Cadets Rebecca and Michael contact Commander Dalton to help them stop Dophus Calzan from shutting down CIN, so a war criminal can't escape from the penal colony. Watch out for the demons, Sulok and Molof, who will be watching them with their evil plans.
~ Now, Chapter 3 C.I.N. ~
Rebecca and Michael were formulating a plan on how they might impede Dolphus Calzan. Being still in the computer room, Rebecca touched Michael on the arm and said, “Let’s go talk to Commander Talitha Dalton. Her father Leonard Dalton is Captain over ASM. Maybe they have information on this Dolphus character that we could use. She might even be willing to help us. Talitha would probably know if CIN were at peril of being shut off by Dolphus.”
“That sounds like a plan. We can take my ship; I have weapons on board, in case Dolphus tries to attack us again. This time we’ll be ready for anything he might pull.”
Walking out to where the ships were kept, Michael had a mechanic check out his ship to ensuring the ship was sound for the trip. Keying in his code on the keypad outside the door of Frontline, the door shushed open, and a ramp whirred down to the ground in postion. “Come on Rebecca, let me introduce you to Frontline.”
Clomping up the ramp into the ship, the Cadets entered the cockpit. Frontline was built tubular, black with a blue line proceeding around the ship. Two seats were built in the pilot compartment, with the latest computer technology on board. In the back of the ship was the gunner, room for one. If only one person was on the ship, like the other day, when Michael had to come to Rebecca’s rescue, then he could put the computer in charge. The computer would lock sights on to the attacker, placing the gunner where he could fire. Frontline maneuvered extremely well; its weapons were lasers, and laser torpedoes. Lasers used more energy, and caused more damage, so Michael tried to use laser torpedoes as much as achievable, each time he had to engage in battle.
Sliding into the pilot seat, Michael typed in his code, causing the computer to give him control. Slipping in beside him in the copilot chair, Rebecca buckled herself in. Frontline lifted off the ground, hovering several feet in the air. Flying out of Zoë Space Academy, out into space, Michael computed the surge to hyperspace. A rift in space opened up, abruptly pressing them through at the speed of light. Swirling colors flowed through and around them as they blasted through to the other side. They were on their way to the planet Jirah, where Talitha lived.
“Michael, what do you think will be Dolphus Calzan’s next move? How do you think he’s going to shut down the spherical motion detector? You don’t think he can defeat the code, do you?”
“I don’t know. He is a computer weapons expert. CIN is a computer weapon; if he knows the design, how it was completed, how it works, he might be able to immobilize it. I just hope he’s not the one who created it. Then, we’d truly be in a major dilemma.”
Jirah emerged on the view screen, as the ship quickly approached. Jirahs two moon’s could be seen encircling the planet. Jirah had a green and blue hue, and lush vegetation. Entering the atmosphere, it looked like steamy clouds surfing off the exterior of their ship. Heading straight for Talitha’s ninety eight acre home, Michael keyed in his code on the computer, identifying his ship to the planet. Skimming over the trees, they saw the house just up ahead. About half a mile from the house lay a landing area for small ships. Heading for the landing, he descended. Turning on his hovers, the ship dropped slowly to the ground. Settling on to the surface of the planet, Michael shut Frontline down.
In the distance, Rebecca watched, as Talitha having seen them from her house, moved toward them. Rebecca walked up to Commander Talitha extending her hand. “Hi, Commander Talitha, I’m Cadet Rebecca Conrad, and this is Cadet Michael Chadwick. We go to Zoë Space Academy. We’re looking for information on a man named Dolphus Calzan. I thought you might have classified information on him that our computers can’t access.”
Talitha looked at them oddly. “I might. What’s this all about?”
Michael jumped, as a grasshopper leaped onto his bare arm.
Talitha, trying to keep from laughing, placed her hand over her mouth. Nonetheless, she couldn’t stop the laughter that came flying out of her mouth. Michael looked away, embarrassed. Talitha tried apologizing, “I’m sorry. You just looked so funny when that grasshopper jumped on you. You act as though you’ve never seen a grasshopper before.”
“Uh, I haven’t. Anyway, here is the reason we came here,” Michael interjected.
“Of course, sorry to interrupt. Go on.”
