“Dispatch, is Stimpy there?”
“No, sir. I can call him.”
“No, I’ll get with him later.”
“Pound 1, can you give me a sit-rep every 30 minutes?”
Dispatch called again, “Acknowledge Pound 1.”
Dispatch called again, “Pound 1. Did you copy last transmission?”
The silence was becoming a grave concern to Dispatch. Dispatch picked up his communicator to call Stimpy as he walked through the door.
Dispatch turned toward Stimpy, “Sir, we have lost communications with Pound 1.”
“Put Pound 2 on red alert and get Pound 1 back on Comms as soon as possible. Try every known frequency. Understood?”
“Yes sir, I am trying every known frequency.”
“Is Hangar 3 ready to launch?”
“Yes, sir. They will be ready in 30 minutes to assume patrols.”
“I’m beaming up to Pound 2. If you get Pound 1 back on Comms, let me know. Oh, contact Pound 2 and inform them I am on my way. Have them assembled its Commanders in the ready room by the time I arrive.”
After Stimpy left the room, Dispatch contacted Pound 2.
“Pound 2 Bridge, Dispatch.”
“Dispatch, Pound 2 Bridge. Go ahead.”
“Commander Stimpy is on the way to your location. He wants the Pound 2 Commanders in the ready room upon his arrival to brief them on the current situation.”
“They will be in the ready room when he arrives.”
“He is heading to the beaming facility now.”
“I’ll pass the information along.”
As Stimpy arrived at Pound 2, he went straight to the ready room. Stimpy reaching the head of the table, “Commanders, please take a seat. Dogs, we’ve lost communications with Pound 1. We are unsure if it’s a technical problem, communication being jammed or loss of the Hangar Ship. Dispatch is trying to reestablish communications. If we do not regain communications with Pound 1 in the next 30 minutes, we will launch to finish Pound 1’s mission and recover any survivors.”
The room went silent when Stimpy mentioned the possible destruction of Pound 1 and the start of a recovery mission. Walking Pilots feared that one day they too may need to be recovered. They never spoke the word among their ranks. Now the crew of Pound 2 heard that dreaded word, recovery, regarding their friends and fellow Walking Pilots. The room was silent.
“We will launch in 30 minutes. Questions?”
Boosh stood, “Do we have to take Stone with us?”
The entire room broke out in laughter, even Stone. Tensions eased and set the Commanders in a lighter mood.
Stimpy trying to keep a straight face, “Yes Boosh, Stone is coming. Dogs, it’s time to hunt. Get to your stations and prepare for launch. I will be in the Bridge room. Dismissed.”
As Stimpy walked to the Bridge room, his thoughts were on Pound 1.
As he entered, Bridge saw him, “Sir, we have Dispatch on Comms. He wants to talk to you.”
“This is Stimpy. What is it, Dispatch?”
“Sir, we have restored communications with Pound 1 and we have picked up another Hangar Ship a respectful distance behind the first Hangar Ship.”
Stimpy ripped off the headset and turned toward the Bridge Tech, “How soon can we get this thing launched?”
“In 20 minutes, sir.”
Stimpy in an angry tone, “Why 20 minutes Bridge?”
“Sir, we are still tethered to the resupply Transport for water. The procedure to untether takes 20 minutes.”
“Get it done faster.”
Bridge started, “Sir.”
Stimpy interrupted, “Just get it done Bridge.”
Stimpy becoming angry and frustrated turned back to put on his headset, “Dispatch talk to me.”
“We received a brief transmission from Commander Futu saying their communications were being jammed. They are now on communications Protocol Echo 4. I asked him to hold for you, but he wanted to keep radio chatter to a minimum. According to Protocol Echo 4, communications will be fully restored in 30 minutes.”
“Give me a heads up when they call back and patch me through.”
Stimpy slammed the headset on the console. As he looked around, he noticed no one was making eye contact with him, “I need a cup of coffee. Where is the damn coffeepot?”
Five techs ran to the coffeepot to get Stimpy a cup of coffee.