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The Admiral

The Admiral

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The Admiral

Lunghezza:
361 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 26, 2012
ISBN:
9780988569607
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

After graduating from the Galactic Space Fleet Academy at age 18, four years early, Jack Pond finds himself relegated to shuttle duty flying between Earth, the moon and Mars. Despite this rather mundane start, he knows he is destined for great things. Already arguably the best pilot in the Fleet, little did he realize just how high he would rise. Follow Jack Pond on his adventures, as he rises in the ranks, the missions grow more and more dangerous as do the risks. But with greater risk comes greater reward, and if he can survive, he may just become...The Admiral.
Pubblicato:
Oct 26, 2012
ISBN:
9780988569607
Formato:
Libro

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Anteprima del libro

The Admiral - Anthony J. Maloney

The Admiral

The Admiral

The Admiral

First Addition

Copyright© 2012 Anthony J. Maloney

All rights reserved

IBSN: 978-0-9885696-0-7

This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used factiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Dedication:

For all my friends and family…thank you for believing in me and encouraging me along the way.  And a special thanks to Eric Curley for his help in turning my rough cover idea into the cover that adorns this book.

Prologue

Hello.  I am here to tell you a story.  It is a story about a hero and the impact he would have on the world.  These stories are true, as I was a witness to these events.  Who I am is not important, but these stories are.

At the beginning of the 23rd century the galaxy was in need of a hero.  One man would come.  A man whose adventures would be the stuff of legends.  A man whose talent would be unequaled.  A man whose honor would be unquestionable.  A man who would defend the world from all that would seek to harm it.  A man who would be called ‘the Admiral’. 

I now sit down to pen the stories of his adventures, enjoy them for they are truly amazing.  I will now let him tell you his story in his own words.

Deceived

My name is Pond, Jack Pond , I am currently a Crewman (cadet) in the Galactic Space Fleet, or G.S.F. for short.  The G.S.F. is the naval arm of the Galactic Space Federation, a governing body that democratically controls a large portion of the known galaxy.  It is founded on peace and understanding.  I am currently stationed at Space Dock 1, a large space station that orbits the Earth. 

Space Dock 1 consists of four main parts.  The upper saucer, the connecting stalk, the lower saucer, and the engine pod.  The upper saucer houses the main docking ports, and is ringed by passageways.  Its sides slope upward.  The connecting stalk is like a long tube that connects the upper saucer to the lower saucer.  Between the two it has a tunnel in the center that is surrounded by living quarters for the personnel stationed on it. The lower saucer houses the small craft hangers.  Shuttle craft and other such vessels dock in this area.  It, unlike the upper saucer features gravity in the docking area (the passageways and rooms around the docking ports have artificial gravity, but the main docking chamber has none to accommodate the largest vessels).  The lower saucer is also much smaller and its sides are more steeply sloped.  The stalk continues down to the engine pod at the very base of the station.  The only difference is that below the lower saucer the tunnel stops.  The stalk at this point is entirely made up of living quarters, recreational facilities, and storage areas.  The engine pod at the very base of the station houses the station’s massive anti-grav(ity) engines.  These engines help to keep the station’s large mass in orbit on the night side of the planet. 

My current assignment is very simple.  I am a pilot on a run that takes me to Earth, the moon, Mars, and then back to Space Dock 1.  I received this assignment because when I graduated two months ago from the G.S.F. Academy there was no assignment available for an 18-year-old pilot (note: I graduated early as the G.S.F. Academy is normally a 4-year college).  I am to have my current assignment until another becomes available.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My alarm suddenly beeped, waking me from a deep sleep.  I looked at the clock on the table by my bed.  It read 5:35 P.M.

Well, I’ve got time to shower, and eat before I’m due for the 7:30 run, I muttered out loud.

I climbed out of bed, and jumped into the shower.  I turned the hot water on, and leaned back against the wall and luxuriated in the hot water for a few minutes.  Then I washed quickly and got out.  After I toweled off I grabbed my uniform, and climbed into it. 

My uniform was a standard jumpsuit.  It was navy blue with the gold three-crossed-arrow G.S.F. symbol embroidered on it.  It zipped up and then across the chest from left to right.  A flap buttoned over the zipper.  I slipped into the black boots that went with the uniform, and then combed my medium length jet-black hair.

