"Bravo 1, this is Overlord, confirm launch status, over."
"Overlord, this is Bravo 1, launch preparations complete, over."
"Copy that Bravo 1, launch when ready."
"Roger that Overlord, out."
"Good luck, Bravo, Overlord out."
I glanced around the cabin of the cramped landing craft. Bravo 1, or Lieutenant McAndrew as I knew him, was dialing the launch coordinates into a small console at the front of the craft. Turning my head, I took in the whole of the small rectangular space. Lance-Corporal Avery was sat in the corner furthest from the Lieutenant, spinning a filament blade around her hands and looking disinterested. Sergeant Walsh was sitting opposite me, with his large eyes closed and his wide chest rising rhythmically with his slow breathing. He looked somewhat comical with his knees up by his head.
"Alright you mangy lot." said McAndrew suddenly. "Helmets on. We launch in 90 seconds." Walsh's eyes opened instantly, and his hands pulled his slit-eyed helmet from the rack above his head. Avery flicked the spinning blade into the air, then into her other hand to holster it on her left forearm. I was awed by the skill and ease that she controlled the dagger with.
"Quit starin' Rook, it's unbecoming of a young woman such as yourself." Her voice was low, and playful. I looked away quickly in response, going red at the barb. I should clarify, my name is Alex Phoenix, and I'm definitely not a 'young woman'.
"Don't scare the Private, Avery. Although it looks like it doesn't take much." Walsh's deep booming voice filled the cabin, and made my feet vibrate slightly with every word.
"Sorry Sarge, he makes it too easy."
"Alright, alright, enough! Lets get this show on the road."
McAndrew spun around in the pilots seat to face the controls, slamming his armoured palm down on a switch as he went. The cabin was instantly illuminated by the now-uncovered cockpit window. In front of us was a glimmering black abyss, speckled with golden dots. "I said helmets ON, Private." I flinched at the order, and fumbled at the helmet secured in the rack above me. My hands shook so much that I dropped it on the floor with a clang, where it rolled down to Avery.
"You truly are useless." She spat, putting her foot into the helmet and flicking it towards me.
"Thanks." I mumbled, shoving it on quickly to prevent her seeing me blush again.
"You all strapped in? Good. Alright, all systems... Go!" McAndrew pushed a blinking red button on the front control panel, and the cabin was propelled forwards at a blinding speed. I was shook about like a leaf in a storm, and closed my eyes, screaming.
And then it was over. I opened my eyes again to see a completely different scene out of the cockpit window. It was a dark green planet with patches of blue. The cloud covering was so dense at the poles that nothing could be glimpsed through the white.
"Odo 5, home of the Entity's economy minister. Or, so I'm told." Buzzed McAndrew's voice through the intercom in my helmet.
I gasped at the Lieutenant's words and Walsh let out a low whistle. We were only told our target once on mission, and the official sounding title of this one made me feel we'd been sent on an important one. "Taking her down south of that cloud bank, near those mountains." Indicated McAndrew, pointing at the bottom right of the clouds."Overlord, this is Bravo 1, we have reached Odo 5, requesting permission to land. Over."
"Bravo 1, this is Overlord, you may land when ready, over." Came the response, tinny I guessed from the lightyears it was being transmitted.
"Copy that Overlord, any further orders? Over."
"None, Bravo. Switching to radio silence, you're on your own now boys. Overlord out."
"Roger that Overlord, Bravo is Oscar Mike. Out."
It was go time.