Disclaimer: The following is a work of fan fiction based on the television series, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. It is not intended to infringe on the copyrights of Landmark Entertainment Corporation or anyone else who may have legal rights to the characters and settings. I do not own the characters. However, I am putting them into an adventure since the show was cancelled and the writers/producers/directors/actors can't put them into any new adventures.
Author's notes: Dread had been wreaking all sorts of havoc everywhere when Blastarr was destroyed, and I was wondering how people in the CP world took the news of Blastarr's destruction if that was all the information they heard.
Big thanks to Kazthom for giving this story the once-over. *g*
More To The Story
Command and Control
General Todd Brewer, head of the West Coast Resistance, was not where he wanted to be.
He had been injured during a battle with Soaron a few weeks earlier and was transported back to the Passages until his leg healed up enough for combat. Once he was ambulatory, he had been 'assigned' the temporary job of being in charge of Command and Control at the Passages. It was a busy but relatively easy job of compiling information and filtering it to the necessary people, a task designed to give wounded officers something to do while they recuperated.
Sure, it was an easy job, but it wasn't where a combat soldier wanted to be, not when there was a war going on. Brewer needed to be back on the battlefield. Dread was keeping the pressure on daily, almost hourly. Every resistance group was on full alert with hardly any down time. Rumor was that Dread was trying to find Power, to demolish his resources and contacts, to force him out into the open so he could destroy him. Jon had taken point on the defense, but he hadn't made any headway slowing Dread down either. His team was just as exhausted and their resources as over-stretched as all the other teams. The last time the Power Team came to the Passages, Brewer saw worry and despair in their eyes for the first time. That was not a common occurrence for that team. No matter what, they were the most optimistic group Brewer had ever met, and he had known them for years. Some, longer than the others. The phrases "Never give up, never surrender, never say die" were embodied in the Power Team's behavior and methods. They were the ones who kept on fighting no matter what, but if they were stretched that thin, then the fighting was worse than Brewer knew about. All the Resistance could do was just keep hitting Dread back as hard as they could even if they were failing. Confidence was down. Morale was at an all-time low. Hope was gone. Maybe something would go their way eventually? Just one thing to prove that Dread wasn't unbeatable?
Brewer limped down the hallway toward the C&C, his cane clicking against the floor with every step. A song from an old movie drifted through his thoughts. What was it? Something about a princess, seven dwarves, an evil stepmother, a poisoned apple…. How did the song go? Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go. Maybe he'd remember the movie eventually, but the song seemed to describe his opinion about his temporary assignment. Trafficking information and funneling it to where it needed to go did have its interesting days – or so Brewer had been told. His predecessor had told him that some of the data the techs collected was almost laughable. People on the communications networks tried to amuse and entertain each other. The occasional joke or play on words went a long way to alleviating the daily tedium of war-watching, but no one had been joking lately. The seriousness of their situation had taken its toll on everyone. No one felt like joking. In fact, Brewer couldn't remember the last time he saw anyone smile.
Maybe something interesting would happen that day. At least, General Brewer hoped that something interesting would happen. What was that saying his mom used to tell him when he was a boy? Be careful what you wish for because it might come true? Maybe he shouldn't wish for something interesting to happen?
The general walked into Command and Control, favoring his wounded leg as he avoided some of the techs rushing past him. C&C was usually somewhat low-key except when something big was happening somewhere on the continent. Unflappable personnel well-rehearsed at their jobs sat at their posts and monitored the daily goings-on of the Dread army and keeping track of the whereabouts of the Resistance forces. Big news barely rattled them, scary news rarely frightened them, but confusing moments put them all on their best game.
The whirring noise of computers, the general hubbub of people moving around, the murmuring of voices was the usual noise he heard during the quiet times.
What General Brewer walked into wasn't one of those times.
Obviously, there was an uptick in chatter. Monitors were flashing data across their screens at rapid speed. No one was getting any concrete information, only that something big had happened. Confusion peppered in with professionalism as they tried to run down each lead to learn what had happened. Rumors were running rampant - everything from the wishful 'Dread was dead' to the proverbial in-joke that 'Godzilla must have attacked.'
Wait… someone had made a joke?
No one was making jokes lately!
What was going on?
General Brewer listened to the information reported from the various computer techs. Something big was going on, that was certain. The reports became more and more unbelievable. Dread being dead was one thing, but Godzilla? General Brewer hadn't realized that anyone even remembered Godzilla! Now, if they had said that it was Mothra or Gamera, he would have been even more surprised. Those celluloid monsters weren't quite as well known as Godzilla or even Rodan -
"General Brewer, we've been getting all sorts of indicators for the last ten minutes. Some Dread offensive got scuttled. Now, we're now getting a lot of chatter over the Freedom Two frequency," one of the techs reported. "One is that Dread has disappeared about twelve hours ago. None of our informants has a clue where he is. Another is a major explosion in the Colorado Springs area. It took down an entire mountain, but get this - there's a report saying that Blastarr has been destroyed."
Command and Control became suddenly silent.
"Blastarr?" the general repeated. "Can we confirm?"
"Working on it. We'll know soon enough," the tech answered.
