Chapter 1 - Beginnings
He looked up at the blazing sun briefly before turning back to look at the cadets. Top young men, carefully selected to be groomed and moulded into protectors of the new frontier: Starsherrifs.
He turned as the senior officer in charge of the cadets joined him, "They're looking good."
"Thank you, Commander. Your presence seems to have given them more energy." He chuckled.
"Hmm." He turned to the gates as he suddenly caught some movement at the corner of his line of vision.
"What is it?"
"Is that a child?" The commander turned his full attention to the gates. The soldier keeping sentry at the gate approached the visitor, "He seems in distress." He glanced at the OIC and both of them started towards the gate.
"What's going on here?"
The soldier straightened at the sight of his commander and senior officer, "Sir!" He saluted.
"At ease." The Commander said, "So what do we have here?" He turned to the young boy. He was breathing heavily and sweating heavily. The commander glanced beyond the gate. There was nothing out there but dessert sands and boulders. He turned to the boy again. He couldn't have been more than 12 or 13 years old.
"Need .. Help…" The boy declared between deep rapid breaths, "Friend. In-jured!"
"Where?" Commander asked placing a hand on the boys shoulder.
The boy pointed out towards the open dessert.
Commander Eagle turned to His senior officer, "Organize a party immediately."
"Yes sir!" The Senior officer took off running.
"Come with me son."
"But my friend…"
"We're going to get him." He assured. He glanced at the soldier and nodded once before taking the boy by the shoulder and directing him within the confines of Cavalry command.
A medic-van appeared along with two other weapon-equipped vehicles.
"Ok son, climb in. Lead the way."
The boy climbed into the open-doored vehicle.
Commander Eagle followed suit, "Let's go."
"Yes sir!" The driver replied, "Which direction?"
The boy pointed east-wards and the driver nodded.
"What's your name son?" The Commander asked.
Strange name. He thought to himself, "I'm Commander Eagle. Can you tell me what happened?"
"Outriders." The boy said simply, "Turn right at that boulder!"
"You got it kid." The driver acknowledged.
The commander glanced over at the odometer.
"Over there!" The boy pointed to a crack in the ravine.
"I see something!" The driver said and came to an abrupt stop where a form lay in the shade if the ravine wall.
"Hurry!" The child anxiously tried to lean over the Commander to get to the door.
The Commander opened the door and climbed out. The boy leaped out right after and ran into the shadows of the ravine.
The Commander and the medical team hurried after the boy. He came to a stop in front of a man that appeared to be in his sixties laying prone on the ground, a wad of cloth soaked in blood pressed to his abdomen.
"We need to get him back to the cavalry right now!" One of the paramedics said meeting the Commander's eyes.
He nodded and approached the young boy, "Let's get out of the way Sabre, and let the men do their jobs." He took hold of the boy's shoulders and steered him out of the way.
"I'm going with him." Sabre Rider declared breaking away from the Commander's grasp and following the stretcher.
The man nodded. It didn't look good. He couldn't deny the boy possibly the last moments with his 'friend'.
They climbed into the back of the medic-van along with one of the medical officers. The doors were shut and the engine roared before they were quickly rushing across the desert back to the base.
The Commander's gaze fell on the injured man when he groaned and opened his eyes.
"Sabre… You're safe…."
"Yes Rohan. We have help."
"Help?" The injured man moved his head weekly, his eyes passed over the medical officer and landed on Commander Eagle and the ranking insignia on his uniform. He raised a shaking hand towards the man.
The commander approached the injured man, "We're taking you to Cavalry Command for medical attention."
"Take care of the boy… Very… Important…" He swallowed, "Special…"
The commander glanced at the boy who's gaze never left his 'friend', before turning back to the injured man.
"Promise me. He needs… to be taken care of… Special…"
The Commander nodded, "I'll personally make sure he is taken care of."
"You have my word."
The man smiled, "Thank you." He turned to the boy, "Sabre…" His eyes closed.
