Chapter four

I went to Blaze's quarters to find out exactly how he dealt with the media. I knocked on his door, and there was a moment's shuffling, and some muted voices. When Blaze came out, Nagase politely excused herself from the room all the while looking embarrassed, and I gave Blaze a look.

"What?" he said defensively. "I love her, and I plan to get married to her someday."

I shook my head and said: "Okay… anyways, I was wondering if I could ask your advice on something."

He shrugged. "Ask away."

"How do you and your squadron deal with the media? I mean there's bound to be hundreds of reporters swarming around you, how do you deal with them?"

He smiled and said: "you know, the media isn't really swarming around us. And for the stray reporters that do, we just tell them where they can shove it, and if they STILL refuse to leave, we call President Harling and he black-lists them from ever reporting anything ever again."

I raised an eyebrow. "You can do that?"

"Yeah, the President's a very good friend of mine, as is Nikanor. We saved their lives during the Circum-Pacific war, and they've been in debt to us ever since. One of the ways they pay us back is they try to make us seem dead."

I have to say I was genuinely impressed. I had never made any friends during the Belkan War with the exception of Pixy and PJ. Both mercenaries, and both unable to influence any politics. But Blaze had managed to get the Prime Minister and President of the world's two Superpowers to make everyone think that the Four Wings of Sand Island, or the Demons of Razgriz, or whatever you happened to call them were dead. It just really impressed me.

"What about Mobius 1 and 13? How do they deal with it?"

"From what I understand, they just use the magic phrase when dealing with them: 'No comment'. Then, they usually just leave you alone."

I nodded, and said: "Thanks see you later, Blaze." And I left.

My work wasn't all done yet though. I still needed to let the Base Commander know about me, and he would let the base know. I knew I couldn't hide it any longer, so I went to his office.

When I got to his door, an aide stopped me, and said: "I'm sorry, but the Commander is VERY busy, and he cannot see anyone right now."

I gave him a cold, hard look that visible chilled him. It was the same look I gave new base personnel that didn't get out of my way fast enough.

I opened the door, and was immediately amazed by the decorations of this one office. The floor had wall-to-wall carpeting, and truly stunning pictures of various battle scenes drawn and painted from various scenes of this guy's home universe. Some with tanks, some with aircraft, and some from navel battles. The room also had various models of ships, tanks, and aircraft in it. The Commander was reading something, plans of some sort.

As I looked at them, I knew what I was seeing: plans for the 'Excalibur' Class Anti-Aircraft/Anti-missile Defence/Offence Chemical Laser System. Nothing like that super weapon had ever been seen for fifteen years, and now, the Soviets had their hands on the plans. Were they trying to 'reforge' Excalibur?

The Commander looked up, and said: "Da? What is it?"

I snapped to attention, and said: "Sir, I feel it's best to tell you this now. Did you happen to see my performance in Yesterdays dogfight?"

He nodded. "Da, da, I did. Very impressive. Were did you learn how to fly like that? I'm sure our pilots could learn a thing or two from you."

"Sir, I learned how to fly during the Belkan War. People in this universe know me as 'Cipher, Demon Lord of the Round Table.'"

His eyes widened slightly and he said: "indeed? I was wondering when you'd come to work for us. We've been looking through your records, and it says that the two of you were inseparable."

That was completely true. Even on the ground, Pixy and I were like brothers. You simply couldn't pull us apart for more then a few hours.

"Anyways Sir, I feel it's best for everyone in this base to know about me. If you could tell them, but keep the media away from me, I'd be very grateful."

He nodded. "Of course, Comrade. I'll tell everyone as soon as I'm finished with what I am doing."

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and a scarred man who looked to be around 45 came in. he was carrying a manila folder stamped 'Top Secret" on the top and bottom. The Commander took it, opened it, and read the contents. As he was reading, I turned my gaze to the scarred man, and wondered how he got like that. The only thing I could think of was that he had been in a fire a while back, and the doctors hadn't been confident they could save his skin. This guy was also completely bald, which, combined with the massive scarring, reinforced my opinion that this man had been in a fire a while back.

The Commander looked up from the folder and said: "Thank you, Captain. This is exactly what I wanted. As promised, you and Ofnir will receive amnesty and asylum with the Soviet Union."

Ofnir? Well, there was only one person I knew who was Ofnir's friend: Grabacr. I watched as he left the room. The Commander closed the folder, and said: "well, Cipher, if that will be all, I have a meeting I cannot miss." He nodded. "Good day."

And he left shortly afterwards. Not wanting to damage his office, or his reputation I also left, only to be greeted by a glare from the Aide.

Supreme Commander Boris Romanov

Allenfort Airbase

General's Conference Room

1633 Hours Local

I arrived at the meeting three minutes late. No matter, they would not start the meeting without me. Once I got in, I saw all the Generals chatting with one another until I sat down. Immediately, the chatter died away.

"Good afternoon everyone." I began. "I have just received the plans for the Arkbird, V2, the SOLG, Scinfaxi-Class Carriers/Submarines, and the XB-0. As you all know; these were superweapons designed in the various wars in this universe. What I want out of this meeting today are volunteers to help build these superweapons.

