General Grant studied the intelligence reports given to him.They all made grim reading,as the reports detailed the enemy strengths,especially on the Sanna.
Grant knew there was no way he and his people,could defeat these savage humanoid invaders.Their strength was simply overwhelming.Despite the success of some of his people against them,these had little effect on the Sanna hold on their planet.Grant knew he needed to think bigger,and better ways to get at them.
He read every report,scrutinizing them all for a possible weakness.He'd also given these reports to his most trusted people,and they too,were reading the massive amount of paperwork.So far,Grant and his people had found nothing,but they were all praying they would.They badly needed some good fortune in this war.
Suddenly,Grant got an excited call.It was from one of his people helping him,on reading the intelligence reports.Grant didn't hesitate,as he called him in.
Once Grant had read the relevant report,he became excited too,and immediately ordered a priority dispatch.
'Get this to all of our people in the field.'Grant always spoke quietly,as he never believed in shouting,but the quiet insistence in his voice,was clearly heard by all his people,and they eagerly obeyed.
'I wonder what they'll make of this.'Grant mused to himself,as he read the intelligence details on the paper.The information was ground breaking alright.Grant kept on reading it.It was saying the Sanna defences were now on full alert,especially on their star battle fleet,always patrolling the Earth's solar system.The report didn't say why the Sanna were acting this way,but Grant immediately knew the answer.They had more enemies outside the Earth,and it seemed highly probable the Sanna were on extra lookout for them.
Grant had already made up his mind,to try and contact these new people,whoever they were.However,he needed to listen into the Sanna communications,and find out more information.
Quickly,he left his command post,and hurried along to the radio section.He had a lot to ask them.
When he reached the radio section,Grant could see several of his people manning the equipment.This area was vitally important,as Grant knew he could listen in,to the Sanna transmission codes.However,interpreting them was quite another matter.The Sanna language was really hard to understand,and very few people seemed to grasp it.When Grant found somebody who could,it was like striking gold for him.
Grant walked up to one of these very people.A man named Saunders.Like a lot of people,Saunders had been incarcerated in a Sanna prison,and had vowed never to give in to his guards.He'd actually managed to convince them,to teach him their language.It had been a hard job,and Saunders was still beaten up a number of times,when he couldn't grasp it.However,his persistence seemed to make his Sanna guards grudgingly admire him,and Saunders slowly cracked it.
With this new skill,Saunders used it to deceive the guards,and was able to escape with several others.When he'd told Grant his story,the General had no hesitation in assigning him to translating Sanna radio signals.His help was priceless in this,and Saunders was glad to give it.Like everybody else here,he too,wanted to drive the Sanna invaders out from the Earth.The only problem with these radios,was that they had a very limited range.Grant and his people could only listen,when the Sanna were close by.If they wanted to extend their ears,they'd need something more powerful.This had made Grant think a lot,and he had an idea on this.
Grant had already written down his message he wanted to send,and placed it in front of Saunders.
'Send this immediately,Saunders,please.'Grant told him quietly.
'Yes,sir.'Saunders nodded,and after reading the message,started to send it through the radio.
After he'd done so,Grant then asked him.'Anything on Sanna security?'
'Nothing really,sir.'Saunders responded.He had a good memory,and would remember everything he'd listened to.'Only an immediate Sanna order,for one of our collaborators.'
'Richards,sir.'Saunders answered that question grimly.
Grant's face became grim too.He knew of Richards.Like O'Rourke,this man served the Sanna willingly,but whereas O'Rourke only liked to look after his own interests,Richards was utterly dedicated,to eliminating any threat to himself and his Sanna masters.
Richards too,had his own private army,and Grant knew they were just as ruthless as O'Rourke's force was.He also knew Richards would be accompanied,by his second in command,Shannon.Like Harris,Shannon was another nasty piece of work,and Grant knew it would take something special to beat them.
'Give me the details of that Sanna order.'Grant ordered,and after Saunders had handed it to him,Grant only read it for a few seconds,before knowing what was happening.The Sanna had ordered Richards to take over O'Rourke's base,and to eliminate Finlay's group.Grant wasn't going to allow that.
