Author : S. Alessio Tummolillo
“This is Lieutenant Edge requesting docking permission from the I.S.S.” Aurelius brought his Q-Fighter to zero speed, floating before the massive space station. He focused on the dull stars in the distance.
He thought back to his visit to Earth, where the stars twinkled. He felt a pang in his chest. The intercom sprung to life, “This is the I.S.S., permission granted. Welcome back, Lieutenant.”
Aurelius breathed to himself, “Good to be back.”
He manoeuvred his spacecraft into the green glow of the docking bay and landed it. At the push of the button, the hatch opened and without waiting for a ladder he jumped to the ground.
“Won’t be needing that,” he said to a man rolling a ladder over.
“Yes sir,” the man saluted as Aurelius jogged by.
He reached the command center and as the doors sprung open two guards saluted, dropping their air rifles to their sides.
“At ease, Gentlemen,” Aurelius said as he walked into the room, doors closing behind him. The guards relaxed. The Commander stood at the control panel, staring out the window. He glanced over his shoulder at Aurelius.
“Lieutenant, welcome home! Privates, make your way outside. The Lieutenant and I have things to discuss.”
The doors sprung open again and the Privates left. The door closed.
“Did you find anything in the Hera System?”
“Just as well. I knew if we waited those slimy bastards would slip by. We’ll get ‘em, though.”
“On to business. We had a council while you were scouting.”
“Oh, Sir? Whose decision was that?”
“Without me there? What was it about, Sir?”
“Earth. We’ve decided to…destroy it.”
“We’re blowing it up, Son. There’s nothing there but waste, cripples, and very revealing documents about us. We don’t need ‘em, but in the wrong hands…”
“But Sir, what about your wife! My mother! What are you thinking?” Aurelius stood there wide-eyed in shock.
“We can’t bring all those damned cripples here, Son. We gotta let them go.” The Commander had yet to turn around, but in his voice Aurelius heard indifference. No sign of remorse or hesitance.
“When do you plan on destroying it, Sir?”
“Right now. We have the coordinates set. I’m sending the order now.” With deft hands, Aurelius unclipped his air pistol from his waist and aimed it at the Commander’s head.
“Send the order and I’ll kill you,” Aurelius said, his own voice now cold and indifferent.
The Commander stood there, finger just over the intercom, uncertainty as to whether or not Aurelius would actually shoot held his hand.
“You realize if I send this order and you kill me, you’d be parentless.”
“A man willing to kill his wife is no father of mine. Get away from the control panel.”
“OK, Son. Turning around slowly.” The Commander started a slow rotation, but then finished it quickly, drawing his own air pistol and blowing Aurelius’s out of his hand. Aurelius gripped his hand in pain.
“Think you can out-fox your own Father?” The Commander shook his head and turned around and pressed his finger to the intercom.
“We’re all goo-“
“NO!” Aurelius jumped onto his father, the Commander’s elbow hitting two switches. A soft, pleasant ding rang out, and then a female A.I. voice: “Hyper Drive activated. 10 seconds until departure. 10…9…”
“…Looks like you got what you wanted, Kid,” The Commander stated.
“Where are we going?”
With a twinkle, the I.S.S. disappeared.
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