As soon as he entered the ship, he threw his bag of equipment into the wall so hard he thought he heard some of the contents break. He threw it so hard, the sound from the impact echoed throughout the ship. A familiar electronic voice began to talk.
"Are you alright sir?"
"Do I look alright Sam?"
"Why do I even ask..."
Wolf leaned against the wall. He let out another dissapointed sigh. He needed to be alone for awhile. Completely alone.
"Sam...Full lockdown. Bring the ship up to FCA."
"FCA, aye. Sir, are we under attack?"
"No Sam...Just making sure we won't have any uninvited guests..."
If he hadn't shown he wanted to be alone before, he sure did now. He only reserved Full Combat Alert for the most dire circumstances, such as a full invasion. If he wanted to be alone so badly as to bring the ship to full alert status, everyone should just stay the hell away. An alarm blared through the ship as bulkhead doors sealed throughout the ship. Airlocks and outer hatches engaged their magnetic lock and sealed shut. An electrical hum echoed through the ship as the dormant weapon systems came to life and armed themselves. The automatic loaders revived themselves and pumped a huge ammount of shells into position, ready to reload the ships many cannons as soon as they fired.
While it was one of, if not the smallest ship in the Human fleet (at least in ship terms. In regular terms, it was massive) it boasted some of the best hardware in the entire fleet.
It's communication systems were state of the art, able to communicate nearly instanteneously with ships in a completely different system. That was quite an advantage, considering the time it took for a transmission from one ship to reach the another across the vast space between the two. It usually took a couple of minutes, but by that time, a ship asking for aid could have already been destroyed before the call for aid even reached another ship.
The sensors were another major advancement imparted on the Red Dawn. Aside from being able to detect ships in regular space from up to a lightyear away, it could actually detect ships while they were still travelling within a Jump corridor. It still had it's drawbacks however. It could only detect ships travelling within a Jump corridor as long as they were relatively close. Depending on the power of the approaching ships Jump Drive, it's advance warning ranged from a few seconds to a few minutes.
It's best defensive feature however, were it's RGG's (Reverse Gravity Generators.) These devices, still in their experimental stage, and usually reserved for the Fleets largest battleships, created a gravity field, that instead of pulling incoming objects towards them, pushed them away. They weren't stong enough to deflect incoming projectiles, but they were strong enough to slow them down enough to the point were they would, at best, simply scratch the paint. It depended on the incoming projectile though. The Spinar's heaviest guns would still slice through the armor, even with the RGG's active.
Wolf was walking down the ships corridor when all of a sudden one of the bulkheads slammed shut, nearly cutting him in half.
"Damn it Sam, you could have killed me!"
"I'm only following your orders sir."
"Open this door, now."
The door hissed again as it opened. Wolf walked further down the corridor as another door sealed in fron of him. He was getting pissed now...
"You did order a full lockdown sir."
"Rescind order, just seal all outer hatches..."
"Yes sir, although that won't stop any intruders."
"All they have to do is circle around and enter through one of the massive holes in the ship."
"What massive holes?"
"The ones created during the crash. You haven't noticed them?"
"Of course I haven't noticed them! You never even told me about them!"
"Didn't I mention them last time you were aboard? Oops...my bad..."
She chuckled a bit. Wolf simply rolled his eyes and shook his head. While he enjoyed her sense of humor, at times it could get annoying, especially since she enjoyed blasting loud music over the intercom while the crew (and he) was asleep. Other times when he was errr...alone with someone else, she would begin to play some music that would...fit the moment.
- - - - -
You're my Sex Bomb...
- - - - -
As that particular memory crept back into his head he shuddered. That was one moment he dreaded almost as much as the war itself. Sam scarred him for life that day...night, and he hadn't quite forgiven her for that yet.
"Show me the breaches..."
"Follow my directions..."
2 minutes later, Red Dawn rear sections...
Wolf came upon the last door to where Sam said the breaches were.
"Sam, open the door."
"Um...sir, you want to take a moment to prepare yourself for this..."
"Sam, just shut up and open the door."
The air hissed as the door opened. Wolf looked out, and audibly gasped as his jaw dropped at the sight before him. An entire section of the ship was missing, just scattered over the plain. In the few months it had been there, all sorts of plants and vines had grown into the exposed sections of the ship.
"My baby...She's been turned into a jungle!"
"I warned you sir..."
