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Two Months Later…
Two scout ships flew towards The Manipulator’s main hanger and slowed down as they entered through the shield and then touched down.
The pilots opened their cockpits and climbed down onto the ground as deckhands came over to see to their ships.
On the bridge the same cruiser, Commander Blast stood by the viewing window deep in conversation with Padfoot.
“If our scouts return with positive news, this could really strike a blow to the heart of the F.I.S.. This would be like what they did to us on Endor.” Padfoot was saying.
“Indeed.” Replied Blast. “But it would still be risky. We don’t know how trust-worthy the source is.”
Neither man spoke for a moment then Blast added, “Besides, they may come back with negative news. Then we’d really be stuck.”
“Well I hope that we do go ahead with it. It would be foolish not to.”
“But think of all the civilians!”
Padfoot thought for a moment and gazed out into space, thinking.
“R.K.” Flacon came up to them and nodded to them both. “The scouts have returned and are on their way here.”
“Ah good, thank you Falcon.” Blast patted him on the shoulder and walked over to the nearest computer. He typed in a pass code and his details started appearing on the screen as it whirred into life.
“It appears we won’t have to wait very long to find out what the answer is.” Padfoot said and leant on the windowsill waiting.
“I just want this war over as quickly as possible now.” Falcon said.
“A war will take as a long as it takes.” Blast replied turning back to his comrades whom were both frowning at him. “How long is a vine?”
The others thought for a moment then Flacon answered, “Well it depends.”
“Exactly. There is nothing we can do to speed the war up. It’ll go on for as long as it needs to. There’s no point rushing into battle, knowing that you’re going to lose because then all you had been fighting for would be lost.”
Blast smiled grimly and just then the bridge door slid open and the two scouts came in.
They headed over the walkway to where Blast and the other two leaders stood and saluted.
“Sirs!” they said in unison.
“What news do you bring?” The head of the U.R.S. asked.
“The rumors appear to be true sir.” The scout stood on the left answered and Blast momentarily closed his eyes.
“Go on.” He prompted, opening them again.
The second scout inserted a device into the computer and clicked a few times to bring up a recording.
“This is the footage we took.” He explained and the three leaders gathered around to watch the video.
The screen was showing a large dusty town with sand blowing amid low, stone buildings. The footage was taken from quite some way away and was not very clear.
“We couldn’t get any closer otherwise they would have spotted us.” The first scout explained as the leaders watched the screen. Nothing dramatic appeared to be happening yet.
“The F.I.S. will turn up any moment now.” One of the scouts narrated, watching it with the leaders and sure enough there were the F.I.S. forces, filing into the town and terrorizing the citizens.
“Let’s go then!” Padfoot looked at his superior. “What are we waiting for?”
“I don’t like it!” Blast replied
“They’re killing civilians Blast! They’re running wild!”
“And where’s Iadsgb in all of this?” Blast looked at the scouts.
“We didn’t see him sir but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t there. There were so many of them and we were too far away to see anything clearly.
“Okay.” Blast said after a pause. “Thank you. You’ve done well. What are your names?”
“Lieutenant Phoenix, sir.” The first saluted again.
“Lieutenant Lovelock, sir.” The second answered, also saluting.
“Very well. Thank you. I shall remember your names for future scouting missions. You may go.”
“Thank you sir.” The two scouts saluted again in unison and headed back up the walkway and off of the bridge.
Blast leant over on the computer desk, biting his lower lip, deep in thought. Then he straightened up and turned to Padfoot and Falcon. “Looks like we’re off to Ryloth then.” He said and Padfoot grinned.
The next day and the U.R.S. fleet were cruising through hyperspace heading for the planet of Ryloth.
Blast had done much deliberating over the night and had come to the conclusion that the right thing to do would be to go.
They had received an anonymous intelligence report several days earlier that the F.I.S were heading for Ryloth and so R.K. had sent two scouts to monitor the situation. They’d traveled to the planet and tracked the F.I.S. as soon as they landed. They’d come to a large town and watched as the F.I.S. attacked it.
Blast wasn’t keen on acting on it though because of the original report’s anonymous nature. But now he’d seen the footage, he was eager to get back at the F.I.S.. They’d spent far too long waiting, patiently sitting around until any scraps of news or information got to them of which they had had very little and of that, none had been worth investigating; Another reason for Blast to be wary of a sudden tip-off about their enemy’s actual location.
Blast had just got back from speaking to Captain Trapp on the bridge of The Valentine and now stood watching the stars zoom by, waiting for them to arrive at their destination. The other leaders had been told to report to The Manipulator’s bridge as soon as they arrived at Ryloth.
Flare was already there waiting, sat at a computer but watching out of the window.
Falcon walked through the door and Blast glanced over his shoulder at him as he approached.
In Blast’s mind, Falcon still hadn’t been right since Jelli’s betrayal and their argument the last time they’d seen each other in the hanger of The Desolation had only got the U.R.S. head more worried about the young soldier who now stood by his side.
“You all right?” he checked casually.
“Yeah. Just looking forwards to getting on with something at last.”
“I know. It’s been a long couple of months but now we’re on to something, we can get stuck back into fighting.”
“Yeah.” Falcon rubbed his chin and Flare stood up to join them by the window.
“Sir!” a captain came up behind them and R.K. turned to face him. “We’re approaching Ryloth. We’ll exit hyperspace any moment now.”
“Thank you.” Blast smiled and looked back out of the window as the captain walked back to his station.
Just seconds later, the blurred stars around them started to slow and then they suddenly burst out into the blackness of normal space. There ahead of them, a glowing orb in the darkness was Ryloth.
“Here we are.” Blast stated the obvious.
Behind them, the bridge doors swooshed open and the other leaders appeared. They walked over to Blast, Flare and Falcon.
“At last.” Shock said quietly and Slash made a noise in agreement.
Both The Manipulator and The Valentine slowly lowered into the planet’s atmosphere and glided down towards the surface. They landing gears unfolded and they touched down quite some distance from the town that the F.I.S. were occupying so as not to be noticed.
“So what’s the plan?” Nightblaze asked as they stood together.
“While the air is clear and we still have the element of surprise, we’re going to send out a spy drone to try and get closer and get decent pictures for us and then when we have a clear view of the situation, we’ll devise a plan of action.” R.K. replied, looking around at all their faces, some of whom nodded in agreement, others just looked blank, thinking everything through.
“Agreed?” R.K. checked and everybody nodded the affirmative. “Good. Hess, if you and Nightblaze could prepare a drone for me, I’ll patch in the codes and we’ll be ready to go. Here’s to finding what we want in this town. U! R! S!” Blast shouted the three letters, rallying the troops
who replied in unison with “U! R! S!” and Hess and Nightblaze set off to prepare one of their droid spy drones.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 2! COMING FRIDAY 15TH MARCH!
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