Star Ghost I: Annihilation

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Chapter 5 Star Ghost Begins

Chapter 5: Star Ghost Begins

An hour later, Timothy is sitting on the hill waiting for the others to arrive. Suddenly, three ships appear out of nowhere and land next to the hill. Johnny, Daniel, Fara, and Savannah climb out and approach Timothy.

"Dang Captain, those ships are quieter than I remember." Timothy shouts.

"Colonel Bobcat made us take the mufflers out a month after you left. Now our enemies never hear us coming." Johnny replies. "Now what do you have to show us? We don't exactly have time to waste."

"Follow me"

Timothy leads the others down the hill. Daniel runs to Timothy and walks beside him. Timothy has been like an uncle to Daniel. There is a special bond between them.

"You've gotten bigger since I last saw you little man."

"So have you Tim." Daniel replies referring to the little bit of weight he gained from being lazy.

"That wasn't very nice buddy."

"He's only four Tim, he doesn't know how to properly respond yet. Kind of like you."

Fara and Savannah can't help but snicker to themselves. Timothy glares at them and they act like nothing happened.

"So Johnny, you still haven't told me why you need my help? What is our task?" Timothy asks.

"Well long story short, our mission is to save Cerinia. It has been invaded by the Crocodiles. In order to save it we need to find an ancient artifact called the Exodus. We came looking for you because we need a mother ship to operate from and you were the best choice."

"Will there be lots of fighting and danger?"

"I can guarantee it"

"Good, I've been looking for my next near death experience."

Savannah leans in close to Fara. "You weren't kidding about this guy being mentally insane."

"You'll get used to it."

"I'm not really sure I want to. For some reason I've always been attracted to men like him. Why do you think I dated Jonathan?"

The group comes to the top of a hill and stop in awe at the sight before them. Before them stands a brand new mother ship. It looks like a combination of a mother ship and a battle ship (about the same size as the Great Fox). The ship is rectangular – shape and has three wings. One wing on each side and one on top. Each of the wings is equipped with a laser cannon. But what really amazes them are the weapons the ship possesses. The ship is equipped with dual T&B – H9 Laser cannons, six 105mm cannons (three on each side), and eight Gatling guns (one on each corner).

"Tim, where did you get that thing?' Johnny asks surprised.

"What are you talking about buddy? I built the thing. I call it the Spectra."

"In only a year?"

"Johnny, you know that I'm an expert mechanic. I studied it in the Academy. Besides, you'd be surprised what you can do when you're bored."

"Well I gotta say Tim, you've really out done yourself." Fara compliments.

"At least someone around here appreciates my genius."

"I think he's mistaken his genius for insanity." Johnny whispers to Fara.

Fara laughs quietly to herself. "So Tim, tell us a little about it. How fast does it go, how many ships and people it holds, how do the weapons work, and what special abilities does it have?"

"I see that you still like to ask the simple questions Fara. Besides light speed, it can travel Mach 4 no problem. It has to maneuverability of a starfighter and has advanced shielding. It can take a hit from a copperhead missile and still be undamaged. It can hold up to 10 ships and about 50 personnel. But it can suit about 10 comfortably. I personally built it so 10 people could be comfortable in it. The ship as three decks. The first deck is for storing vehicles. The second is the living quarters. The ship has five rooms, a living room, kitchen, and a bathroom. The third deck is the operations deck, which includes the cockpit, command room, and weapons room. It only needs one pilot and that'll be me. I can operate most of the weapons from the cockpit. I have control of the front twin laser cannons, the 105mm cannons, and the five wing cannons. They are primarily offense weapons. The eight Gatling guns are computer operated. They are more for defense than offense. They fire 10,000 rounds per minute. The computers lock onto enemy aircrafts and missiles and guns take them out. I don't have to operate them which means less things that I have to concentrate on at once. But that's not all." Timothy explains then turns to Johnny and Fara. "Have the Zaldon Researchers figured out how to install the Ghost Program in bigger ships?"

"Sadly no, it still has only been installed in starfighters." Fara answers.

"That sucks, I figured out how to install it in the Spectra a few months ago."

"Really" Johnny shouts. "I'll have to see it to believe it."