All of a sudden, he was overtaken by a wave of joy as he began to jump happily throughout the ship, on the rim of where it had been cut.
"Oh thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!"
"Sam...You've just given me something to do!"
Within her mind, she was wondering if he had taken too many of those pills...She watched stunned as he grabbed a large knife and began hacking away at the plants that had so rudely intruded on his ship.
12 days later...
Wolf wiped the sweat off his forehead as he finished yet another day's work. The sun was setting over the hill in the distance, and made for quite the sight. He had already cleared all the plants and vines from the belly of the beast in the first two days, and now he was hard at work trying to patch up the breaches in the hull. He had already salvaged as many pieces of the ship's alloy scattered all over the plain and using the excess heat from the ships fusion reactor, melted them down to create newer pieces of it. Using whatever equipment he could find onboard, he welded the new pieces of armor onto the old shell. It took a hell of a lot of time and effort though. You try lifting and pushing those massive pieces of metal with just your bare hands and a pulley system. He probably could have done it much faster if he had just tied the thick ropes he had to a Cerberus MBT and used it's massive engine power to pull it up, but he preffered to do it by hand. It'd take up more of his time that way, keep him with something to do. For the past ten days he was repairing the outer shell of the ship. He still had a lot more work to do. While the outside was about three quarters done, the inside was still completely unrepaired. He would be kept with something to do for a loooong time...As he fell back to rest up for a bit, his mind drifted back to Twilight...
- - - - -
"Shut up, just shut up and get out!"
- - - - -
That sweet voice...saying those words...it hurt...a lot. He was still pissed. Not at her, but at himself for bringing her to that level. For making her so angry. He blamed himself for her words, he had nearly killed somepony. If he couldn't control himself...maybe sealing himself within the Red Dawn for the rest of his days was the best option...Either that...or giving in to the temptation many of his comrades...his friends had given into...
- - - - -
Planet Alaris, Cobalt Base, January 13th, 2662, 14:56 hours...
Wolf walked through the corridors of Cobalt. It was one of the largest millitary installations on Alaris. Large enough to have sufficient forces to beat back the initial Spinar attack. He was looking for Cobra, the other Demigod stationed there. They knew each other well. They had a bit of a friendly rivalry back in training. It still transferred to live combat. They would regularly send messages to each other, tallying the kills of the day. Whoever had the least kills by the time they had leave, or were stationed together always bought lunch, a drink or two etc...Their request to be given leave at the same times had been granted, and it gave them both something to look forward to. Wolf was going to Cobra's quarters to see if he wanted to cash in on his higher kill score. He found his room, and knocked on the door. He turned the knob, only to find out it was locked.
"Open the door man, I owe you dinner."
"I'm not hungry..."
"Okay, a drink? Anything?"
"Wolf...I'm tired...I just want this all to end..."
A clicking sound sent a wave of horror down Wolf's spine. He knew exactly what made that noise, and knew how it was made.
"You don't mean that Cobra! Open the door!"
"I'm sorry Wolf..."
A loud bang echoed through the room and the hallway, easily bypassing the door. A thump was heard as something heavy hit the floor.
- - - - -
He quickly shook the thought out of his head. That was the easy way out. He never took the easy way out. And when he tried to, he was stopped by his friends. Like Sam had stopped him three days ago. He wouldn't try it again. But was his alternative, spending the rest of his life, a good 230 years, completely alone any better? He decided not to think about it anymore and to take a quick shower. A cold shower, it was well past the time for hot showers. Summer was coming...
Meanwhile, at the library...
Twilight was pacing through the library, unsure of what to do. She wanted to see him again, but was afraid of his reaction. She remembered his words from almost two weeks ago...
- - - - -
"Don't you pretend to know me, 'cause you don't! You got that?! Next time don't get involved, 'cause you might get caught in the crossfire!"
"Oh yeah? FINE!!!"
- - - - -
She had kicked him out, and he had willingly left. How would he react to her sudden return? She didn't know, and she sure as hell didn't know why she was going anyway.
A few minutes later, outside the Red Dawn...
Twilight's heart skipped a beat as the massive warship came into view. It sat in the middle of the plain, towering like a mountain over it, ruling all beneath it. Slowly but surely she approached one of the holes in it. If she wasn't afraid outside of it, she was terrified in it. She nearly jumped to the ceiling when a voice rang in the air.
"Welcome back Mrs. Sparkle. It's been awhile since I've had the pleasure of your company."
