CH 7 STAR COMMAND
On Earth the Shooting Stars had no idea that danger was so near. Kim and Marie were in the Commons Area having some shakes and thinking about what happened the day before.
The Commons Area was a place for kids to spend their time, so they could stay out of trouble. Everything was there; video games, food, weights, a mat, and a TV where the news showed footage of the Shooting Star’s fight.
Marie saw a new guy walk in. He was tall with long black hair pulled back into a pony-tail at the base of his neck. His tan face was kind, but troubled. “Look at that guy,” Kim whispered.
“He’s probably from the new Native reservation outside of town. I wonder why he’s here.”
“He’s coming straight toward us,” Kim whispered, shyly turning around.
“Eric, my brother is sick. Is there anyone you know, and trust, who is willing to help us?” the guy asked.
Eric, the manager, was the man who served everything at the Commons Area. Through the desperation in his voice Marie gathered that Eric was his only friend in this new area.
“I’m an assistant nurse,” Marie said.
The new guy looked to Eric who smiled and nodded his head. “That is wonderful,” relief filled his eyes and a smile crossed his face. “I’m Sky and my family is new here. Do you think you can help my brother?”
“I hope so. I’m Marie and this is Kim. We’ll do everything we can.” Marie, Kim, and Sky left the Commons Area and continued on to Sky’s reservation.
They walked along the main roads that lead out of the small city. Near the edge of town Sky turned onto a dirt road. Trees stood as tall sentinels. As they drew near several huts scattered the ground. Marie saw that the huts could be easily taken down in minuets and transported to a different location and put up just as quickly. Sky’s family stood guard at one of the huts. Marie heard a soft moan and walked to the hut.
The natives were very protective, and would not move until Sky greeted a fairly large man, “Shako, Father, I have found someone who is willing to help Little Eagle.”
The group parted as Sky’s father grunted. Marie and Kim passed the searching eyes to find the boy shivering on a pile of straw and a wool blanket over him. He had small red spots on his face and all over his body.
“Little Eagle, you have chicken pox. You will be well in a few weeks, but you must stay in bed, drink lots of water, and do not scratch.”
“My head hurts and I’m cold.”
“He’s running a fever,” Marie sighed felling the young boy’s forehead and face. “Kim, get some cold water and a clean rag. Sky, can you get him another blanket?”
“We have many blankets,” he sighed as he fingered the dingy blankets. “They are gifts from some neighbors.”
“Is this one of them?” Marie asked. Her voice was lightly laced with anger.
“They have so many holes. Also in history some people spread great plagues to your people, when we first arrived, by giving them infected blankets. We have eliminated many of these diseases but some still remain.”
“Those traitors. I figured as much. I trusted them against my better judgment.”
“Many people find it difficult to trust, especially when that trust has been betrayed. Yet, without trust, life can be very difficult. Please, let me and my friends prove to you of our dependability. I will get you some blankets without holes and no chicken pox,” Marie said the last bit to Little Eagle with a touch of affection.
“I feel that I can trust you. There is kindness in your eyes and your touch. But my people are sometimes blind.”
“They will see.”
Just then a war cry sounded, warning the camp of potential danger. Everyone, except for the little ones, ran out. Someone rode, on a white horse, toward the camp, with trucks inching closer behind him. As the brave warier road by, Marie jumped in front of the lead truck as it, inches from her feet, screeched to a halt.
Sky ran to Marie’s side and asked, “What are you doing?”
“Men like these don’t care if they harm a native, but they don’t want to hit one of their children’s friends.”
“Get out of the way, Girl,” the lead man yelled.
“Why do you come to this peaceful village with guns?” Marie asked.
“Because we don’t want them to go to the same schools as our children.”
“I would be honored to learn with any one of these people. I am sure they have many things they can teach us as well,” Kim said walking to Marie’s side. The man didn’t seem pleased. His face reddened like a ripe tomato. He lifted his rifle taunt to his shoulder.