"You'll probably get the chance to." Timothy replies. "Now how about ya'll load your ships aboard and we'll get it her on her maiden voyage."

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah fly their ships into the Spectra's cargo bay. Timothy and Daniel are waiting for them. As soon as they are aboard, Timothy closes the force field opening. In the cargo bay, Johnny spies a tank. "Hey Tim, where did you get that thing?"

"That's the Destroyer, I built it a few months back."

Johnny walks up to the tank. It's a little small for the average tank. But Johnny is impressed with the weapons it possesses. It has a Gatling gun, a hyper – beam laser cannon, and a smart bomb launcher. It's better armed than most tanks he's seen. Timothy walks up to Johnny. "I designed it to be a QRF (Quick Response Force) vehicle. It can travel 200 miles per hour, and hover like a starfighter, though it cannot fly. It armor is also very tough. The Destroyer can take a hit from a Nova bomb and still keep rolling."

"I'm impressed Tim, but there's still something that bothers me. How did you do all this in a year? There is no way that you could do all this by yourself."

"I had a lot of help from the refugees. Most of them spend months here at a time. It gets boring around here real quick. So I just asked them for help and they said yes. Does that answer your question?"

"Yeah, you never cease to amaze me man."

"I aim to please."

Timothy then leads them to the second floor to their rooms. Timothy, Savannah, and Daniel each get their own room. Johnny and Fara take a room together.

"So you guys finally tied the knot." Timothy exclaims when Johnny and Fara take the same room.

"No, not yet" Fara replies and glares at Johnny.

Johnny doesn't respond. He is still waiting for the right moment to pop the question. Johnny walks inside alone and unpacks.

"He's in the dog house." Timothy jokes.

Fara jumps to Johnny's defense. "Johnny means good Tim. I know he wants to get married. He's probably just looking for the right moment."

"If he knows that you'll say yes why doesn't he just ask you?" Savannah asks.

"If I know Johnny, which I do, he probably wants the moment to symbolize something."

An hour later Johnny, Fara, Savannah, Daniel, and Timothy are standing on the deck. Timothy is at the controls making final preparations. No one is saying anything. It is becoming awkward.

"Ok, let's see how well this thing flies." Timothy finally says.

"Haven't you tested this thing out yet?" Johnny asks, a little surprised.

"No, this is her first flight."

"So let me get this right." Johnny replies sarcastically. "We are in a ship that you have not tested and could possibly explode and kill us all. Am I in the ball park?"

"No Johnny, this isn't my first ship to build. She will work, I guarantee it."

"She'd better, cause if we die I swear that my soul will kick your ass for the rest of eternity."

"Sounds fair to me."

Timothy fires up the Spectra and she lifts off the ground like a Ferrari fresh off the car lot.

"The Spectra flies like a dream doesn't she." Timothy shouts. "Looks like you owe me an apology Johnny."

"Alright, I'm sorry."

"I'll take it. Now where are we going?"

Johnny and Fara look at each other. Neither of them has any idea where to go. All they know is that the Exodus is somewhere in the Genesis System.

"Moldova" Savannah says, getting everyone's attention.

"How do you know that?" Johnny asks.

"A year ago, my unit responded to an unusual electrical surge on Moldova. We never found the source or figured out what it was. I know that it's not much but it's something."

"Well then Tim, set a course for Moldova."

"You got it Captain."

Timothy sets the coordinates, then puts the ship in warp speed. In minutes, the Spectra arrives close to Moldova. Moldova's brown atmosphere is visible from the viewing deck. The planet is a desert world. It is mostly inhabitable. But Moldova has some of the richest oil reserves in the System, making it an Oil Company's dream. Timothy radios the Moldova Space Port and requests permission to land, but gets only static in return. He tries every station but gets the same thing.

"That's unusual Tim." Johnny replies when Timothy tells him. "Usually they are quick to respond."

"What are you thinking Johnny?" Fara asks.

"I don't know. Let's try to get a little more information before we do anything."

Daniel is standing at the window looking down at Moldova. He suddenly sees a small ship appear. It appears to be damaged. Several other ships are chasing it. "Daddy, there's someone being chased out there."