'Contact Finlay,and send him this update.'Grant wasn't smiling as he said it.He knew he'd sent Finlay and Paula Ann,into a snake pit.Things were going to get very nasty there.Of that,Grant had no doubt that Finlay and Paula Ann,could handle themselves well against any threat,human or Sanna.However,he still had that bad feeling he'd felt earlier,when he'd briefed them.Grant suspected there was going to be one nasty fight soon.
The explosions had finally stopped rocking the station,and the Sanna commander immediately ordered a damage report.As his orders were carried out,the humanoid glared fiercely at the slowly rising humans.His eyes centred on O'Rourke,who appeared uneasy,noticing his look.
O'Rourke could see the Sanna commander was giving him,a very unfriendly look,and decided to get out,before the Sanna took action against them.It wasn't unknown for the Sanna,to attack their human allies when things didn't go their way.O'Rourke didn't think this situation any different.He could also see Harris gesturing urgently at him,as she was thinking the same.
Slowly,O'Rourke backed away from the command centre.The place was badly damaged,and he could see some of the Sanna humanoids,now desperately trying to repair their equipment.O'Rourke and Harris also noticed from the Sanna watching them,that they were not welcome,and some of the Sanna troopers even held their weapons at them.This made the retreating human group very nervous.O'Rourke had clearly learnt his lesson,regarding his earlier mistake,and he was sincerely hoping the Sanna wouldn't start a firefight here.
Fortunately,the Sanna commander gestured at his troopers to lower their weapons,and he stepped forward to O'Rourke.
'I don't think we shall be needing your services again,O'Rourke.'The humanoid snarled.'You had better make you and the rest of your human scum scarce,before we make you.'
'It wasn't my fault.'O'Rourke began to protest,before the Sanna interrupted him brusquely.
'On the contrary,it was your fault.Had you checked your defensive patrols properly,this Jennings and Montgomery would never have managed to successfully infiltrate this station!'
They all heard the anger in the Sanna's tone,and O'Rourke decided not to try and annoy him anymore.He knew he needed their help,to return to Earth.
'I will admit that Jennings and Montgomery won this one.'O'Rourke admitted,albeit through clenched teeth.'They won a battle,but not the war.Besides,they are only two men,and we are an army together.'
O'Rourke could see every Sanna in the room,now regarding him with contempt.He was puzzled,and the humanoids noticed it.
'You will be quite surprised,at how many battles Jennings and Montgomery have won.'The Sanna commander informed him.'These are not mere irritations,but every time they make a move against us,it is deadly.Each time,it causes our forces tremendous damage.'The humanoid gestured angrily with his arm at the ruined command centre.'Look around you,O'Rourke.We would never have dreamed,that humans could sneak into my station,and do this kind of damage.'
O'Rourke and Harris could clearly see the damage inflicted here.For only two men,they certainly had dealt this station a crippling blow.
'Maybe they had help.'O'Rourke observed,hoping to improve the Sanna's mood,but he failed miserably.
Harris too,rejected his opinion.She knew precisely how Jennings and Montgomery got up here.
'Don't be a fool,O'Rourke.'Harris spoke icily.'They obviously did their homework,and made it work.'
'Which is precisely why we must eliminate them.'The Sanna commander was now addressing Harris.'We will attend to that immediately.This Jennings and Montgomery,have done their last act against us.'
Good luck.Harris almost sneered that out,but was wise enough to keep silent.She then heard O'Rourke ask the Sanna commander for help.
'We need transport to return to Earth,commander.'
'Of course.'The Sanna commander surprisingly agreed,as he turned to one of his crew.'Get a shuttle ready.'
Despite O'Rourke's relieved smile hearing that,Harris had other ideas.She could see what the Sanna were really up to,and wasn't having none of that.She took a step forward,to the towering humanoid.
'May I use one of your communications?'She asked.
'Please yourself,Harris.'There was a distinct tone of contempt fully evident,but Harris ignored that.She knew the Sanna were going to blow them out of the sky,if they did accept the shuttle offer.
