never told me that you used to know Adena's parents."
"Well, I did.
But that was a long time ago and I didn't think it was all to important, or I
would have told you."
"Did you know
Adena when she was a little girl?"
don't you tell me something about that part of your past. I would like to know
about Adena's parents. It would be interesting to know a little about her as a
child as well."
guess it wouldn't hurt. You see long ago before I took you in...
RANDOLF TO THE BRIDGE PLEASE.
"Oh, what is
me. Why don't we go and see?"
As they entered
the ridge they were met by a young officer, Lieutenant Drake.
Randolf, Sir, when we left the moon I began to track three ships from the
other side of Mars. They appear to be two of our cargo ships and one of our
battle cruisers. However, I don't recall any of our ships being dispatched to
"There is no
need to worry, Lieutenant. I know what they are. They are our cargo ships the
Rex and the Romulus and our cruiser, the Valiant. I sent them out, but I
didn't expect them back this soon."
didn't you tell me about this sooner?"
Bronson, they were supposed to be part of a surprise."
What do you mean a surprise?"
surprise. Happy Birthday Bronson. I know that this is only the tenth, and I'm
five days early, but I don't think you'll mind once you know what the surprise
got my curiosity up. What is it?"
Adena told us this may be a three part gift. You know our little problem with
Enad on our base at Phoebe? Well, this could solve it. You are now the proud
owner of two new bases. These are gifts from your people and myself."
new bases? Where? How?"
"If you'll be
quiet I'll tell you. One is Spotbase, located in the center of the Red Spot on
Jupiter. The other is Atlantis base located on Mars in an area from which it
derives its name. With these two new bases, which are far more adbanced than
the one on Phoebe, you don't necessarily need Phoebe anymor. Therefore, you
may deal with Enad in any way you wish now."
Madison. Your gift is threefold. I am most grateful for it. I believe I can
deal now with Enad more easily."
On the base at
Phoebe, Enad was looking over some systems to see in what devious way he could
use them against Bronson and Iffley. Megan was napping aboard the Cantible.
Suddenly, an alarm went off.
ALERT. THIS BASE
HAS BEEN PROGRAMMER IN THE SHORT FUSE SELF DESTRUCT MODE. IT WILL SELF
DESTRUCT IN FORTY-FIVE SECONDS. REPEAT. THIS BASE WILL DESTRUCT IN FORTY-THREE
Enad did not have
enough time to get back to the Cantible. His only hope was to enter a nearby
escape pod and hope that Megan would have the sense to take off.
Megan had heard
the alarm too She waited as long as she could and started to take off.
However, she waither too long. Just as she was taking off the base exploded
and the Cantible was hurtled lifelessly into space. Had it not be for the
defense shield, the ship would have been completely destroyed.
For all practical
purposes though the ship was dead. Its only working system was its auxilliary
life support system. All other systems were completely wiped out - primaries
and backups. megan wasn't much better off. She was beaten and bruised, but
alive, barely. Her only hope was to be picked up by another ship.
Enad was also
floating in space among the debris which was once the base on Phoebe. The
shock of the blast had rendered him unconscious. The pos which he had escaped
in was equipped only with small retro-rockets and not capable of
interplanetary travel. Thus, for all practical purposes, he was stranded in
space as well.
Back on the
Madison, there was great celebrating. The Phoebe problem was solved and Ranier
still had two bases in space. Altogether it was a very successful and joyous
message was then sent to Iffley and Adena on T'Mir.
To: Suralio Iffley
and Adena, Enchantress of Furanose:
explosion you detected was that of my former base on Phoebe. It is no longer
necessary to me. I have received two new bases as a gift from Madison. My
sensors show that there are two ships, an escape pod and the hulk of a ship,
probably the Cantible, floating amongst the debris. There are life forms on
each. We cannot determine however which is Enad and which is Megan.
If you ever
believed the Phoebe base a threat, there is now no need. My new bases will not
be a threat either. I hope there is never a reason for you to feel any
mistrust of me again.
At that Bronson,
Madison, and the crews of the madison, Rex, Romulus and Valiant continued to
celebrate the success of the day.
| ||© 1984, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|