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah run to the window and Daniel points the ships out to them. Savannah immediately recognizes the ships. "Those are Crocodile ships."

"Are you sure?" Johnny asks.

"Yes, I'm certain"

"That means that the Crocodiles are already here. We need to get down there as soon as possible. But first . . ." Johnny turns to Tim. "Tim, can you take out those Crocodiles?"

"Of course I can, what this."

Timothy activates the Ghost Program and the Spectra disappears. Timothy flies the Spectra after the Crocodiles. Meanwhile, the Crocodiles have managed to disable the fleeing ship. They are circling around it sharks around their prey. Timothy programs the Gatling guns to target the Crocodile ships. One second, the Crocodiles are circling their prey and feeling confident. The next, they are taking fire from nowhere. The Crocodile ships that are next destroyed immediately try to flee. But the Gatling guns lock onto them and fire until they are destroyed. Timothy looks at Johnny like he is expecting something.

"Alright Tim, that was impressive. I guess you really are a genius."

"Thanks for finally noticing."

Timothy flies the Spectra to the ship that was fleeing Moldova and activates the tractor beam, pulling it into the Spectra's docking bay. Johnny, Fara, and Savannah immediately head down to greet them. Johnny tells Daniel to stay on the top deck. The ship obviously belongs to one of the Zaldon Oil Companies. The occupants are all oil workers. But none of them speak English. They are speaking a rare language called Ahedi. Fortunately, Johnny speaks Ahedi fluently.

"It's worse than we thought." Johnny tells Fara and Savannah. "The Crocodiles invaded Moldova a few days ago. The planet is now completely under their control. They control everything that comes in and out. Fortunately, there is only a small force there now. The fleet left this morning. The Crocodiles have three bases set up. One Command Control Base and two Patrol Bases. They also have a small squadron guarding the planet."

"So, what are we going to do about it?" Fara asks.

"We're going to save Moldova. Are you guys in?"

"I'd follow you to hell and back." Fara replies.

"These people need our help so I guess I'm in." Savannah answers.

Timothy walks down the stairs at that moment. "As long as we get to blow something up I'm in."

"Glad to hear it. Now here's what we're gonna do."

Commander Sloth of the Crocodile Army looks out over the planet Moldova from his battleship. From here the planet looks peaceful. But Command Scales knows that is the exact opposite down on the surface. It took his people less than twenty – four hours to have Moldova completely under their control. Scales was at the front of the battle. Nothing warms his heart more than to see his enemies massacred before his eyes. But now he finds his battle group of six Battleships stationed just outside of Moldova's atmosphere waiting for either a retaliation from Zaldon, which is highly unlikely, or he's just sitting around waiting for his battle group to be called back down to the surface. One of the first things the Crocodiles did when they invaded Moldova was disable the planet's communication so reinforcements could not be called.

"Commander Sloth, are you alright?" Lieutenant Sanders asks.

"I'm just thinking Lieutenant. This is a gross misuse of valuable resources. General Scales obviously has some resentment for this battle group."

"What makes you think that sir?"

"Because this is obviously a waste of our time. No one is coming to save the planet. You assign these jobs to people you don't like. If he liked us he'd probably would have sent us with the main fleet."

Suddenly, the ship is rocked by two giant explosions. The explosions shake the ship like a canoe is a hurricane. Commander Sloth is thrown to the floor.

"Lieutenant, is the ship hit?"

"No sir"

Commander Sloth jumps up and runs to the window. What he sees shocks him. Two of his battleships are destroyed and are falling down the planet's surface. Commander Sloth looks around and doesn't see any enemy ships.

"Lieutenant, get the ship into attack position now. We are under . . ."

Two more battleships are shot down by an unseen enemy. Only two battleships are left.

"Order a full retreat. Radio command that we are under attack."

The other remaining battleship tries to retreat but it shot down. Shrapnel from the explosion hits Commander Sloth's ship and tears a hole in the hull. It takes less than a minute for the ship to break in half.

"Way to go Tim, you sure showed them." Johnny shouts over the radio.

