Rejoining the fleet
Eddy and Rima watched the landing bay door slowly open after the light above it turned green. Eddy carefully piloted Admiral One through the door and into space. The sleek craft hummed with what seemed like anticipated freedom as he cautiously moved away from the big delfinian ship that was already parked sideways to Doom Cloud. The threatening giant had survived relentless attack by the fleet and was almost upon them.
Though the battle was still too far away to see individual ships with the naked eye, huge flashes of golden yellow joy beams could occasionally be seen. The lightning-like flicker was caused by obscuring chunks of Doom Cloud either falling into burned out holes or offensive storms being hurled at the fleet in angry attack.
“It’s time to turn on our flight room internal joy light generators,” Eddy said over the intercom while checking to be sure the protective lights were on in the cargo hold.
Rima switched on the protective joy generators that had been installed in the cockpit and turned back to her inspection of data log download status. “Admiral One data reception is now direct from all ships,” she reported.
They had just reached a safe distance from the delfinian ship when the radio receiver light blinked. “Admiral One, this is Fleet Commander Walker, can you hear me?”
Eddy nodded to Rima as he turned the ship toward the battle ahead.
“This is copilot Rima on Admiral One, we hear you loud and clear, Commander.”
Walker’s voice came back instantly. “We are converging on your location. Stay tight with the Delfinian heavy weapons platform until we arrive. Did you hear me?”
Eddy broke in, “We hear you, Commander. This is Young Warrior, Captain of Admiral One speaking. We carry the firepower of a cruiser, requesting permission to join the fleet and fall back with you to here.”
“Okay, move up with us on the double, Admiral One, I thought you were strictly a passenger ship.”
Eddy kicked on the drive and they blasted towards the fleet.
“We are a heavily armed admiral class cruiser with very accurate close range defensive weapons. We are also equipped with crew protection powered by internal joy generators developed by delfinian medical science.”
“Does the Delfinian heavy weapons platform also have the crew protection devices?” Walker asked.
“Yes, commander, internal joy power generators also protect sixty large joy cannons that fire at more than one and a half times normal power, planet/moon gravity balance and lack of atmospheric interference gives the weapons a significant boost. The Delfinian ship also has ten large defense pods. The delfinian battle platform is stronger than the entire fleet and has five times the range.”
“Eddy. Is that you? This is Shawn. All this sounds too good to be true. Like, excuse me, Sequoia, the calvary has arrived!”
“Yep,” said Eddy. “It’s all true. The question is will it do any good?”
Sequoia joined in, “Be strong, Eddy. We’re all a little tired. One can start feeling small against this awful giant after a while. The delfinian battleship, the moon base, and Pacifica’s heavy weapons support gives hope. What’s this young warrior thing I just heard?”
“It’s the name Star Song gave me after my advanced flight training,” Eddy said proudly. “The full name is actually ‘Young Human Warrior.’ Has anyone told the fleet about Star Song and the Melodians?”
“We’ve been too far away and too busy for news,” Sequoia responded. What’s advanced flight training? And what is a melodian star song?”
“Hmm, where to start? Melodians are another new kind of people and Star Song is one of them, is….. Is everybody listening? Until now I’ve only told one person at a time about this. “Gosh – I’m not sure it would be believable to everyone at once. Especially in regular words over a radio. I think it might be a little like water witching; almost everybody can water witch a little, some are better at it than others, and a very few can’t do it at all. Hmm. Maybe I should think about this for a minute.”
Eddy pushed the intercom button for the cargo area, “Admiral are you listening to communications?”
“Yes I am, Eddy. What’s on your mind?”
“Well, sir, I’ve never tried advanced flight training while I was actually flying a ship.”
“Let me guess. You want to take a little practice run at Doom Cloud. Am I right?”
“Something like that, Admiral. Maybe edge out in front of the fleet four or five thousand kilometers and see what happens.” Eddy and Rima heard muffled conversations in the cargo hold.
“Rima. How are you holding up?”
“Okay. Move out slow and see what happens. Don’t tell Commander Walker I’m on board, he’d probably order you back and I don’t want to override my Commander in front of everyone. We can tell him later.”
“Okay, Admiral. Have Delfinians learned Melodian?”
“They seem to have picked it up quickly. They heard what you and I were talking about. Why do you ask?”
“Maybe you all can help with this in some way. Every singing voice counts. We’re joining up with the fleet now. I’ll match speeds and aim our weapons into Doom Cloud.”
Eddy busied himself preparing Admiral One for actual combat while he thought over what to say to the fleet.
“Commander Walker, this is Young Warrior, can you hear me?”
“Loud and clear.” Walker answered.
“If I’m going to explain advanced flight training to everyone at the same time, I’ll need permission to edge Admiral One forward a bit.”
“What do you consider a bit?”
