The year is 3029,the place the administrative center building for the Federation in the domed city of Peyton on the planet Mars. For generations humans who survived on Mars considered themselves Martians and were proud of their heritage. The human race still lived on Earth , but the domed cities with artificial seasons and oxygen to breathe on Mars was where only the elite and professionals were allowed to stay on Mars. There were a hundred major domes. Mining was done on numerous planets and moons in the system. as Earth was depleted of most ores and minerals, and depended on its far away cousins on Mars to excavate the numerous moons and planets for precious recourses. There were only shuttles from Earth to visit relatives; but getting residency was near impossible unless the Supreme Council on Mars granted it. One of the prestigious jobs on Mars was that of a crew on a space vessel. There were many that one could hope to be on. There was Space shuttles, large ore transports and many armed star cruisers of the fleet. All these depended on skill and maybe some politics. If a person failed to meet criteria on the sought after vessels through merits or who they know, they could end up on one of the inter-planetary consignment ships sarcastic known as Junkers. The Junkers consisted of 5 crew members. The Captain, Navigator, Arms Officer, Engineer Second in Command and Robotics chief .One way of getting off the bind of Earth was to have top honors in the interplanetary citadel in the dome city on the moon which housed the training facility for crews to be sent to Mars and hopefully getting work on a fleet of the line. There were danger as Pirates raided the ore ships and left no survivors. Try as they must nobody could find them afterwards. Many officers from passenger cruisers tried to get on a warship, but it was hard. Others trained for 3 years and looked forward to ships doing repetitive duty until they had something to bring to the plate. One way was to train and join a crew on the interplanetary sanitation ships sarcastically known as ’ Junkers’ A Crew had been selected from Mars and Earth to meet at the Citadel where all the decisions were made for manning the ships. Also it would not stand for anything but protocol and discretion was the sole responsibility of the ‘skipper’ of any vessel no matter if it was a lowly ‘Junker’ or a Interplanetary warship. Infringements were dealt with harshly weapons A message was sent out to 5 candidates to team up on a sanitation ( Junker ) . They were to meet at the 17th floor of the citadels building on the moon. Monday at 1 pm. One by one the participants entered the 17th floor lounge the young woman with dyed blue hair, sunglasses and a leather flight suit she was use to men and woman as well staring at her. Her name tag read ’ Captain Wodsworth' Her full name was Penelope ( Penny) Wodsworth. Penelope looked stunning;
Though very attractive but she was a strict leader. She excelled on the training simulators and had flown scouting ships from the moon to the space wheel orbiting Mars. Her training officer could have snoozed through the whole exercise. Her all around knowledge of the known solar systems and calmness under stress got her promoted to Captain. She was told with a good record on the Junkers would catapult her to at least a copilot on a interplanetary cruise liner. The next person to arrive was a muscle bound giant of a man with a shaved head. He would operate one of the two on board Ion blaster cannons. The blasters could vaporize a threatening asteroid or space junk with ease. The larger the entity the throttles had to be held longer and the person assigned to had to be in good physical condition to handle all of its power.. Penny went to introduce herself ; but thought otherwise as he was mumbling to himself. His name tag on his blue fatigues read ’ Stanley Krause, he had a shaved head and trimmed mustache and beard he looked Penny up and down like he was in a meat market. Stanley who had been fixing his eyes on Penny sat beside her . She said. “Move at least two chairs away sergeant!” He stared at her. She raised her voice “now!” Penny would not hesitate to use her rank away she could.
Fifteen minutes went by and the rest of the three crew members arrived. They were two more men and a women. Penny was glad to see another women. By her description she had been given her name was
Caroline Collins the navigator who would watch the four holograms on the walls which she could map the ships course where derelict ships, asteroids and other obstacles could prove disaster's to other vessels and clear threats to Earth or Mars
She was very business like in her navy blues.
One of the other men was man who she found ruggedly handsome with close cropped black hair was the engineer astute in maintaining the volatile Ion engines and all weapons including the Ion cannons
His name was Rico Montana.