Harris moved to one of the communications consoles,which was still working.She then made contact with her base,and made a brusque,blunt order.This was promptly acknowledged,and satisfied at that,Harris ended the call.It was then,that she noticed something else.For the first time ever,her eyes widened in alarm at what she was seeing,but she recovered quickly.
She then made her way back to O'Rourke's group,and she gazed hard at them all.
'Let's get the hell out of here.'Harris whispered savagely.'Unless you want to die here.'
This seemed to have the desired effect,as they began to move out of the command centre.Every one of them kept their eyes sharp on all the Sanna,watching for any movement from them,in case the shooting started.
Fortunately for them,the Sanna didn't use their weapons on them.The humanoids merely gave them all contemptible glances,before the humans left them.
The Sanna commander watched them leave,and he was glad to see them go.He utterly despised these humans,and had never ever,wanted to work alongside them.They were not to be trusted at all,as he remembered how they reacted.
It didn't matter.The Sanna commander thought.Soon,those humans would be dead,and he'd concentrate on getting rid of this Jennings and Montgomery.
He then made contact with his own command,and began to issue a request.
Harris led the way to a particular docking area in the station,and glancing out of the view windows,she was satisfied to see her own,personal shuttle approach.She quickened her pace to the relevant dock,as her shuttle grew closer to it.
O'Rourke noticed her change in pace,and he was puzzled at this.However,there was another distant explosion that made the station shake,and O'Rourke suddenly realised what was going on.He too,quickened his pace.
'The place is going to blow,isn't it,Harris?'He asked her,running alongside.
'Damn right it is.'Harris almost snarled it,but she was too busy concentrating,on reaching her ship.She was watching the shuttle now beginning to dock.'Hurry up!'
The shuttle finally docked,and no sooner had they all boarded it,or more precisely,ran into it,Harris raced up to the cockpit.
'Get us out of here,now!'She shouted urgently,to the slightly stunned pilot.
Fortunately,the pilot recognised her eyes.Something was seriously wrong,and he immediately released the clamps,holding the shuttle to the station,and he then moved the ship away from the massive structure.
'Hurry up,damn you!'Harris snapped to the pilot.She and O'Rourke were now witnessing massive explosions,now tearing through the Sanna structure.The pilot saw it too,and his face became desperate too.
He just managed to get enough distance between himself and the station,before they all watched it blow itself apart,into a gigantic fireball.
Harris inwardly breathed a sigh of relief.They'd been damn lucky.If she hadn't seen the fire breach warnings in the command centre earlier,they'd have perished with their Sanna 'allies.'
'What the hell happened?'O'Rourke wondered.'I didn't know Jennings and Montgomery,wanted to blow up the station.'
'I don't think they did.'Harris admitted.'They made sure they knocked out all the weapons and missile launchers,but the Sanna didn't get the fires under control.Eventually,they were just asking for it.'
The pilot then received a message,and he then turned to them both.
'Home base has received a priority one signal,commander.'he spoke to O'Rourke first.'Just before they blew up,the Sanna were able to send a message.It was sent to another human controlled territory.'
'Whose territory?'O'Rourke demanded.
Both O'Rourke and Harris glanced at each other.They knew that name,and didn't like hearing it.Richards was a fellow collaborator,fighting alongside the Sanna.His reputation was just as ruthless as O'Rourke's,and a lot of people were scared of him.He had a high success rate,and with his second in command,Shannon,they made their enemies pay dearly for opposing them.Both O'Rourke and Harris knew these two men,had killed a lot of people.That didn't bother them of course,but they certainly didn't want to be forced to work with them.
'What is the message?'Harris queried.Her voice was more calm now,having just escaped from death.
'The Sanna have ordered Richards to our area of operations.'The pilot informed them.'They are demanding full co-operation from us,once they arrive.'
'Are they indeed?'Harris responded,somewhat sarcastically.'Why the hell are those two being sent here?'
Nobody answered her,but Harris knew it regardless.This Richards and Shannon were being sent in by the Sanna.It was obvious the Sanna commander back on the station,hadn't been impressed by O'Rourke's actions.Truth be told,neither had she.
The shuttle then entered the Earth's atmosphere,and headed towards their base.O'Rourke and Harris,were feeling pretty grim for the future.
