“I don’t know how I’m going to write this up in the report I send back to the STAR wars Cult.” Gabriel sighed, scratching the back of his neck. “I’ll probably say something about Jane thwarting us. That’ll probably hold up to scrutiny.”
“What do you mean by hold up to scrutiny?!” I frowned.
“I’m just relieved things ended so peacefully,” Andrew said, turning to Gabriel. “Could you… um… talk to me about what’s going on? I haven’t spoken to father since he abandoned me on Earth a few years ago. I was just getting to the age where I was starting to learn by his leadership and suddenly he sent me away.”
Gabriel grimaced. “I’m not sure… I’ll tell you what I can, but do me a favor and keep away from heaven for a while?”
Gabriel shook his shoulders. “I can’t say specifically. Just a feeling.”
“Where did Allan go?” Ryan asked me as I realized I’d been eavesdropping on the two Angels.
“Ah! That’s right, the planet cracker!”
Gabriel immediately turned to me. “What did you say, girl? A planet cracker?”
His intensity caused me to take a step back. “That’s right, um… Skyf had a planet cracker installed on the moon. My friends were heading there to stop it. I imagine it’s all settled by now; they’re very skil-“
“Sir! We’re receiving a distress call located near the moon.” My voice dropped off and my heart skipped a beat.
“Play it!” Gabriel insisted.
“Jane! This is Alla… we… trouble… can’t stop… firing… run.” The words were garbled in static, but the message was clear.
“Scans?” Gabriel looked at another guy on a nearby terminal.
“There is a large power surge building on the moon. At the current rate, the discharge will occur in five minutes.”
“Five minutes?! No!” I let out a cry, moving up. “He’s going to blow up Earth. Damn it, we have to stop him!”
Gabriel put a hand out and dropped it on my shoulder. Instantly, I seemed to calm down. At heart, Gabriel had a cool and calm demeanor not unlike Andrew. His intense blue eyes and attractive masculine face that hinted at the man Andrew would one day be instantly calmed me down.
“We can stop this.” He said and, in that moment, I believed him.
“Just tell me what to do.”
“Good, good. I’ll need all of you for this. I have several fighter-class bombers on this ship. I’ll need you to take them to the moon. Bomb Skyf off the face of the moon. Can you guys do that for me?”
“But, Uncle, there isn’t enough time.”
Gabriel smiled and lifted his hands. “Don’t worry, I’ll buy you the time. Just head to the moon. Once you get there, I’ll send you the target we scanned out. I can delay the power surge. I feel guilty, but I’ll be leaving the heavy lifting up to you.”
We ran down the hallways at a lightning pace and soon I found myself facing two fighter jet-looking spaceships.
“Uh, I can’t drive.” I threw up my hands.
“I believe I have downloaded sufficient information to drive this vehicle,” Ryan spoke up. “You’ll just need to be my copilot.”
“I should be able to figure something out on the other ship.” Andrew nodded.
“Well, that’s back to the same problem as before; there are four seats and five people.”
“It’s fine, I’ll go with Jane and she can just sit on my lap again,” Rune stated.
“Actually, this time, you and Daniel are coming with me,” Andrew said. “And you can sit in Daniel’s lap.”
“What? Hey! That’s… I’m not sitting on that sweaty wolf’s lap. Don’t grab me… hey! Damn it! Stop!”
Andrew and Daniel had each grabbed one of Rune’s arms and were now dragging him into the second ship. As he watched this, Gabriel chuckled before looking up at me as I climbed into the cockpit and took the copilot seat behind Ryan.
“Andrew seems to be making some good friends on Earth. Please, take care of him, won’t you?”
“Huh? Yeah, I guess… what do you-“
Gabriel had a sad look in his eyes for a brief second before he looked away. “Just keep heading for that moon. It’ll all work out.”
The cockpit door slammed shut, cutting me off from the outside world. “What was that about?”
“He lied,” Ryan stated simply as he glanced back. “I detected the vibrations in his voice. He lied when he said they could stop it.”
“Wait… he’s going to let Earth be blown up! Ryan, stop this, we need to-“
However, the ship launched a moment later and after a two-second barrel down a hallway, we dropped out into the starry sky of space. We were still above Earth and, looking down, I could see it was night now; the lights of a million buildings dotting the landscape.
“Andrew.” Gabriel’s voice came on over the speaker. “I’d spent a large portion of my life only thinking of myself or the angels as a whole. I lost sight of the real picture. I’m sorry.”
“Uncle? It’s fine. We can talk about this later,” he added.
Andrew was on a ship just like mine, although I couldn’t see him easily outside the window.
“I should have… I should have thought more about my family. Maybe, if I had been closer to your father, none of this would have ever happened.”
“U-uncle, you’re confusing me.”
“You’re doing good things, Andrew. I want you to know, I’m proud of you. Your father, the man that I knew, he’d be proud of you as well. Just keep on that course. That Jane girl is something special. Keep her safe. You’ll need each other in the future. I feel it.