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah were watching the action from a safe distance. Timothy did all the work. He flew the Spectra, while cloaked, between two of the battleships and took them out with the 105mm cannons. Then he turned the front laser cannons on the remaining battleships. The whole thing was over in less than a minute.

"Thanks for the compliment Johnny. And don't worry, they didn't get a call off." Timothy radios back. "Now you guys get going. You three have a lot to do."

"Don't worry about us. You just worry about keeping Daniel safe." Johnny replies back.

Daniel is on board the Spectra. It is the only safe place for him.

"Don't worry about him Johnny. I'll make sure nothing happens to him."

"Good, see ya'll in a few minutes buddy."

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah fly down to Moldova as a group. The Ghost Program in their ships are all activated. Johnny is in front, Fara is on his right, and Savannah is on his left. They fly in a group towards the command base till they get down to the surface. Johnny separates from Fara and Savannah and flies full speed towards the base solo. In a minute he can see the enemy base over the horizons. Johnny has the Phantom's computer perform a quick analysis check on the base. The base has three anti – air guns, an air field, and a Command Control Room. Johnny needs to take out all three. He arms his missiles and locks onto the AA guns first. He fires and the missiles hit and destroy the AA guns. Johnny flies full speed over the base and fires another missile at the Command Control Room and takes it out. Johnny flies past the base, performs a U – turn, and flies back at it. He fires a Nova Bomb into the center of the base blowing up a big part of it. The explosion is twice as big as a normal Nova bomb explosion. The explosion leaves a huge crater in the ground. Johnny felt the explosion in the Phantom. The blast waves set off his ship's alarms.

"Whoa, must've hit an ammo dump."

Johnny looks down in the base and sees Crocodiles running all over the place. It brings a smile to his face to see the Crocodiles running around like ants.

"Fara, Savannah, ya'll can jump in now. All that's left is the air field."

Fara and Savannah appear on Johnny's right side. Together, the three of them form the same triangle shape as before and fly towards the air field. They can see the Crocodiles trying to get in their ships.

"That's funny, those idiots think they can take us out." Fara laughs.

"Let's show them how long we are." Johnny shouts.

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah each fire a Nova bomb at the air field. The bombs hit the concentrate and explode, destroying several enemy starfighters. Johnny, Fara, and Savannah then take out the remaining starfighters until none are left. In less than five minutes, the Crocodile base is destroyed.

"That is too easy." Savannah exclaims.

"Our job isn't done yet." Johnny replies. "Fara, Savannah, you ladies take the Moldova Capital base. I'll take the outskirts base."

"You got it boss." Savannah replies.

"Savannah, I'm not your boss, I'm your cousin in – law and friend."

"But you're the only one of us who was an officer. That makes you the only one qualified to lead us."

"We'll talk about this later. We have a job to do right now."

"Alright Captain"

Savannah takes off after her target. Fara stays back a little bit.

"Good luck honey."

"You too babe."

Fara takes off after Savanah. Johnny takes off towards his target. His target is closer so he reaches it first. To reach the base, Johnny has to fly through a mountain range. Unfortunately, Johnny finds an entire squadron (25 enemy ships) waiting for him. And to make things worse, the Ghost Program has been completely drained. The Ghost Program requires a lot of energy to be used. It can only be used for five minutes at a time, then has to recharge.

"Looks like I got my work cut out for me."

Fortunately, the Crocodiles haven't spotted him yet. Johnny flies full speed at the Squadron, locks onto one of the ships in the middle, and fires a Nova Bomb. The blast takes out ten enemy ships. The rest of the ships scatter and try to focus on Johnny. Johnny flies toward a small group and targets them. He fires several blasts and takes out three of them. Johnny spots two more ships coming from his right. The fire and Johnny dodges and takes them out. Johnny sees two ships coming behind him. They fire and try to take him out. Johnny somersaults over the ship and ends up behind them. He easily takes them out. At that moment, the enemy ships concentrate their fire on Johnny. They follow close behind Johnny. But he's not worried. He wants them to follow him.

"Come on retards, follow the pretty birdy."

