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From an archived communication log in Starfighter Command Records

   

   The communications officer wondered what was up as he watched the admiral pace the room for the hundredth time. For a week now a two star admiral or higher stood watch in the communication room with the duty officer. They would all tense up when a secure call came in but would relax when they heard the call sign.

   Not much was coming in even though they had had to sit through the communications from Black Cobra One as he went out in a flaming ball of glory. The dogfight was intense as they watched Black Cobra One destroy eight enemy fighters and chew up twenty-three other fighters. The ship’s cameras recorded and relayed every kill the Starfighter made. Black Cobra One sent missiles at the engines of both carriers and several destroyers. Telemetry showed that all the missiles had found their targets. The Starfighter’s ship was taking a pounding. Fighters were designed to take a pounding and keep flying but the readout on this ship’s systems showed that it was beyond the point of no return. Life support was gone, one engine was dead and the ship was down to one fuel cell. The Starfighter’s spacesuit was all that kept him alive. Five ship cameras were dead; the remaining camera showed the inside of a Kelgaron carrier flight deck moments before it, too, went dead. Telemetry showed that Black Cobra One activated the ship’s self-destruct system.

   Two battle groups were diverted to deal with the remaining ships Black Cobra One ran into. As the duty officer finished logging the incident a little red light lit up on the desk. A secure communication was being decoded. “This is Bluebird,” a voice on the speaker said a moment later.

   The duty officer began to input the call sign that would bring up the Starfighter’s name. He had almost finished the entry when he felt the admiral’s hand on his shoulder. The Admiral reached past the communication officer and pushed the backspace key until the screen was blank. The admiral pushed a few more buttons that would send the incoming communication to a secure file. “Go ahead Bluebird,” he said as he held down the transmit button.

   “I have arrived at my destination. Beginning data transmission now,” Bluebird replied.

   The admiral smiled as he watched the data flow across the screen. The communications officer’s eyes widened as he realized what he was seeing on the screen. “Is that what I think it is?” he asked.

   “Data stream still looks good Bluebird,” he said as he released the transmit button and turned his attention on the officer sitting in the chair. “Yes, it’s the location of the Kelgaron planetary system.”

   “But, how…?” the officer asked.

   “That is a secret,” the admiral replied. “Everything you have seen and heard here is classified. In fact, I have never been here, have I?”

   “No sir, I haven’t seen you today at all,” the officer replied.

   “This is Bluebird,” the speakers crackled. “I am entering orbit now. I’ll make as many passes around the planet as I can. The self-destruct is set to go off in the upper atmosphere. We’ll lose communication at that time, but I’ll keep transmitting as long as I can.”

   “Roger Bluebird, understand you are entering orbit now. Data stream looks good, Bluebird. Understand self-destruct is set to detonate in the upper atmosphere. Understand that we will lose contact at that time. The data stream is still real good. Good luck, Bluebird,” the admiral replied. Three hours later the data stream stopped.

   The admiral pushed a few more buttons that classified everything pertaining to Bluebird. Then he stared hard at the communications officer. “If I were you I would forget the last three and a half hours ever happened,” he said sternly. “I’d hate to have to send you to guard some forgotten frozen planet.”

   “I’m sorry sir; I’ve been asleep the whole time.”

   “Good man, consider yourself reprimanded for sleeping on duty.”

   “Yes sir, sorry sir, it won't happen again,” the officer replied with a smile.

 


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