Tom and friends had completed phase one of the “Grand Master plan” it was jokingly called. After the Kronotions captured the capital city of Narsula, Tom and the remainders of the armed forces that were around the capital, and around the other bases and cities scattered around the globe, rallied to the mega bases for cover. A feat with in itself, this proved to be a big morale boost for many a group of men as lost friends were reunited or whole divisions regrouped ready for a fight, this was no lie for the 56th infantry.

            “Tom, do you think that we are the only units from the 56th here?” Toby, 3rd squad’s automatic gunner asked.

            “Maybe, I don’t know. I heard that Command was going to organize some kind of a regrouping system. Something big I heard.” Tom replied.

            “Tom you hit it just about on the head.” Sarge said suddenly appearing at the duo’s side.

            “Oh, how so Sarge?” Charlie asked while coming over to them.

            “I just got told by the good general that they are trying to set up some kind of paging system to call different units to a certain area to regroup. It’s supposed to start in just about… 3… 2… 1…” Sarge then began to countdown.

            “Will the 13th armored division assemble in Hanger 113 please?” an intercom above the small group’s heads said.

            “What do you know? The all knowing Sarge is right again. Congrats and here’s your prize.” Matt said as he walked up from a restroom area about 10 feet away. And like the bunker scene earlier, 2nd squad piled on top of Sarge, 1st followed, but this time 3rd and 4th squads decided to pile on top of them as well. And like earlier, it became a frenzy of shouts of surprise and laughter at least until the intercom came on again.

            “Will the 56th infantry please report to Hanger 125?” the intercom asked nicely.

            “All right guys. Now will you guys get off?” Sarge asked from the bottom of the pile.

            “Only if you say please.” Luke said jokingly

            “Oh come on guys we’re going to be late to the hanger.” Sarge said pleadingly, “and my back hurts from someone jumping on it constantly.

            “Oh, I wonder who that could be?” Tom asked sarcastically.

            “Clear the deck I had beans for breakfast!” Matt yelled happily. That got the pile to separate and run for the hanger.

            “I’m gonna get there first!” Luke yelled triumphantly

            “No you are not!” Tom yelled back as he sped past on the back of a passing truck.

            “No, it’s mine!” Matt declared as he tried to push Tom off.

            “Children,” Sarge scoffed, “they never learn, do they Charlie?”

            “No they don’t” replied Charlie as the pair sped past on hover boards.

            “Ok, now that is cheating!” Luke declared

            “The fruits of being an officer are well apparent when racing Luke.” Charlie said happily

            “Well I would have something better to say if I were still chasing you.” Luke said.

            “Tom, what is he talking about?” Matt asked.

            “I’m talking about the fact that you guys all passed the hanger about 2 minuets ago.” Luke said triumphantly.

            “Yeah, if you are going to go to hanger 105 instead of 115.” Matt chortled. That brought up a roar of laughter from the squads that were leaving Luke behind and a sentence of incoherent yelling from Luke. One minuet later, after much laughing and yelling from the group about who got to the hanger first, the squads quietly made an entry into the hanger.

            “Gentlemen, an honor for us to have you grace us with your presence.” Perconte said sarcastically.

            “The pleasures mine, General.” Charlie replied, which brought about another fit of this time subdued laughter.

            “All right settle down, settle down.” Perconte said with a hint of a smile, “You all know why we are doing this reorganization process, don’t you?” he then asked.

            “Yeah, because we are trying to organize all units for a huge assault on the capital to try and recapture the area.” A man to Charlie’s right answered. This brought 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th squads back down to earth as they recognized that they weren’t alone. As the men in the squads looked to their right, they were met with a full 4 squads of infantry, armor and air support, all from base 112.

            “Here all this time we’ve been wandering around the whole planet doing nothing but sitting on our butts and thinking that we’re the only units left from 112 and here we show up just to be surprised by 4 more squads of survivors? Why didn’t you tell us Perconte? We were dying to know if we were the only ones left.” Matt said

            “That has an easy answer; we didn’t know that they were here.” Perconte began to explain, “We didn’t know because they just rolled right in about 12 minuets ago when we made the announcement.”

            “You mean that it took 12 minuets to get here?” Luke asked “That’s impossible.”

            “To answer your question Luke, it took you longer to get here after you found out that you were at the wrong hanger. That’s why we got here in 12 minuets because 5 of that time was spent laughing at you.” Matt joked. This again brought up another wave of laughter from the group that had done the race to hanger 115.