“I’m not sure, Commander, I’ve never done this in a ship before.”
“In a ship? What do you mean by that?”
“Well, um, here goes. Believe it or not, I’ve been out here twice watching the fleet fight. I brought Glafco once, you can call him if you don’t believe me.” Eddy heard Sequoia gasp. “You brought Glafco?”
“Yep. He said I could work with him if we live through this. Glafco is good with Melodian speech. He learned faster than me.”
“Be careful, Eddy,” Commander Walker said. “Do whatever you need to do. But no heroics. We need that ship and everyone on it.”
“Okay, Commander. Here we go!” Eddy said moving very slowly forward, he could feel his heart pounding. “I’m following the path of Joy as it shines into the darkness. I’m thinking of the stars singing to each other and the planets.”
“You have the right idea, young warrior. Sing your praise for the beauty you personally find in creation. Don’t stop. I’m turning our instruments on now, sing with the stars.”
“Star Song!” Where have you been?”
“I’m near, young human. Sing with the sun behind Doom Cloud so I can tune our melodian instrument.”
Eddy visualized Star Song deep inside the planet tuning an instrument as large as the city. He saw the sun inside the observatory dome and the towers topped with faceted bronze spheres. The song of the singing spheres swelled inside him as he looked out the windshield directly at Doom Cloud. He sang of love for the beauty of life and the planet and of his disdain for Doom Cloud’s ruthless ambitions for unending growth and power.
Eddy closed his eyes and personally rejoiced in fun as the motive of a quality life.
Doom Cloud shuddered and erupted a huge angry blackness that it hurled at the Admiral One. Eddy turned the main joy beam to unfocused wide-angle, kicked on the power, and skidded around the darkness Doom Cloud had launched; the storm cloud evaporated to nothing. Doom Cloud hurled storm after storm at Admiral One. The fighter’s evaporated one and the fleet another. Eddy kept the power going. Admiral One cart wheeled around and evaporated two more large storm projectiles before fighting a slow retreat back to the fleet.
Doom Cloud’s assault had been beaten back, yet nobody spoke.
The radios remained silent as the enraged Doom Cloud redoubled the attack and hurled storm after storm of dark frigid life sucking death.
The fleet maintained its methodical retreat in total silence and evaporated each and every storm.
Walker was the first to speak when the battle calmed. “Eddy, what kind of gravity force readings do you have on your ship’s log?”
Eddy looked to Rima for an answer. “Nothing unusual Commander,” she answered. “Gravity force readings did not vary significantly.”
“Young Warrior, this is Sequoia, I heard the same kind of music we all heard the first time we went into Doom Cloud. This time I saw a shining underground city with stars on top of towers that seem to come from the music.”
“That’s not a city,” Eddy said. “It’s a combination observatory and musical instrument that melodians use to sing with the stars. You can speak Melodian now, Sequoia. Wow!”
“Eddy, this is Commander Walker. My ship computer calculations indicate you should have experienced near fatal gravity forces when you rounded that last blast Doom Cloud shot at you.”
“Our instruments didn’t register that,” Rima responded. “We felt no added gravity forces. Repeat. No G force change on Admiral One.”
“What does all this mean?” Shawn interjected. “My ship sensors and computer confirm Walker’s analysis. Eddy’s maneuvers around those Doom Cloud projectiles should have at least been extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, the music and vision Sequoia referred to was also heard by everyone aboard my ship. We’ve all decided we saw Eddy make Doom Cloud so angry it started spitting.”
“Why didn’t we feel the gravity stress everyone says we should have?” Rima asked Eddy.
“We don’t have all the facts,” Eddy answered. “Melodians live underneath a continent in a bomb shelter world which I’m beginning to think is for protection against this sort of attack. They have developed their science and have been fighting the dark forces of endless war and austerity for a long time. Now they have humans and delfinians to help. Everything is happening so fast they haven’t had time to explain all the details. My feeling is Doom Cloud has figured out exactly where the Melodians are and they are as busy as Delfinans and Humans working to protect themselves and be ready for battle.”
Star Song then spoke and the entire battle fleet heard; “Your thoughts are close to a bigger story, Young Human Warrior. You have learned much in a short time. Perhaps one day we will meet again and I will show you all what we do not have time for now. Be brave. Doom Cloud may be strong enough to win this battle, yet in the fullness of creation even evil is just another little thing. The struggle for goodness will eventually prevail.”
Admiral One stuck close to the retreating fleet and continued blasting away at the relentlessly advancing enemy. Doom Cloud was within minutes of squarely colliding with a line of defense stretching from Planet Pacifica to its moon. The Delfinian battleship and the highly mobile fleet would attempt to hold the line open between these two formidable endpoints.
The final battle was about to begin.
continue to The full alliance battles Doom Cloud, Chapter 26