The young officer that the Captain had given permission to do her research, carefully went through everything she could find on earth’s history of the use of “magic.” She found it remarkably interesting that her research would be restricted, and it would take her time to break through some of the blocks in the program. She had also been given a time limit by the Captain in reporting back. She took what she had at the time and reported to the Captain. She had to wait for a few moments as the Captain was finishing a conversation with Charlie.
The expression on the Captain’s face was certainly one of anger and frustration. He knew that they were under contractual obligations to Charlie, and that she certainly was powerful, yet he was growing very weary of the way he, and his crew was being treated. He also hated the unexplained ways that his ship was being delayed from finishing its mission. He composed himself before asking the young officer to report.
“May I make use of this screen?” she asked.
The Captain gave permission.
“As you can see sir, there is a large variety of terms and theories dealing with the thousands of types of “magic” found in human history.
“All of this is illogical and impossible to substantiate.” The Captain complained.
“Yes sir, I know better than to just come to you with this. However, when you add to that what I have been able to uncoded from several old files, you produce this.” The officer now showed the Captain the screen.
The Captain stared at it for several minutes without saying a word. His expression became colder, the longer he looked.
“Do you realize that there are several positions above me, that do not have access to this information?”
The young Officer now became extremely fearful.
“Sir, I assure you that I possess neither the skills nor the desire to hack any information. Everything that I am presenting to you was obtained…”
The Captain motioned for the officer to be quiet. She could tell that the Captain was in deep conflict.
“Does anyone else know about this?” He asked slowly.
“No one sir, I transferred everything straight to your computer.”
The Captain reached into his desk and pulled out an external storage unit. He downloaded everything on to that unit and deleted the file off his computer.
“I hope you realize that this could possibly cost us our lives, if it is ever discovered.”
The young officer swallowed hard.
“Yes Sir.” She said in a shaky voice.
“Good, now that you understand that what would you suggest we do to break free?” The Captain asked.
“I expected that you would ask. I have two plans. The first one would break us free and put us back on schedule.”
The officer paused and took a deep breath.
“The second one is a lot riskier, but it could very well solve a lot of problems for us in the future.”
The Captain raised his eyebrows.
“Well as long as we are in trouble, let’s make it worth it. Show me both plans,” he ordered.
When he was done looking over both, he sat back in his chair.
“Implement plan one.”
The young officers shoulders drooped slightly, as she turned to leave. She barely took two steps before the Captain added,
“And have plan two ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
The officer turned around with a huge smile on her face.
“Yes Sir!” She said brightly.
“You may wind up carrying that smile to your grave.” The Captain said as we went back to studying the officer’s plans.
“My only hope is that if we do succeed, that I will be able to write a fiction story of a life time to put in my report to my superiors.
What the officer now had to do was replicate what she had found to be successful in the records she decoded. Those records was an accumulation of all “known magic spells” throughout the universe, real or imagined. She sorted out all those that showed any kind of resemblance to what was happing to their ship and matched it with proven acts to break that spell. This was the easy part. Now came the difficulty of taking the solutions that in most instances required more magic and replicating that in the real world. It took time, resourcefulness, energy, skill, and perhaps a bit of “magic” of her own, but within two hours the ship was fully powered and headed towards earth. After she made that report to the Captain, she dove headlong into plan two.
The Captain reported to Charlie that everything was on schedule and the other ships would arrive on time.
Charlie was just about to scream at Wally because he had not reported in, when his report flashed on Charlie’s screen.
Wally had labored over the report before he sent it. He had to make it sound believable by trying to add in enough terms that he knew Charlie would not be familiar with, and yet, not cause her to ask too many questions. He really needed to focus on the problem at hand without be distracted by Charlie. When he did not get a reply or his communicator buzzing like crazy, he figured he was safe, at least for now.
Charlie shut off Wally’s report after the first paragraph. She was not interested in reading what she considered to be a text book. By now she had resolved that Wally was as good as dead, it just would be a matter of when. She headed towards a table to pour herself a drink, when the ship was hit with such force, the she was thrown across the room. This repeated four times in a row. It took her a good amount of time before she was able to recover enough to call the Captain.
“What is going on?” She screamed.
“We are still trying to figure that out, all our instruments are reading normal.”
The Captain replied then turned the volume way down. He knew what would be coming next.
After Charlies fifteen-minute rant, the Captain replied.
“The atmosphere surrounding earth is tremendously different from what it should have been. We will have to adjust our defense to compensate.” That Captain then added,
“We need to concentrate in order to get this done as quickly as possible, I will contact you again when we can get under way.”
The Captain then shut off his device.
Charlie through her biggest fit to date but did leave the Captain alone.
All the crew members eyes were on the Captain.
“Everything that has happened to us has been in an effort to stop us from coming to earth. I Imagine that as long as we don’t start up again, we will be safe. That is to say safe from what is trying to prevent us from conducting our assignment. However, we are in greater danger if we don’t try to proceed. I want the maximum amount of power diverted to our shielding, and I want Engineering to be ready for a hyper jump on my orders. Rita, I want you to see to these orders personally.”
