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Fire In The Stars

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    “Dad, we are going to be late. I said from across the yard loading the ice chest into the bed of my rust bucket truck.

       The Green paint chipped off in chucks allowing the rust to show through. “We will be just on time”, he said walking out into the sunlight putting on his ball cap. He pulled his cane from the door and limped over to the truck.  

        “You’re worse than me and I’m a girl”, I said laughing pulling my long waist length brown hair though the back of my hat. “All this perfection takes time....Okay”, he laughed while opening the door to the passenger side. I rolled my eyes and started the truck and pressed the window button.

 

        “Be right back I have to pee” I said with a cheeky smile. He rolled his eyes, “now I’m waiting on you” he yelled as I waved my hand dismissively.

 

<Meanwhile on the Finalizer>

           The sinister Kilo Ren has captured the best resistance pilot from the planet Jakku. “Where is the map” Kylo demand looking at the now bloody Poe.

            “I don’t know what you mean, I don’t have a map” he said back “you do know I can take what ever I want”, as Kylo reached his arm out searching though Poe’s mind fishing for the map.

               Poe was strong but he wasn’t sure how long he could hold on for. Searing pain was shooting through his head. “I see....” Kylo stopped his words. Images of a girl flashed into his mind.

           Who was this girl staring back at him her eyes as green as any forest he had ever seen, a tear feel from her face. The next vision it was her holding her head screaming. He dropped his hand and Poe passed out with no knowledge of what kylo had just seen. “I’ll be back for you” he said walking from the cell.

           Kylo had one thing on his mind now he had to find this girl..... he had felt her power and he needed her, she would be valuable to the cause of the first order