"Rohan?" The boy's voice was soft. Hesitant.
The injured man's eyes opened again and he smiled, "Always be… who you feel you are… No matter what… No matter what people… say… I'm proud of you…" His reached for the boy's hand.
Sabre grasped it tightly and nodded.
"Be strong Sabre Rider… Scotland… is your home…"
The commanded frowned at the statement.
"Rohan?" The boy called out again as his 'friend's eye closed again.
When the man's eyes did not open again, the commander glanced at the medical officer who immediately reached out to check for a pulse. He sighed and shook his head slightly.
The boy looked up at them, "Is he…?"
"I'm sorry Son." The commander said softly.
The boy nodded once and turned his gaze back onto the departed man.
Fourteen years later…
"Hurry up man!" He looked around nervously.
"Relax." Another laughed, "We've got everything covered."
"I have a bad feeling. Just hurry it up so we can get out of here!" The first man hissed as he glanced around again.
"By the time those Starsherrifs find out about this everyone in this town will be dead." He snickered.
"Is that so?" A third voice querried.
The two surprised men looked about the warehouse they were in.
"Geez… I told you!" The first one declared backing away from the barrel he was standing by.
"Where do you think you're going?" Another voice called out. This one had a distinctively 'cowboy' accent.
"Lahar. Let's lets get out of here…"
"I don't think so." A form emerged from the shadows. A being shaped as a man, but one who's body was covered in black and white armour.
"Yeah, aren't you partners happy to see us?"Another mechanical looking man merged.
"You scared them Sabre." A third 'man' emerged this one dressed in similar armour but red and white.
"Sabre Rider and the StarSherrifs!"
"Let's get out of here!"
"No you don't. Colt."
"You got it." The Blue and white cowboy sounding man threw a small disk at the two men. It exploded millimeters away from the two men and covered them in a glowing and softly buzzing net, "That should hold em'."
"Fireball, get that barrel aboard Ramrod. Colt, get them aboard."
"Yes sir." Colt gladly obliged, "Lets go, you outrider varmins."
The one called Sabre Rider watched as his men carried out his orders. Once the warehouse was empty he took once last look around and followed them out. His eyes fixed on the immense ship that was making it's descent a hundred yards from where they stood waiting.
The hatch was lowered and they made their way up.
He walked behind his men and watched as they chatted amongst each other. Once inside Colt waited for Fireball to secure the barrel before the two of them made their way to the holding cell.
Sabre pressed the button to close the hatch before he went to the intercom, "April we're in. Take us out of here."
"Ok Sabre." A female voice responded immediately.
The soft rumbling of the engine signified their immediate departure. Sabre Rider reached towards his head and pulled off his helmet to reveal his slightly disheveled blond hair.
Out of habit, a hand swept quickly through his hair to make sure none were straying in any awkward directions, as he tucked his helmet beneath his left arm and walked further into the ship.
"That was easy." Fireball exclaimed as he and Colt walked into view, "Hey Top Sword, we're heading back to base?"
"Mmm Hmm. Let's get to out saddle units."
The three men started towards the navigations room.
"Hey April!" Colt waved as he swung into this saddle unit, "Ah home sweet home!" He slouched low in his saddle unit and lowered the brim of his ever present cowboy hat over his eyes.
"That was quick." April glanced at the three men.
"We're that good." Fireball stated as he and Sabre Rider also climbed into their saddle units.
"Ramrod to Cavalry Command." Sabre Rider's voice could be heard as he opened a channel to the StarSherrif base.
"Cavalry Command here."
"Ramrod's ETA 22 minutes. We have two prisoners onboard."
"10/4 We'll be ready for you StarSherrifs. Cavalry Command out."
"Think we're going to get a break this time?" Fireball asked.
"I hope so." April added.
"Ahh you padres will get bored." Cold mumbled underneath his hat.
"No That's you Colt."
"Woohoo. You're probably right!" he chuckled.
