Nuclear Winter

Chapter 2: Of Nuclear and Atomic

The interior of the Space cruiser was a lot more different then the last time she was here. It was a lot more spacious, the distance between the Captain seat and the crew stations was extended, there seems to be two new crew stations, and the wall separating the bridge from the cargo bay was removed, showing the incredibly large cargo area in the back.

"Is it just me, or did the old Star cruiser got an upgrade?" Betty asked "And what happened to X5?" X5 too was different. His head is now smaller, and his body are now tripled sectioned, with an upper chassis, mid section joint, and the lower hover base. His color, however, is the same dull yellow

"I beg your pardon, Former Captain. But it's X5 Mark 2. And you're on board the GGS- 0218X Dreadnought Class Command and Combat Cruiser VALIANT." X 5 said

"Things went straight to oblivion ever since you left, Betty. General Nuke launched a series of raids which effectively disabled our primary space cruiser defense line. Our old Cruiser was no match to General Nuke's Drone ships, and Drone Soldiers were overtaking Galactic Guardian Protectorate planets by sheer numbers. Even though we did developed new cruisers such as the Dreadnoughts, the odds are still too great for us. Before long, we abandoned the Galactic Guardian Headquarter, muster whatever forces we can get and get as many of the new ships produced. We're on a full scale retreat out of the Milky Way system." Sparky says. He's now taller and his expression lost it's former brightness and positivity. "As you can see, two empty stations. We don't have much."

"We do have on last hope though." Surprisingly, it was X5 who delivered the positive news "The chance of it succeeding is next to none, but if the remaining force can reach the nearest outpost of the Inter-Galactic GREEN LANTERN CORPS, we maybe able to get the Green Lanterns to help us. Admiral Degill's leading the fleet towards it as we speak."

"Green Lanterns?" Betty asked.

"Green Lanterns. They are the Universe's police force. Selected from all over the Galaxy, members of the Green Lanterns wields a power ring that has the ability to construct anything they can imagine out of green plasma energy. One of them can take on a standard Drone Ship Fleet." Sparky said

"Right. Give me an update on our current situations, statistics, and displacement of forces." Betty, now in full Captain mode, ordered.

"Good to see you again, Captain." Sparky smiled

"Currently, Admiral Degill's fleet is heading towards the Green Lantern Outpost, estimated 400 light years away. The Fleet movement is 0.41 Light years per five hours, with three days away from being ready to go Hyper Space, which can get us with in 75 light years of the Outpost. Our position is at 14 Light Years in front of the Main Fleet Position, currently passing Mars. The enemy pursuing fleet is at 20 Light years and closing, divided into three Fleets. Our Fleet consist of four heavy Assault carrier: the Titan Class Dauntless, Hyperion, Dominion, Eternal. One Mobile fortress: The Duel Class Hope. And 39 Dreadnought Class Star Cruisers, three in one team. The enemy's force. Ooh boy, this is going to be long. Forward Fleet. 4 Light Carriers, each with an estimated 200 Drone crafts, 20 Light Assault Cruisers, battle ships. Main Force, two Flag Ship, housing the Drone Hive Command. estimated 40 Carriers of different grade, each carrying 200 to 500 Drone Crafts. Over 350 Battle ships, cruisers, supply ships and crafts of different class and purposes. Support Fleet consist of several hundreds repair and supply crafts, emergency light crafts, and 20 Heavy Long Ranged Bombard ships." X5 finishes the long list of things Betty demanded.

Betty listens, looking through whatever data was gathered on General Nuke's forces.

"We're not gonna make it." Betty declared.

"What?" Sparky couldn't believe what came out of her mouth

"I said we're not gonna make it. I made a little calculation. By tomorrow morning, General Nuke's Forward Fleet will catch up to us. It will bog us down just enough to let the Support Fleet's Bombard Ships get in range. Assuming that we survive both Forward and the bombardment, we will have no chance against the main force. Pure and simple."