 

~~~~ Back on earth~~~~~

       I took a deep breath and swallowed a handful of water  from the sink with a couple ibuprofens. That pain was all too familiar.

       I looked at myself in the mirror my bright green eyes reflected back at me. I fixed my hat put a smile on my face and walked back to the truck trying to ignore the now splitting headache.

 

“I can’t believe you still haven’t fixed the AC”, my dad said shacking his head and fanning himself with his hand dramatically. “To busy”, I laughed, and we headed down the dirt road to the Fourth of July party.  

 

           I pulled up slowly and backed in. I walked around to pull the ice chest down Andy yelled from across the street. “Major”, I looked up to my childhood friend and coworker. “Andy”, I said looking at his as he saluted me then jogged across the road.       

            “I’ll carry that for you” he pulled it off the tailgate with a grunt. “How on earth did you carry this and load it up by yourself,” he gave me a look “How about we don’t call me by my rank today and I’ll tell you my secrets”. I said laughing as he was struggling with the weight.  

                 “What did you pack in this dam box”�, he grunted again shifting the weight. “Oh, you know rocks, cement bricks maybe a couple hammers”, I said thinking about all the beer I was told to bring. “Well it feels like it”, he said as we walked into his back yard. Only house for miles with a decent pool. “Hello sir”, Andy said to my father. “Hello Andy, how is my favorite son I never had” ,  

                “Oh, you know slaving away at work”, he eyed me, and I looked to the sky pretending I didn’t hear anything. “You must work for a tyrant”, my father said, and I elbowed him.

 

“I’m just saying the truth”, he laughed at me. Andy pulled three beers from the ice chest and handed one to my father then offered me one.      

               “No thank you”, I said looking at the can. “Oh, come on Major you’re not always on the clock you know”, he said taking a rather large galp from his can.

               My father eyed me; he remembers perfectly clear on what happen the first time I had alcohol. “Regardless of not working I don’t drink plus who will look after you when your praying to the porcelain gods” , I said trying to ignore the fact that he keeps using my rank as my name.

            Thinking back to when Andy and I first graduated boot camp and had out first mission. Then to the day I was promoted to Major in the United States Air Force Combat Jet pilot. Andy was my Frist Lieutenant, I turned to see our other friends started to show up.

             Mitch Perkens second lieutenant and his wife and there two kids. “Major”, Mitch said saluting me. “I swear if all of you salute me every time, we see each other I’m trading you all in for new friends”. I grabbed a chair for my father to sit.

         He is also military, US Marine but now medically retired he lost both legs in Iraq when his convoy was blown off and sill managed to save half his crew.  

 

             Time had passed and the whole backyard was full of our closest friends and families Andy was currently drunker than a skunk with the other guys playing chicken in the pool.

            I would just shoot them with a water gun in the face every time they cheated.

 

       A weight seem to pull at my chest, I looked around but couldn’t see anything it didn’t hurt but it was most uncomfortable.

             Again, it pushed down on my soul. ‘What on earth,’ I though looking up to the now darkening sky. “Phoenix”, my Dad said looking at me form his third plate of food. “I have a bad feeling,” I said looking down at my now shacking hands. When all our phones started to ring.  

             An eerie silence came over the party, Todd Rogers and I answered our phones, “Major Conner”, I said listing to the information that was being given to me at top speed.

            “Copy sir understood”, Todd and I said at the same time and then looked at each other. “Let’s go boys time to fly”, Todd said kissing his wife, Todd was captain of my group so basically, I’m his boss and he’s everyone else’s boss.

 

             “I love you daddy”, I said and he kissed my forehead, everyone was making their way to their cars. “I can fit three, Andy and Mitch you can ride with me” I said looking at the two, they nodded and mitch took my keys.  

              “The house will be open for everyone to stay tonight please make yourself at home”, Andy said stumbling around. He was going to hate me today.

              “Phoenix”, my dad called to me one more time reaching into his pocket and pulled out a gold locket. It was oddly shaped with some weird blue symbols all over it.

             “What is that” , I said putting it on. “It’s your past and your future,” he said looking at me and nodding and I knew what he meant. I jumped into the truck and let mitch drive. I spun the locket between my fingers.

       A different kind of darkness fell over the sky like the kind of darkness that no light could penetrate. The Thundering of jet engines rang thought he sky as I looked up from passenger side of the truck window.

               There was something up there, but it was too dark and too high to see, but I could feel it. Again, the pressure returned and this time it felt like it was pulling my inside out. I leaned forward hoping it would take some of the weight off, I shut my eyes tightly. ‘What is wrong with me’.

            I looked up and instead of seeing the highway I was looking at the clouds with the sun setting off to the west and then with a quick whoosh I was in space millions of stars surrounded me. I could hear someone breathing it was a mechanical breath, “Who are you?” I jumped my vison coming back.          

 

 

           “Ouch”, Andy said looking at me rubbing his arm. “What you do that for?”

“I’m sorry, I think.... “ I paused for a moment “I was daydreaming, or I fell asleep...You know that falling feeling,” I said pushing the bill of my hat up so the wind could dry my sweat. “

 

Where ya’ll headed this evening. A blond man said standing in his police uniform, I pulled my ID from my back pocket. “Major Conner,”

          “my apologies ma’am didn’t recognize you.” the men said stuttering over his words then saluted me. I returned the salute this time. “All five of these cars are with me as well.“ I said pointing he nodded.  “That will do soldier”, I said with a smile and a small wave.

 

       “I don’t know why you do that”.    

 

“What”? I asked looking at Andy. “You know you look at any guy and they get all flustered and end up with their foot in their mouth” he laughed.

“I do no such thing”

 

---- 

         I quickly dressed into my fight suite. It was time to disappoint my best friend. I could hear him yelling form the other locker room. I walked from the dressing room and flipped though my paperwork I handed the rest of it to Todd.

         “Alright men we have two unconfirmed aircrafts just a few miles out from here. We are to eliminate any threat. Do you understand” they all yelled in unison.  

            “Yes ma’am”, I looked to Andy he was flushed and had a fat smile on his face. “Mouse”, I called him by his call sign. “Major”, he said hiccupped once and winked. “Mouse your grounded and will remain on fight deck until you are cleared by medical.” I said he glared at me about to protest. “Yes ma’am”, he said saluting again. I nodded to the men and he put his hand back to his side.  

 