“Dolphus attacked Rebecca without provocation when she was flying her spacecraft. Something told me she was in trouble, and I went to investigate, and found an A/66 assailing Rebecca and trying to kill her. I came to her rescue and chased him off. An A\66 is a design they don’t make anymore. The computer confirmed that Dolphus Calzan did indeed purchase an older A\66, having it rebuilt. Dolphus tried to kill Rebecca by firing on her several times. Rebecca has no weapons built into her spacecraft. She uses it merely as something to get around in. This madman could have killed her! What possible reason would he have for firing on her anyway??”
Rebecca took over. “We have reason to believe Dolphus Calzan is going to break out Stephen Lightfoot from Ventron Penal Colony. Dolphus worked for Lightfoot at one time. The computer said they couldn’t prove his involvement, so ASM had to let him go. Dolphus should be on Ventron along with Lightfoot. Somehow, he slipped through. Dolphus is a weapons expert and we’re concerned that he will know how to shut down CIN. That’s why we’re here, to see if you know anything about what’s going on.”
“Well, let’s go look at the computer,” the Commander offered.
Sauntering to Talitha’s house, Rebecca observed how beautiful the land was here. Gazing up at the sky, she notices the clouds are all white and feathery looking. Bunches of billowing clouds spread around here and there.
Once inside, Talitha led the way to the processor room. She sat down and asked the central processing unit about Dolphus Calzan. Other than what Rebecca and Michael already knew, Talitha’s computer had the classified information they needed. He was indeed a weapon’s expert; he knew how weapons worked, could put them together and take them apart. He understood computers and computerized weapons. Probability of whether Dolphus Calzan could shut down CIN was in all likelihood, a possibility. Now, all they had to do is figure out a way to stop him. They needed to find this creep, and monitor him to find out what he was up to. The computer said ASM had an undercover man on the job, but could not give out any other information.
As Michael and Rebecca flew back to Zoë Academy, they discussed what had been found out. Michael looked at Rebecca. “Talitha said she’d see if she could dig anything more up on Calzan. I don’t know what esle we can do than that. We’re only cadets.” He ran his fingers through his tousled black hair. One of the strands fell back across his forehead.
Rebecca regarded him quizzically, wondering why he was in such a hurry to give up. “What’s the deal? Why are you so in a rush to quit? Are you fearful of what we might turn up, Michael? I for one am going on with this investigation, if I have to do it alone.” With a smug look on her face she jerked her head, swishing her hair, and looked away from him. She thought, what is his problem? “Here’s our chance to prove ourselves, and you want to throw it all away using the excuse, we’re just cadets? How are we going to become skilled if we don’t do anything? I’m not going to sit around waiting until this Dolphus character takes over the Alpha System while no one does anything about it! Humhf!”
Michael touched her on the shoulder. “What can we do, Rebecca? If you have some ideas about what we can accomplish, let’s hear them. I don’t have any. I’m just as angry as you, and would like to do something if I could to stop him.”
“OK. How bout we go monitor the area around Ventron? Maybe we can pick up some transmissions; something that might tell us what’s going on. Maybe this Dolphus character will show up, and we can track him to discover what he’s up to.”
“Man, that sounds really dangerous, Rebecca. We could get ourselves killed!”
“Why did you join the military, if you’re such a wimp? You have to takes risks if you want to be a leader. I’m going to find what that man is after. Are you with me, or not? I could use the assistance. This could get us promoted. Come on, Michael.”
“Yeah, or get us kicked out for taking such risks,” he laughed.
Rebecca glared at him. Michael put his hands up, giving in, witnessing the look on Rebecca’s face. “OK, OK, I’ll help you. Life around you is definitely not boring, that’s for sure. Where do we begin? We’re going to need a vessel with weapons in case we get assaulted. I’ll see what I can come up with.”
Putting her finger in the air, Rebecca said, “I’ve already got that covered. Talitha’s allowing us to borrow one of her ships that’s on Zoë.”
“When did this happen? I was with you most of the time. When did you talk to Talitha about using a ship? Where was I?” Michael looked at her.