Sky had wandered to the side of the group. The leader of the mobsters was preparing to prove Marie’s statement wrong. Sky jumped into the air, screaming, and knocked him down. The man’s gun flew into the air and fell into Sky’s trained hand. Sky immediately pointed the gun at the leader and he ordered the men, in a thundering voice, “Put down your guns or I will shoot him.” The men did as Sky said, as he let the man get up. With the gun still raised he hissed, “Leave and never return.”
“What about my gun?”
“It’s my prize of war. Besides I don’t trust you with it. Now go, before I change my mind.”
The men left as Sky passively handed the gun over to his father, the chief, as if it meant nothing to him. “This is the seventh gun he has given me,” he replied gratefully. “You risked your lives for ours and you are helping Little Eagle. You and your friends will always be considered family.”
“That would be a great honor, thank you. I have a thermometer to check your son’s temperature, medicine to lower it if needed, and cream to help the itching at home. Have someone put this on his head until I come back,” Marie replied as she handed him the water and cloth. “Keep the adults away from him. Chicken Pox is a childhood disease and will do little harm to children but the seriousness increases the older you become. It has been known to kill an adult,” Marie whispered the last to Sky. Then she and Kim left to Marie’s house to get the supplies.
The ship was still in repairs, but Jinks and Brandon decided to trust Terra’s judgment and started to repair other things, including: the transporter, screen, engines, and Jinks herself. The interior seemed in more of a mess of wires than before.
Off in a little group Christopher and Kit were talking about the little ship and Jinks.
“There’s no reason for Jinks to leave,” Kit said. Then added, “She has nowhere to go.”
“She can’t go because Terra still might escape and come back,” Chris whispered, still hopeful of Terra’s return. “Zeniff, unfortunately, will be close behind. We need the stars here and we need to perfect our own skills.” Then confronting Jinks he said, “Jinks, we can’t let you leave. One reason is you have nowhere to go and second we still might need you.”
“I would not leave even if I could,” Jinks replied.
“What do you mean?” Kit asked.
“We can’t repair the ship good enough for her to start,” Brandon replied as he wiped his greasy hands. “It should start but she won’t. The computers will soon use up all their stored energy and then we will be in the dark.”
“Than we need to reserve the power and try to find a generator,” Chris sighed.
“That’s a good idea,” Brandon replied, “but it might be hard to find one with enough juice for the whole ship. Why don’t we find another base of operations and move the computers there? I think I have an old generator at home.”
They all agreed. Christopher, Kit, and Brandon, left Jinks and transported outside the ship to look around. All around them were trees and the idea of finding a base seemed impossible.
“What are we looking for?” Kit asked.
“I’m not sure,” Brandon replied. “But I bet when we find it, we’ll know.”
“That’s encouraging,” Kit scoffed.
“Yeah,” Chris mocked. “You, of all people who don’t believe anything that doesn’t have an explanation, expect us to just fall right into . . . aye.” Chris fell through a week spot in the ground, in the middle of his sentence, and landed with a thump.
“Are you all right?” Kit laughed.
“I’m fine,” Chris replied as he shook the shock from his legs. He looked at the darkness around him. The ground felt strangely smooth. “Throw me a flashlight. I think I found some sort of cave we could use.”
Brandon dropped a flashlight that he had with him to Christopher’s waiting hands. He turned the bright light on and gasped.
“What is it Chris?” Brandon asked.
“It’s amazing. Guys, come down here. You’ve got to see this.”
One by one they joined Christopher in the black hole. He smiled at his friends’ reaction. Their eyes were wide with surprise more than the change in light. A circle had been made by computers and around the outside were seven pillars that looked like empty glass tubs. They had landed in the center of the circle.
Christopher turned the flashlight to lantern mode and placed it on one of the computers. He walked around the tall clear pillars. Unconsciously he touched one and jerked his hand back, as if it had been burned. A blinding light lit the pillar. As it died down, they saw it was a brilliant white. Small dots of sparkle floated around as if glitter had infused the light. Brandon and Kit saw this and touched other pillars to see what they would do. The first pillar Brandon touched glistened a cool blue, and Kit’s pillar shined a heavenly gold. Other pillars that they touched did nothing.
