Act one of Rocket Fox is drawing to a close, with the best part coming this Saturday morning, 6:30 am CST. The launching of the Nighthawk. I know, in the above picture there are three aircraft. That will change thanks to what I’ve done now for this story. She will have to become one larger craft, and a bit more sleek. I can still use the above for the Class 10 Mavericks that are mentioned in the story.
Means I’ll have to make not only the Nighthawk as one ship, but the Nighthawk when she goes through her separation sequence, which I promise you will be coming in Act Two.
Stay tuned for part ten tomorrow, and the final part of Act One on Saturday.
Early morning sunrises on Port Omega were spectacular. Senia Felix just wished that her attitude was a little more cheery to enjoy it. She received the wave early last night that General Gerring was keeping Clarfax and Hardy overnight to work over the specs of a new fighter craft. But they assured Senia that they would be able to have lunch on board Port Omega. At least she had one last supper with Jadda and Philburt, and she got the chance to see Jadda off on her own shuttle, one that would rendezvous with the Sifter and her new position as helms officer.
This was about to be her new life. Alone. Never had she been alone like this before. It felt like a great weight had settled on her shoulders. It was unbearable, and was enough to make her want to curl up and cry. She took a deep breath, however, stepped off the shuttle once it had completed landing procedure, and walked with purpose to collect her duffel bags.
She waited and waited as the carousel that carried the baggage kept turning, and no sight of her duffel bags. Senia was about to stomp off to the import office when a voice called out to her. A calm, authoritative voice.
“I’m sorry, Left-tenant Felix,” a male’s voice said. “But I’ve already taken the liberty of transferring your bags to your craft.”
She turned quickly, about to express her annoyance when she noted the stripes on the speaker’s shoulder. Major Pitts. She saluted quickly, and spoke in as respectful a voice as she could. “Major. I wathn’t expecting to be greeted tho thoon.”
“Quite alright, Left-tenant. And you may relax,” Pitts replied with a small smile. Senia noted he was carrying a cup and saucer with him. “I took the liberty to bring you a morning tea. You can sip it while I take you to the ship yards and introduce you to your vessel and crew.”
She took the tea carefully and with a perplexed look on her face. “My… crew?”
“General Gerring will explain everything,” Pitts replied as he held out an arm to let Senia walk first toward the doors that lead to the internal ship yards. “Right this way, Left-tenant.” Senia nodded and sipped her tea as they walked, questions cropping up in her mind. A vessel. A crew. But she expected to receive some third class shuttle when she arrived on Pau Theta II colony. Hand-me-down vessels from a by gone era that were deemed unfit for service.
As the doors opened, Senia saw the ships stationed there, with crews working on repairs or upgrades and even some were being finished for their first launch. Then her eyes caught it. A dark blue ship with sleek designs. She couldn’t help but stare in wonder at her. The mind of the fighter pilot within her began to study it carefully. Bigger than the Class 10 Mavericks she trained in, much bigger in fact. But she had the grace and beauty of any fighter craft, there was no doubt about that.
“Major Pitts,” Senia finally managed to speak up, making sure that she softened her voice when saying his name so her lisp wouldn’t run afoul of it. “I’ve theen that ship before. No designth of her in any journals. I athume she ith new.”
“I believe General Gerring can answer that,” he replied as he turned to offer a salute to the smart dressed vixen that was approaching them. “Good morning, General.”
Senia’s eyes widened, and she suddenly realized she still had a cup of tea in her hands. She tried carefully to place the cup in the saucer, and salute as best she could. Fortunately, it wasn’t a disaster.
“At ease, Left-tenant,” Gerring replied with a warm smile. She looked back to the dark blue vessel, then to Senia once more. “Quite a beauty, isn’t she.”
“She ith indeed, ma’am.”
“You’re getting yourself a good ship, Left-tenant,” Gerring said as she stood beside Senia. “And a good crew to go with her. Good thing you’re familiar with both of your crew members.”
“P.. pardon me, ma’am,” Senia said in a hushed voice. “You have me at a dithadvantage. Maybe you could explain what my dutieth are in full. I only know that I am to report to Main Authority.”
“This is the Nighthawk, Left-tenant,” Gerring explained slowly. “She is your ship as long as you are with the Main Authority. This data pad will have all her details. You’ll have the morning to go over it, but I expect Corporals Maynard and Billings will be more than willing to let you in on the nuances of what she can do.” Gerring smiled as she caught the look on Senia’s face. She chuckled and moved closer to the ship as she called out. “Billings. Maynard.” Two Vulpine popped their heads up on the wing of the Nighthawk and looked down to the tarmac below. They smiled as they saw Senia standing there, looking rather confused. “I believe that you two should probably come save Left-tenant Felix from further confusion.”
The pair acknowledge with the usual ‘right away ma’am’ though the tone was rather happy. For these two, it was like hiding and waiting to shout surprise at a birthday party. They scrambled off the wing and joined the small group, standing in front of Senia.
“Left-tenant,” Billings said as he approached. “Breath. Senia, breath. Alright, we’ll let you know everything, I promise. But the short of it is, we’re going with you.”
“Corporal Billings it correct, Left-tenant,” Gerring said with a nod. “The Air Corps thrust you into my jurisdiction, so I felt that the only way to support a new officer under my command was ensure she had all the resources available to her that would best suit her needs. Two of those resources are standing right here,” she said as she nodded to Billings and Maynard.
Senia took a few deep breaths, allowed Major Pitts to take her empty tea cup and looked from Billings and Maynard to General Gerring. It was like a dream. Waking to a nightmare, but realizing that the nightmare was really a comforting dream. She was being supported. She’d have herself a new ship.
And she’d have her friends.
I’m working on a few things when my brain gets drained of words. Here are samples of Rocket Fox (Senia Felis) and a logo for this adventure so far.