"Hey what are you doing over there Sabre?" Fireball asked noticing that Sabre was quickly typing away.
"Writing up our report."
"Figures." Colt hollered amused from the other side.
Sabre Rider's report was finished minutes before they had to check in with Cavalry command and ask permission to land.
"Permission to land accepted. Come on home Starsherrifs."
"Here we go!" Fireball eased Ramrod onto the landing pad.
"Home." April said climbing out of her saddle unit and stretching, "Let's go!"
Sabre followed his comrades example and climbed out of the saddle unit, but he didn't follow them right away. Instead he glanced out the front of Ramrod where down below where cavalry officers and commanders awaited. He turned away and went after his teammates. When he reached the others Cold and Fireball already had the outrider prisoners.
"Hey what took you Top Sword?" Colt asked glancing at him.
"Nothing. Let's go." He moved to open the hatch.
"Let's go scum." Colt nudged the outrider forward.
Fireball did the same.
Sabre turned to April and found her watching him.
Sabre smiled, "I'm fine April, let's go." He motioned for her to go first and followed after her.
"It's so good to be home." April exclaimed as they descended the ramp.
"Hmm. Yes." Sabre responded. His gaze swept over the people and the buildings. It never really was quite home. There was always something missing. But no one needed to know that.
They reached the ground and immediately approached the awaiting commanders and General White Hawk. They came to a stop before them and saluted.
"Welcome home StarSherrifs. Guards, take the prisoners."
"Yes sir!" Two men approached and saluted the Starsherrifs before having the outriders turned over to them.
"StarSherrifs." General White Hawk stepped forward, "Please settle in. We have a very important guest arriving this afternoon, and your new mission will be to stay here and assure her safety."
"Yes General." Sabre replied.
"Her?" Colt repeated curiously.
White Hawk nodded, "The Irish Princess will be visiting the base."
"A Princess on the base?!?" Fireball asked surprised.
"Wow! That will be so cool to have a princess with us!" April exclaimed.
"Yes." Whitehark smiled.
"Isn't that dangerous. To allow a princess to come here?" Colt glanced at his Leader.
"Mmm Hmm. I agree." Sabre Rider acknowledged.
"But it's also important for someone in such a high position to show their support of the new frontier." General Whitehawk met their gaze.
"Guess so." Colt replied.
The General chuckled, "Why don't you all get settled in." He turned to the Commander to his right, "Lead them to the quarters they will be sharing with the princess."
"We're sharing quarters with the Princess?" April asked excitedly.
The general nodded.
"Another girl! Great!" She exclaimed, "Let's go boys!"
"Well at least I won't have to take her shopping anymore!' Fireball whispered to Colt who laughed.
The Starsherrifs followed the commander to the housing building.
"Here we are." The commander turned to April, "Your father apologized for not being able to greet you. He will give you a call as soon as he's out of his meeting."
"Great! Thank you."
The man smiled, "Here are your key cards. There's one for each of you and one for the princess." He gave them to Sabre Rider who nodded.
"Welcome home." He said and then turned and walked away.
"Well, shall we go in then?" Sabre held out the key cards and each one of them took one. He then swiped the card through the reader and opened the door to their suite. He watched as his team automatically went to explore and claim rooms.
Sabre went to check the rooms as well, "Save this one for the princess."
April glanced in the room, "Umm this isn't very nice."
"No windows. And surrounded by our rooms." Sabre Informed her.
"Not very princess like."
"I'm gonna go get my stuff. You guys comin'?" Colt asked walking towards the door.
"I'm coming, I'm coming. Just when I was getting comfortable." Fireball grunted as he got up from the couch he had just settled in.
"Don't get to comfortable." April smiled.
"Yeah, I know."
"Top sword?" Fireball noticed their leader was still staring in the room he had designated as the Princess'.
"Pardon? Oh. Yes I'm coming."
April studied him a moment longer before engaging in Fireball's and Colt's banter.
To be continued…