“It was when you went for a walk. Remember? You got tired of being inside, and said you needed to go take a walk. You were gone for about an hour. That’s when I discussed with Talitha about monitoring Ventron Penal Colony. She suggested using one of her ships with weapons in case we get attacked. She also said Dolphus could have others working with him, and we needed to be prepared in case several ships were to assail us. In fact, she’s coming with us. Her ship has three gun emplacements in case we need them. She has a great mainframe on board, as long as it doesn’t get shot at and damaged, that not only flies auto, but can outwit just about any ship,” grinned Rebecca, watching Michael’s befuddlement.
“I can’t believe you planned this whole thing without me. When were you arranging to tell me about Talitha going with us? You knew I was going to say yes, didn’t you?” Michael crossed his arms.
“Um hum, well, I was hoping you’d say yes. We’ll be a great team, the three of us.”
“Is there anything else you’re not telling me, Rebecca?” Michael brushed both hands through his hair.
“Nope, that’s about it.”
Molof paced back and forth trying to figure out what to do next. “Sulok, I can’t believe Michael and Rebecca got to Talitha so fast! I worried they would get together, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be for a long while. We need more time to work our evil on Stephen Lightfoot. What are we going to do now that those three are working together?? How smart do you think those two cadets are? They couldn’t be too smart, right? They’re really young. Don’t you think?”
Sulok popped him up side the head.
“Ow, what did you do that for?”
“Don’t you remember David? He was younger than Michael and Rebecca. Remember?? We were assigned to Goliath. We were so smart back than. Ha! We knew for sure our man could take on that little runt, David! What we didn’t count on was that David had his Master’s Anointing. David whipped the tar out of our huge giant. We got demoted so fast that day. Our boss wouldn’t speak to us for five hundred years. He made us stay out in the desert all that time, where the only thing to pester were bugs and lizards. It was embarrassing.” Sulok whined, remembering the horror. “We vowed never to make that worse of a mistake again! You have to be really sneaky when it comes to those righteous ones!”
Molof rubbed his nose. “We’re going to have to go to work on Stephen Lightfoot. We’ve got to hurry up, and get him in place to take over, before Talitha and those cadets get wind of what Lightfoot’s up to! I for one am not going to make the boss mad this time. We have to work very hard to win this one! Our boss will be pleased with our evil handiwork!” Snickering, he rubbed his hands together, gleefully.
Coming out of hyperspace, the colors swirled around Michael’s ship. Coming out of hyperspace, they saw the planet, Zoë. Landing near Zoë Space Academy, Michael let the ramp down. “Where is Talitha’s ship parked, Rebecca?”
“On Landing Three. She said she’d meet us tomorrow afternoon at 2:00.”
The next day Michael and Rebecca were waiting by Talitha’s ship wondering where she was. It was 2:30, and there was no sign of her.
A shushing sound became apparent; both of the cadets looked up to see a small ship coming towards them. When the ship landed, they took off at a trot to see if it was Talitha. Jumping out of the ship, Talitha sprinted to convene with them. “I apologize for being late. I had a matter to take care of prior to departing.”
Talitha touched the key pad on her ship and put her code in, and it opened. “Come on up.” The three of them walked up the ramp. Her ship was spacious. There were three cockpit, and three gun emplacements. Her ship had more technology on board than Michael’s. A small lounge in the middle would hold four people; a sleeping area would hold three. All in all, a spacious ship, which would work well for them.
Talitha looked at the two cadets. They were young, only eight-teen and twenty, but they were alert and worked well together. She’d listened to their story, and felt they could be trusted. She wasn’t sure yet how much she would tell them about what the Master had told her. She would have to wait and see. However, she did know this, they would protect each other at all cost, and she believed they would protect her and anyone else on their team, with their lives.
Talitha turned her ship back on. “Does everyone know what we’re doing?”
Michael sat down beside her and said, “Rebecca clued me in to what you two desire to do. I think it’s a high-quality idea, but treacherous But if you two are agreeable, you can count me in.”
Rebecca sat to Michael’s right. That positioned Michael in the middle. Talitha prepared the computer to take them to the outer regions of Ventron. Her ship, “Glory of the Master”, formulated the jump into hyperspace. “Ready? Here we go.” The ship started going faster and faster, and then zoom; a rift opened up and pressed the ship through. Colors were spinning faster around, and through them, and then they were on the other side. They looked out the window and saw Ventron Penal Colony a long way off.
