GRID TRAVELER ALIEN SHORE
In Book Two Sean understands the true meaning to ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’
Sean hunted Loggar and the rest down. He asked Loggar to pick one person essential from the six. She picked Maria. When Sean and Maria got to the shuttle he stopped dead in his tracks. It was grossly overfilled. “Um, Kathy, you really need all this stuff?”
She nodded, “You only gave us an hour!”
“Okay. Pile in.” Sean hoped the shuttle could lift. With the eight of them and a silly amount of books, equipment, boxes and stuff he wondered. He juiced the engines to one zero five percent. The shuttle rose slowly. They needed escape velocity. He pushed the engines to one two zero percent and prayed. The shuttle increased speed and zipped toward the upper atmosphere. He tapped on the shuttle CRT. “Johnson, we are coming in.”
The shuttle vibrated from over taxing the engines. Sean punched them out of the atmosphere at the shuttle’s top speed. He knew the inertia was going to be the make or break of them.
Quock sat co-pilot. She tapped out a few commands on the shuttle’s CRT. “Captain, Webster scanned us.”
Sean nodded. He tapped on the comm. Keypad. “Johnson, we need some company.” He left the comm. channel open.
Molino came through on the speakers. “Captain, en route now. ETA ten minutes.”
“Captain!” Quock called out. “Webster is ETA ten minutes. Detecting fighters. ETA six minutes.”
“Molino,” Sean said, “did you hear that?”
“Roger that, shuttle. Picking up the pace. Running engines hot.”
Molino left the comm. channel open. He thumbed the fighter-to-fighter channel on. “Wing Group. We got the Captain to save. Run engines hot – one three zero percent. Repeat. Run engines hot. I want a defensive 3d ring around that shuttle. Viper, Puma and Snail – run back guard. The rest will form the ring. Ice maiden, and myself will run loose cannon. Execute.”
Johnson’s Fighter Wing Group leapt forward. In the distance the Webster was dead reckoning toward the shuttle. A half dozen fighter crafts were half way between the Webster and the tiny shuttle.
Behind the Wing Group Johnson was coming up fast.
Quock said, “Captain, ship-to-ship message. Coming from the lead fighter.”
Sean pushed the shuttle engines to one four zero percent. He knew at this rate the main coils and circuitry would burn out in minutes. He sighed. “Put it on the speakers.”
Quock tapped on her CRT.
“Shuttlecraft, this is the Webster’s Fighter Wing Group. Advise you shut engines down and allow to be towed in. Under the GC Rules of engagement, and by Order of Captain Robin Spaarin, you are ordered to hand over materials from Necron.”
Sean tapped the Comm. Reply on the CRT. “This is Captain Sean Blakemore, of the Reginald L. Johnson; said material is en route to Earth via the Johnson. I order you to stand down. Return to Webster and I’ll forget about you and your captain threatening a senior officer.” Sean knew what the answer would be.
The reply came back definite, no leeway. “Begging pardon, Captain Blakemore, we can not stand down. Shut down the engines or we will shut them down, by order…”
Sean clicked him off. “Johnson, what is your ETA?”
Dawn replied, “Five minutes, shuttle. Opening landing bays to receive you hot. Relative-speed is going to be light two.”
‘Good Goddess!’ Collins thought. Johnson was going to try and capture us head on. She looked over to Loggar, who must have seen the reaction on her face, because she looked worried.
“Dr. Collins, what’s going to happen, exactly?”
Collins cleared her throat and tried to speak in an even tone. “The Johnson has special equipment that can capture and slow down a runaway craft. It should be okay; the Captain is an excellent pilot. And we’ve done this many times.” She neglected to tell Loggar that all the captures happened at less than light one.
Loggar remembered Sean liked Han. He sure did have his piloting skills. That thought made her feel a little better.
Johnson’s Wing Group was seconds from the shuttle. Molino thumbed his comm. channel to broadcast ship-to-ship wide spectrum. The Johnson, the shuttle, the Webster’s Wing Group and the Webster would hear the broadcast. “Webster’s Wing Group, this is Lieutenant Commander Molino Chief Pilot, please stand down. The shuttle is coming aboard the Johnson. Nothing is going to prevent that. Am I understood?”
A few seconds later. “Your position is understood. I am asking you to reconsider. My orders are clear. All materials must be taken aboard the Webster.”
Johnson’s Wing Group reached the shuttle and took up defensive position. Molino tracked the shuttle’s heat signature. He knew the Captain pushed the engines to redline. He thumbed the comm. channel. “Element and Perfect, shuttle’s engines are about to fail. Tracker beam to capture.” He thumbed the comm. channel again. “Wing Group, brace for enemy contact. Engagement in imminent, repeat, engagement is imminent. Make the Johnson proud.” Molino had the comm. channel to wide spectrum.