I watched the giant screen in front of us as Earth continued to grow in size. It took me a while to see a little speck that started to grow into a ship. It seemed to be trailing smoke, but was heading at a fairly steady pace towards a small satellite.
“Fire at her bow!”
Rune looked at the control and then touched a button. On the giant screen, a beam shot out from our ship, striking the little ship. A large explosion rocked it and all the remaining lights went off on the ship.
Allan looked back angrily. “I said fire at her bow, not up to her nose.”
Rune shrugged. “You say that like I know how to aim. Or what a bow is for that matter.”
Allan readjusted his glasses. “Ridiculous. Fine; it did the job. They look disabled and it looks like their life support hasn’t been breached. Everyone, grab a gun. We’ll teleport over there and politely ask them for the coordinates.”
“Politely?” I asked wryly.”
Allan cocked his gun. “Politely.”
“Why do laser guns need to be cocked? Isn’t that just a waste of movement?”
“You don’t get it, Jane.” Rune cocked his gun. “It’s badass.”
“Badass?” I looked at the three boys, each holding a gun in his hand, and I shook my head. I didn’t get it.
Allan reached over to tap a few keys on his wristband. Then he stopped, reaching down and pulling up a strange looking sensor module from under one of the consoles. He nodded to himself before proceeding to type the code.
A strange pulling feeling came from my gut. Suddenly, a bright light shone in my vision and I felt like I was being stretched once again. I hit the ground moving, pulling up the small ray gun Allan had given me, looking for any threats from the cult. The ship was heavily damaged. Wires, sparks, and alarms shot off from every direction.
The others twisted their guns around, doing the same thing. There didn’t appear to be anyone standing. Allan relaxed, moving throughout the much smaller ship’s small single room. There were two bodies of cloaked men lying on the ground. Allan checked them before moving to the only computer console that wasn’t destroyed.
“Andrew …” a voice came from a third cloaked man lying under a collapsed beam.
Andrew froze in place, turning towards the man.
“I … must tell you something.” The injured man said.
“Hey! I know this guy!” I declared, walking up next to Andrew. “This is that angel I saw earlier.”
“You… so it was you… Jane. I saw you once, a long time ago, before the signing of the peace treaty.”
“Yeah, and who are you?” Andrew demanded. “An angel from Earth, in that cult? I don’t believe it!”
“Andrew … you don’t recognize me? I am your uncle.”
Andrew’s eyes widened. “No … that’s not true, that’s impossible.”
“Take off my hood, you’ll know it to be true.”
Andrew hesitantly approached the cultist, kneeling next to him and lifting the hood. Andrew’s facial expression confirmed what I had feared. The man had several distinct features that resembled Andrew. Now I understood why he had looked so familiar.
“Gabriel, why? You’re an angel! Why would you be in a Star Cult?”
“STAR Wars is acceptable for all people and ages, but that is not what is important. Your father has been lying to you. He’s been lying to all of us.”
“What are you talking about, old man?”
“The archangels aren’t what they appear. The cult … is trying to … is trying …” Andrew’s uncle grimaced in pain, a dribble of blood coming from his mouth.
“Don’t die on me!” Andrew yelled. “What are you talking about? The cult is the bad guy.”
Andrew’s uncle shook his head, coughing up more blood in the process. Before his uncle could say more, the screen in the front of the ship lit up. On the screen was Prince Skyp.
“I have to thank the group of you. You brought me straight to my bridge. Flew it to where I wanted to go. Stopped the Star cult, and then peacefully left me there to retake command.”
Allan glanced over at me. “You were supposed to tie him up.”
“How was I supposed to know that? He was unconscious! Besides, you’re the one who decided to beam us all over here.”
Rune nodded. “Yeah, that wasn’t very bright for a hyper-intelligent alien.”
Allan adjusted his glasses in a fluster. “Ridiculous.”
Chuckling came from the screen. “I pretended to be sicker than I was as a clever ruse to convince you to let your guard down. Now, if you’d all like to do me one more favor, would you kindly die?!”
The screen went out. Allan began typing on the computer monitor frantically.
“This sensor module I grabbed can relay the command codes remotely, we are now close enough to do so. I am sending them now. I’ll need a minute to get the satellite’s running; stall him!” Allan barked out.
“Stall him how?” Rune demanded.
“Just go over to that terminal over there. There should be a large green button. It activates the defense parameters on the ship. Ryan, get to the pilot’s seat. The main thrusters are down but you should be able to use the auxiliary thrusters.”
The two of them snapped into motion. Rune slammed his hand down on the big green button while Ryan tried to steer the ship.
“Um … there are a bunch of red dots traveling towards our central green dot.” Rune pointed to the screen.
Allan busily typed at the computer.
“Allan, the dots are getting closer to the big dot!”
“Rune, did you press the green button?”
“Damnit, I’m pressing the green button. I’m pressing the green button as hard as I can! The green button does nothing. The green button is bullshit!”
Allan’s eyes widened. “Brace for impact!”