"We have already had General Tao work on Megalith, and General Alexander has worked on the 'Stonehenge' Class AAA guns. Generals, how are the results so far?"

A woman with short cut blond hair and wearing a USA General's Uniform began talking. She was General Alexis Alexander. The USA's head of Superweapons development.

"So far Commander I've been able to produce three out of the six guns you wanted. I'm having my construction team's work double-time to get the last three operational. The ones in the USA have been completed on-time on schedule."

"Good. General Tao?"

A thin Chinese man with the uniform of the People's Liberation Army now began talking. His hair was thin, and mostly masked by the uniform's hat. He insisted that his hair loss was due to old age, but nobody bought that. He was only 44 years old, so everyone had the suspicion that it was hair loss due to radiation. Even though no one ever said that to his face. If they did, the person who said that would be on the receiving end of China's most brutal General: 'Anvil' Shin Fai. General Tao was known as 'the nuke' and ANY insult about nuclear power or its shielding was a personal insult to him. And Chinese people NEVER let an insult go away lightly.

"The Megalith launch facility is nearly completed, Commander. However, its armament is another matter entirely. The missiles are scheduled to arrive at noon tomorrow. As requested, these are biological, conventional, High-Explosive and nuclear. As requested, the facility is fortified by a mountainside as well as protected from aircraft attacks by one of General Towns' new toys."

I looked at the aging man in another USA Army General. This man was head of the USA's Top Secret Laser weaponry program, which only now had started to get off the ground.

"Yes sir," he began. "I've been experimenting with the AEGIS Cruiser; taking its radar tracking capability with my lasers quick power and aim. I think I've come up with something." He pulled out a computer USB memory stick and plugged it into CABAL, our most powerful supercomputer.

"Downloading secure video file now," he said in his computerised voice. Yes, HE. Not IT. Cabal is so intelligent he can easily be classified as a 'he'. "Please stand by."

I looked at the giant television monitor that was affectionately called 'The Big Board', and saw a sleek-looking ship remaining stationary in a bay. The camera panned to the left, and I saw a device that was normally used for launching dummy targets for target practice.

"Commencing AEGIS Beta Class cruiser testing now," General Towns' voice announced. A target was fired, although I realised that was not a dummy. That was a real missile! The missile locked onto the ship, but suddenly, it was blocked out by a beam of light that temporally absorbed the missile. Then, there was an explosion.

The video ended, and General Towns started talking again.

"I call that the AEGIS Beta, or more simply, Laser AEGIS Cruiser. It was a little project of mine that I never quite finished in the war against the GLA. With your permission, Commander, I'd like the opportunity to continue work on this ship."

I nodded, hoping to get a viable Anti-aircraft platform out of it soon enough. I turned my attention now to a fellow fighter pilot: Air Force General Malcolm Granger. We were best friends, and he had each been in more air battles then we cared to count.

"General, will we be able to have these new aircraft up and flying soon?"

He nodded. "Making that deal with Grunder Industries was a really smart thing to do, Commander. Now, they're freely giving us their aircraft, and I gotta say, I've never seen airplanes of this quality in my life. Whatever these guys did to 'em worked real good."

"Good," I said. Eventually, we agreed upon who would build what. General Tao would work on the SOLG and the V2 missile while General Juhziz would take over for him, General Granger would make the Arkbird and XB-0, General Towns would make the Excalibur laser, and General Vladimir would build the Scinfaxi class submarines.

We then agreed on the next universe we would visit. This Universe's official designation was 37432884. Although, the people down at the Universe Designation Department decided to call it the 'Otherworld' Universe. Nobody knows why, I guess they thought it sounded nice.

We had had our eye on this universe for some time, but now it seems the Yeerks were finally acting. That was a chilling thought, if the Yeerks got to there before we did, they would have potentially a considerable advantage in manpower. We had to stop them NOW.

A few short weeks later, we managed to appear in their Russia, and get Premier Romanov, my father, elected quickly with the help of the people's will for economic reform, and Yuri's subliminal messaging.

A few weeks after that, and we were ready to attack the one and only Yeerk Pool in this Universe. I called in the Yellow Squadron to do this. in retrospect, that was not a good decision, but no one could have predicted what would happen later.

Anyways, I was briefing Yellow Squadron on their latest mission. Two of the five pilots where rookies, two where experienced pilots, and one of them was my wingman, Yellow 13.

"Now, it seems that the yeerks have once again tried to move to another universe. We believe that they're trying to build a Yeerk pool in New York State. Now, your ordnance for this mission is as follows, two Mark 84 General-purpose bombs, and four AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles."

There was, as far as I could see, nothing of value or interest here, but the yeerks where trying to capture it. That made it our responsibility to prevent the capture. So far, there was only one Yeerk Pool with only one entrance and exit, an "Abandoned" building. I was sending Yellow Squadron out on a precision bomb run, fly in, destroy the target, and fly out the same way you came in.

"I wish you the best of luck in battle." I concluded.