Johnny flies as close to the mountains as he can. The Phantom is very quick and maneuverable, while the Crocodile ships are slow and cumbersome, giving Johnny an advantage. Johnny suddenly makes a quick turn close to the mountain. Six of the ships make it through. Two crash into the mountains. Johnny then flies under a small pass. Only two of the Crocodile ships make it through. But those two find that Johnny is nowhere to be found.

"Where did he go?"

The Crocodile's answer is a laser blast and his ship exploding. The remaining Crocodile receives the same answer. Johnny was hiding in the sun's glare.

"That was too easy."

Johnny flies to the outpost and finds that it is a little more than a small air field and a command post. Johnny fires a missile at the base and takes it out.

"Base destroyed, I'm heading back to the Command Base. The refugees said that there are prisoners there. I'm going to set them free." Johnny radios the others.

Fara and Savannah fly towards the base strategically. Savannah, whose piloting the faster ship, flies ahead of Fara. She takes out all of the important targets. Fara follows behind out and takes out everything else. It's a good strategy because the base is heavily defended. The base is located in the center of the city and is surrounded by AA guns. Three Squadrons are also guarding the base.

"That's a lot of bad guys Fara. Are you sure we can do this?"

"Oh yeah, it should be fun."

Savannah flies full speed towards the base. Her presence attracts the Crocodiles attention. All three squadrons and the AA guns concentrate their attention on Savannah. But the Wolverine is so fast that they can't land a blow on her. Savannah takes out any plan that gets in her way. Fara follows from a distance. With all of the attention on Savannah, Fara can take out the stragglers and the AA guns without drawing attention. When Savannah flew into the city, all of the AA guns opened fire on her, revealing themselves to Fara, who was then able to take them out. Fara then rescues Savanah. Savannah flies to the edge to the city, then flies straight up. The Crocodiles follow her, unknowingly making themselves a target to Fara. There are three groups following Savannah. Fara, who recently updated her ship with a multi – lock system, locks onto the middle ship of each group and fires a Nova bomb at each. The bombs take out an over half of the Crocodile fighters. The remaining fighters scatter and focus on Fara.

"Alright Savannah, your free. Their all pissed off at me. The base is all yours."

Savannah flies right up to the base and fires a Nova bomb dead center. The bomb destroys the base. The remaining Crocodiles fighters flee into space. Waiting for them is Timothy, who takes them out. Fara, Savannah, and Timothy then heads to Command Base to back up Johnny.

Johnny lands just outside out of the base. He jumps out and sees eight Crocodiles running out of the base. Two of them see Johnny and try to shoot him. Johnny ducks, pulls out his HPC, and takes out all eight Crocodiles in one shot.

"Be careful guys, we got stragglers." Johnny radios the others.

Johnny takes out the Automatic Shotgun and carefully makes his way into the base. Smoke is everywhere. Johnny can barely see anything. But through the smoke, Johnny sees the Crocodile General scrambling around. Johnny shoulders the Automatic Shotgun and pulls out his sword. General Scales sees Johnny coming through the smoke.

"You five, take him out."

Five Crocodiles charge at Johnny. Johnny easily deflects first Crocodiles attack, then takes two of them out with a single slash. He slashes a Crocodile to his right the stabs another. The last Crocodiles tries to run, but Johnny grabs him and runs him through.

"Holy crap, you Black Wolves are tough." General Scales shouts.

Johnny walks arrogantly up to General Scales and stares him down.

"General, I'm gonna give you a choice. Either you can surrender peacefully or I can kill every one of you."

General Scales' response is him pulling out his pistol and trying to shoot Johnny. But thanks to the Wolf Sense, Johnny knew what General Scales would do that. Johnny pulls his pistol and shoots General Scales' pistol out of his hand. General Scales jumps back. He looks and sees several Crocodiles standing on a roof, ready to take Johnny out.

"KILL HIM NOW!"

Johnny pulls out the HPC and blows up the building, killing the Crocodiles.

"This is between you and me scumbag." Johnny says and points his sword at General Scales.

"No, it's between you and my personal bodyguard."