"Yeah, but..." Sparky stopped, he knew what Betty says it's true.

"Unless..." Betty ponders.

"Unless?" Sparky asked

"Our Fleet will be passing the Solar System, right?" Betty asked

"Yeah...?" Sparky is a bit confused

"We'll hit them right here. In Saturn's Meteor ring." Betty says, pointing on the holographic stellar map. "Our Main fleet should have a certain amount of reserve energy to do a Hyper Space that will bring them right in front of the Saturn. The Forward Fleet will chase us into the meteor ring. I compared our ship's data with General Nuke's. Our ships can maneuver better in meteor space then theirs. We'll use this advantage to beat them."

"But that would delay our course for at least 2 days!" Sparky said.

"We finishing off the Forward can eliminate a chance of us being bogged down and let the main force and bombardment catching up. Our Ship's class is generally lighter then General Nuke's, so that only way he can catch up to us is to send smaller vassals, which we can easily fend off." Betty said.

"You're right! If we can pull this off, we might be able to make a full retreat!" Sparky said

"I still got it. Oh, by the way, you said we are now formed in three ships a team, right?" Betty asked.

"Yes, captain. The others are joining us right now." X5 said

In the far side of the fiery red Mars, two tiny images of the ship could be seen. X5 zoomed in for a closer look. The ship's design is exactly the same as the Dreadnought class: Similar but more linear design then the old star cruisers, two colored theme paint job is different on two ships, and the ships are a lot larger then before. One ship, pained in ultramarine blue and vermilion has two cannons on its top and one below. The other is of teal green and gray color theme, with antennas sticking out of it's top and a round disk on it's bottom.

"Introducing the Fire support ship Thunderbolt, and the Communication and Supply ship Raven. Together we are the Primary Weapon Experimental Flight 001 Code name Courage." Sparky said

"Thunderbolt to Valiant, I'm Captain Rajaks of the Galactic Guardian's ship Thunderbolt. Please to meet you, Captain Betty." A strong, handsome male voice spoken through the communication relay.

"Raven to Valiant. I take it that Captain Betty is on board. I'm Major Sahriha of the Raven. Acknowledging you superiority." Another, kinder and softer female voice sounded through the communication.

"This is, uh, former Captain Betty speaking. Uh, nice to meet you all?" Betty said, unsure how to answer them

"Fabulous performance, Captain." Sparky laughed.

"Oh, shut up. I was never in a flight formation before." Betty said, hearing small sounds of chuckles through the communications too.

An sound of alert disturbed the light hearted moments.

"General Warning to all ships. This is the Raven. Detecting Drone ships approaching, By Weight and image analysis, it's Drone Reconnaissance Vassals. Raven, at your command, Captain." Sahriha said through the communicator.

"Thunderbolt is at your command. Captain Betty." Rajaks said

"X-5, map!" Betty, back into her captain mode, quickly ordered. A blue screen hologram appeared, showing the team's position and the enemy position. The Drone reconnaissance vessels has a sleek, oval shape and black, they are moving fast towards the small Dreadnought teams. There's a total of five of them, all flying as if one. Betty quickly scanned through the map, and smiled.

"Thunderbolt. There's a small comet traveling right along Mars. It should give you enough cover to camp out and fire at the enemy. Raven, turn into Mar's atmosphere to avoid getting detected, continue to update and scan for enemy position and any spacial anomalies. They seems to have limited armaments on their side, so I'm taking Valiant around and hit them broad side. We got one chance, let's make it count. MOVE!" Betty said her order.

Thunderbolt quickly maneuvered into the shelter of the Comet, passing on the Reconnaissance fleet's right. The ice and dust comet are full of empty holes, so it's not difficult for Thunderbolt to find places to fire from. Valiant turned and jetted into the starry void of space. Far away, Raven's ship entered Mar's atmosphere, the small amount of air offered little resistance.

