I always wanted to see the planets – Episode 15

Does the captain have a plan?

I saw the alien visitor tilt his head, as if someone had just whispered in his ear, if he had an ear that is, and then made a guttural sound.

Seconds later a beam appeared, and he or she, was gone.

“What just happened?” It was out before I could stop myself.

“I suspect he just beamed off our ship to his.”

The captain pushed a button on his desk communicator, and barked, “where is that foreign ship?”

The voice of the second officer came back, “just reappeared, then disappeared again, like it isn’t there, or we just can’t detect its presence.”

“This is like an old scifi show, sir. They have what I think was called cloaking.” It would be awesome if they did, but more awesome if we had it too.

Then another beam appeared, where the captain was sitting, and then he was gone too.

OK, now we were in trouble.

I ran to the desk and pushed that same button to get the attention of the bridge.

“That ship reappear?”

The second officer was quick to reply. “Yes.”

“And I take it, it has gone again?”

“Yes. What just happened?”

“Do a crew count, now. I’ll wait.”

In those next few moments a great many thoughts passed through my mind, not the least if which centred on one of our crew, there mostly to keep an eye on some of our systems.

The more obvious, that without the captain, I had just got a field promotion, one I was neither looking for, or had the experience or training to fulfil. I had been hoping over the next ten years to get both the trains and the experience.

After the seconds report my first action would be to call space command.

The second officers voice came back, “both the captain and Lieutenant Myers are both not aboard sir.”

I was expecting the obvious question but it didn’t come.

Lieutenant Myers was a nuclear scientist. The alien had been keeping us amused while his men captured the Lieutenant. And he was not chasing the pirates, he was the chief pirate.

Damn.

“Can we trace that ship?”

“I’ve got people working on it, but it seems so. It’s leaving a trail we can pick up on our sensors.”

“Good, get after it, and that’s an order.”

A minute later I could feel the gentle tug as we accelerated.

I pushed the button to get the second officer.

“Sir?”

“You have the bridge. Let me know our progress in about 15 minutes. I have a call to make.”

© Charles Heath 2021

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