I dashed out of my quarters, in the stalk below the lower saucer, and headed for the nearest turbo-lev (elevator). 

I entered, and said, Deck twenty-four.

The turbo-lev, which was tied into the stations main computer, picked up my command and the turbo-lev shot upward (all G.S.F. vehicles and stations are numbered from the top down.).

When it came to a stop I exited and walked to the Pourter‑House, a restaurant on the station that over-looks the main docking area.  As I entered I saw the owner, Sam Masters, who had befriended me.

Hi, Jack.

Sam, I said nodding.  How’s business?

Pretty good, actually.  You here to eat?

Yeah, I’m on the 7:30 run.

I’ll get you a table.

Sam led me over to table by one of the large view ports that looked out over the main docking area.  He ushered me into a seat, and then got me a menu.

What’ll it be?

I’ll have a New York Strip, and a Coke.

Be right out.

Sam turned and left.  He returned with a Coke, and told me that my steak would be just a minute.  When it was ready he brought it out to me.

I ate, and savored every bite.  I finished quickly, and glanced down at my watch.  It read 7:00.  I had plenty of time.  I’d pay my bill, and then go to the shuttle bay and do my preflight check.  Then I’d take off right on time.

Done?

Huh?  Yes, thanks, Sam.

Here’s your bill.

Thanks.

I’ll ring you up.  I’m going on the 7:30.

You are?

Yes, I have some stuff to pick up for the place.

Ok.

I got up, and went to the cash register, and paid my bill.  I then left with Sam in tow.  I returned to the nearest turbo-lev, and rode it down to the shuttle bay in the lower saucer.

You’ll be in shuttle Delta-9, the flight boss said when I entered the main shuttle bay.

Thanks, I said, turning toward the shuttle. 

I climbed aboard through the rear ramp.  The shuttle was a two level passenger/cargo shuttle.  The lower level had two cargo holds, one in the very rear, and one in the very front.  In between them was the engine room.  The upper level was a passenger compartment, and the cockpit.  I climbed aboard, and went directly to the cockpit.  I did a quick systems check, and exited the ship to do a walk around.  I wanted to inspect the shuttle to make sure that it was in good condition and ready to go.

The shuttle had a small hyperdrive that could power it up to MAVVID 20 (MAVVID stands for Magnitude of a Velocity Vector Irrespective of its Direction.  The theoretical, but as of yet unattained, maximum speed, is MAVVID 50, or approximately 9---- times the speed of light.).

When I was just finishing up my walk-around Sam entered the bay.

Hi, Jack, are we ready to go?

Just about.  Let me finish here, I said checking the weapons systems.  It was unlikely that I would need them, but it never hurt to be prepared for anything.

I turned to Sam and ushered him into the shuttle.  I followed him up the ladder to the upper deck.

Sam, you can ride up front with me if you want.  The view is better from up there.

What about the other passengers?

"Sam, this is a mid-shift run.  There won’t be any other passengers."

You sure?

I’ve done this flight more times than I can remember, and it’s always deserted.

Ok, I guess if no one else will be aboard.

Sam followed me into the cockpit, and took a seat at one of the auxiliary consoles.  The auxiliary stations were almost never used, so he was out of the way.

Space Dock Control, this is the shuttle craft Delta-9 requesting permission to take off.

This is the Dock Master, you’re clear, Delta-9.  You shouldn’t have too much excitement.  Only some cargo at the Earth terminal for you to pick up.

Thanks, Delta-9 out.

I started the take-off sequence, and the engines came to life.  I lifted us off the deck and aimed us toward the opening bay doors.  We knifed out of them, and then I turned us toward Earth.  It was a short trip to Earth.  Five minutes at the most, after all, Space Dock 1 was in orbit of Earth (its orbit kept it on Earth’s night side).

Earth control this is shuttle craft Delta-9 requesting landing permission.

Delta-9, this is Earth control, you are clear to land on pad 7.

Affirmative, I said. 

I activated the instrument landing system, or ILS, and it pointed me toward pad 7.

I slowed the shuttle to a hover, and landed her gently on the pad.  Then I pushed a button that lowered the ramp in the back.