Sitting across from her was a man who had boyish look and long blond hair and blue eyes he was Captain Andy Hazard who held citizenships on Earth and Mars ,He was second in command and 'Penny ' knew she would like him.
Shortly after a man with Admiral written all over him commenced the meeting. From pictures Penny had seen at the Academy she recognized him as Admiral Thomas Cole with short cut hair and a all business look about him he held citizenships on Earth and Mars. Then there was Captain Andy Hazard a second in command of the ship had a boyish look, blond hair and blue eyes, he was from Earth and after captaining a container ship between Earths moon and Mars,. He took training on the 'Junkers'.
Being co-captain on a Junker was a step up, Ion engine and support for all ion weapons which could atomize foreign objects in the void and the hand held Ion weapons used for protection especially including the cumbersome the Ion 205 rifle . Only Kramer had the strength to handle the Ion Cannon he had named death, which did not sit well with Penny There were several hologram screens surrounding them. a small x marked known communication and satellites off their orbit and uncontrollable. These were the easiest with the cannon. One tiny blast atomized them. Even a small woman could handle the cannon; but huge objects needed a large charge and brawn to handle it. If you were careless you could destroy a space vehicle even a warship. That's why you just had to rely on the likes of Kramer , he had many weeks of training and spending time in the weight room. Admiral Cole asked them to sit around a table. A woman about fifty with gray hair and thick glasses came in with 5 black briefcases with the company seal on them. He sat down and opened a discussion on their duties. Everyone was given folders to add to their briefcases. In the folder was biographies of each member to help them meld together. Then there was a picture of the xr2510 ship known as a Junker Admiral Cole used a pen laser to point to the Junker showing the propulsion system near the back of the ship Then the square panel for the captains view and next to it the square holding the Ion gun protruding from an airtight panel. The Admiral talked about the propulsion engines and necessary
and how important it was to watch the temperature." Rico I hold you responsible for them as you were top in your class on their study. " Kramer, I know you can handle your assignment." Please protect this ship and its crew. There has been mysterious pirate activity attacking cargo ships and killing the crew and stealing what ore and minerals they are bringing back to Earth, its moon and Mars, before they can get a warship there they are gone. We have not found their base and they have not made ransom requirements, no offers ever have been made. Rico added " Admiral I can get a lot of speed out of the engines without overheating them, maybe we can put a hole in one off these criminal ships and stop them until a warship can make it there. The Admiral frowned. '"just give the damn position out to Mars base and let a warship take over, and that's an order". These ships are for elimination of debris
in space only. Kramer whispered load enough to be heard " Dam Junkers" The Admiral looked to him "these damn Junkers as you call them are fast to get to where you have to go for what it suppose to do, not what an out of control crew member itching for a fight wants". "You can stay a safe distance and report in an encrypted message to the nearest warship the location". "If you don't want to do that I will put you on a passenger vessel working for 5 years until you get a chance to work on your so called 'Junker '". "As the rest of your crew mates, you were just above others for a place on the XP2510."
We have 5 of these ships with the task of destroying to atoms space junk, asteroids and any debris from abandoned vessels from skirmishes with the pirates. The pirates never ask for a ransom
and capture and commandeer a cargo liner containing ore or minerals obtained from mining from various planets and moons." This is a picture of one of the pirate ships they come in various sizes and shapes; but this is one of the ships that is very large and deadly. It alone will take on one of our warships." It was an impressive
ship. They had put a violet frame behind the picture to see it clearly. "We have pictures of several more in the briefcases you would be carrying." Penny asked " Admiral are they on their roster to destroy? The Admiral responded. " Not so far, we clean up the rubble in the either which makes it safer for them too." Rico told everyone " On this ship are the newest generation of
the latest in Ion engineering including the weapons I will describe to you. I believe we can out distance any of the marauders out there" Just don't get careless and if I say the engines need cooling we must slow down, Same with the weapons." After a dozen heavy blast the Ion cannon needs to cool."
