Yamato: Soldiers Of Honor

Chapter 4 - Jordy, Reemer and the Omega

    Jordy Venture, Mark Venture's younger brother, walked down the hall of the fifth floor of his building toward his apartment. He was returning from Earth Defense Headquarters where he had just finished having a meeting with Commander Todo concerning the lost Space Cruiser Yamato. The young man was in his mid-twenties and was clearly distressed. He failed to notice his best friend waiting outside his home.
    "Where have you been Jordy?" asked the young man. "We were supposed to go to the Gallery!"
    Reemer, the same age as Jordy, had been Jordy's best friend since they were very young. They had both recently graduated from the Earth Defense Forces Academy and were on break from active duty awaiting their first assignments. A laid back and very likable guy, Reemer wanted to spend his remaining free time having fun. Reemer got no reply as Jordy unlocked his apartment's door.
    "I hear there's going to be some nice young ladies there just waitin' to snatch up new graduates," continued Reemer. "I think this may be our lucky night!"
    Jordy finished opening his apartment's door and walked inside. Reemer followed his friend and then proceeded to head toward the refrigerator. Jordy walked into his bedroom, closed the room's door and began to change his clothes while his friend raided the icebox. As he pulled on a new shirt, his communicator began to sound. He walked over to the computer on the table and pressed the receive button. As Commander Todo's face appeared on the small video screen Jordy saluted.
    "Mister Venture, your request has been approved. Please report to duty tomorrow," ordered the Commander.
    Jordy saluted as the transmission completed and the Commander disappeared from the screen. He then remembered Reemer in the other room. The two boys had always done everything together and now, things would change. How could he break the news to Reemer? He was unsure how his friend would react to the latest developments.
    Jordy finished getting dressed and then went into the main living area. Reemer had taken it upon himself to grab an orange and pull up a seat. Jordy pulled up a chair next to Reemer and sat down. He finally broke his silence.
   "I tried getting some answers at Earth Defense today but they were as helpful as a Planet Bomb on a bride's wedding day. I'm getting a little worried. I hope Mark's okay."
    "Hey, he'll be fine," said Reemer. "It's probably just a communications glitch. And what was up with you last night? It was the last game of the Astro-Ball season and you're out in La-La Land. You gotta get a grip Jordy m'boy or the coach will bench you for the playoffs."
    "I don't think I'm going to have to worry about that Reemer," answered Jordy.
    "What are you talking about? You're beginning to sound like a Dark Nebulan," joked Reemer.
    "I'm leaving Reemer. I got my orders this morning," replied Jordy.
    Reemer was shocked and couldn't believe the news. Since they were kids they always made these kinds of decisions together. Reemer felt a bit betrayed.
    "What? When?" asked Reemer.
    "Tomorrow at six hundred hours," continued Jordy. "The Commander at Earth Defense is sending out a search team to look for the Yamato. I will be the Chief Navigator aboard the new Space Battleship Omega."
    Reemer sighed and shook his head in disgust. He threw his arms in the air and got out of his chair.
    "Man, you certainly know how to ruin a perfectly good day." Reemer stopped and thought for a moment. Then it hit him. "Hey, wait a minute, what about the Astro-Ball playoffs? What are we gonna do about the playoffs? I'm sorry Jordy but you're needed here. You can't go."
    "What?" Jordy smiled. "I'm leaving on an assignment and all you can think about is Astro-Ball?"
    "Hey, I know how much you want to go and all but it's your duty to lead us to a victory over the Titanites," answered Reemer.
    Jordy snapped back, "c'mon Reemer, get serious."
    "I am serious man," laughed Reemer. "We're gonna get creamed!"
    "You could always come with me," taunted Jordy.
    Reemer burst out laughing. "You've really lost your mind! You know how much my stomach hates space travel."
    "C'mon Reemer, it would be like old times; like it was at the Academy."
    "You talked me into going there too and I hated every minute of it," snapped Reemer. "Sorry man, someone's gotta be here to beat the Titanites in the playoffs."
    Reemer threw his orange into the garbage receptacle and then walked over to his friend. Jordy was looking down at the floor.
    "Hey, if this is going to be your last night on Earth, we don't want to keep the ladies waiting. Let's go," said Reemer.
    Reemer grabbed Jordy by the arm and the two friends left the apartment. Needless to say, Reemer and Jordy's minds were elsewhere the rest of that evening.

