On TargetMature

Carter moved through the ship and sat at his commanders console. The boys had already assumed their positions in the turrets, and the Gibs were tied down in launch seats lining the main deck. "Alright Logan, start her up."

Logan pumped the lever and the reactor shook to life. "I'll have thrusters in two minutes." he said.

Carter keyed his mic. "Is it supposed to make this much noise?"

"Heh, no, but we'll be fine. Remember I said shaky."

"Yeah, I remember."

"Alright, thrusters are primed."

Carter nodded. "Chris, she's all yours"

Chris was in the main turret as the third in command, his primary role was to command the flight crew and the ordnance at their disposal. He got on the comms, "Halifax this is Alpha Delta, over."

On the bridge of the Halifax, the Master Chief took the comms. "Halifax, send."

Chris smiled, recognizing his voice. "Alpha Delta, we're primed and ready for takeoff."

The Master Chief nodded to a crewman and in moments the hangar was sealed, the atmosphere was evacuated and the gravitational field was disengaged. "Halifax, your tube is clear."

An empty juice box floated up from beneath Andrews launch seat. Everyone in the back watched it coast into the center of the deck.

Carter furrowed his brow and his gaze burned in to Andrew.

"What!?" Andrew yelled. "It's not like it's my garbage!"

"Alpha Delta, roger." Chris peered below the turret where he could faintly see down the conduit and into the cockpit. "Alright Logan, take us into position."

Logan smiled, "Roger." He flipped a switch and engaged the throttle. The thrusters lit up beneath the ship and it rose above the hangar floor. "Gear up." He said, flipping another switch to bring the six wheels into the hull. The dorsal thrusters let out a burst to neutralize vertical movement before the portside lit up and spun the ship around. Logan waited for the hangar bay doors to slide into view before bringing the ship to full stop. "Alright, we're good."

Chris keyed the comms. "Halifax, this is Alpha Delta, we're green for launch."

The Master Chief responded. "Halifax, roger. Standby." He turned to his gunnery crewman. "You got a firing solution on that gunboat?"

The crewman nodded. "Yes sir we do."

"Don't miss." He said sternly.

"No sir, I won't."

The Master Chief returned his gaze to the monitor before him. "Open the bay doors and fire on my mark."

"Aye aye sir."

The hangar bay doors slid apart before the gunboat. Logan waited. "Whenever you're ready Chris."

"Yeah. Go ahead, keep it below port speed." He said.

"Here goes nothing." Logan engaged the main engines and throttled forward. "Huh... smoother than I thought."

"Alright Logan, we don't need a play by play." Said Carter, "Minimise on the means."

"Yes Sergeant." Logan replied in disdain.

The Halifax gunner lifted his head. "Sir, I've got them."

"Not yet." Said the Master Chief. "Just a little further."

Chris peered through his periscopes, making sure the ship was clearing the bay doors. "We're good Logan, you can pick it up a bit."

"Roger." Logan increased thrust.

The Master Chief pointed to the gunner. "Now, fire now!"

"Firing now." The crewman eyed his targeting system and engaged.

"Woaw, do you see that?" said Doug in the turret.

Chris dropped down from the periscopes and looked at the dislpay "What the fuck is that? Sarge do you - "

"Yeah I see it." Said Carter.

Logan saw it too, a small projectile making it's way toward the gunboat. "Chris, you want me to evade it"

Will, in the dorsal defensive turret chimed in. "It's coming pretty quick. Did it come from the Halifax?"

Logan watched it on his display, "Two hundred meters, brace for it!"

"Ah shit." Doug said.

Chris spun around. "What? What is it?"

Doug was laughing as he looked through his scopes. "It's a fucking bottle of Champaign."

Laughter echoed through the InterCom.

Carter smiled. "Here it comes."

Kevin got on the mic "Brace for it!" He yelled between laughter, mocking Logan.

A dull thud was heard, barely audible above the vibrations of the reactor.

The Master Chiefs voice came over the comms. "Zephyr, this is the Halifax, please respond, over."

Chris got on the InterCom. "Alright, get off the IC's." Everyone shut their connections. Once it was silent on the ship Chris keyed in on the higher means. "Halifax, this is the Zephyr reading you loud and clear, over."

"Halifax, It was good to have you with us Zephyr, over."

"Zephyr, thanks again Halifax, see you again soon, over"

"Halifax, God bless and Godspeed, out."

The End

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