Surprise on the Admiral’s ship
Eddy waved his arm gallantly toward the door into Admiral One, “Ladies first.” He was still feeling slightly second-in-command around Rima, though he was beginning to bounce back as they entered the familiar territory of the ship.
Rima stepped into a small galley area and walked past two bunk beds and four passenger seats on her way to the forward pilot section. “This is a cool ship,” she said. Bending to inspect the control panel she also pulled a small manual out of her belt back and quickly began locating the computer system controls.
“There is a tiny bathroom and a storage area behind the galley,” Eddy said. “Behind that is the cargo area where Cecric and the other four Delfinians have their travel tanks.”
Rima looked appreciatively around the ship interior. “It looks even faster from the inside,” she commented.
“Have you ever met a delfinian?” Eddy asked. "Would you like to say hello to Cecric before we start? I haven’t met the other Delfinian passengers yet.”
“Sure, you lead the way,” she replied, following Eddy through the galley and into the cargo area, where she plowed into Eddy’s back with a jolt. “Why did you stop?” she asked with a fleeting hint of surprised irritation.
“Admiral!” Eddy exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”
“Hello, Eddy. I’m just going over some plans. Please meet Cecric, Sudor, Perko, Landra, and Dawn.” Then he turned to the Delfinians, “I’d like you to meet Eddy and my granddaughter, Rima.”
“Hi Gramps,” Rima dashed past Eddy and hugged the Admiral.
Eddy was finding the conversation so surprising he decided to go back to the more familiar ground of his original purpose and greet Cecric. ‘Wow. No wonder. Rima is Admiral Castro’s granddaughter.’ he thought. Quickly collecting his thoughts while putting on his translation collar, he turned to Cecric. “Are you going to be comfortable in those small tanks?” He said as his thoughts centered on five delfinians plus admiral Castro.
“They will be okay for a short trip at your ship's speed," Cecric responded. "Although I’m sure we will all be ready for some free swimming ocean-time when we arrive on Earth.” Cecric stopped talking and looked at Eddy appreciatively. “You seem to have grown a new look to yourself since you visited with Star Song. The Admiral tells me Star Song promoted you to Young Warrior and you have been given full command of this ship.”
“Young warrior and young human are names Star Song calls me sometimes. I like it best when he calls me ‘young friend.’ All these names beginning with 'young' cause me to wonder how old Star Song might be.”
“Star Song is a mystery to all of us,” Cecric responded. “ You probably know more about him than anyone except your grandfather…. Please excuse me, I meant to say, the Admiral.”
Eddy grinned. “That’s okay, he’s treated me as if he were my grandfather. On the other hand, he’s been interesting to watch and learn from as an admiral. That reminds me, I had better hurry along and ready to ship, we’ll have time to visit later.”
“Okay Eddy,” Cecric responded. “But you should know before you leave that you are our ship captain now. There is an unwanted emergency going on out there and we’ve already voted that whatever you do about whatever happens is completely supported by us without second guesses.”
The other four delfinians all looked at Eddy and into his eyes for the first time in their lives. There was a fairly long pause before they nodded their silent agreement with Cecric.
Eddy turned to Rima and the Admiral. They had their heads close together and were quietly talking. “We’re running out of time, Admiral I’m going to start the systems check.” He sent a questioning look to Rima, “Are you ready?”
The Admiral turned to Eddy, “I’ll stay here. Rima has asked a favor and I told her it would be best for her to talk with our ship captain.”
“Are you coming to Earth, too?” Eddy asked the Admiral.
“Yes. Star Song convinced me at the last minute that I will be needed to help nation Pacifica whether we win or lose this battle. The Delfinians gave me some kind of a medical tune-up and they say I’m too young to retire now.” He chuckled with his musical tone and smiled, “This way I might see that landing on earth that you already have planned.”
Eddy looked into the Admiral’s twinkling eyes and spoke to him using melodian, without his voice; “Did you already know how to talk the melodian way that day I told you how I would do the Earth landing?”
“Yes," the admiral answered, also speaking directly to Eddy's mind with melodian music; "I've learned a little melodian. I told your Earth landing plan to Star Song, too. I think that’s what finalized his decision regarding your melodian brand of advanced flight training.”
Eddy stood looking at the Admiral in flat-footed surprise. He didn’t say anything and waited to hear what came next.
“Don’t let all this go to your head and get us all killed,” the Admiral admonished, switching to his usual voice. “You have the fastest working ship ever made by human hands and you are the only human ever trained to fly like Star Song trained you. There you have it my friend. Now let’s get a move on and do some serious doing.”
Rima whisked past Eddy indicating the forward cabin with her eyes.
“Yes sir!” Eddy said turning and following her.
Rima had already turned on the map screen and brought up their initial flight plan when Eddy reached the forward cabin. He studied the map as he slid into his seat. Rima was checking that battle fleet logs were relayed and downloading correctly from the delfinian ship receivers that were aimed at Pacifica. A ruby red laser carried data about almost everything that had happened since they left Earth. The laser beamed across the docking bay to a receiver on Admiral One. Everything was working perfectly.
“So what’s the favor you are supposed to ask me about?” Eddy asked wondering what he could possibly do for her, especially at this late hour.
Rima frowned, “I want to be part of the crew on Admiral One,” she said, quietly. “I want to help Gramps – the Admiral – when he returns to Earth.”
“If we get back to Earth,” Eddy responded.
“I’d just as soon die fighting that evil Doom Cloud here on this ship than sit around waiting for it to get me on the delfinian battle platform.”
Eddy realized immediately that he had said the exact same thing to Shawn. It seemed ages ago.
“But if you stay with the fleet it will keep retreating until it finally destroys Doom Cloud,” he said.
Rima turned to Eddy with her eyes flashing. “That’s the stated plan, Eddy. But it’s just what everyone says. I can tell by your words that you probably won't retreat and let one million delfinians and the human colony die. I heard the delfinians say they voted for whatever you decide to do. I heard Gramps say you have the best ship ever built and that no one else can fly like Star Song taught you…..”
“Rima,” Eddy interrupted, “I don’t want to be responsible for messing something up and seeing you die. This ship has loads of weapons and is faster than fast, that means we will most likely do something desperate.”
“Are you saying you don’t mind seeing the Admiral or the Delfinians die?”
Eddy grinned. “They are in back, I won’t see it happen.”
“That’s not funny. I’m serious. I want to be part of the crew on Admiral One.”
“You’re not scared?” He asked.
“I didn't said that. In fact, I’ve never been so scared in my entire life. Doom Cloud is worse than a bad nightmare.”
“You are sure about wanting to do this?”
Eddy nodded to Rima solemnly then slowly reached with his left hand and pressed the ‘close hatch’ button. Next he started the joy generators warming up with his right hand. “When that landing bay door opens and the green light goes on, we’re out in space and using our own wits and instruments. You’re the copilot and navigator, turn on the sensors and buckle up.”
“Okay. Eddy, I’m ready,” Rima said, looking at him a little nervously.
“You’re sure about this?” Eddy asked again.
Rima nodded yes, bit her lip and returned to concentrating on her work.
continue to Rejoining the fleet Chapter 25