Chapter 1: Homecoming
“You’re coming home soon, Saber?” Sincia asked hopefully.
He nods, “Just as soon as the debriefing is over, Love.” He replies.
She smiles and takes his hands. “Good, then perhaps we can begin planning a future…our future?”
He smiles and kisses her lightly on the lips and nods. “Yes. I hope to be able to officially announce our betrothal when I return.”
“I look forward to spending time with you again.” She smiles up at him.
He nods, “As do I, with you.” He kisses her again and then hugs his Mother, after which the trio head up the ramp to return to the Highlands, his home. He watches them until the ship departs, his Mother and Sincia wave as the ship lifts off, he waves back before turning back towards the building that houses the Headquarters of Cavalry Command. He walks along slowly to his quarters, then after changing clothes, he heads towards Commander Eagle’s office, where he and the other Star Sheriffs are supposed to meet for the debriefing before taking a much deserved vacation. Suddenly, the alarms begin blaring and he rushes towards the command center. Upon entering, he sees soldiers frantically rushing between screens and computers. He spots Commander Eagle amongst the chaos. “What’s happening, Sir?”
Commander Eagle turns towards him, his face pale and stammers “Go…go to my office, immediately. Do not leave until I have spoken with you and the others! That’s a direct order!”
He nods “Sir!” He turns and rushes to Eagle’s office, where the others were leaving to go to the command center. He holds out a hand and shakes his head. “The Commander has ordered us to stay put. We cannot leave until he comes for us.”
“What’s going on, Saber?” April asks, her eyes wide with concern.
“It can’t be the outriders. We defeated them.” Colt chimed in.
Saber shrugs. “I don’t know, but whatever it is, it isn’t good.” He looks towards April, “Your father looked pale, as if he was in shock.” April looks visibly shaken at the statement.
“I have a very bad feeling about this.” Fireball says, as he comes around the corner, the last out the office door.
“So do I, Fireball. If we are needed to fight something, why aren’t they asking us to meet them in the command center?” Saber muses.
“Well, if something IS up, let’s go find out what.” Colt says and makes to pass Saber.
Saber blocks his way and shakes his head. “The Commander was VERY direct, Colt. We wait here.” He nods in the direction of the office, pushing him slightly back towards the door he recently came from.
Colt grumbles, but turns and goes into the office lobby and plops down on a couch, Saber sits at the opposite end from Colt. April goes and sits on the other couch, and Fireball comes in, closing the door behind him before sitting next to April. “I don’t like this. Something is VERY wrong.” Fireball mutters.
April nods, taking his hand subconsciously, “If what Saber says is true, then it must be bad if my Father ordered him” nodding towards Saber, “to leave. It’s just strange. What could be happening?” April asks aloud.
Just then, the door opens and in walks Commander Eagle, looking pale, shocked and worn out. The Star Sheriffs immediately stand and salute him, and he nods an acknowledgment and looks around to each in turn, his gaze falling lastly to Saber. “Please, sit down.”
They all sit down and look to each other nervously.
“Father, wha-“April begins.
Commander Eagle holds up his hand to stop her. “There has been an attack…” He begins slowly. “This morning, a ship was leaving to return to the English Federation Colonies…”
Saber looks up shocked, whispers. “No!”
“A passenger ship…there are no survivors.” Commander Eagle goes and places his hand on Saber’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Saber…I understand if you need time to-“
“Who? Who is responsible for the attack?” Saber asks quietly, his eyes to the floor.
“We don’t know, yet. No one has claimed responsibility.” The commander replies honestly.
“Sincia… Mother… Father…” Saber says barely audible. “Gone.”
April gets up and goes to sit beside him. “We are here, Saber. We will find out who did this.” She takes his hand and he looks at her. For a moment, she sees a flash of anger in his eyes, before he recovers himself and releases her hand and stands up.
“May I take my leave for now, Sir?” Saber looks to Commander Eagle.
“Yes. Just don’t leave the base, Saber.” The Commander replies.
He nods. “I’ll be in my quarters, Sir.” He leaves the room and heads to his quarters, closing the door behind him.