“What are you… no! Uncle, No!” Andrew seemed to have finally realized what was happening.
“The charge cycle is complete, sir…” A muffled voice occurred in the background.
“All power to the forward shields, intercepting course.”
“No, Uncle, don’t! You don’t have to do this!” I could hear the desperation in Andrew’s voice, and I couldn’t help but cry along with him.
A large beam exploded from the surface of the moon and a moment later it struck a glowing surface around the STAR Wars ship. The shields seemed to resist for a few moments, then explosions started to rock the ship. Still, it held the beam continuing to pound into it. For a second, it looked like the ship would survive as the beam started to grow fainter, but just at the end the shields gave way and the beam struck the ship. A massive fireball exploded, filling the night sky with a silent reddish glow.
“Andrew…” I said, wiping the tears from my eyes, “I’m so sorry.”
Even though he couldn’t hear me, I said the words anyway. Uncle Gabriel had just given his life to save the planet. Earth was safe now.
“Jane! Jane! Please, Jane, tell me that wasn’t you!” The voice suddenly broke over the intercom, demanding more than asking.
“Ryan put me on.” After I heard a click, I continued to speak. “Hey, Victor. I’m safe. We’re on two bombers. All of us; even Ryan.”
“Oh, thank God, when I saw that explosion, I was about ready to tear their throats out; every one of them.”
“What’s your situation?” I asked worriedly.
“We’re… okay. The damn energy surge we tracked was a trick. The relay was set up in a different place. We immediately were attacked by drones and now we’re pinned down in a bunker. Stephan was torn to pieces and my powers don’t work on anything without a heartbeat.”
“Mine either!” Alex’s voice came from a slight distance away. “How do you seduce a drone?”
“Well, from what I understand, our ships are loaded. Should we bomb them and get you guys out of there?”
There was some rustling and Allan’s voice came on. “Jane, they’ve fired the weapon and missed their target, but they can just recharge it and try again.”
“You mean it’s not a onetime-use weapon?!” I shouted.
“No. In fact, once they start recharging it, you’ll only have about 30 minutes before they can shoot again.”
“Thirty minutes! What are we going to do?”
“Fortunately, there is a weakness. Kind of.”
“There is a trench. At the end of the trench is a power core that runs the weapon. Destroy it and the planet cracker will literally fall apart under its own weight.”
“Why does this sound more difficult than you’re letting on?”
“Naturally, the power core is protected and the trench is lined with auto-cannons.”
“Naturally…” The blood started to drain from my face once again.
“However, I’m constructing a massive EMP. That stand for an el-”
“An electromagnetic pulse, yes, everyone knows that already!” I snapped.
“I didn’t know that…” Alex’s voice comes from the back of the speakers.
“Well, everyone else clearly knows what an EMP is.” I responded. “Go on.”
“Right, well, we’ll use the EMP and-“
“Well, what does it do?” Alex’s voice interrupts him.
“Alex! We do not have time for this!”
“I was just asking because I thought others might want to know. I’m sorry for wanting everyone to be on the same wavelength.”
“An EMP takes out electronics. Okay? Now… continue Allan.”
“Is that the only thing it does?”
“Oh, my God, Alex, will you just let him continue!” Rune’s voice popped over the radio.
“Well, if he’s going to set off this EMP I want to know if it’s going to have side effects.”
“It’s an EMP!”
“I don’t know what that is!”
“Allan, ignore, her. Please continue.”
“Actually… I kind of want to know if this is going to have side effects too.” Daniel’s voice cracks in.
“Seriously?” I shouted just as I heard moaning from various others over the radio.
“Enough. All you guys need to know is that if I calculated things properly, and I always do, it’ll knock out their defensive network. When I launch it, it’ll give you a five-minute window to destroy that power core.”
“Alright, we’ll do it!” I stated, grasping at anything that would work, and then I noticed Andrew’s silence. “Uh, Andrew…”
The static broke into his voice. “Yeah… we heard.”
“Are you… going to…”
“I’ll be fine, Jane. We have to handle this right now.”
“Okay… but just remember, I’m here for you.”
“… Thank you… I’ll remember that.”
“We’re here for you too!” another voice broke through; Alex’s voice.
“Shut up, Alex!” I yelled at the same time as Rune’s voice came through saying the same thing.
“There is one more problem,” Ryan spoke up, turning back to me. “This EMP is likely to damage me as well. Therefore, I’ll need to shut myself down before it goes.”
“So, you’re saying that I’ll…” I gulped.
Ryan nodded. “Yes, you’ll need to pilot this ship through the trench.”
“Just wonderful.” I sighed. “I guess you’ll have to teach me on the way to the moon.”
“Of course. The weapon has already started charging, though. We only have about twenty minutes. I’ll provide you with a crash course on all the important parts.”
“If I can’t do this, the Earth is gone.” I grimaced. “Teach me.”