Excerpt from “Freedom Fighter” (The Solar Wind 3) :
Federi piloted the Lark east, towards Hiva Poca Pica. Soon enough the single dark peak rose out of the sea ahead of them, its volcanic tip failing to smoulder.
“Small island,” he said.
“It is,” agreed the Captain. “I have the coordinates of the military base here.” He copied something from his wrist-com to Federi’s.
Federi set down the jet on a glistening black pebble beach in the starlight. He cut the engine and opened the hatch.
“They didn’t hear us arrive?” he asked as he slipped to the ground.
“Maybe the base did,” countered Lascek. “There is nobody else on this island.”
“But there used to be,” Federi pointed out. The Sherman Files had yielded one small town on Hiva Poca Pica. Which had been evacuated by criminal pressure. They knew now that this had been the doing of the Sanchos. They headed up the mountainside through the undergrowth.
Half an hour later they found the base and hid in the ferns outside, observing its entrance. The entrance was a cave mouth. The base was set in the mountainside, at the foot of a ravine. An underfed waterfall failed to hide the entrance to the cave. But it did make enough noise that they couldn’t hear what was being spoken in the base.
Several UFO’s were partially visible from their vantage point.
Federi gazed appreciatively at those jets. They had to be so versatile, to be able to leave the base through that cave entrance! There was no runway to be seen. And those jets flew high up; so high that there wasn’t even a thunderclap from the breach of the sound barrier.
Sound barrier? He was privately convinced that they broke the light barrier, too!
He glanced at the crates that quite clearly contained explosive. Some or other liquid. Surely the Sanchos hadn’t blasted that crater into Honolulu using simple old nitroglycerin? No – surely not. He went over what he knew about explosives. If they could load enough of that stuff into the jets… no. There had only been one jet towards Honolulu. This liquid was something else.
And the people moving around the base, loading more crates into more jets…
His teeth on edge, the Tzigan reached for a tiny bead from his bandana, fished a small slingshot – a child’s plaything, something he’d been meaning to give to Shawn but changed his mind about – out of his pocket. These slingshots were dangerous! Shouldn’t allow children to play with them!
His Captain held out his hand. Federi handed the bead over, and Radomir Lascek looked at it and gave it back with a grin.
“Wolf’s design?” he mouthed.
“Prototype,” replied Federi. And activated the bead, loaded it into the slingshot, and shot.
The tiny bead rolled in under a pile of crates of explosive, and disappeared from view.
“Run,” said Federi, got up and legged it away from that place of bad luck, his Captain on his heels.
It had taken them about half an hour to find the base. It took them five minutes to return to the beach and dive into the Harrier’s cockpit, yank the hatch closed and start the engines. Federi punched a few buttons that weren’t in the usual symphony of lift-off. The facilitated Harrier drives kicked into action faster than they would have, and the machine leaped into the air. And was violently blown sideways and up by the blast. Federi struggled to control the craft in the turbulences caused by the huge explosion. The machine spun and tumbled. He clung to the yoke, muttering ancient gypsy incantations for protection. And then they were out of the thick smoke and turbulences and flying shrapnel, and he saw to his relief that the explosion had catapulted them far upwards. This bought him a few seconds.
He brought the plane back down and circled the island. The mountain had been blown apart by the Sancho explosive that had probably been meant for twenty world capitals. And a huge plume of dust and ash was ejected from the mountain, and rivulets of lava were running across the island. A fissure had opened. And the island was a lot flatter, and was slowly sinking away.
Federi and Radomir Lascek watched this island, Hiva Poca Pica, sink away back under the sea, raising massive clouds of chloric acid where the lava connected with the sea water.
“Rats,” said Federi softly. “Sorry about the beautiful island!”
“Next time be more careful,” agreed Lascek. He laughed grimly. “Federi, I’d rather detonate all that here than have them go through with their plan and have it on cities.”
Federi nodded, though the Tzigan in him was screaming “foul”. A city could be rebuilt. An island? He turned the Lark’s nose back to Fatu Hiva. To pick up Paean and, importantly, collect a hug from her on behalf of Planet Earth.
The terrorists that had been blown up with the base, didn’t bother him. They had dug their own graves; mass murderers all of them! It was their own explosive that had dealt them justice. But he was sorry about the jets. He would have liked one. He hoped quietly that the Sanchos still had one more, somewhere.
Copyright: © Lyz Russo, 2012
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