get them going. Look at this.”

“Wow,” I said.

“Oh man,” Hudson added.

“Arclite siege tank. She’s slow, she’s cumbersome, but she’s got the armor and these cannons here bring the thunder.”

“OK,” I said. “So we roll this thing out the back and shoot those guns up into the roof? That’s going to bring the whole mountain down on top of us.”

“Negative, Earthman,” Rocksun replied. “We’re going to use it to blast a hole in front of the ship. If the ship can fly out, great. If not, I just want it to get far enough so those missile tubes are out in the open.”

“Well this plan is just too crazy to not work,” I replied.

“Hey check this out!” Hudson called from the other side of the open bay. Rocksun and I looked over towards his direction and saw him sitting on some sort of a hovercycle.

“That’s a Vulture,” Rocksun commented. “It’s fast and it’s got a nice little grenade launcher right on the front. Careful, Private, that one’s ready to go.”

“Aww, this is just like a Harley back home.” Hudson revved the engine. “Check this out, I’m a biker! I’ve got attitude. Yeah? What do you want? I’m goin,’ sir.”

Hudson continued to gun the engine, but then the cycle popped into gear, flew across the bay and slammed sideways into the bulkhead. Hudson tumbled out, reached up and pulled the kill switch, then flopped to the ground as the machine’s engines settled down.

“I really have to start carrying a video camera,” I said while shaking my head.

“Well, you got a demo of the Vulture,” Rocksun said. “Let me show you one more item.”

He led me over to where still more equipment was lined up. I looked at the walking weapon and whistled.

“Yeah, that’s a Goliath,” Rocksun let himself smile just a bit. “It’s got a couple auto cannons plus a nice little air-to-air missile launcher.”

“Can I have the keys, dad?” I asked. “I’ll be real careful.”

“Oh you’ll get your chance,” he replied. “We’ll be heading out there soon enough.”