Ten Crocodiles suddenly appear out of nowhere and attack Johnny. Their presence catches Johnny off guard, but Johnny recovers and defends himself. Johnny switches to a two – handed grip on his sword, activating its special ability. Johnny ducks under a slash and stabs the Crocodile. He then slashes two Crocodiles on his right. Johnny sees a Crocodile on his left and cuts him in half vertically. A Crocodile behind him try to stab him. Johnny dodges the attack, grabs the Crocodile's neck, and then breaks it. He blocks another attack then runs his through. Johnny kicks another Crocodile in the chest knocking him back and then delivers an elbow strike to another Crocodile's face, crushing his skull. Another Crocodile runs up behind Johnny. Johnny spins and cuts the Crocodile in half. The Crocodile he kicked down is getting up. Johnny stabs him before he can get up. The three remaining Crocodiles back off and form a circle around him. Johnny makes the finally move. He spins around quickly, cutting off all their heads.

General Scales tries to run but Johnny chases after him. Scales finds a rocket launcher. He grabs it and fires at Johnny. Johnny blocks the rocket with his sword and absorbs the blast. He then channels the energy and directs it back at General Scales. The blast hits General Scales and blows him to pieces.

At that moment, Johnny looks around and sees an entire platoon of Crocodile soldiers coming at him. Johnny ducks behind a wall, just barely dodging their fire. Johnny pulls out his HPC and turns the corner to fire only to see two Crocodiles collapse.

"We got your back Johnny." Fara calls over the radio.

Johnny walks out from the corner and faces the Crocodiles.

"My offer still stands. Surrender or die"

The Crocodiles look at each other and laugh. But their happiness is cut short. The Spectra appears out of nowhere, with all of its guns aimed at the Crocodiles. The Spectra's sudden appearance scares the crap out of the Crocodiles, literally. The Crocodiles soldiers drop their weapons and surrender.

Johnny walks up to the Crocodiles. "Where do you keep your prisoners?"

"Over there" A Crocodile points to a large building on the other side of the base.

"They'd better be there or you'll pay with your lives."

The Crocodiles, afraid for their lives, hand Johnny the keys. Johnny and Fara walk over to the building and find the prisoners in there. They set the prisoners free. Many of the prisoners thank Johnny and Fara by hugging them. But one of the hostages is Mr. Ferguson, the CEO of Moldova's oil company.

"Thank you brave soldiers for saving my life. If there's any way that I can repay you for your services just say it."

"There is one way you can repay us." Johnny replies.

"Anything, what is it?"

"We need to know if your people have found a special artifact."

"What kind of artifact?'

"It's called the Exodus. It's a very powerful energy source. We got reliable Intel that there was a strong energy reading on this planet a year ago."

"Oh I know what you're talking about. I hate to say this but the energy reading was nothing more than an energy combustion. I'm sorry" Mr. Ferguson explains.

"It's ok, thank you very much for your time."

Johnny and Fara start to walk away but Mr. Ferguson stops them. He pulls out a check and writes a number on it then hands it to Johnny.

"You're giving us a million bucks?"

"Yes, it's my way of saying thank you."

"Well, you're welcome"

Ten minutes later Johnny, Fara, Savannah, Timothy, and Daniel are standing on the Spectra's command deck. Daniel is

"HE GAVE YOU A MILLION DOLLARS?" Timothy shouts.

"Mr. Ferguson gave "us" a million dollars. But I don't need it." Johnny replies then gives the check to Timothy and Savannah. "Ya'll can split it."

Timothy and Savannah look at Johnny like he's crazy.

"I got Fara here." Johnny wraps his arm around Fara and kisses her nose. "Her father's own Space Dynamic, Corneria's number one space manufacturing company. So I got all the money I need."

"That is if we ever get married." Fara adds.

Johnny replies by kissing Fara on the lips. While Johnny is a passionate kisser his response really doesn't help the situation.

"So Captain, where are we next?" Timothy asks.

"I guess we'll head to the closest planet and see what we find. We'll use the energy scanner once we get close enough. That's the only thing that I can think of right now." Johnny replies.

Timothy just shakes his head. "I don't like the idea because it's boring. But seeing that it's our only option at this point I'll do it."

"So which planet is closest?" Savannah asks.

"Romani" Johnny answers.

"Romani, isn't that the really humid and overgrown jungle world?"

"Yes"


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