One Bullet Short

A warm fire flickered on a cold night at Goldwood, a Tribal planet, when the first of Mizar's drones appeared on the dark sky. That fateful evening began the adventure of the Jet Force Gemini. Long after it begun, it ended on Mizar's desperate retreat, a spaceship cleverly disguised as an asteroid. Mizar's reign of terror ended, and all drone bases were destroyed and left to rot. The universe was back at peace, the Tribals had been freed, and Mizar's once prominent palace was forgotten.

To forget Mizar was a big mistake, however, as the Gemini team was soon to discover. At the edge of known space, a vessel that was supposedly evacuated began to grow again. Drones crawled out from its crevices and began to multiply their numbers until the vessel was once again filled with life. Now they began their plan to regain control of the other bases, and ultimately the universe...

5:00 PM, Rith Essa Tribal Mines

Ish, an adult tribal, stood at the entrance of the Rith Essa mines—his mind drifted through various unpleasant memories in these mines. After the Tribals were freed from Mizar's clutches, the mines quickly went bankrupt and died out. The mole brothers almost disappeared. Who knew where they were? Ish didn't know, and he certainly didn't care. Preferably twenty feet under the soil he stood on, he thought with a smirk. His entire family had died from exhaustion in the mining life. He was sad to remember it when he looked at these mines—but at the same time, he loved seeing how it was now as deserted and as dead as his family was. Without even noticing, he spat at the door in disgust.

Suddenly there was a voice from the trees around him. It was Al, a drone airborne squadron robot who escaped the Ichor base while Mizar was still alive. Al was recaptured by the mole brothers to monitor the mines where he befriended Ish. "Ish, I've been looking for you!"

"What is it?" Ish said, turning his head towards Al.

"The Union has declared that there was a drone vessel attacking the Gemini team!" Al flew with such excitement that he skimmed a tree, barely noticing it.

"What?!" Ish dropped his jaws, staring at Al while he zoomed to and fro.

"I-it it's true!" it almost sounded like Al was gasping for air, even though he was a robot. "A Union scout ship spotted a vessel with Mizar's emblem in combat with the Gemini ship! They couldn't do much, they were a scout ship and—oh my god, Mizar's frikkin' back!!!" Al continued on with the story, but it was so jumbled that Ish couldn't make any sense of it.

"Al, CALM DOWN." Ish yelled, almost reaching out to hit the loud robot. "We don't know this for a fact, do we? And besides, the Jet Force has been attacked and gotten out of it before."

"Yeah, but—"

"Al! Get a grip!" and this time he actually did reach out to hit Al. "If you're really that concerned about this, tell the Rebellion to meet us at our Ichor base tomorrow, this time."

"...ah, but- uh -oh- agh -right...." Al said, and quickly flew back into the trees from whence he came. Once he was out of sight, Ish let out a deep sigh and leaned against the mine wall. Damn, the drones are back...what now? He wasn't nearly as fearless as he had acted to Al. What if they reached the Tribals again? What if the mines reopened? What if—this time—the Jet Force Gemini wouldn't be able to triumph?

5:00 PM, Ichor Rebellion Base

Underground a small group gathered around a circular table. Ish, Al, three more Tribals and two humans occupied small wooden and chipped chairs around the table. This was a small portion of the Rebellion, a group of escaped drone prisoners. After the fall of Mizar, they were silenced—but now, with this news, they had been summoned to their very first base: under ground a corner of Ichor, possibly the largest Drone base existing.

"So, the Union has announced the activity of a drone vessel." Ish began. There were faint nods and grunts of annoyance among the table as he spoke. "If the Jet Force Gemini is truly out of action, it may very well be up to us. The Union is useless in times of war...they take too long to decide things. You are the finest of the Rebellion. I've been thinking about this for some time...and I've got some missions that could help this situation, if you're willing."

"Spill it." Flames, a male human at the table, said. He had red hair that reached far down his neck and forehead. Even his eyes were as red as fire, thus his name.

Ish stared at him in annoyance for being so blunt, but said nothing about it. "Flames, you and Robbin will lead a patrol of the deserted palace." Flames and a younger tribal across the table nodded in confirmation. "Neonis and Lanna, you'll—"

"Call me Shine Bear." a female human interrupted.

"Sigh...right. Neonis and...Shine.... Bear.... you'll work on disabling the neglected bases. The major bases such as Ichor and the Spawn Ship have been trashed, but...there are still multiple ones intact. Get to them and remove them from this situation. Clear?" Shine Bear and Neonis, a young adult tribal nodded, and Neonis held his hand to his forehead in salute. "Me and Al will go back to Goldwood and help protect the Tribals, if necessary."

"What? Goldwood? But...drones might come!" Al quivered.

"That's...the point, Al." Ish muttered.

"But..."

"Al!"

"Right."

"Okay, that's it. Arm up with your weapon of choice from this base, get some sleep if you want. You have tomorrow to move out." Ish finished. "I'll get more of the Rebels to accompany you all." and with that, got up and left the table, climbed up a ladder into ground level, and took off with Al in no more than a few minutes. He had laid his full trust on the others, and only time would tell if that was a mistake...