            “If you gentlemen are done with your comedy club over there, I’ll tell you what we are after,” This quieted down the hanger, “Directly over the capital is a Kronotion flagship, this flagship carries the command for the entire enemy forces on the planet. With a spaceport at the capital we have good guesses as to what it is doing there, resupplying and transporting supplies, arms, and men to the fight. Our space fleet, or what is left of it, will attack the enemy fleet at 2300 hrs, 11:00 p.m. This will give us the cover of darkness and surprise. Our main objective is to secure the ship, board it and clear it out of enemy units. Secondary objectives are as following, the enemy has an anti-air sight just to the west of the road into the capital, Air command says that it would be great if we could take it out then they could help us in return by providing air cover as well.” He paused for a moment to catch his breath.

            “You will be meeting harsh resistance from the enemy that is inside of the capital as they may be alerted to our presence once we get into the gate. Once in the city you must make your way to the east and push into the space port, capturing that would help us out a whole lot. The reason being that there is a squadron or two of secret fighters that are hidden in the port, capturing the port means that we would have access to those fighters and a way into the flagship, but not for you. You guys will be traveling by way of a light space cruiser; it’s going to be amazing once you get on there.” He finished with a smile.

            “Ok, so how do we just exactly get onto the ship?” One of the tank squadron members asked.

            “As I said you will be traveling by cruiser and will then be transferred to a couple of transports that will take you to the ship. You won’t be alone; members of the 1st and 4th infantry and the 23rd special unit will be accompanying you on your mission.” Perconte answered.

            “Ok, so how are we supposed to get to the ship when we will be under attack from the ship’s guns?” someone asked.

            “The battleships Indomitable and Clear Blue will be focusing their fire on the ships anti-spacecraft weapons, without them our fighters will be able to escort you in with out much trouble, any more questions.” He replied.

            “Yes, one more,” Luke stood up and said, “When do we leave for this showdown?”

            “About in 40 minuets for the regular infantry, 24 minuets for the space bound infantry.” He replied with a smile

            “Well then let’s go! We can’t just be sitting around here on our rear ends waiting, come on! Back to the barracks!” Sarge said as he raced out the door. And once again, the race, this time in reverse, was on.

            Two hours had passed since the order had been given to board the boarding craft, weighed down with all the necessary equipment for in ship fighting, 2nd and 3rd squads were beginning to get antsy.

            “Sarge, please tell me we’re going to get moving soon. My legs just fell asleep.” Matt moaned.

            “Matt, we are going to move in about 1 minuet when the assault starts; the cruisers and battleships are about to open up, look outside.” He said with an air of excitement. And no sooner than Sarge and the rest of the men had just about made the transport list to one side to watch the bombardment, a great noise erupted from the line of cruisers and battleships who were previously awaiting the order to fire. Whom! Whom! Whom! Whom! The small transport was rocked from side to side by the waves cannon shots that were flying through space towards the enemy who was sitting there unknowing of the oncoming doom.

            “2 minuets till we get to the ship boys, hang on!” the ship’s captain ordered. There was an almost continuous sound of safety harnesses clicking into place to hold the squads from sliding onto the floor. Which was a good thing as the transport did a barrel roll to avoid some oncoming cannon shot.

            “Bless the man who invented the harnesses!” Luke called out over the roar of the battle.

            “Yeah, but if we didn’t have them, we would be floating in the middle of a transport in zero-g gravity. Darn it for that!” Matt declared which brought a laugh from the men.

            “30 seconds guys, pressurize your new suits!” the landing craft master said as the men stood up and put on their new combat helmets.

            “LCI 1123/A3 you are clear for entry into the enemy flagship, good luck in there!” A fighter who was following the landing craft said.

            “Docking procedures, initiated. Hold on men, it might be a bit bumpy.” The pilot said. And with a great resounding Klang the LCI had locked onto one of the flagship’s many airlocks.

            “All right get ready to move, now!” Sarge ordered and before the pilot turned to look at the troops rushing away they were gone. All he saw was a wave from Charlie as he then too rushed into the bowels of the ship.

            “1st squad this is 2nd squad over.” Sarge said into his comlink attached in his helmet.

            “1st squad here, met a Krono roaming the halls killed him silently, they shouldn’t know we are here.” 1st squad’s squad leader said.

            “That would be because we took out their internal sensors with one of our barrages, you guys will go unnoticed as long as you don’t make too much noise.” The Indomitable fire command said.

            “Thanks for that. Now 1st and 4th squad meet us near the secondary command center from there we will attack the main bridge.

            “This is 1st and 6th squads of the 23rd spec unit is aboard, moving to objective at checkpoint alpha.” The team leader of the spec units said.

            “Hey Ralph, do you think you could use some help?” Sarge asked.

            “No, why do you ask?” Ralph, the team leader, replied

            “Because we are headed to alpha right now.” Sarge replied.

            “Oh, well I guess we could use some company, where are you guys headed?” Ralph questioned

            “To the secondary command center and then to the main bridge.” Sarge answered almost immediately.