The Captain left, before Rita could raise her objections. Rita was a fine first officer and normally followed orders without question however, the events over the last seventy-two hours had caused a lot of crew members to let fear get a hold of them. Rita knew that if she were ever to get a ship of her own, she would need to instill confidence in the ones she would now have to work with.
She first went to the chief engineer, who she had known the longest of the two officers she would need to assist. Rex, the Chief engineer, showed her the plan for accomplishing what the Captain had asked for. She could tell by his presentation that he had his doubts that it could be accomplished. It had never been attempted before, at least not from a stationary position. There were at least three other engineers within earshot of his and Rita’s conversation.
“Rex, you don’t get to be Chief engineer of a ship like his, without having proved your worth. You cannot tell me that you have not pulled off somethings that had not been tried before.”
Rex was silent.
“Okay, let me jog your memory.”
Rita proceeded to rattle off several accounts, including two he made sure he never reported.
“How did you find out about those?” He asked in a nervous tone.
“You don’t get to be a first officer, unless you are able to find out things, no one else knows about. Now I would suggest that you adjust the fuel feed here and here by .091nn. Also restrict the Louis at these three spot. That should increase our ability to achieve the initial spark we need. Everything else in your plan looks solid. Carry on, and make sure you implement as quickly as possible, you do not want to disappoint the Captain.”
“Yes Ma’am.” Rex replied in a tone that showed he was now excited about what he needed to do.
Rita then went on to see the officer taking charge of the defensive upgrades to the ship. When she was satisfied that was on schedule, she went to report to the Captain. She had never entered the Captain’s quarters uninvited before, but felt her report was best given in person. She tapped on his door.
The Captain released the lock, and the doors slid open.
“Rita? I do believe this is a first. Come, sit.” The captain said as he went back to looking at his screen.
“What brings you here?”
“Permission to speak freely sir?”
The Captain looked up from his screen.
“Sir, I have served under a number of Captains in my career, but I have never seen a Captain put so much trust in another one of their officers to have full charge of a mission.”
“First of all, no one officer has full control, everything goes through me. Is that clear?” The Captain said sternly.
“Good! Now that is out of the way, tell me what would have some of your other Captains have done if they were in our situation? The Captain asked in a friendly manner.
Rita raddle off a few ideas she thought they might do.
“What results do you think they would have gotten from those actions?” The Captain asked.
Rita was a little surprised at the question. She thought the Captain may be testing her knowledge, so she stated the obvious answers.
“Now. What ships, or species for that matter, would have any kind of equipment, ships, etc. to shield itself from those actions?” The Captain asked.
“There are none to my knowledge Sir.”
“You are correct.”
The Captain took a deep breath and locked his door.
“Rita what I am about to tell you is only so you will better understand my actions and make it a little easier for you to follow my forth coming orders. As you know, I am only one of two Captains that did not have previous military training. I am sure that is why our leaders were eager to appoint you to this ship before everything fell apart.”
He paused again and turned to look out the large view window behind him.
I am only half Lexitron (the species of the crew). My father is Whisp.”
Rita was in shock.
When Charlie took over our planet, she systematically wiped out our species with the power she had been granted. I was hidden away on a distant moon and was cared for by Lexitron family.”
The Captain turned and faced Rita.
“Sir the Whisp are…well believed to be a myth.”
“That is Charlie’s doing. I had enough training in the way of the Whisp, to know that it was Mr. Chambers that was able to take away Charlie’s powers, and that he is the one that has prevented us from getting close to earth.”
The Captain leaned in towards Rita
“I have now trusted you with my life. I need you to do the same. This may be the one and only chance to free all species from Charlie’s rule of terror.”
“Why is it that our history books paint Charlie as our savior?”
“History books that were written before Charlie lost her powers. Believe me, everything I told you was the truth. There are only a few Whisp left, and this was the reason I took this assignment.”
He now stood straight again.
“I now expect you to return to your duties, and to fully follow my orders. I am only half Whisp, but I am confident that Mr. Chambers will release our ship within the time period that I gave Charlie. When he does, we will proceed with the plan we have in place. Do you have any questions?”
“Plenty Sir, but I will save them for after this mission is over.” Rita stated and headed towards the door.
Before she exited, she turned and faced the Captain.
“You know Sir you did not have to tell me any of that. I am your first officer, and my loyalty has always been to you.”
“Yes, I am aware of your record of loyalty, I wanted to reassure you of my trust in you.” The Captain told her.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Rita said and left.
After the door shut, the Captain mumbled.
“I hope it is well placed.”
Right on schedule, Mr. Chambers released the Captain’s ship. When it was the Captain put his plan in action and the ship made up for lost time. It was only a few hours later when the other ships that Charlie hired arrived.
She contacted all the ships at once.
“I need not remind you that timing is everything. All my instructions must be carried out to the letter and on time. Your species is known for it’s spilt second timing, and that was the reason you were hired. You are also aware that your final payment is dependent on your success.” Charlie finished in her normal “in charge” tone.
“We are well aware of the terms of our agreement, and our financial institutions are expecting your payment.” Was the reply of one of the hired ship’s Captain.
Charlie cut her communication with the hired ships and directed her orders to the Captain of her ship.
“Move us into position Captain, I have waited a long time for this. Let the games begin!” Charlie stated, then spun around in her chair and let out a gleeful laugh.