“We don’t want to alert anyone to our presence,” said Talitha.
Turning to Talitha, Michael said, “We should orbit Ventron, and Ventron’s moon and see if any unauthorized ships are lurking around. I’ll set up the listening devises to monitor anyone out there conversing illegally.”
Talitha started keyboarding. “I’ll check CIN, and see if it’s still functioning under normal parameters. I’ll examine it to determine if anyone has tampered with its weapons. My computer will detect if anyone’s tried to shut it down, or is attempting to close it down.”
Rebecca stood up, “I’ll man one of the gunners in case we have any company.” She walked to the back where one of the gunners were located, strapping her self in. Turning on the gunners computer, she looked at the screen to see if any ships were out there. So far, nothing blipped on the screen.
A transmission was heard coming in. Michael punched some codes in. “This is an illegal wavelength. This may be what we’re looking for. I’ll turn it up.”
“Any luck with that new guy on CIN?”
“Not yet. He’s working on it. You yourselve know how difficult this project is. Just give him time, he’ll come through.”
“Does anyone recognize those voices?” No one did. Michael punched some numbers in. “I’m asking the computer to possibly identify those voices, and where they’re coming from. Hang on.” A couple of minutes later, a picture came up, the name of the first voice was Dolphus Calzan. The next image came through, the name was Stephen Lightfoot.
“Oh, my goodness, that’s it!” Rebecca proclaimed from the gunner. “That’s what we’ve been looking for! That’s the link. Keep monitoring them. Maybe they’ll tell us what they’re up to, and how they’re going to shut down CIN.”
“Just be ready, Rebecca, in case they figure out they’re being monitored. They’ll be hot on our trail!” Michael told Rebecca.
Talitha spoke up from her keyboard, “CIN hasn’t been tampered with as yet. Unless they have someone fooling the computer into not detecting what’s happening. They could run a fake program for any computer trying to pick up on what they’re doing, and we would never know we were being fooled. Even I could do it.”
Michael asked her, “Are you a computer weapons expert? You didn’t help design CIN, did you?”
“Well, I’m not exactly a computer weapons expert, but I do know how they function. I know who designed CIN; which is the Computer Isolation Network. Jeremy Caewood was the designer. He invented a spherical motion detector to protect the Alpha System from being invaded by outside forces, if any exist. The Alpha System Military asked him to make a CIN for their penal colony, to keep the prisoners from escaping and keeping people from landing there. Now, apparently the prisoners have found a way to communicate with the outside world. And they must have found someone on the outside that knows something about CIN, thereby being able to figure out a way of shutting it down. I just hope it’s not someone who helped Mr. Caewood design it.”
Michael was still monitoring the tranmissions. “Do you know this Jeremy Caewood, Talitha?”
“No, not personally. I’ve just heard a lot about him.”
“Listen up, you too. I think I’m going to need some help. My computer is showing two ships coming up on us, fast. They’re gearing their weapons up. It looks like they’re after us. One of you needs to get to a gunner,” Rebecca excitedly told them.
Michael got up. “This is my expertise. I’ll go. Stay alert, in case we need you, Commander. The computer can always fly, if necessary.” He ran back to one of the gunners. Quickly, he turned on his computer. He could see the ships coming at them fast.
“I’m here, Rebecca! Those two ships are almost on us! Remember what we did in training, when those two ships got aggressive?”
“Yes. I remember. Is that what we’re doing?”
“You got it! Ready?”
Michael asked Talitha, “Talitha, do you remember in ship warfare training, there were two ships that aggressively started firing on us? Did you have to do that?”
“Yes, I remember. What about it?”
“You remember the flying part? That’s what I want you to do. Call up Michael Chadwick, D-447 ship warfare training, and tell the computer to fly the maneuvers that I flew, and we’ll be able to outwit these ships. OK?”
“Got you!” Talitha called up the file, told the computer to fly the maneuvers. “OK, we’re ready!”
“Here they come, Rebecca!” Michael warned, as he got ready to fire his laser bursts.
“Glory of the Master” started flying the maneuvers. Their ship started flipping around. But, something was wrong… Talitha was startled. “Guys, I think they know this maneuver. The two of them have a tractor beam on us! Where did that come from!? There’s nothing showing up on my computer radar! What’s going on??”