I’ll go with you to see the cargo put in the hold, Sam offered.  After all, most of the cargo is mine.

The two of us climbed down to the lower level and watched as the cargo was loaded by several dockworkers.

It took them about ten minutes to load the cargo, and then they gave us the thumbs up.

I stepped into the shuttle, and turned to a control panel by the rear ramp, and pushed a button.  The ramp raised and locked into position.  Once I had raised the ramp I returned to the cockpit where I joined Sam.

Earth Control, this is Delta-9 requesting permission to depart.

Permission granted, Delta-9.  Have a good day.

I lifted the shuttle off the ground, and aimed for the moon.  We had only just cleared the atmosphere when we received a priority message from G.S.F. command.

Incoming transmission, the computer said in an emotionless voice.

Play message.

Delta-9, this is G.S.F. Command, we’ve got new orders for you.  You are to by-pass the moon and proceed directly to Mars Base 1 to pick up a VIP passenger.

Delta-9 acknowledges.  We’re on our way.

Very well, command out.

I swung the ship around, and aimed for Mars.  I slammed the impulse engines to full, and ran a systems check.

Who do you think the VIP is, Jack?

No idea, I said honestly.

The trip to Mars seemed like an eternity, even though it was only about half an hour.

Mars control, this is shuttle craft Delta-9, requesting docking permission (Mars Base is an enclosed structure.).

Permission granted Delta-9.  Dock at the VIP lounge.

Understood, Delta-9 out.

I once again activated the I.L.S. and it guided me to the appropriate docking port.  I docked the shuttle, and then went to the passenger compartment to greet my passenger.  Sam followed me as well.

To my horror the hatch slid open to reveal Admiral Jim Norgera, the head of Fleet Operations.

Hi, Sam, he said in a friendly voice, much to my surprise.

Hi, Jim.

Who’s our pilot, Sam?

This is Crewman Jack Pond, my friend, and one hell of a pilot.  The best I’ve ever seen.

Nice to meet you, Crewman.

You too, sir, I said, shocked.

I returned to the cockpit, and sat down at the control panel.

Mars Control this is shuttle craft Delta-9 requesting permission to depart.

Delta-9, you are cleared for launch.  Good luck and safe journey.

I activated the take-off sequence, and engaged the engines.  I separated from the station, and shot off into space.  I turned us toward Earth, and engaged the impulse engines at full power. 

The trip once again took only about half an hour, and I began to slow down ten thousand miles from Space Dock 1.  This may seem like a great distance, but when you are talking about a ship that can fly eight tenths the speed of light it’s really not.

Space Dock 1 this is Delta-9, come in please,I said over the comm system.  There was no response.

What the hell’s going on, I muttered aloud.

What’s wrong, Jack?  Sam asked.

Space Dock 1's not responding.

Try again, Crewman, the Admiral said.

Once again I tried, but as before there was no response.

Scan the station.

I ran a scan of the station, but the results confused me even more.

Sir, I’m picking up large concentrations of people in the cargo bays, and brigs.  There are only a few people outside of those areas, and none of them are human.

That’s strange.  Run another scan.

My second scan scared me even more than the first.

Sir, the aliens appear to be Omarians (a hostile race that wanted to see the G.S.F. destroyed.)!

Anything else?

The station’s charging weapons!

Raise our shields!

I raised our shields just before the first volley of turbo‑cannon fire hit the shuttle.  We were shook violently, but I recovered control of the shuttle quickly.

We’ve got to get to the station.  If we can get to the command deck we can activate the intruder control system.

I’ll get you there, sir.

I aimed the shuttle’s nose at the doors to one of the shuttle bays, and accelerated to full speed.  We raced toward the doors at an incredible speed.  I kept us moving so fast that the station’s fire missed us completely.  I abruptly cut the engines, and fired at the shuttle bay doors.  The doors erupted in a ball of flame, and fell away.  I shot through the opening and then into the connecting tunnel.

We suddenly knifed out the top of the connecting tunnel into the main docking bay.  We were now in the top saucer.  As I slowed to dock the station’s interior defense systems began to fire at me.

Sir, I can’t dock the defenses will destroy us if we try.  We’ve got to find another way in.

I can’t think of another way, Crewman.  We’ve got to find a way to dock.