Jennings guided the stolen Sanna shuttle over their home terrain.So far,he'd managed to avoid being detected by Sanna combat air patrols,and he then safely landed the craft back into their base.
Once he'd done so,Jennings and Montgomery breathed a huge sigh of relief.They looked at each other,and grinned.Both men then exchanged a warm hug.Neither of them was afraid to do this,as they were great mates.
'I can't believe we got away with that.'Jennings admitted.
'You're a good planner,John.'Montgomery told him.'You know you are.That's why I'm always proud to fight alongside you,and I always will.'
Jennings grinned sheepishly in return.
'Thanks,Monty.'He punched his friend playfully on the shoulder,before he gestured at the ship's interior.'Let's get the girls.'
Both men left the cockpit,and moved into the ship's interior.They both saw Louise and Paula Ann,now releasing their seat belts and hugging each other.Jennings and Montgomery were pleased to see this.They then watched the two young women move up to them,and much to their surprise,both girls gave them a warm,and deeply grateful kiss.
'Thank you,John.'Louise had her arms wrapped round his neck,and gave him another kiss.'I always knew you'd come.'
'Your welcome,Louise.'Jennings nodded to her.He really liked Louise.She was damned pretty,he noted,but he knew there was still much to do.
Louise however,had clearly recognised the look in his eyes,and held onto him tight.
'Don't even think about letting me go,John.'She warned him.Not in an unfriendly way,but Louise meant what she said.She felt drawn to this man,and although she still didn't quite know who he was,Louise wasn't going to let him go.
Suddenly,Reynolds' voice came into the Sanna craft.
'Welcome back.I'm glad you all got back safe.'Reynolds meant that too.'But Finlay wants you here.There's bad news.'
Grimly,the four of them exited the shuttle,and quickly made their way to the command centre.
When they got there,both Louise and Paula Ann were pleased to see familiar faces.Everybody hugged them,although Hunt didn't.Yet her eyes showed no hostility.She was pleased the girls were both safe.
'I think you girls need some rest.'Finlay advised,and he turned to Kelly.'Kelly,will you take Louise and Paula Ann?'
He left it at that,but Kelly nodded.
'Of course.'She smiled at the two girls to follow her.However,Louise shook her head,as she still clung onto Jennings' arm.
'No,I'm okay,Kelly.'Louise told her,not wanting to leave Jennings' side.
'It's okay,Louise.'Jennings could see she was exhausted.'Go with Kelly,and get some sleep with Paula Ann.'
As in reassurance,he squeezed her hand,and Louise reluctantly agreed.She left with Kelly and Paula Ann.
Finlay then came up to him,and offered his hand.Jennings immediately accepted it.
'Thank you for helping her,Jennings.'Finlay warmly shook hands with him,before he did the same with Montgomery.'You too,Monty.'
'My pleasure.'Montgomery nodded briefly to him.
'What's this bad news then?'Jennings then asked.
'We received an intel update from General Grant for this area.'Finlay's tone was now grim.'We're getting new players,and real nasty ones at that.Have you heard of Richards and Shannon?'
From the disgusted looks he was seeing on Jennings and Montgomery,Finlay knew they had.
'Evidently,he's on his way to take over O'Rourke's command,by Sanna order.'He continued.'It's a foregone conclusion he and Harris won't be too impressed at that,but they're definitely coming.'
'He'll be bringing his own private force.'Jennings observed.'He always likes to ride on his own train.'
'And a very specially armoured one at that.'Finlay remarked.'We won't be able to get him on that.'
'I agree.'Jennings nodded again.'However,we'll soon have him wishing he'd never set foot here.'
Finlay was interested.'I'm all ears.'
Richards sat comfortably in his seat,watching the landscape race by.He always enjoyed travelling on his own,personal battle train.It was filled with luxury,and Richards greatly appreciated it.He could have a first class meal,and drink the best available to him.Not only that,but the train was a highly formidable weapon.It was fully armoured,and his men held a constant vigil on the mounted weapon turrets,keeping a sharp eye out for any threats.So far,there had been none.