“We’ve found something,” Kit said suspiciously. “Get the girls. They’ve got to see this.”
Christopher was way ahead of him. Marie and Kim, already, stood behind them.
“How in the universe did you find this place?” Marie asked.
“Chris fell through the ceiling,” Kit laughed as he pointed to the new skylight.
They hadn’t told Marie and Kim of how the pillars had been lit. They walked around, cautiously. Marie was the first to touch a pillar and she screamed as hers lit up with an enchanting emerald green light. Kim’s pillar lit up a royal purple.
“Could this be our Command Center? Or, maybe, Command Cave would be better?” Marie asked after Christopher explained what their intentions were.
“It could be,” Chris said uncertain as he walked around. “I think we should have a look. . .” Chris said as he fell out of sight, again.
“Chris, are you all right?” Kim asked.
“I don’t think any bones are broken, yet, but I’m getting a little tired of being the one to fall. Watch the first step, it’s the only one you’ll have.” Chris joked.
“No, it’s not. You just missed the steps,” Marie laughed as she walked down the stone stairs. “We’ll have to place a railing so no one else falls and gets hurt.”
As Christopher’s friends came down the light from the flashlight fell onto a large golden star imbedded in the floor, around which was a crystal circle. Three rooms surrounded the hall. Spell bound she walked toward the circle until an image appeared clothed in a white robe. Golden hair framed a smiling face with light blue eyes. A heavenly light surrounded him.
“Peace,” the image pleaded with a calm voice.
“Who are you?” Chris asked.
“I am Ryan, the sixth leader of the Shooting Stars. You, Christopher, are the leader of the first Shooting Stars of this planet. My team’s last operation was to build this place. We knew that one day New Earth would be in danger and we hoped you would find it at that time. This place has a strong force field that will only let in those of noble intentions.”
“Those pillars have to do something with our powers, but we only have five stars and there are seven pillars. Why? And what do the colors mean?” Marie asked.
“There were many Shooting Stars in the beginning. Several of the powers were lost and so until they are found and put to their use, those pillars will remain empty,” Ryan explained. “Everyone has two colors inside. One represents the good, and the other evil. It also indicates how strong you are. Not one person has the same colors. The colors also represent what you can do. Each individual power accustoms itself with its owner and shows the true color as time goes by. The color becomes permanent so that when you pass your powers on the color and powers will stay the same.”
“Terra said that if someone was forced into the powers they would turn them against themselves,” Chris said. “What will happen if they are forced?”
“Everyone has an evil side. Some are stronger than others. The power, when forced on them, makes that side stronger, or makes the good side weaker, no one knows. It sends you into a deep coma and your body in control of that evil,” Ryan said.
“These rooms will serve you, as a team, more than you can now understand,” Ryan continued. “In the hologram room you can practice and get familiar with the Dragons.”
“This is the weapon room,” Ryan pointed to another room. “You can call upon your powers and the uniforms will come to you. You can, also, call your weapons, any time, even telepathically if you are telepathic. It will be hard at first, but the more you use it the easier it will become. This large room has fighter jets that you may learn to fly and use to protect this planet. I suggest you use the hologram room first to try them out and learn. Be brave, work together and most of all believe in yourself and each other,” Ryan finished and disappeared.
“I like the name Star Command,” Kim replied. “I mean we are Shooting Stars.” Everyone agreed to the new name.
“We better get Jinks down here and tell her the good news,” Marie suggested.
“All right. Jinks,” Chris called through his communicator, “prepare to be teleported. We found our Star Command.”
“I have also gone over the different weapons that appeared,” Brandon said. “I like the little gun Kim was given and was wondering if all of us could get the use of one. There is a good probability that I could program different ammunition into it and I think we could get some impressive results.”
“Jinks,” Chris asked. “Can it be done?”
“It would be a simple matter with these computers.”
“Good. I want them as soon as possible. Brandon, you and Jinks work on them. I want them done by this afternoon.”
“It shall be done,” Jinks replied. Christopher smiled at the gentle robot and nodded his head.