    After the death of Alex Wildstar and the war with the Dark Nebula Empire, the Star Force returned to Earth to help the planet rebuild from the vicious attack. During his free time, Sandor began to work on a design for a new Space Battleship. He planned to build the strongest and most powerful ship in the Earth Defense Fleet as a tribute to his late friends Alex Wildstar, Queen Starsha of Iscandar and their daughter Sasha.
    With help from Commander Todo, Sandor secretly constructed the Space Battleship Omega in an underwater base hidden deep beneath the surface of the Sea of Japan. Sandor finished the new battleship just days before the Yamato was sent on its latest journey.
    Before he left on the Yamato, Sandor was approached by Commander Todo to take a new position at Earth Defense Headquarters. The position would promote Sandor to be in charge of rebuilding the entire Earth Defense Fleet. The job would essentially end his career aboard the Space Cruiser Yamato.
    But Sandor refused to accept the position - at least for the moment. He wanted one more mission aboard the Yamato. When the final mission was complete, he would make his decision one way or the other. The Commander agreed to Sandor's terms and the Yamato was sent on its year-long mission.
    The new ship was named the Omega and it was ready to launch on her maiden voyage. Its difficult mission was to not only train the new recruits but to help locate the lost Space Cruiser Yamato. The Atlantis Underwater Facility, home to the Omega, was located on the floor of the Sea of Japan. The only way in or out of the facility was by underwater transport. The crew of the Omega minus her Chief Navigator were already on board and ready for take off.
    Jordy was on his way to the Atlantis facility in a remote controlled single-manned submarine. He was a late addition to the crew and was nervous with his first assignment but he was excited and thrilled to be going. He had been traveling inside the underwater vehicle for about an hour. He wished he had seen Reemer before he left but he was probably still shacked up with a girl from the Gallery from the previous night.
    Jordy sat in the small craft and looked out of the main view port. In the distance he could make out a domed structure with antenna sticking out of the top and what appeared to be doors all around its sides. Lights littered the structure turning the base into an underwater lighthouse.
    The small sub cruised around the structure and a tiny hatch opened on the far side. The submarine entered the hatch and the door closed behind it. Light surrounded the sub as it slowly approached what appeared to be a huge steel wall inside of the domed underwater base.
    The submarine came to a stop and seconds later, the area in which the submarine entered the base was drained of its water. The door to the submarine automatically opened and Jordy grabbed a small bag. He exited the submarine onto a small walkway leading to a door. Jordy walked over to the door and it slid open revealing the mighty hull to the Space Battleship Omega.
    Its deck had four huge gun turrets, two on the aft and two on the stern, each consisting of two massive laser cannon barrels. The guns had a range of ten thousand mega-meters and were accurate to the meter. The turrets were separated by the main bridge.
    The main bridge was surrounded by smaller turrets. Each turret, five on the port and five on the starboard sides, consisted of two small laser cannon barrels. These weapons had a range of about one thousand mega-meters. The bridge had a long rectangular radar dish on top which swiveled thirty degrees to the port and starboard sides when it was in use.
    On the port and starboard sides of the battleship near the aft were two large wings. Each wing had a medium-sized gun turret with a maximum range of twenty-five hundred mega-meters. Toward the bow of the ship on either side were the Takion Wave Cannon ports. Each cannon could fire simultaneously or separately. The destructive power of these guns used simultaneously could destroy a small moon. The range on these guns differed on how they were fired. It fired separately, they had a range of about twenty-five thousand mega-meters. If fired together, the range doubled.
    On the keel of the boat was another main gun turret similar to the ones on the deck. There was also the main hatch for the ship's fighter planes. The Omega's hanger stored seventy-five small attack planes. These fighters were used mostly for combat situations but they could also be used for reconnaissance.
    The might of the Omega was her powerful Takion Engine. This engine captured Takion particles and compressed them to give the ship its energy and the ability to move faster than the speed of light. Another feature it had was a Takion duplicator/compressor. This machine would allow the engine to take natural Takion particles and duplicate them into synthetic Takion particles. This allowed the ship to use less energy but travel twice the velocity of a standard Wave Engine.

    Jordy walked over to a small runway where a security guard stood watch. The guard noticed Jordy and then checked a white clipboard. After finding what he had been looking for, the guard pressed a tiny communicator on his wrist.
    "Captain, the second one has arrived," reported the guard into the communicator.
    The guard looked up at Jordy who was carrying his bag.
    "I am Jordy Venture reporting for duty."
    "You have been expected Mister Venture," replied the guard. "The Omega is running a little late and you are being requested on the bridge right away. Follow this walkway to the elevator. It will take you to the bridge. Good luck, Sir."
    Jordy nodded his head and walked up the walkway into the Omega. As he entered the ship, the walkway retracted and a huge door closed behind him sealing him inside the Omega. He walked over to the elevator and moments later he was being transported to the bridge.