Jack, couldn’t you destroy the defense system?

No, it’s too well shielded, and our weapons aren’t powerful enough.

Then we’ve come all this way for nothing.

Wait a minute, I’ve got it!  Sir, where’s the nearest armory?

Why?

If I pick up enough speed I can ram our way in.  We’ll need weapons anyway.

Good plan.  I’ll plot a course for you.

The Admiral stepped over to the navigation console, and input the coordinates of the armory.  Then he passed on the course to me.  A square lit up on my panel showing its location.

I slammed the throttle all the way back, and headed for the opposite side of the station.  Once there, I looped over, and accelerated towards the wall.

Admiral when I say so jettison the nacelles.

Right.

We slammed into the wall, and I shouted, Now!

The Admiral was a few seconds late.  The port nacelle jettisoned fine, but the starboard nacelle jammed, and was shorn off by the force of our impact.  We skidded through several interior walls and then ended up in the armory, or more accurately halfway in the armory.  All of us were a bit shaken, but unhurt, since the walls were interior walls and nowhere near as reinforced as exterior walls.

We’ll use the front hatch, I suggested.

Good idea.

The three of us climbed into the lower section, and made our way forward.  The engine room was in sad shape, and the cargo in the aft compartment was strewn all over.  I walked to a panel, and blew the forward ramp.  It lowered to the ground.

Grab two hand held turbo-cannons each, Admiral Norgera said.

Sam and I quickly complied.

This way, he said leading us to a doorway.

He led us down a corridor, and toward a turbo-lev.  Before we got there, however, several Omarians jumped us. 

Sam and I quickly dispatched two of them, but the third fired at the Admiral.

Noooo! I shouted as I dove in front of him.

The blast caught me in the left side just above the waist.  I fell to the ground in a heap.  As I went down I saw Sam take out the third Omarian.  He then rushed to my side.

Jack!

I’m...I’m ok.  Get to the command deck.

The two got up and left me there on the ground.  After they left I got to my feet.  I wobbled a bit, but got my balance back. I pressed my hand to my side, and I could see that it was bleeding.  I somehow didn’t care.  I grabbed my fallen turbo-cannon and headed for the command deck.

I decided to take a short cut through one of the four story high cargo bays.  I ran across a catwalk on the top deck of the bay, and there I ran into two more Omarians.  I fired quickly, killing one.  The other, however, got the drop on me, and disarmed me.  I picked him up, and hung him out over the catwalk handrail. 

Surrender, I growled.

Never, He said, kicking at me.

I let him fall. 

I continued on and once again my path was blocked.  I charged the Omarian, but he was ready for me.  He used my momentum against me to pick me up, and throw me onto a pile of medical supply boxes.  I crashed through the pile, rolling to a stop against a wall.  Every muscle in my body screamed in pain, but I ignored them all, and got to my feet.  My adrenaline pumped through my veins giving me more energy.  The Omarian charged me, but this time he got the short end of the stick.  I grabbed a piece of pipe that had been left out by a repair crew, and brought it down on his head as hard as I could.

He fell to the ground dead.  I picked up the turbo‑cannon that I had dropped, and headed for the command deck. 

I arrived on the command deck, and as I stepped from the turbo-lev I saw an Omarian taking aim at Sam and the Admiral.  I fired at him, and he fell to the ground, dead.

Thank you, Admiral Norgera said, turning to see the dead Omarian. 

It was n...noth...nothing, I said, as the world began to spin.

I fell down the steps to the lower level of the command deck, and crashed into one of the consoles.

I awoke several hours later in the station’s sickbay.

Welcome back, Crewman.

Sam, what happened?

You collapsed from loss of blood.  The doctor couldn’t figure out how you made it as long as you did without passing out.

How’s Admiral Norgera?

He’s safe, and he wants to see you as soon as the doctor lets you out of here.

He can go now, the doctor told Sam.

I got to my feet, and was a little unsteady at first, but then I got my balance back.  I changed into a clean uniform, and made my way to Admiral Norgera’s office.

"Crewman Pond, I would like to thank you personally for saving both this station and myself from the Omarians.  You are a true hero.

I was just doing my duty, sir.

No, you went above and beyond the call of duty.  For that I promote you to the rank of Ensign.  Congratulations.