There is a gauge on the top, don't go over the red line, try and keep it in the green or midway in the yellow. The Admiral told them to take two weeks off to read all the materials and go through the ship they were trained to man and demonstrate their abilities to become major players in atomizing all the threats to shipping and out of orbit satellites. They were to go out to the edges of the known solar system and disperse asteroids with a path towards Earth, Mars and colonized moons also moons and planets where miners chiseled areas to get precious ores. They had to stay together so they would get use to being with each other. Their contracts where for four years. After that they could go for cherished positions on Warships, Pleasure vessels or even in politics where they could effect changes in administration policies.
The Martian Landscape was dotted with thousands of cities and each had different features. Some were dedicated to homes and skyscrapers to live while others where on science, farming etc, all under it's own atmospheric dome. The domes could survive any hits by asteroids and had double layers so the out most layer could be periodically repaired. The ' Junkers' that were always there to prevent any obstacle hitting one were on constant surveillance. Underneath the planet was tunnels of tubes which interacted with each other for the transit around the entire planet. It took 500 years and uncountable deaths to secure the planet for civilization. The crew members had been ordered to go over the boring aspects of the ship they had been over thousands of times, which would mean taking the guarded tube to the shuttles taking them to the space wheel 500 miles above the planet. Though Krause retained a Russian dialect they all had the translators implanted behind both ears that filtered and speech in an instant so they could understand. One miracle was an implant that when implanted behind the ear was the ' Nano 'speech implant. It was so small it was hard to see even under a microscope. It deciphered any language into the wearers language instantly. All persons in interplanetary service had one which could decipher the codes used by degree of service. The Junker personal had only a level six capacity. Warships Captains had a one and the crew a two.you in obliterate space junk with the two ion pulsar cannons on the front of the ships. Not even the space pirates that come out of nowhere to hijack ships containing valuable resources bound for planets gave the small Junkers any thought. At 29 years old Cisco had commanded three Junkers. He hoped he would be given a real battle vessel or an expeditionary one. The secretary a young brunette with large eyeglasses told him to go into the office of Admiral Condin, who was responsible for designating pilots and crew. he opened the ornate walnut door and went in. It was a large office adorned with pictures of space vehicles of all types. There were quadrant maps of the known universe. A plaque on the wall had names of fallen hero's. Pilots who gave there all for the human race. Three men were seated at the end of a long table. The table had a couple dozen comfortable chairs around it and each spot had a small lamp in front of where the chair was. “Come in Captain Santana!” Admiral Condin was no stranger to Cisco, having regulated his duties to Junkers over the last years. Cisco thought maybe there was a prejudice as most in the Federation were from Mars or the planet Kryon in the Orion system. They were all humans whose ancestors all came from Earth though.' Captain Santana , this is Michael Worthing , Intelligence officer for the Federation.” The man was in his fifties with white hair and bushy eyebrows the color of snow. “And this is General Ollie smith from the starship Marines.” This man was in the proud uniform of a marine. He had several large medals on his jacket. About 40 years old his dark hair was gray at the temples and his jaw as square as Cisco had ever seen. He was an dynamic figure." Captain, you have served us well as a Junker and I know you could man a starship.” The Admiral said. “You came for a new assignment and we have an important mission for you.” The admiral used the intercom and told his secretary to bring in some Jupiter Juice, a highly tasteful Juice made from Jupiter trees grown in the domed gardens of Mars. The secretary soon wiggled her way in with a large pitcher and five drinking vessels on an ornate tray. She set down the vessels in front of each of us and filled them. When she left the General whistled under his breath. The Admiral then used the intercom to talk to another room. “Come in Commander".
A door behind them opened and a woman in her early twenties entered.
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NOTE: The above is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is entirely coincidental. The following is the sole intellectual property of the author (unless otherwise noted) and should not be distributed or altered without permission of the author. The author does not necessarily support or condone the actions or opinions of the characters