    The bridge of the Omega had five stations. The main Captain's chair was on a platform raised to the level of the top of the other station's chairs and it was located in the back of the bridge. The First Officer sat directly in front of the Captain only his chair was level with the rest of the other officers on the bridge. The bridge sloped ever so slightly down toward the main view port.
    To the right of the First Officer's chair sat the Communications Officer. To the left of the First Officer's chair sat the head Radar Technician. In front of the First Officer sat the main Weapon's Officer and to his right was the Chief Navigator's chair. Above these stations was a huge display screen which ran the whole width of the bridge. Here the crew could receive video messages, see star maps, chart and plot courses and develop battle plans.

    Jordy noticed that every seat on the bridge was filled except the Weapon's Officer's, the First Officer's and his, the Chief Navigator's position. Jordy walked toward the center of the bridge to get to his seat but was stopped by a deep husky voice.
    "Mister Venture!"
    Jordy turned around and saw an older man sitting in the Captain's chair. Jordy immediately dropped his bag and snapped to attention. The man appeared to be in his late-fifties, was slightly overweight and was wearing a Captain's hat. Jordy's heart raced in his chest. A first impression was so important and Jordy wanted to be sure he didn't do anything stupid.
    "Chief Navigator Jordy Venture reporting for duty Sir," said the young man nervously.
    "Mister Venture, welcome to the Space Battleship Omega. I am Captain Hudson Taylor. I assume you have memorized the technical schematics of this ship."
    "Yes Captain," replied Jordy. "Backwards and forwards Sir."
    "Good..." replied the Captain "...then get us in the water as soon as possible. We're running a little behind schedule."
    "Yes sir," replied Jordy.
    He saluted his captain and then ran to his chair. He threw his bag to the floor and feverishly tried to recall every little button on the control panel; every little detail that was described in depth in the technical schematics. He was so wrapped up in his job that he failed to notice a person enter the bridge. A light tap on his shoulder grabbed his attention from his work. Jordy looked up and noticed a familiar face.
    "Reemer," exclaimed Jordy. "What are you doing here?"
    "I didn't want you to get all of the glory," joked Reemer. "Besides without you we didn't stand a chance against the Titanites." Reemer looked back at the Captain and then back at Jordy. "Oh and speaking of which, you were kicked off the team. We both were actually when I told the coach we were leaving. I'm sorry."
    "Very funny," replied Jordy. "So what are you going to do on the Omega?"
    "Deputy Captain Reemer..." interrupted Captain Taylor "...do you think you can get us out of here or should I launch the Omega myself?"
    All Jordy could do was stare at his friend. In the blink of an eye, Reemer had stolen Jordy's thunder and was now his superior officer.
    "We are all ready Captain," answered Reemer. "Venture, begin energy buildup."
    "Yes...sir," said Jordy hesitantly.
    Reemer sat down in his command chair and began to take control of the Omega's launch. The dock in which the Omega was situated had to be flooded with water so that the ship could launch into the sea.
    "Closing launch bay and sealing doors for take off," reported Reemer. "Flooding launch bay with water. We'll be submerged in two minutes."
    Reemer pressed a few buttons on his computer and water began to pour into the launch bay.
    After the Space Battleship Omega was completely underwater, Jordy worked at the controls and stabilized the ship. The outer launch hatch opened and the Omega was exposed to the outside sea.
    "Energy is at one hundred percent," reported Jordy. "Fly-wheel revolution is at full. Preparing to open cylinder to the auxiliary engines."
    "When they're ready Mister Venture take us out slowly," ordered Captain Taylor.
    Jordy finished preparations and pulled slightly back on the Omega's controls. The ship began to slowly move forward toward the open sea. Jordy remained focused and soon piloted the ship out of the Atlantis Underwater Facility. Behind them, the launch bay doors slammed shut.
    "Easy does it Venture," said Captain Taylor. "The Omega has never had a test run so be gentle with her; this is her first time. Prepare for full blast in sixty seconds."
    The Omega effortlessly glided through the Sea of Japan on its way to the surface. Jordy ever so carefully pulled back on the throttle and the Omega began to rise at a much quicker pace. Venture noticed that the ship was responding nicely as he began the ten second countdown to main engine ignition.
    "Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero. Main engine ignite!"
    The huge engines roared to life and the Omega broke the surface of the water.
    "Space Battleship Omega, blast off!" ordered Taylor.
    The great battleship broke free of the sea and began to rise through the air. The bridge crew sat in silence as the ship began its ascent toward the edge of the Earth's atmosphere. Once free of the Earth's gravity, the Omega had begun its journey through the infinity of space to find the Space Cruiser Yamato.