The five sleek reconnaissance ships jetted by the comets are met by Thunderbolt's massive fire. The one closest to Thunderbolt are met by the most fire. The burst of oxygen inside quickly catches on fire, then blows out into the empty space, but when Thunderbolt hit it's photon generator, green and blue flames quickly engulfs the ship. As the reconnaissance ship try to brake and turn to Thunderbolt, their small machine guns turn and fire furiously at the comet Thunderbolt's taking shelter in. Blister of ice and solidified dust breaks shoots away from the comet, but no major damage to the comet it's self. Soon, another one goes down for the count.

As the reconnaissance ships about to face Thunderbolt and unleash all it's fire power, a glint of light followed by two laser beams cuts though the black space and punch through the hull of a reconnaissance ship. Betty's Valiant, aided by Raven's assistances in enemy's positioning, locked down onto the Reconnaissance ship. Laser beams furiously cuts though the enemy rank. The combined effort of Thunderbolt and Valiant chews up the Drone reconnaissance ships. One ship decided to break away, it manage to duck out the furious crossfire net of the Thunderbolt and Valiant, and prepare to jet out of the combat.

"One ship's breaking away. If we let it get into the communication range of the Pursuing fleet, they will send out Battle ships to get us!" Sparky said

"It's too late to turn our course!" Betty said

"Thunderbolt to Valiant. We will not be able to get into pursue course in time. Awaiting instruction." Rajaks said

"I might have the thing to solve our little problem. Please come with me. Captain." X5 said.

Betty followed him into the cargo bay. They went down a stair and into the lower air lock.

"In combat of General Nuke's Drone Fighter plane, the Galactic Guardian developed this." X5 pointed to the ceiling.

An 18 meters tall, robot with two glowing eyes look straight down at them. It had a blue and white color theme on it's sleek body. The perfect proportion of the human body represented on it, with a armor plates and small position rockets all over.

"The Generator Unsubdued Nucleon Drive Assault Module weapon complex. Code name Guardian. It's design to give more protection to the pilot while giving he or she the complete freedom of a human body and jet pack controls." X5 said

"Gundam Guardian... " Betty said. Putting all the capitals of the long name of the machine.

"It's motion capture system should be easy to control. It's prepared to launch. If you please, captain." X5 said.

"Wouldn't want anything better." Betty said, smiling.

"Since when did you put that on my ship, and why wasn't I notified?" Sparky asked X5 when he came back to the Bridge.

"Oh, I wanted it to be a surprise." X5 said "Guardian, prepare to launch."

"This is Atomic Betty, Gundam Guardian, ready." Betty said through the communicator

"Confirmed, Guardian, if you please." X5 said to Betty

"Guardian. LAUNCH!" The burst of the thruster hurl the humanoid machine into the void of space. Two small wing behind the Gundam extend, and a larger, wing like rocket cluster burst in all it's glory. In it's left hand, a oval shaped shield, and it's right is a long Laser beam rifle with an out of proportioned caliber

"Raven to Guardian. The enemy is leaving combat area, X45 Y31 and increasing Z24and decreasing."

"Captain. The beam rifle equipped on Guardian was design to combat ships. You should have no problem taking down the escaping ship." X5 said

The Gundam move as Betty moves. So it took no time for Betty to familiarize with the system. The thruster control is the exact same as conventional jet pack, the Gundam move at ease through the space. The view within the cockpit was unrestricted, as if Betty her self was in Space.

It wasn't long before the escaping reconnaissance ship was in visual range. Betty, a dead aim with a Positron laser pistol, was a bit uncomfortable using the large rifle, but the shot still strike through the ship. Several on and missed shots later, the ship crumbled and blasted open. Debris blown into the empty void of space.

"All enemy ships silent. Detecting no energy singles. Combat alert cleared. We did it, Captain Betty!" Sahriha said through communicator, excited.

"A well return. Captain Betty." Rajaks said, his strong voice mixed with joy and attentiveness.

"Welcome back, Captain." Sparky said.

"Good to be back. Sparky." Betty said, smiling.