Mission Warped by Time
‘So it is a long mission.’ I repeated. She must be exaggerating, surely.
‘No, not exactly. For you it won’t be long, but for us years, or decades, perhaps centuries will pass by,’ Driver replied.
I assessed the situation. I knew now that my options were limited. The video of Minna had further limited my future with anyone—the LSS crew—family and friends on Earth—and guaranteed a lonely future. There was one upside, though—no more Johann, that nasty ex of mine. ‘Okay, what do I do?’ I sighed.
‘You will be infiltrating the Boris Grotto Planet. I will be accompanying you and guiding you,’ Driver said.
I gulped. ‘Yes, Ma’am.’
‘Oh, come on! I’m not so bad once you get to know me.’
‘Sure, yeah! I mean, yes, Ma’am.’ Yes, I’d failed, but never expected joining in a mission with the Commander.
Driver gave me a broad smile. She looked like the Cheshire cat. ‘Oh, come on, Ensign, we’ll have a jolly old time. Trust me, you’ll really like the mutants.’
My dreams made sense now. Minna was not a ghost. Maybe, Driver’s right. Maybe Minna did get abducted by Boris and needs to be rescued. My heart became lead and sank to my feet. ‘I am sure we’ll have a jolly good time,’ I murmured.
The Commander shuffled papers on her desk. ‘You’ll leave in two days after the medical. You’ll receive training and an interview with Chief Admiral August Fahrer on the Mother Ship.’ Driver scribbled the Admiral’s contact details on a piece of paper and handed it to me. ‘Tomorrow we’ll descend to the Pilgrim Planet where we’ll wait for the Mother Ship to arrive to collect us. Now I think Fritz wants to see you regarding signing discharge papers.’
I headed for the door, and then turned. ‘I don’t understand why your brother, Gunter doesn’t go to Boris World and rescue Minna?’
‘I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that part of the conversation. Erased. Got it? Now go!’ Driver waved me off. Then she called, ‘Just one more thing…’
I turned on the ball of my heel. ‘What Ma’am?’
‘Whatever you do, Gunter must not know. Understand? We don’t tell Gunter. If this is a Boris trap, better he doesn’t know. Okay?’
‘Yes, Ma’am.’ I saluted Driver and then shuffled out of the office.
Liesel was waiting outside Driver’s office as I exited. She caught my arm. ‘Now you know why we don’t form romantic liaisons with ANYONE in this line of work. The missions, well, they sort of stuff things up, they get in the way of all that.’ Liesel looked away at the wall glassy-eyed as if remembering thwarted chances of romance of her own.
I nodded silently hot tears welling in my eyes. The shame of my disgrace and the possibility of perhaps never seeing anyone I knew again, except perhaps Driver, had set in.
[to be continued…]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019
Feature Photo: Roo Remains, Brachina Gorge © L.M. Kling 1999
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