    Jordy looked nervously down at the floor of the elevator as it descended into the ship. He had been requested to report to Captain Hudson Taylor's quarters and had no idea what the meeting was about. The elevator came to a halt and the elevator door opened. Jordy looked up and came face to face with Reemer.
    "Hey," said Reemer trying to break the awkward silence.
    "Reemer," replied Jordy as he walked past his new Deputy Captain.
    "Jordy," answered Reemer trying to get his friend to stop walking away. "Let me explain. I got a call after I got back from the Gallery. It was Commander Todo. He said that there was this mission and its ship's First Officer got appendicitis. They needed someone right away so they gave me a call. I didn't have time to tell you. I'm sorry."
    Jordy turned to look at Reemer. "Listen Reemer, I am your friend. You should have told me! I swear, you did this purposely to piss me off!"
    "That is not fair," yelled Reemer. "You know me better than anyone in the universe. We have been friends for years. So what if we had a little rivalry at the Academy. You think I was angry that you graduated first in our class? No, I was happy for you. I don't have a family to wish me luck or to congratulate me on my successes. The only family I have is you and your brother! I would never intentionally try to hurt you in any way."
    Jordy turned from his friend and walked away. "I'm late for my meeting."
    Reemer just stared at his friend as he disappeared down the corridor.

    The door to the Captain's quarters had a large anchor etched into it and a handle that was used to open and close it. Jordy knocked at the door and soon thereafter, it opened revealing Captain Taylor. Jordy snapped to attention.
    "This is Jordy Venture reporting as ordered, Sir."
    "Please come in and have a seat, Venture," said Taylor.
    Jordy walked into the room and noticed medals and pictures throughout the cabin. Some of the pictures were old. The people in the photos appeared to be relatives, friends and other military officers. One picture showed Taylor standing alongside Captain Avatar. Jordy sat down in a chair in front of the Captain's desk.
    "You are probably wondering why I have asked you here, Jordy. When the Commander told me that you went to him and requested to be assigned to this mission, I became a little nervous. After I read your file I asked the Commander to deny your request."
    Jordy squirmed in his seat.
    "To put you at ease Jordy, your qualifications were not the reason why I wanted to deny your request. I had other concerns. But the Commander and every one of your instructors insisted that I would find no better Chief Navigator in the entire Earth Defense Force, except for your brother of course. I wrestled with this decision for a long time. But in the end, I decided to give you a shot."
    "Thank you Sir," said Jordy.
    "But before we go any further, I need you to answer a simple question for me," said Taylor. "Why did you sign up for this mission?"
    The question took Jordy by surprise. He sat and pondered it for a moment until he felt satisfied with his conveniently manufactured answer.
    "I have been following your career for years Captain," answered Jordy. "I wanted to serve under you."
    Hudson Taylor had served in the military for many years. He had seen many soldiers make up countless number of elaborate excuses to get themselves out of trouble. In every instance however, the look on the soldier's face was quite similar and Taylor always recognized it for what it was - a lie.
    "Answer my question Venture," responded the Captain.
    "I did Sir," replied Jordy.
    Taylor shook his head in disagreement. "You disappoint me Mister Venture. It's a shame you cannot tell me the truth. Let's try this again. What is the real reason you are here?"
    Again Jordy responded, "To serve under your command..." but then added "...and to help find the Yamato, Sir."
    There was more going on inside of Jordy than met the eye and Taylor knew it. He had been around way too long to play games. Sooner or later the truth always came out. It all depended on the individual as to how long it would take. Taylor became visibly annoyed. His face became deep red with anger.
    "No! What is the REAL reason Venture? You either tell me now or you'll be space walking back to Earth!"
    Jordy could not hold back the truth any longer. "To find my brother."
    Taylor glared at Jordy. "What!?"
    "To find my brother, SIR!" replied Jordy.
    Taylor began to chuckle. He had broken the will of another recruit. He stood up and walked over to his only window. He gazed out and looked back at the Earth in the distance. He was amazed by its beauty, its resilience. How could it be so green and growing after all of the ills that had befallen its lush soil?
    "Jordy, you are a good man and will be a great officer. However, I cannot have my Chief Navigator thinking of anything except his job. I am concerned that you may be too emotionally involved to be effective on this mission. I feel as though I am taking a chance letting you navigate but I am going to monitor the situation closely and if I think you are not cutting it, I will replace you immediately! The mission must come first. Do you understand me, Venture?"
    "I understand, Captain," said Jordy reluctantly.
    "I hope so for your sake Venture," replied Captain Taylor. "That is all, you are dismissed."
    Venture rose from his chair, saluted the Captain and turned to leave. He walked toward the cabin door and grabbed the handle to open it.
    Jordy turned to face Hudson Taylor.
    "Yes, Captain?" asked Jordy.
    "We will find the Yamato and we will find your brother."
    Jordy smiled and saluted again. "Yes, sir!"
    Jordy left the cabin and closed the door. He walked toward the elevator that would take him to the bridge. The pressure on him to succeed was mounting. He must prove to the crew, the Captain and to himself that he could get the job done. He must find the Yamato. He must find his brother.
    He must.

Chris' Corner, Chapter 5