* Thirty *
"You damned betcha I'm tagging along!" stormed security chief Commander David Jackson as he slung a ray rifle over his shoulder. "I bagged Valakadria Tawn seventeen years ago, and if I'm lucky again this time, I'll bag Kalin ... whatever the hell her name is!"
"This is not a massive rescue operation like the last time, David." Candy Simmons said as she sat on her brother's couch next to Tori Buckingham.
"Yeah, that may be!" her brother belted out. "But, it's the same old me, and---
"Old is right, David." James Jackson said as he sat on the right arm of the couch next to their sister Candice.
"Look at it this way," David said in a calmer but still deeper tone of voice. "I've beat myself in the head a few times already for having come to this dim witted conclusion. I've never came to ... what's that word ... love, that's it, love Valakadria Tawn, the way that you all seem to, but, she's had the hots for our brother Robert for ... hell ... he may have for her, but regardless, she's in a fix, and I for one am going to fix the problem, with or without your help." he told everyone that he had invited to his and Tiffany's quarters aboard the Orion, as she passed out drinks to their family members and friends.
"You can count me in." Tori Buckingham said, getting Candy's undivided attention.
"You're both crazy!" Candy Jackson Simmons blared, as she tore herself up and off the couch. "It's suicidal! It's just to damned risky!"
"It's suicidal and risky by our being millions ... I mean billions of miles, from Earth," Tori replied still keeping her seat on the plush alien couch. "But, you can still count me in."
"Do we do it just like last time Davy?" Steven Davis asked as his feet swung up and off of David Jackson's desk that set beneath the wall mounted vid-screen. He then spun himself around to face the others, while taking a drink from Tiffany's tray in the process.
"Why, with your expertise at flying, and with my familiarity with old Betsy here, its going to be a no brainer," David Jackson answered.
"No brains is right!" Candy Simmons bellowed. "I can't believe this ... out of any of you. Help me out here, Jim!"
"Listen sis," her brother David quickly said before his younger brother Jim could jump back in and have his say. "Space is the new frontier, where a man of my caliber can live up to his namesake. I mean, where would Davy Crockett be if he had of stayed home?"
"Alive!" Candy boomed.
"Very funny sis," David Crockett Jackson said as he shook his head in disgust.
"Well," James Bowie Jackson replied as he gazed over at his brother. "You did ask."
"Your coming here serves no purpose, other than to delay that which must be done, in order to prevent a full scale war from breaking out in our galaxy, Admiral Jackson, Madame President Adriakar." said the unitor of the planet Zanaria as he stood behind a podium in the central rotunda of the United Inter Galactic Consortium of Inhabited Worlds headquarters.
"Unitor Zonalua," Jackson said as he stood before the Zanarian leader. "A Zaleen battle cruiser destroyer orbits the planet Glammadren, on this side of, and I repeat myself, on this side of the neutral zone, in violation of the treaty between their empire and the Consortium of Inhabited Worlds, and we do nothing about it."
"Admiral Jackson," Zonalua said in reply as he gazed down at the galactic fleet admiral. "A Zaleen battle cruiser destroyer orbits the planet Zanaria, on this side of the neutral zone, in violation of the treaty between their empire and the Consortium of Inhabited Worlds. Now, we would ask that you escort it along with it's crew and commander to Glammadren and relinquish any feelings that you once had, have now, or will ever have, in the future, for ValakadriaTawn. If you do not, then the queen empress of Zaleena, Kalindra Vohaydren, has assured the Consortium that a war is forth coming. Valakadria Tawn and Dara Tekka are to be considered, along with the entire ship's compliment, aboard the Kalaketvia Tawn, enemies of both the Zaleen Empire and the Consortium, to be returned to Glammadren and released over to the empress. This ... Admiral Jackson ... is the decision ... of the consortium counselate. There will be no more discussion on the matter, as this meeting is adjourned."
"You are to conduct whatever business you may have, while here on the planets surface, and then you will be escorted from our solar system at the conclusion of your business," the blond haired Zanarian female said as she stood, and took over, behind the podium. "All enemies of the Consortium and the planet Zanaria are denied access---
"Fine!" thundered Admiral Jackson, just milliseconds before President Adriakar began tugging at his shirt. "As of now, the planet Zanaria will have no more protection by the galactic fleet, whatsoever, for the fleet will be escorting the Kalaketvia Tawn and the Orion to the Glammadren system! Let's go, for we have no more business here."
"Admiral Jackson," the unitor of Zanaria said as he walked up to him. "Worry not, for help ... is ... on its way, and after you have completed your current mission, your services to the consortium, and to the fleet, will no longer be needed, nor necessary."
"I'm taking Valakadria, Keletivia, and Dara, to their deaths ... and ... you ... tell me not to worry, because help is on it's---
"It's not for them Admiral, it's for the benefit of the consortium, as a whole." the unitor explained as he placed a hand on Jackson's shoulder. "You see, the Zaleens must all perish if this galaxy is to see peace of any kind in the near future. Then, shortly after the problem with the Zaleens has been taken care of, we'll concentrate on the Dorkonians next."
"And just how are all the Zaleens going to be taken care of, Unitor Zonalua?" Jackson said as he removed the Zanarian's hand from his shoulder.
"Help will arrive shortly, from afar, Admiral. I'll say no more, except to warn you, to stay out of their way when they get here." Zueaston Zonalua warned the admiral before walking off to speak with someone else.
"Davadra!" Jackson stormed. "You're the president of the consortium, so, say, or do something, if you haven't already!"
"Robert, I've had no time, nor the right time to tell you this." she said as she gazed about the massive hall to be sure that only he would hear what she had to say, before looking him straight in the eyes with her very own. "I've known, for some time, what the counsel voted unanimously upon, against us."
"What?" the admiral thundered. "I can't believe that you'd side with---
"I resigned." Davadra calmly informed him as she turned and made haste to exit the building with the very stunned Admiral, on her heels.
A short while later while standing at the foot of the ramp and before they entered their shuttle to return to the Orion, Davadra Adriakar pulled Robert Jackson off to the left side of the ramp in order to speak with him privately, while the others boarded.
"I pray that you tell no one, Admiral." Davadra said. "Let me be the bearer of this message to the crew, if you will."
"I don't know what else to say to you right now, other than, my lips are sealed." he told her as he took her right hand and the two of them walked up the ramp together.