Chapter 2: Orlivan’s Mistake

Orlivan yawned. He had stayed up all night composing music with an automatic music composing system from Hannifin Software, Inc. He had used the software to write five symphonies of incredible complexity and profound beauty, but it all came with the cost of fatigue. It was morning now, two hours before noon, and Orlivan just wanted to collapse and let the darkness of sleep take him.

But this was not possible. He was a pilot in the Voosh Brigade which defended Grimlock Moon Base 7. And at seventeen years old, Orlivan was the youngest pilot in Voosh Brigade history. He had a reputation to uphold. Falling asleep now would ruin that reputation.

Falling asleep now would also kill him because small drone fighter ships from the planet of Callahoo had invaded the skies above the moon base. One wrong move, and Orlivan risked being blasted out of the sky by one of the drone’s elite targeting systems. He had to keep his wits about him. He was second in command in a defense mission, flying the moon skies, gunning down the drones.

“H-10, watch your tail,” a voice said through Orlivan’s radio set.

“Copy that,” Orlivan said, checking the monitors on the control deck before him. His tail was clean. What had his friend been talking about. “Hey, H-4, my tail’s clean. What’s the meaning of telling me to watch my tail?”

“I thought I saw something following you,” his friend said through the radio. “No matter. Just keep an eye on it.”

“H-10, H-4,” the commander’s voice came through the radio, “west ten degrees, drop four. Get them from below.”

Orlivan immediately understood what the commander wanted. He wanted Orlivan and his friend to fly to the side of the battle and try shooting a cluster of drones from below. But it was a bad maneuver. Why could the commander not see that?

“Negative, commie,” Orlivan said. Commanders were always called “commies” in the Voosh Brigade. “The drone cluster ahead of you stands a greater chance of gaining access to the base towers. You need backup.”

“Do as I command!” the commander returned, his voice mixed with radio distortion. The drone’s radios were trying to disrupt communications. That meant they were newer models.

“Commie, how can you defend yourself?” Orlivan said.

“Just do as I command! I know what I’m doing! Don’t question me!”

“Copy. H-4, go first,” Orlivan said. “I’ll keep your east side clear.”

“Copy,” H-4 said.

Through a side window, Orlivan watched H-4 fly his ship westward.

“Follow him,” the commander said.

“Commie, why aren’t you engaging the enemy?” Orlivan asked. The commander had clear shots on the drone cluster ahead, but wasn’t doing anything. Something strange was going on.

“I’m waiting for a good shot,” the commander said. “Fly west.”

“Shall I take a shot myself?” Orlivan asked.

“Negative, H-10. Fly west.”

“But commie—”

“Fly west, I say! Or I’ll have your badge for insubordination!”

But Orlivan couldn’t resist. The drones were in clear view, almost dead ahead and above. It would be ludicrous to waste this opportunity. “I do this for my own good,” Orlivan said, putting his finger on the trigger on the top of the joystick clutched in his right hand, “and for the good of my moon base.” He pressed the button. The shots fired.

Boom! Boom! Ba-boom!

The drones exploded, setting off a chain reaction that made the entire cluster explode. The sky bathed in the red fires of the epic explosions. The sound roared through the air, the rush of wind. It was like standing at the edge of a deafening waterfall.

“Looks like I got ‘em!” Orlivan said proudly.

“You fool!” the commander shouted. “I told you not to! Look what you’ve done!”

Orlivan leaned forward and peered up at the commander’s ship above. One of his wings had caught fire.

“Drop it,” Orlivan said. Their ships could detach their wings and still make a clean landing. The commander would have to sit the rest of this battle out, and Orlivan would take over as commander for the remainder of the mission.

“Negative, H-10, you stupid ignoramus!” the commander shouted. “My wings are locked.”

Oh. Well, that meant the wings could not detach for some reason, perhaps because the engine was overheated and needed the coolants that were stored in the wings. And that meant the commander was probably going to die. Orlivan realized that he had screwed up big time. If only he had obeyed the commander instead of deciding to take matters into his own hands.

“Commander,” Orlivan said, his voice grave and serious, “you didn’t tell me.”

“You should’ve obeyed me!” the commander said. “Listen, tell my children that I—”


The commander’s ship exploded in a ball of green fire.

“H-10, what now?” H-4’s voice came through the radio.

What should Orlivan do now?

  • Try to destroy all the drones with his crew (100%, 1 Votes)
  • Retreat and lead the crew to safety (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Retreat by himself and leave his crew to fight the drones (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 1

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(The winning vote will determine the happenings of a future chapter.)