Out Run The Stars
“What the…?” Phoenix Bryant groaned as someone pulled his blanket away from him. He opened his eyes to see his commanding officer standing above him. “What do you want this early?”
“You have a mission,” the C.O. said. “It’s time to get up and earn your place here. Some of the other operatives are already disgruntled that you jumped the line.”
Phoenix battled against his heavy eyelids. “I didn’t jump the line. My mother forced me into this.”
“You can explain that to your fellow agents,” the C.O. sighed. “For now, you need to be up and ready to roll in five minutes.”
After she stomped out of the bunker, Phoenix lifted himself out of bed. A quick look in the mirror showed that he was just as pale as he ever was. “Well, mother, I hope you’re happy. I’m awake before the sun has risen.” He opened the curtains; the sun blinded him. “You always did prefer to put your career over what I wanted. Hope being president is worth it.”
There was a dossier on the desk. Phoenix picked it up and read it over. A gang was planning a heist of a spaceship housed near a U.S. satellite. Phoenix yawned as he looked over the details of the plot.
“Bryan, what are you waiting for?” Ginger Logan stuck her head in the door. “We aren’t coming in here to carry you.”
The Orders Are In
The other operatives in the mission formed a semi-circle. Each looked at Phoenix with contempt as he joined them. “So, I think we should head out in our pods but go in the opposite direction of the ship. The White Alien gang won’t be expecting that so that we can catch them off guard.”
“That’s the worst idea I’ve heard since you were put in this squad,” One of his peers sneered.
Ginger looked at him and shook her head. “I’ll go with you. The rest of the crew will go on the planned route.”
“Logan, you know I’m right about this. Why are you splitting us up?”
“The C.O. put me in charge of this mission, and while I think you’re wrong, it’s not a horrible idea for us to split up.”
Phoenix sulked as he entered the pod. Ginger climbed into the pilot’s seat. As they blasted off, his heart dropped to his stomach, and the breath left his body. “You could’ve been nicer to me back there.”
“And you could admit that you’re a spoiled rich boy,” Ginger snarled. “Some of us have worked hard to become spies.”
Shoot For The Stars
Before he could answer, the gang’s vehicle appeared. They had their guns aimed in the direction the others had gone. Phoenix punched in commands on the computer in front of him. “I’ve put the cloak on us. That should buy us some time when we start firing.”
The rival ship moved at a glacial pace. Gunners hung out the window; they had hoods on to disguise themselves. One of them noticed an asteroid hurtling towards them and fired.
Phoenix took the opportunity to let off a shot of his own. It was a direct hit. The gang’s ship rocked back and forth. A gunner was tossed from the ship, his pals tried to bring him back in, but gravitational pull dragged him away.
The other gunners turned their weapons towards the pod that had come racing from the other side of the satellite. Within seconds, cannons and machine laser guns were being shot at the pod.
Phoenix and Ginger watched in horror as their fellow operatives disappeared. She turned to him and groaned, “This is why you should have waited to shoot. Now we lost people.”
“We had to do something,” he punched in the same code, and another shot flew at the gang’s ship. It rocked their ship again.
“What are you doing?” Ginger asked. A laser cannonball crashed into their pod and threw them off course. “You are going to get us killed.”
Undeterred, Phoenix blasted off another shot. This one ripped a hole in the middle of the gang’s ship. It began to pull apart before exploding.
A Discovery Of Chance
“That was epic!” He said with awe in his voice. Suddenly the weight of what happened hit him. “What happens now? I mean, we stopped the heist, but we don’t know what was in the spaceship that they wanted.”
“That’s not our business.”
“It should be, in any case. We need to know what’s in there because other nefarious entities will be after it.”
Ginger entered her orders, and the pod moved. They circled the satellite and landed by the other ship. They climbed out of their pod and moved towards the ship. Ginger exhaled, “We are going to get killed for doing this.”
“My mom will clear us,” Phoenix shrugged. He opened the door to the ship. The interior was bathed in green light. “What the hell?”
They stepped into the ship. The walls were covered with computers, many of them humming. Phoenix spun to the center of the vessel. His eyes grew wide.
In the center of the ship was a tube. Within the tube was the body of President Craig Houston, who had gone missing the year before. Phoenix finally managed to ask, “What is he doing here? He was killed last year; it’s how,” Phoenix paused and took a deep breath, “it’s how I got here.”
“You got here because your mother strong-armed…” Ginger let her words trail off as she got the implication of what her subordinate was saying sank in. She continued, “Until today, no one had been able to find his body. But what would the White Aliens want with him? And did they know he was here?”
Goodbye Sweet Stranger
“The self-destruct sequence has been started,” A robotic voice warned from above. The cabin became pressurized with air. Phoenix and Ginger began to run. He felt the warmth of a fireball that consumed the spaceship.
When he got to the pod, he turned to find that Ginger wasn’t with him. He turned to see her falling into the fire.
He punched in the commands for the pod to take him back to the base. There were many questions to be answered, but his mission was complete at least.
When he landed, he called his mother to brief her on what had happened.