Space Cruiser Yamato: End Of An Empire

by Chris Morin

Chapter 3 - Fight Or Flee?

    Captain Wildstar's command chair descended from his quarters above the Yamato's main bridge. It came to rest at his command station and as he got settled he began to watch the bridge crew. He was specifically interested in Reemer. It wasn't as if he didn't trust his new Deputy Captain. In fact it was quite the contrary. Wildstar was curious as to how the rest of the officers would react to the outsider running the day-to-day operations on the bridge.
    Mark Venture was sitting behind the Yamato's navigational controls preparing for evasive maneuvers. He knew Reemer very well. Reemer was Venture's younger brother Jordy's best friend. Reemer was always at the Venture household, playing soccer and goofing off. It was hard for Mark to believe that Reemer was now in charge of the bridge but after seeing what the young officer could do in their meeting with the Xylotians, he had confidence in the young man.
    Nova was sitting at the Radar Operator's station surveying the area of space around the ship. She too had her doubts about Reemer's ability to command but she trusted her husband enough to know he had made the right choice in selecting Reemer.
    Yamazaki was busy checking out the ship's engine readouts at the Chief Engineer's position. He really didn't care one way or another about the young officer. He just wished Reemer would stay out of his way so that he could properly take care of his engines.
    Dash was going over the weapon's checklist at his seat in gunnery. He was angry with Reemer's appointment as Deputy Captain. Dash felt that he was more than capable for the job and far more qualified than Reemer. Dash had applied for the position but Wildstar wanted a fresh face; someone who had no prior experience as a member of the Yamato's crew. Wildstar had assured Dash that he would have other options in the near future, bigger opportunities on the horizon such as his own command. Dash reluctantly agreed but was still a little bitter.
    Eager was busy studying coordinates and helping Venture as Assistant Pilot. He had no real aspirations to be in charge of the bridge or to have his own command. He just wanted a shot at being a full time navigator. With rumors of Mark Venture's possible transfer to Headquarters, Eager was hoping that the next time the Yamato left Earth that he would be leading it into space.
    Homer was keeping a channel open on his communications equipment. He was happy for Reemer and was hoping for nothing but the best for the new member of the crew. Reemer and Homer had similar interests and were often seen during their down time in the gym playing Astro Ball. They were becoming close friends, something that Homer had lacked during his time in the service.
    Sandor was in the process of designing the Yamato's new weapons. He knew where he stood in the pecking order. Even though Reemer was Deputy Captain in title, Sandor was Wildstar's true Executive Officer. Wildstar had conferred with Sandor about Reemer's appointment. They hated pulling Reemer from the Space Battleship Omega because Captain Taylor was trying to train a new crew but the mission was so vital to the future of Earth that they needed the best talent in the fleet and Reemer was a perfect fit.
    Reemer was sitting at the front of the bridge. The Deputy Captain looked confident as he directed the bridge crew unaware of how each of the crew truly felt about him. It had been a difficult transition for Reemer. It was tough leaving his Captain who had just returned to command after being in the hospital for a few months. But when Derek Wildstar asks you for your help, you'd be foolish to pass up the chance to work with the legendary Captain of the Yamato.
    "Eager, put the ships on the video panel," Reemer ordered.
    Eager activated the main video screen and an image of Desslok's ship appeared on the screen. It was being surrounded by round alien space ships. The ships looked like large brown golf balls with tentacles coming out of their dimples. They moved with precision and speed.
    "Captain Wildstar," interrupted Talan who was sitting at the station to the left of Reemer, "those are Hunter ships!"
    "Captain Wildstar, I have the Earth's Commanding General Todo on hold for you," Homer said but the Captain ignored his report. "He demands to speak with you immediately."
    "We're a bit busy right now Homer," Reemer said from across the room. "Can he wait?"
    "I don't think so Reemer," Homer responded. "The Commander doesn't want us returning to Earth. He calls it an unnecessary risk."
    "Put the Commander on the video panel." Wildstar ordered from his Command Chair. As the Commander's image appeared on the screen Wildstar stood and saluted his commanding officer.
    "Captain Wildstar, I have briefed the President on your current situation," said the Commander. "He demands that you return General Talan and Emperor Desslok to their ship."
    "I'm sorry Commander, but I can't do that," answered Wildstar. "I would be signing their death warrants!"
    "I have my orders Captain Wildstar and you have yours," said Todo. "If what General Talan tells us is true, the Hunters will leave us alone. You must not get involved Captain Wildstar. This is not our fight."
    The Hunters converged and created a large circle as each ship connected to another by one or more of its tentacles. The alien Hunters combined all of their energy and an incredible light source appeared at the center of the circle of ships. As the huge light brilliantly flashed from the circle of aliens the Galman ship was vaporized and vanished from sight.
    "Did you see that power?" Dash asked from across the room. "That was incredible!"
    The Hunters remained motionless as they recharged their energy cells. They then scanned the area for more Galman DNA. A few moments later, they started heading towards the Yamato.
    "They're onto us!" Nova reported.
    Wildstar turned his attention back to his commanding officer. "It's too late Commander. We're involved now. If you don't want us going to Mars then there's only one other place we can go." Wildstar sat back down in his seat as the Commander's face disappeared from the screen. "Get us out of here Venture!"
    "I have calculated a very small space warp." Venture announced. "It will get us away from the Hunters long enough to decide what to do next."
    "Good," Wildstar replied, "then plot a course for Iscandar!"
    "But Iscandar was destroyed years ago," said Reemer.
    "That's a good idea Wildstar," said Sandor. "There's bound to be some Iscandarian DNA in that system."
    The Hunters were closing in on the Yamato. Time was running out. In a few moments, escape would no longer be an option.
    "It's now or never Wildstar!" Venture announced.
    Wildstar didn't hesitate. "Venture, WARP!"
    As space folded in upon itself and the Yamato disappeared for a temporarily safe destination, the Hunters methodically calculated their course in their unrelenting pursuit to end the Galman Empire once and for all.