As Richards sat,his second in command,Shannon approached him,and was at present,carrying several papers.He handed them over to Richards.
'Here's the intelligence you ordered.'Shannon didn't address him as 'sir',but that didn't bother Richards.They had more important things to attend too.
Richards examined each detail on the papers before him.His cunning,but cold eyes missed nothing.The papers he held in front of him,showed photographs of O'Rourke,Harris,and Sanders.
Richards looked keenly at them all,before he glanced up at Shannon.
'So,this is O'Rourke's territory.'He spoke quietly,but his voice held Shannon's attention.'It will be interesting to see,what they're really like.'
'The Sanna reports don't give them much credit.'Shannon told him.
'Yes,I heard,but we shall see.'Richards then glanced out of the window,seeing the landscape race by.He could see several settlements in the distance,but there was no sign of any people.This only made him a tad curious,but Richards knew the reason in any case.
Just then,the men felt the train slow down,and they now saw that they were entering a tunnel.Within five minutes,both Richards and Shannon could now see armed men,and they were standing watching their entrance.Both men knew they'd now arrived at O'Rourke's base.
Instantly,both men got up,and waited for the train to stop,before exiting the train.Richards was looking forward to meeting O'Rourke,and he couldn't wait to tell him the news.
When Richards stepped onto the platform,he glanced at one of O'Rourke's men,who stared back expressionless.
'Well don't just stand there.'Richards told him.'Take me to your leader.'
The man didn't respond verbally,but he led the way,and finally took them outside O'Rourke's quarters.They could hear a lot of arguing,coming from inside the room.
Richards didn't bother to knock,as he and Shannon entered.O'Rourke's man didn't bother to stop them,as he went back to his duty.
Both men could see Harris and O'Rourke,who were now in a heated exchange.Neither Richards or Shannon bothered as yet,to announce themselves.
'Why the hell are the Sanna sending this Richards to my territory?'O'Rourke was demanding.'Something isn't right.'
'Well,to me,its obvious.'Harris told him sharply.'The Sanna clearly aren't happy with your efforts,so they're sending somebody else down.'
'You're enjoying this,aren't you,Harris?'O'Rourke sneered at her.'I'd like to see you,on the wrong side of the Sanna.'
'The feeling is mutual.'Harris countered evenly,not bothered at all by what he'd just said.
Before O'Rourke could respond,he received a message informing him,that Richards and Shannon were now here.
'Looks like we'll have to postpone this for later.'O'Rourke dismissed this latest argument,and checked his pistol from its holster.'This Richards and Shannon are here,so I suppose we'd better go and greet them.'
'Thank you for the offer,O'Rourke.'Richards announced himself calmly.'But I don't think you need to bother yourself.'
Stunned,Harris and O'Rourke turned sharply to face the two new arrivals.Richards had a faint,amused expression seeing them turn like that.Yet Shannon's face,was watching these two like a hawk.
It took only a moment,before O'Rourke realised who these men were.
'You're Richards?'He gazed hard at the man,who'd just spoke.
'At your sevice.'Richards gave them a faint nod.'Or I should say,at my service.I take it the Sanna briefed you,on my assigned mission here?'
'No,they didn't.'O'Rourke answered him,in a very unfriendly tone.
'No matter.'Richards smiled at them,but it wasn't a nice one.'I'll do it for you.You,O'Rourke,Harris,and everybody else here,is now under my direct command.'
For a few moments,O'Rourke was stunned,before he managed to recover.
'You can't do this!'He bitterly protested.'You can't just come in,and take over my base!'
This only made Richards more pleased,as his unfriendly smile increased.
'I can,I will,and I have,O'Rourke.The Sanna have given me full power,to establish control here.'
O'Rourke was enraged at this.This clearly told him,that the Sanna had no confidence in him.He'd make them pay for this.O'Rourke swore on that.
'So what is your mission here?'Harris then asked him.Her voice was unfriendly too,but she made sure she spoke it,with a cunning tone to it.
'Oh,I'm sure you know that already,Harris.'Richards responded.'I'm here to deal with any threats,regarding the security of Sanna operations.'