Thank you, sir, I said in shock. 

Condition: Red

I am currently an Ensign in the Galactic Space Fleet.  For the past two years I have piloted the U.S.S. Strikeback, a long-range star-fighter.  The Strikeback is two decks high.  The upper deck contains living quarters for the crew (me) and any passengers (It has room for 4 passengers), a galley and conference/mess hall, and a docking port in the front just in front of the bridge.  The lower level contains the engine room, several cargo bays and docking ports, and the weapons systems. It has a maximum speed of MAVVID 30.  It has four plasma torpedo tubes, and six turbo-cannons.  Most of my missions have been boring escort missions.  I am currently patrolling a sector of space twelve light-years from Earth.

I sat back relaxing in a chair at the end of the long table in the mess hall.  My feet were up on the table, and in one hand I had a twenty-ounce bottle of Coke.

Suddenly, there was a beep, and the computer interface said, Incoming distress call.

Put it through down here, I said, figuring that it was some private freighter.

This is the U.S.S. Ambassador we are heading for the peace conference on Gorlandin (a planet thirty-three light-years from Earth and six light years from my patrol station.  A very dense asteroid belt surrounds the planet).  This is President Yoshi Hokigima of the Galactic Space Federation, any ship that can hear me please come to our coordinates, we are under attack by two unidentified ships outside of the Gorlandin star system, we need your help, please come, our ship can only hold out for few more minutes, someone plea...

Transition terminated, the computer said.

Terminated how?

Transition ended at the source, the cool, emotionless computer responded.

I jumped out of my chair, and left the mess hall through a door in the forward part of the room.  I headed down the corridor for the bridge, which was at the end.  As soon as I stepped onto the bridge, I switched the autopilot off, and turned on the Hyperspace radio.

U.S.S. Ambassador, if you can hear me, this is Jack Pond commanding the G.S.F. ship U.S.S. Strikeback, I'm on my way.  I'll be there as soon as I can.

I checked the coordinates; it would take me ten minutes and thirty seconds at maximum speed.  If I pushed the engines at emergency, I would get there in seven minutes and fifty-three seconds.  If the engines lasted that long.

I engaged the engines at maximum emergency speed, and set course for the Gorlandin star system.  I armed my turbo cannons, and my plasma torpedoes.  I raised my shields, and engaged the sensor masking system, with it on I would look like a big destroyer instead of a long-range fighter.

Warning, engines about to exceed maximum design output parameters, the computer said four minutes later.

Just what I needed, I muttered to myself.

Now to reconfigure the engine output vectors, I said to myself.

I reconfigured the engine output vectors, and the engine output returned to normal.

Just then, the computer blared, Warning, hull-stress about to exceed maximum design tolerances.

This time, I reconfigured the shields to protect the hull more effectively against stress.

Computer, how long before the engines, and the hull exceed maximum tolerances again? I asked the computer interface.

Hull-stress will exceed maximum in twenty-two minutes, engines will exceed maximum tolerances in three point five two four minutes.

Time to Gorlandin star system?

Three point five three nine minutes

Computer, shut down hyperdrive engines at three point five one nine minutes.

Affirmative, the emotionless voice of the computer responded.

Engines shutting down, the computer suddenly said, breaking the silence.

I waited until the Strikeback slowed to full impulse, then I targeted the nearest ship and fired everything I had.  The ship’s shields drained to fifty percent.  The other ship fired, but I had already moved.  The first ship hit me with two torpedoes out of a spread of ten that had obviously been fired manually.  My shields lowered to ninety percent.  I fired again at the first ship.  It managed to fire a full spread before my barrage destroyed it.  This time, all ten torpedoes hit me, and my shields dropped to forty-eight percent.  I fired at the second ship just as it fired on me.  Its shields weakened by the nearby explosion of the first ship collapsed under my fire.  Unfortunately, my shields also collapsed, but I used my maneuverability to keep away from the torpedoes and turbo-cannon shots.  I fired, and then quickly dodged several wildly fired torpedoes.  My shots took out the ship's plasma torpedo tubes.  I took a hit from the ship’s turbo-cannons, causing massive damage to my armor plating, and several small hull breaches.  I concentrated my fire on the ship’s engine room, and several hits later

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