            “Roger that, we’ll be there in about 3 minuets over.” Ralph said. That got 2nd and 3rd squads moving at a double time pace to get to the checkpoint, but they were stopped about halfway there by a security detail.

            “Bon’chock! Edet su ma!” The leader of the detail ordered in his native language. The order, which the men found out, meant one thing; Enemies! Fire at will!

            “Great, so much for quiet.” Luke said over the roar of gunfire that was coming from both entrances to the hall way.

            “Worry about the sound level later Luke, for now just start returning fire.” Sarge ordered. But as soon as they did a small explosion took out the Kronotions that were firing at them.

            “I see you needed some help.” Ralph said, he was short one fragmentation grenade.

            “Thanks for the help. So, who wants to go first?” Sarge asked

            “I’ll let you guys do the honor of taking the secondary command center. We’ll come along until the junction just around the corner from the door into it, then we’re going to say goodbye.” Ralph answered.

            “O.K. Luke why don’t you take point, lead us to the command center.” Sarge quietly ordered. The group made it to the command center without any more incursions by enemies. And as 3rd squad lined up on the door to clear the center, Tom brought the operation to a halt.

            “Sir, what’s this?” He asked while looking at a bright green and blue panel.

            “Tom, that is the security defense grid for the command center, Matt, do you remember your hacking training?” Sarge said

            “On it sir, give me about, oh, 20 seconds, also Charlie get away from the door.” Matt said with a smile as he began to type a passcode onto the panel’s keypad. And sure enough within 20 seconds the door opened and out came 4 Kronotions coughing and hacking because of the center’s tear gas defense system, which made the job of clearing the room a lot easier as the occupants had evacuated. As the squads entered the room, after the gas had cleared, they were met with an astounding sight.

            Flashes of green, blue, red, orange and other colors of the rainbow were arcing across the sky as if trying to paint a picture, explosions and balls of fire were erupting from the Kronotion and GDF ships as rounds hit their hulls and exploded. And little dots were flying around emitting their own lights playing a game of dogeball with deadly lasers as they try to win against their foes. And a large holographic map situated in the middle of the room depicting the whole battle as it raged around them showing the location of fighters and larger ships battling it out in the wide expanse.

            “Command this is task force Bravo, we have taken the secondary command center over.” Sarge said into his comlink.

            “Understood Bravo, move to the main bridge and capture the enemy’s chain of command. Command out.” Perconte’s familiar voice ordered.

            “Alright men,” Charlie said as he opened a hatch to his right revealing a ladder, “up this ladder about 5 decks up is the bridge, 1st and 4th squads will meet us at the top as they have taken the fire control center. Once we get to the top I’ll give you your orders, Tom you go up first.” Charlie then ordered.

            “Five decks up, that shouldn’t be too far up should it guys?” Matt asked.

            “Matt, please reword your phrase.” Tom asked nicely for he saw how far the ladder went up. I have to climb this? He thought. Man, I’m gonna be dead tired once I get up there. But up he went and so did the others and at the top they were met with a good sight.

            “Took you guys long enough.” 1st squad’s squad leader joked.

            “It’s a long way up.” Sarge said in return. As he made his way towards the door into the bridge.

            “It won’t open automatically so we are just going to use some common sense, or in this case, explosives.” 4th squad’s demolitions expert said happily as he set charges on the grey metallic door.

            “The guys we’re looking for are in a planning room just to the right of the bridge, the only way there is though a door near the front of the room. The room is sound proof, but I still want to use silencers just incase we might be wrong.” 1st squads auto rifleman said as he pulled out an assault rifle with a silencer on it.

            “Alright then, breach and clear on 3, 1, 2, 2 1/4….” Charlie began with a smile.

            “3!” Sarge yelled out and with a small explosion the door, which had blown itself to the front of the room, opened and the assault force moved in on the confused Kronotion units that were in the bridge area.

            “Matt, Luke watch your left,” Sarge said as they both took down 3 security personnel, “Tom 2 tangos on your right take them out.” And with hardly any resistance, save for a Kronotion pistol that managed to get one shot off before being silenced, the bridge was taken.

            “That was very anti-climatic.” Luke declared as he lined up behind Matt as both 2nd and 3rd squads lined up for breaching of the planning room door.

            “Care about the climactic ending to the battle when we’re back on the cruiser headed for home.” Sarge said as he gave the order for 3rd squad to go ahead and take the first chance to capture the enemy commanders. 3 seconds after Charlie rushed in and the guards were taken care of Charlie’s voice boomed out to the 5 generals that were sitting around a small table.

            “Hands up! I said Hands up!” Charlie ordered to the generals. As the generals put their hands up and were handcuffed an explosion happened right behind Tom and he was thrown forward and as he said, “Not again” to Luke as he rushed over to him he blacked out from another concussion grenade.

The End

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