Harris did indeed,know that already.
'Well,it will be interesting to see what you have in mind.'Harris then said.'The enemy we have operating here,is really good.'
'Yes,I read about them.'Richards nodded,as he glanced back to O'Rourke's still fuming face.'Not a very impressive job you've done so far,on stopping these attacks,is it?'
'So what do you have in mind?'O'Rourke's voice was like ice.
'The Sanna are particularly interested in two targets,which I'm sure you'll know by now.Jennings and Montgomery.'
'They are tough to deal with.'Harris admitted.'But I'm sure we can exploit a weakness soon in them.'
'Such as?'O'Rourke sneered again to Harris,but Richards held up his hand.
'Well,I'll show you,shall I?'He spoke that with some contempt,as he moved over to a computer port,and inserted a small disc inside it.The footage of Jennings and Montgomery helping Louise to escape,was now visible.All of them could see Jennings hurry over to Louise,freeing her from being bound and gagged,before they disappeared.
Richards then turned to face them again.
'An excellent escape,was it not?'He asked,although Richards wasn't really that impressed.'We've managed to identify the girl in the film,and it's she,who will be our next target.'
'You don't mean to kill the girl,do you?'O'Rourke asked.He liked the look of her,and felt his urges increase.He was already thinking of adding her,to his already now empty collection.He was pleased to hear the answer.
'Of course not.'Richards responded.'I've studied reports on this new threat,and I want you all to do the same.It will provide benefits,I assure you.'
'As you will have already noticed,this Jennings helped that girl to escape from a Sanna camp.The girl's identity,is only known as Louise,but it has been confirmed she's very close to Jennings.This is where we'll start.Find the girl,and bring her to me.Then,we'll see how Jennings reacts.'
'That's not going to be easy,Richards.'O'Rourke was still speaking coldly.'They know how to hide.Finding that girl,will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.'
'Commander Richards,if you don't mind,O'Rourke.'The smile was still present,but was now even more nasty.'Just bring me the girl,and make sure you bring her alive,and unharmed.There's some very special plans I have in mind for this Louise.'
'Like what?'Harris demanded.'What are you up to?'
'All in good time,Harris.'Richards kept smiling,but there was a hint of pleasure,as he went on.'All in good time.'
Richards noticed O'Rourke was still staring at the camera footage,showing his enemies successfully fight their way out,and for once,he was curious.
'Who are they?'he asked.He could see now the camera footage,was now showing mugshots of Jennings and Montgomery.O'Rourke could clearly see they were hard men,as their images gazed coldly back at him.
'Nobody really knows.'Richards admitted.'Believe me,I've tried to find that out myself,but got nowhere.All I do know is,that I wish they were both on my team.'
'Nothing more?'Harris asked her own question,not curiously,but she was eager to find out any weak spots on the two men.'They must have their weakness.'
'No,not much,'Richards was adamant in his reply.'They're best friends,we all know that,and are utterly loyal to each other.'He thought for a few moments,before continuing.'If people get into trouble,Jennings and Montgomery will be there to help them,but I can also tell you the damage these two men inflict on the Sanna war machine,as well as our own efforts,are not just minor irritants.They both know how to to hurt us,and they do it really well.'
'What do you mean by that?'O'Rourke asked uneasily,although he seemed to know anyway.Richards confirmed this.
'What I mean,O'Rourke,is this Jennings and Montgomery are a serious threat to our survival.I've studied the damage reports on their Sanna targets,and believe me,it's bad.The Sanna are running scared,and we all know they don't scare easily.They're desperate to eliminate these two men,and the sooner the better.'
'Then,we'd better get started and find that pretty girl they've just helped,hadn't we?'O'Rourke told them firmly.'I saw the way she looked at Jennings,she likes him.I'm sure his feeling for her is mutual.'
'I agree.'Richards nodded.'Shall we begin the search then?'
To be continued?
NB.Well,that was it.That was the original version I dreamed up.Again,I added a lot new stuff to it,but it was 90% original.I may come back to it,as I've certainly wrote a lot on it,and to both versions.For now though,I'll leave it there.
Goodbye to all that
4 years ago