"Hello...um...Sam, is it?"
The AI chuckled at how awkward Twilight felt.
"Yes. I presume you wish to speak to His Stubborness?"
Twilight nearly burst out laughing at Sam's characterization of Wolf. It fit him perfectly. It certainly brok the ice her and Sam.
"Yes, do you know where I can find him?"
"He's in the showers. Don't come at him all of a sudden, he's given me strict orders not to let anyone in."
"Then why did you let me in?"
"Because what he needs right now is a good talk with someone he knows and loves, and frankly I'm not getting through to him. Hopefully you'll be able to."
"I hope so Sam..."
"I'll guide you to him..."
"Thank you Sam."
"And I'll be able to answer your questions later."
This caught Twilight off guard.
"How did you-"
"Know you wanted to ask me questions? The Major has told me quite a bit about you in the last few days. That, and if someones living in a library, they must have lots of questions to ask someone like me."
Twilight smiled. She liked Sam. She also liked how open she was. It was hard to believe that she was an artificial creation and not a living creature of flesh and blood.
2 minutes later, deeper within the Red Dawn...
The sound of running water filled the air. Twilight could see the steam coming out of the doorway and she could feel the heat.
"He's in there. Go in slow."
Twilight listened to her advice. She had known Wolf for most of his life, so she trusted her on this matter completely. She slowly but surely entered the shower room. She nearly slipped on the wet floor. She winced a bit as her hooves splashed in the water on the floor.
"Twilight...Don't you know it's common courtesy to knock or yell before entering the shower room?"
Wolf sighed before turning off the water.
"Don't be. I'm done anyway."
He cracked open the door to the shower stall and grabbed the towel he had hung on the knob. He then closed the door. He came out a few seconds later, the towel wrapped around his waist. He moved over to a nearby locker and got another towel out. He used this one to dry his hair. Twilight just stared at him, his strong arms, his muscular legs. As far as she could tell, he was well built for a human his age. Then she noticed the scars on his body. More scars than she'd like to count. Some big, some small, some long, some short...Every shape and size was right there, permanently carved into his body. As he dried his hair, he walked out the door and told her to follow him. She listenened to him. She followed him throughout the ship. She was careful however, not to slip on the trail of water he had left behind him...
2 minutes later, Wolf's quarters.
Wolf walked over to his closet. Twilight stood in the doorway. He leaned on the closet and sighed.
"Wolf? Are you-"
"I'm sorry Twilight..."
"I'm sorry...for everything..."
He paused, inhaled sharply, and continued.
"I'm sorry for everything I've done, and for making you so angry...and for nearly killing him..."
Twilight fought in vain to choke back tears.
"I'm just an old war horse...Uh...no pun intended...I know why I'm like this...but I feel that there's nothing I can do to save myself...and I'm dragging you down with me...I'm sorry..."
Twilight let a single tear drop to the floor. She knew what she was going to do, and it felt right.
Suddenly, his towel dropped.
- - - - -
- - - - -
He chukcled nervously, then ducked quickly and tied the towel back around him. He then started to turn around.
"Sorry about tha-"
He was sent flying back into the closet as Twilight jumped into his arms and locked her hooves (and her lips) around him. She kept a frim grip around him. His initial shock wore off quickly, and he returned Twilight's kiss. Certain that she was secured on him, she used her hind legs (which were wrapped around his waist at the time) to push his towel down to the floor. Her horn glowed, and the door behind them shut and magnetically sealed.
Meanwhile, Ponyville Hospital recovery room 416...
Filthy Rich awoke from twelve days of being unconscious. A calm voice spoke to him.
"Easy...don't strain yourself."
After a few moments coughing, Filthy Rich finally managed to speak to the Unicorn standing over him.
"Who are you?"
"Who I am is not important. What's important is your revenge on the one who sent you here..."
"You mean that freak Wolf?"
"Indeed..." The Unicorn snickered.
"How? I can't defeat him!"
"You can't...But I know someone who can...And all it would take to bring him here is a simple letter..."
"You know who..."
A sudden jolt pierced through Filthy Rich's head. Suddenly, it became perfectly clear.
"Are you ready?"
Flithy Rich spoke firmly.
The Unicorn levitated a quill and a piece of paper and listened carefully as Filthy Rich dictated:
Sir Shining Armor, Captain of the Royal Guard...
End Chapter 34.