Captain Eldarwen turned to her senior officers. “I was just informed that the MLS P. Bunny and the MLS P. Ninja have some leads to follow up on. I haven’t heard anything from the MLS D. Shovel as of yet. I think that we should- ” She cut off suddenly, the sound of Timmy’s voice emanated from the comm, drawing her attention.
There wasn’t much to be a heard except for a lot of background noise, but it sounded like he was muttering something along the lines of “Kill raptors, kill.” under his breath. It sounded worrying, and very weird.
“What on earth has he gotten himself into?” Eldarwen murmured as she raised an eyebrow at Aka-click and Kdskid007 in hopes of them potentially having a better insight into what this message could mean.
“Look!” Kds pointed to the ship’s controls where a light was blinking furiously. “There’s a signal! Timmy seems to be on some sort of planet…” She trailed off as the light suddenly winked out of existence.
“There’s only one thing to do then!” Eldarwen proclaimed and Aka-click was already punching the coordinates of Timmy’s location into their board computer. “Exactly, we’ll have to go investigate and see if we can find him or at the very least a clue as to what the heck is going on!”
Timmy’s signal had come from a planet they had never visited, much less heard of before. From above, it had a weird shape and the commanding crew of the MLS H. Viking stood in front of their controls, trying to make sense of it.
“It almost looks like…” Aka-click started, a puzzled expression seemingly permanently etched onto her face.
“Is that a tail?” Kdskid007 wondered, turning her head this way and that.
“It does look familiar,” Eldarwen agreed. “And that might be a tail,” she added when Kds followed the shape she was talking about. “But I still can’t figure out what that shape is. Odd that the planet isn’t sphere-shaped.”
There was no use in trying to figure out the shape though. What they needed to do was find Timmy and the Baty. Getting back the MLS C. Baty was their foremost goal. While they were not averse to having a little adventure while doing so, they needed to focus on their task.
“Crew!” Eldarwen called over the intercom. “We are going to land in a short while. Please make sure that you remain seated during the procedure. We do not want accidents – again.” A small pause to let this sink in, especially for the cadet who featured a black eye from his recent, involuntary, encounter with a supply closet.
“While we are on this planet, we are not going to keep you confined to the ship, but we do ask you to please tread carefully. Any findings shall be reported to the commanding officers. At the first sign of danger, I want all of you back on the ship. I do not want to see any heroics.”
Captain Eldarwen and Lt. Commander Aka-click brought the MLS Viking in for landing while Ensign Kdskid007 settled herself behind the ship’s defensive system – just in case.
The closer they came to the planet the more details they saw. It was a very lush, green planet with a few hills and even a few mountains scattered all over the surface. There was an abundance of water, rivers and a couple of lakes. Trees in every size and shape were everywhere as far as the eye could see. Movement could be seen amongst the leaves but it was hard to determine whether it was just the leaves dancing to the wind or if there was something else hidden in them.
After flying over the treetops for a while, they finally came upon what looked like a potential landing spot. A huge space opened up between the trees and it grew larger and wider until it met the edge of a beautiful, serene-looking lake. The water was so clear that they could see the rocky bottom of it.
“Any sign of the Baty?” Eldarwen asked, her brow furrowed in concentration. Aka-click instantly shook her head. “Unfortunately, no. I don’t see the ship anywhere and there has been nothing throughout the com either. It seems as though it disappeared back into the endless night. It should have been from somewhere around here that the signal initially came from.”
Nodding, Eldarwen had the ship on the ground in a matter of minutes. In the background, the cadets were oohing and aahing over the view outside the windows and all the more so when Kds opened the door and lowered the ramp.
After they had all filed outside, the commanders reviewed the rules of conduct again but it was clear that most of the cadets weren’t listening, as expected. Running off in various directions, Eldarwen threw her hands up to the sky and simply hoped for the best. “Vikings will never change,” she muttered before starting to walk towards the edge of the lake. The ground was sandier there and her hope was that they might find a footprint, ship print or some kind of hint that could tell them what had happened to Timmy and the Baty.
“What do you think he meant by “kill, raptors, kill”? Aka-click mused as she walked beside Eldarwen, her eyes glued to the ground.
Ensign Kdskid007 was holding her trusted flame thrower at the ready, as she looked from side to side for any sign of anything that needed roasting. “It’s Timmy. Do you really expect there to be some hidden meaning behind the nonsense he always spouts?”
Eldarwen suddenly stopped without warning, causing Kds to bump into her. “Maybe there’s our answer.” Her voice had a bit of an edge to it as she pointed to where she had seen movement.
Brown raptors, green raptors, even raptors with a slight blue-ish or purple-ish touch, were stepping out from behind the trees. There was no way to determine how many there were, but there were a lot of them!
“Uhm…,” Kds said, nudging the Captain with her elbow. “Over there,” she whispered. Turning her head, Eldarwen noticed that the same thing had happened on all sides of the clearing. They were completely surrounded by raptors, and it begged the question whether they were friend or foe.
Looking the scene over, Eldarwen suddenly recalled a minor detail from the Ninja Captain’s message. “Oh, that’s what they meant by raptors?” At Aka-Click’s questioning look, she explained that raptors had been mentioned in Captain WitchyRobyn’s message but with the excitement of Timmy’s signal, she had completely forgotten about it.
“Recall all cadets,” Eldarwen whispered urgently as she tried to watch all directions at once. Aka-Click nodded once, picked up her comm and gave the signal to return to the ship without removing her eyes from the raptors that surrounded them.
It didn’t take long for those who had gone along the beach to return to the ship, but those who had gone into the forest had to pass the raptors to return. A few made it by, moving carefully and cautiously.
“Move with caution cadets. Do not disturb the raptors.” Eldarwen called out as the movement in the trees began to double, possibly even triple. She turned to her officers and gave them a look that they both understood. Kds fingered her flame thrower nervously as Aka-Click unharnessed her energy rifle and Eldarwen pulled out her knives.
It was then that the screeching began and the the last handful of cadets were running for the ship. Their standard issue weapons were barely enough to dissuade the pursuing raptors.
They exchanged a look before charging towards the attacking raptors to save as many cadets as they could. Kds was almost grinning as she brought her flame thrower to bear on one of the raptors. They did their utmost to fight off the raptors as they were forced back towards the ship. Yet despite their best efforts, a few of the cadets were lost to the raptors as they dragged them off into the forest.
Back on board the MLS H. Viking, Captain Eldarwen addressed the remaining cadets and her two officers. “I will be sending a report back to the academy, but do not consider your friends and crewmates lost. We will get them back one way or another. Vikings never leave anyone behind.”
There were no cheers to meet her statement, only sombre nods. They all knew what they had to do now.