The ship suddenly exploded in sparks and lens flares all around me. I collapsed to the ground as the ship shook like an earthquake.
“These inertial dampeners are bullshit” I shout, trying to keep my balance.
“Inertial dampeners don’t work that way!”
“That’s the only way they should work!”
“Never mind that, I got it!” Allan shouted over the sound of thundering explosions.
The explosions slowed and then stopped, the ship still shuddering, but in a controlled manner that allowed me to stand. I glanced out of the window. It looked like the Prince’s ship was being fired upon by numerous smaller ships.
Allan slapped his hands. “The defense grid is up! Earth is safe!”
“Earth might be safe,” Ryan interrupted, “but this ship is falling apart. All engines are down. We are collapsing into earth’s orbit. I expect we will strike the earth’s atmosphere in five minutes and explode.”
“The good news is that it looks like the Prince is retreating,” Rune said, pointing at the screen. “I think he’s going to get away though.”
“That’s fine!” Allan responded. “With the defense grid up they can’t hope to launch a proper invasion. However, our ship is heavily damaged. I’m going to need to make repairs soon.”
Just as he said this, a large beeping noise started resonating from a nearby workstation.
“What is it now?” I demanded anxiously.
Allan looked down at the monitor. “Another ship is coming near. Ah, they’re hailing us.”
“Th-they’re the STAR Wars ship … This was the rendezvous point.” Gabriel spoke up.
“A STAR Wars vessel? They’d never compete with Star TREK.” Allan responded angrily. “Everyone knows Star TREK is superior in this galaxy.”
“I’m starting to get confused again,” I responded with a frown.
“The cult of STAR Wars and the Federation of Star TREK have been fighting for decades,” Allan explained. “They believe in building giant death rays and creating increasingly more impracticable weapons. The federation believes in careful observation, proper discussion, and peace!”
“Violence has settled more issues in history than has any other factor!” Gabriel snapped.
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent!” Allan shot back.
“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.”
“There is no spoon!” I shout.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought we were just saying our favorite science fiction quotes!”
“STAR Wars, Star TREK… can’t two differing ideologies that bring people such comfort and joy just coexist without crapping all over each other?”
“I don’t mean to interrupt everyone’s insightful conversations here,” Rune said, “but I think the ship has figured out we’re not one of them. I think they’re charging up weapons.”
“Ridiculous. We already have rerouted complete control of the satellite network through Ryan. Ryan, command the satellites to attack their ship.”
“Belay that order!” Gabriel sprang up and grabbed Ryan before anyone can react, putting a gun up to his head.
“Damn it, guys, can we stop trusting that hurt people can’t fight back?!” I shouted.
“Uncle, no!” Andrew tried to take a step forward, but Gabriel took a step back.
Allan, Rune, Andrew and I were on one side, with Gabriel holding Ryan on the other.
“We need that defense grid,” Gabriel stated and then nodded to the boy in his arms. “Routed through this guy, you say?”
“That is correct. I am currently able to command 1,232 unique satellites currently scattered throughout Earth’s higher orbit.”
“Ryan! Now is not the time for honesty!” I nearly threw something at him.
“Lower the shields!” Gabriel insisted.
“Then your ship could tear us apart!” Allan shot back. “Just like the STAR Wars cult to stab others in the back.”
“We could tear through your shields now, boy,” Gabriel said angrily. “No, rather, they’re preparing to attack now. Lower your shields, beam me over, and I’ll let your ship go.”
“How can we trust you?” I demanded.
“I…” Gabriel’s eyes flickered to Andrew and there was a glimpse of sadness before his resolve seemed to firm. “I wouldn’t want my nephew hurt. You may think a lot of things of me, but I wouldn’t hurt my own kin.”
“Then, why are you doing this?” Andrew demanded.
“They have to be stopped,” Gabriel said. “The war’s coming. STAR Wars is under new management. We don’t focus on the past anymore. Rather, we’re looking towards the future. You can stick your head in the sand and pretend that everything is just dandy like these Star TREKers or accept that STAR Wars is more popular than ever.”
“So, since the war’s coming, you’re going to initiate it?” I snapped.
“No, lass, I just want to make sure we’re on the right side when it does. He has to be stopped. The war between angels and demons must occur, and if I have to turn Earth into a wasteland before he releases his armies, I will.”
“Who?” Andrew asked. “Who are you so afraid of?”
“Enough of this!” Gabriel snapped. “Lower the shields.”
“Their weapons are powering up!” Rune said anxiously.
“Alright,” Allan hit the communicator. “We’re lowering shields. Beaming your man to you.”
“And the robot!” He added.
“And… the robot.” Allan sighed.
“Allan, don’t!” Andrew cried.
However, a second later, we could hear the sound of the systems powering down. Immediately, a glow started to materialize around Ryan and Gabriel.
“Ryan! Remember my orders. You do what you want! My order takes priority. You got it?!” I shouted worriedly.
A slight smile crested Ryan’s lips just as his form started to disappear. The last two words he spoke hung in the air.