The sounds of the ship’s red alert stopped, giving way to an eerie silence throughout the ship. Suddenly the ship’s speakers broke the silence announcing incoming hostile Space Fighters.
“Commander Futu, as soon as we get confirmation the beacons are secure you will be launched to the Locator Beacon closest to the P.E.L.B.” said Bridge.
Futu, already strapped into his machine with all systems green, looked around the hangar deck. He knew everyone would do their job on the asteroid.
“The moment is upon us.” thought Futu.
“Bridge, the Locator Beacons are secure. Launch Ystavalinen’s squad and the recovery bot.” said Cave.
“Roger, they are deploying now.” said Bridge.
Then it happened. Futu felt the bot trying to free itself from his body. The Battle Channel lit up with chatter. Futu then felt the heat as his bot entered the atmosphere, followed by a bone shaking thud. The crash shutters suddenly opened, revealing the desolate landscape of the asteroid. Futu quickly checked all stabilization, navigation and weapon systems status. All were green, ready to go.
“The Locator Beacons are secure Futu. Do your thing.” said Cave.
Then the radio chatter was broken by a transmission from Bridge, “Incoming hostiles to the east of the Locator Beacons.”
“Ystavalinen, get a perimeter around Futu as soon as possible.” said Cave.
“Will do. Let’s move squad.” said Ystavalinen.
“Ystavalinen, Snipers coming over the rise to you left.” said Ruckus.
“We see them.” said Ystavalinen.
It seemed like only seconds since the warning of hostiles came over the Battle Channel, when bullets, missiles and lasers crisscrossed the horizon like a spider web. Futu knew his mission. Once he positioned himself over the P.E.L.B., he searched the area, probing the sandy surface. Along with the addition of the recovery arm on his bot, he ordered, at Homer’s suggestion, the squadrons’ bots fitted with what resembled a snow shoe that increased its footprint area to allow it to move on top of the sand with ease.
“A sniper with lasers is coming over the ridge. Anyone with a fast bot? We need to kill that Sniper quickly.” said Ruckus.
“On the way.” said Madman Cazzy.
“Evidently the hostiles were not as prepared for the loose sandy surface. Their bots are marring down in the soft terrain. They have slowed down considerably.” said Cave.
Futu grinned when he heard the enemy bots were bogging down in the sand.
“My grandmother is slow, but she’s old.” said Ruckus.
“This is shooting fish in a barrel.” said Cave.
“They’re creeping along in the loose sand.”, said Don Gato,
“They can still shoot, so keep your cover.” said Ystavalinen.
As the battle continued, Futu continued searching the sand for the P.E.L.B. Suddenly a metallic sound was heard in the cockpit. Futu closed the claw’s jaws. As he lifted the P.E.L.B. he gave a loud howl. He had found it.
While he was extracting it, a blast from three long-range lasers hit his bot. His instincts told him to jump. Futu followed his instincts and jumped his bot to avoid any further hits.
“Cazzy, where are you? The Sniper on the ridge hit Futu.” said Ruckus.
“The sniper, I just killed?” asked Cazzy.
“Where are you going now?”
“I’m going to cook me some fish.”
“Let him go. He hasn’t had a ride back to the Hangar Ship in his P.E.L.B. for a while.” said Devilbot.
Futu, after his landing, remembered the P.E.L.B. dangling by the claw. Futu turned on the camera, hoping to see the P.E.L.B. It was still there, hanging by the claw. Futu could see a body in it. Seeing the body, he radioed, “Beam me to the ship there is a body still in this thing.”
Pound 1 had been keeping a constant beaming lock on Futu and quickly beamed him to the Hangar Ship.
As Futu climbed out of the cockpit, “Get medical and engineering personnel to the hangar deck. There is a body in that thing.”
Once in the Hangar bay, he looked around, “Anyone has a headset I can use?”
A mechanic shouted, “Sir, you can use my headset, it’s already set to 021.”
Chatter on the Battle Channel was not as hectic. Pilots and Commanders were joking. Futu looked at his watch. He had to do a double take. Only seven minutes had elapsed since the battle began.
“What happened to that Sniper that hit me with the lasers?” asked Futu.
“You mean that dead Sniper? Yes, Ruckus saw the hit. I got the SOB with my chicken bot. If it killed you, who would buy the first round of drinks tonight?” asked Cazzy.
“Good job, brother.”,
Futu then asked Cave, “Can you give me an idea of the battle damage?”,
“One of our better scores. 21 hostiles bots destroyed with only one of ours killed. We have taken damage to a lot of our bots, but they are still operational.” said Cave.
Futu, puzzled, “Who was in the one bot destroyed?”
“Don’t you want to guess?” asked Ruckus.
“Who was it?” asked Futu.
“Cazzy in his chicken bot.” said Cave.
“Didn’t he take out the Sniper that hit me?”,
“Yes, he did. Afterwards he ran into a group of three enemy bots without waiting for an ammo reload. He scared the crap out of them, but nothing else.”
“Ok, Cave let the group know they did great. Drinks on me tonight.”
“Doubles for me.”
Futu turned to the mechanic who had given him the headset.
“Why were you listening to the Battle Channel?” asked, Futu.
“I get a kick out of listening to those guys. They sound as if they are at a picnic having a grand time.” said the mechanic.
Futu smiled thinking, “If you only knew.”