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They Shall Mount Up With Wings

By Dana Hale

Action / Scifi

Retribution II Revisited

Captain Jonathan Power was known as a vivacious Resistance leader who vowed to protect human life, to defeat the Dread Empire, and to restore humanity and the world to what it was before the Metal Wars. He was always one to think of himself as strong, courageous, capable. But hearing Jennifer's strained voice from miles away over the intercom as she whimpered out his name through a wave of pain, he felt completely powerless.

The Power Team had been caught off guard and lied to by an informant. And that lie led them straight into the trap set by Lord Dread. Their secret hidden hideout, their home base that was so meticulously built by Jonathan's father during the birth of the Resistance, was no longer secret or hidden. Dread now had the codes to the transit gate, and he had sent sixteen troopers led by the Biodread known as Blastarr to worm their way in for a surprise attack.

Jonathan knew an attack on the Power Base by Dread's forces had always been within the realm of possibility. But now it was a horrifying reality, and Jennifer was the only team member currently at the Base to defend it, and she was in trouble. He had told her to get out, to save herself. But she never could follow orders.

Jonathan used to think that the worst thing that could happen would be Dread getting inside the Power Base to gain knowledge of their secret technologies. It would bring an end to the Resistance, an end to everything that he had fought so hard for his entire life. But now, Jonathan was paralyzed with fear because he realized there was something much more important at stake- the life of Corporal "Pilot" Jennifer Chase. If he lost her, he knew it would be the end of him. She meant more to him than he had been willing to admit, and now the truth was hitting him square in the eyes. In this moment he was forced to feel what he had been pushing aside for so long; the depth of his love for Jennifer. Getting her out of the Base alive was the only thing that mattered to him.

Captain Power and the rest of his team were five minutes away in the Jumpship, racing toward the Base in a frantic rescue attempt. But Jennifer didn't have five minutes. She had already taken several hits from the armed troopers, although she eventually was able to take them all down one-by-one with her blaster gun. But she was defenseless against Blastarr's unrelenting deadly laser beams shooting out from his machine gun-like fingers. After being peppered with his lasers numerous times, this last assault was too big of a hit for her power suit to take. The jolt sent her flying backwards, crushing her hard into the concrete wall, taking not only her breath away but all the energy from her power suit as well. The pain was excruciating. Every cell in her body was on fire from the burn of the lasers.

Somehow she got away from Blastarr and crawled into the sub-control room, sealing herself in for a respite before Blastarr would no doubt find a way in. She heard Jonathan desperately calling for her over the intercom and she knew she needed to tell him her next move, what she was planning on doing. She was running out of time; she knew her wounds were fatal. So she pushed herself up from the floor to reach the button to open communications with the Jumpship. When she called out his name to answer him, his fear became uncontainable. She couldn't disguise her pain and he knew that she was badly injured.

"I have to blow the pow...the...power source...it's the only way," she grunted out over the intercom between painful haggard breaths.

Jonathan could feel her struggle to stay conscious. His tormented mind conjured up unwanted images of her hurt and bleeding, dying. It was pure torture for him to be so close yet so far away from her when she was hurt. He knew she was trying with all her might not to give in to the pain. He heard tenacity in her weakened voice, a fight to stay alive for just a few more minutes to become the savior for the Resistance.

But as a Captain, that was his job. The Captain is the one that is supposed to go down with the ship. He was not going to let her do it this way. He loved her too much. There was no way in hell he was going to allow her to commit suicide for the sake of the Resistance. The Base could be rebuilt, they could regroup somewhere else, start over. But Jennifer was irreplaceable, and he couldn't live without her.

"NO! There's another way...Jennifer, just hang on. We're five minutes out. We're coming to get you. Hang on...we'll get you out and then we'll blow the Base from the outside with the Jumpship's missiles."

When he received no insubordinate reply, not even a quick protest, he assumed she had lost the fight to stay conscious.

"Jennifer?" he retched out in a panic. He waited with heightened anxiety for her to respond, but he was met with cold silence. Jonathan swallowed hard. This was not happening. He had to get to her fast. He had to get to her NOW. It became a frenzied mantra in his head: I have to get to her…I have to get to her…I have to get to her…

Turning his attention to their substitute pilot he growled, "Hawk, can't you get this thing to fly any faster?"

"At this point I can fly faster than this pathetic excuse for an aircraft," Major "Hawk" Matthew Masterson replied. "Let me go get a head start. I'll find and distract Blastarr while you go in and get Pilot."

"Affirmative!" Captain agreed. "Set the ship on autopilot, maximum burn, and then go suit up. Scout, get busy on scrambling the codes to the transit gate. No one else comes through, got it?"

"Already on it, Captain," Scout replied.

As Hawk powered up and prepared to fly out of the Jumpship, Captain met up with him in the back of the ship. Placing a hand on Hawk's shoulder to stop him in place, he held the eyes of his longtime friend and confidant with a look that exposed his fear and desperation.

"Matt..."

"You don't have to tell me, Jon. I know how important she is to you. She's important to all of us."

"You can't possibly know how important she is to me…"

"You think the rest of us don't notice how you two feel about each other? The way you two were dancing in each other's arms the other night? You're kidding yourself, Jon, if you think that kiss you slipped her during our mission to Volcania was just for good luck."

"You know about that?"

"The guys told me. They saw you."

Jonathan closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. "I know, Matt, I know," he replied with a sigh, defeated. "I didn't know how to tell her, if it's right…if we should…now I'm just scared that I'll never get the chance to tell her…"

"Look, we're going to get her out alive. Blastarr's as good as dead. And when this battle is over, you can tell her how you really feel. I know she feels the same. I can see it in her eyes when she looks at you."

"We've got to get to her. She's running out of time. Go. We'll be right behind you." Captain slapped Hawk's shoulder and squeezed. Then he watched as Hawk exited the Jumpship. With his rocket boosters energized, Hawk propelled himself through the air at lightening speed toward the direction of the Base.

"Tank! E.T.A?" Captain shouted, heading back to his chair.

"Three minutes."

"Scout, you got those codes for the transit gate scrambled?"

"Yes sir! Piece of cake. No one's getting in."

"Ok," Captain replied, taking a deep breath and thinking about the next step. It was getting difficult for him to stay focused. "Tank, you're going in with me. Scout, you stay parked in the Jumpship. Keep a lookout, stay in contact; we may need to make a quick get-away."

"Understood, Captain," Scout replied.

Tank and Captain went to the back of the ship and gave the simultaneous command to bring their power suits to life:

"Power on!"

"I don't care about the Base. We do whatever we have to do to get Pilot out alive," Captain barked.

"Let's blow those metal monsters to pieces!" Tank exclaimed.


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