“Reaper at the ready”, Todd said his call sign though the mic, “Copy that Reaper,” I said finishing my check out as the ground crew gave me the go ahead. “Fire Bird ready”, I said looking forward. “Copy fire bird,” Mitch stated quietly.

        “Dallas is a go”, Mitch stated again. “Mouse do you copy”, I said looking across the flight deck. “Loud and clear you’re a go for takeoff”.

             I could hear the anger in his voice. Our F-18 Super hornets took off, the thunderous sound was deafening. We where air born in seconds. “Let’s go get them boy’s” I said as we flew into the night.

 

          The sound of the jets was deafening.  My crew had only ever trained a handful of night fights but never had they experienced the thrill of flying practically blind. “A black air craft on your six Dallas”, Reaper said through our mics.

 

“What in the would is that” Reaper said

 

        “I’m closest to Dallas” I maneuvered my jet with ease to line up a shot. Something was weighing heavy on me like an invisible force. I took my placed behind the black oddly shaped air craft when suddenly it dived down towards the ocean.

          “Another one”?, Dallas said but this time it looks gray with orange the was traces of fire coming from one of the engines. “I’m going after it”, I said nose diving to fallow the black craft that was firing at the gray one.  

 

           “Fire bird, stand down we need to regroup”, Reaper said in my ear concern laced in his voice.

      “I have the shot”, I said starting to fire on the unknown aircraft. The black ship easily dodged all my shots, rolling and diving in the air while still firing upon the other aircraft. “The other aircraft has been hit it’s going down,”

 

            Dallas said when the black aircraft turned on us.

  “Split up” , I yelled pulling up on the yoke the jet to climb. “I have been hit,” reaper said, engine failure. “I have to turn back.”

 

 

            “Copy Reaper we are ready for you”, mouse said though the mic. “Fire Bird, don’t engage”, Dallas said but the radio traffic turned to static due to the fact that we were now dodging mountain peaks.

              “Dallas”, I said though the mic but I had not response. “Where is that dam thing at”, I was trying to squint into the darkness. “I.....” static cut through that radio “down”. My heart sank at the only word I could hear clearly. Then a bright explosion caught the corner of my eye. “Gosh dam-it”, I yelled pulling off my head seat throwing it in frustration.

 

         I dropped the jet to a lower altitude hoping it was be harder for the unknown aircraft to maneuver or track. “Fire bird return to base.” Jack said this time though the speaker of the jet.

          “Can you hear me, Fire bird return now that’s an order from General Morison” mouse said broken.  “Mouse?” I said but no response and the split second I caught sight of the shiny black craft in front of me.

           I locked on, do or die right? Taking as many shots as possible when the ship rolled left and fired at me, I pulled hard on the jet going for a dive.

         “Come on you big cow dive” I yelled at the jet. Alarms around me started to ring. “Crap,” total engine loss. The yoke was ripped from my bands I was now in a death spiral. “If you can hear me, I’m going down... I repeat full engine failure. Sorry boys and god speed.”, then pulling hard on the orange tab in front of me and was ejected from the cockpit of the jet.  

 

—————-

 

            I couldn’t t see anything when the parachute caught what I was hoping was a tree. I unclipped myself from the jet seat slipping from the seat and tumbling the short distance to the not so soft floor.

 

 

          “Ughh”.... I grunted this is just my luck. I looked down at what was supposed to be my tracking device. It was smashed to bits. “Great, even better”, I huffed sharp stinging pain in my side.  “Ouch”, I said touching the tender area, warm liquid met my hand. Then there was something hard what I could only imagen was a sharp piece of stick sticking only a few inches out of my side.  

           I awoke to a pale blue light shining though the canopy of the tall trees. I grimaced at the pain radiating though my body.

           

            “Ouhhh”�, I grunted softly rolling on to my un-injured side getting up on my hands and knees. I sucked in a sharp breath and then pushed myself from the ground brushing off what leaves where stuck to me. My long brown hair was in a side braid now fizzy and  caked with dirt and twigs.  

 

           I looked around the small clearing of trees. The crunching of leaves caught my attention. I squinted in the direction my eyes still slightly unfocused. I pulled my gun off my drop leg and pulled back loading a bullet into the chamber.

         “I know your there”, I said not seeing anymore, or some odd reason I could feel this person’s presence like two magnets drawn to each other. It almost felt like it would pull me right off my already unstable feet.

          “Who are you”, the voice was deep electronic. There in front of me stood what I was assuming was a man wearing all black, even his face was covered by a black mask of some kind. 

          ˜I thought comic-con was in May not July”, I said to myself trying to find some humor in all this. “I said tell me who are you”�, he said again In a more demanding tone this time. “Take another step and I’ll shoot you”, I yelled pointing my gun at him.

            He stepped forward showing me that he had no intention of listening to me. “Stop”, I yelled stepping forward, a sharp pain radiated though my gut and down my leg my knees buckled. Binging me to the floor sucking in a deep breath as my kneecap hit a rock.

 

               My gun fell to the floor as I caught myself with my hands. The masked man was now feet from me he waved his hand like some wizard my body became erect with my hands at my said my knees still planted half on the damp soil and one knee still in a rather large rock.

           My eyes widen, this man was like me. “Who are you”, he said again. “Major Air Force fighter pilot 1st squadron” I said it was hard to speak the power was weighing on my chest.

 

      “Your name”, he said walking closer. “Major” I said again not wanting to give my real name. “Interesting, he said. I could only assume he was looking me over.

       

 

      A loud shot was heard through the bush as a man broke through the tree line he was rambling on about us being on his land.  I quickly realized that the man was speaking French.

       “Arrêtez!” I yelled. “Monsieur, vous devez partir d'ici, ce n'était pas sûr!” I looked at the masked man who was still facing me. “laisse la tranquille! qui êtes vous?” The French man pointed his rifle at the masked man and for a split second I wasn’t going to stop him.

          Something inside of me sparked at that moment with a whirl-wind of emotions I became dizzy. “Arrêtez!” I yelled and then my body broke free of the mans hold and I through my hand out stopping the bullet mid flight.

        “As I thought” the mechanical voice said with almost a weir amusement. My vision went black.