Everyone in the room remained quiet as the tech sought out information to confirm the report. Finally, the tech turned toward General Brewer, his eyes wide with disbelief. "There are reports being sent over Dread's communication network. Blastarr was destroyed in an explosion. Details pending."
"Which network?" Brewer cautiously asked.
The tech smiled. "The so-called secure network that only the overunits use. It might as well be written in stone, General. Blastarr's kaput!"
The room went from quiet to an almost loud blast of happy yells and commands. Brewer sat back and watched the team laugh, cry and hug each other as they celebrated the good news. No one had been this happy in… well, a long time!
Did the universe just hand them their first bit of good luck?
"General?" the computer tech next to him got his attention. "Power Team jumpship just showed up on scanner. They're requesting permission to land."
Brewer nodded absently.
Blastarr was destroyed? How – "Wait, did you say the Power Team?" Brewer asked.
"Yes, sir. They're requesting quarters and repair parts."
Maybe the universe just handed them another bit of good luck? Power might have been in the thick of things when Blastarr was destroyed. They were usually right in the middle of all the noise and confusion. "Permission granted. I need to speak to Captain Power. He may have some information about what's happening out there."
"Are you sure?"
"It can't be true. He was indestructible."
"He survived Haven when it exploded."
"But he's gone?"
"Destroyed in an explosion is what I heard."
"I thought he was taken out with some warheads."
"You mean it wasn't in a battle?"
"Four armed Resistance transports surrounded him and fired at the same time."
"I don't care how he's gone. Just that he is."
"Definitely something to celebrate."
"I heard there are parties springing up all over the country."
"News like this travels fast."
The voices were exuberant, almost ecstatic. Words were falling one on top of the other as everyone tried to express their excitement at the news at the same time.
Scout ignored all of it. He tried to focus on finding a few repair parts on the workbench. He didn't want to talk to anyone. He didn't want to listen to anyone. He didn't want to think.
Blastarr was dead. No one seemed to care exactly how it happened, just so long as it had happened. No one had asked what was risked or what was lost, just 'Was Blastarr really gone?'
People wanted to celebrate. Who could blame them? Blastarr destroyed so many towns and settlements, destroyed lives, digitized innocent people – he was gone, and people were happy.
Under other circumstances, Scout would have been happy too.
"Scout!" General Brewer made his way through the crowds, a broad grin covering his face. He glanced back at the throngs of people that had come together to talk about the fact that Blastarr was gone. "Good news, isn't it? Look at everyone. I haven't seen people this happy in years."
Scout glanced back at the crowds. Smiles truly were on everyone's faces. That was something he hadn't seen in a long time. "No, General. I haven't either."
"You can feel it in the air," Brewer continued. "It's like an electrical current running through everybody, they're so energized. It's been a long time since I've seen anything like this."
"Long time," Scout agreed, his voice pointedly unanimated.
Maybe it was the tone of his voice or maybe it was the fact he wasn't running around with a goofy grin on his face, but Scout drew the general's attention.
"Something wrong, son?" Brewer asked him. "You don't seem to be in a very festive mood."
Scout looked at the crowds again, then at the general. "No, sir. Just not, I guess."
"Bad day, General," Scout told him.
"I've had days like that myself, but today isn't going to be one of those. Blastarr being gone makes anything bad pale in comparison. I will need to have a briefing from your team about your recent activities," the general informed him. "Especially any information you've got on what's going on out there right now."
The general wanted to be debriefed? They had flown to the Passages without speaking a word to each other. To tell someone else… "Maybe later?" Scout asked.
Luckily, the general noticed the fact that Scout was not feeling very talkative. "Later would be fine. I would like to Jon first about a related subject. Any idea where he is?"
Jon? He would not want to see the general. He didn't want to see anyone, not even the officer in command of the West Coast Resistance forces. Talking about what happened would tear Scout up inside. He knew it would rip Jon apart. "He's had a bad day too, General. It might be a good idea to give him some time to deal with a few things."
"That bad of a day, huh? I need to speak to him about what he thinks Dread is up to now. He's disappeared. Our spies haven't located him in the last twelve hours."
Dread had disappeared? At any other time, Scout would have been worried. He might have even cared. At that moment, at that time, after everything that had happened to them over the last twelve hours, Dread was the last thing Scout was concerned with.
"Don't think the captain knows anything about it," Scout told him.
"Hmmm, I still need with speak to him though," the general added.
Scout thought for a moment. "The last I saw of him, he was heading away from the landing bay. I think he was heading toward the eastern section."
General Brewer felt as if he had been dismissed. In all the years he had known the Power Team, he had never seen Scout without a happy grin on his face and quick laugh at the ready. No, that wasn't Scout's usually happy personality shining through. The Power Team's 'bad day' must have been a rather intense battle. Brewer understood the feelings he believed Scout was having. Sometimes, soldiers needed to wind down after a fight, especially a bad one. And if it had been an exceptionally bad day, then even good news like Blastarr's demise wouldn't make a dent. They would need a little down time first.
He hoped the other four members of the team were a bit more talkative.
He pulled out his communicator quickly contacted the C&C. "Sergeant Askins?"
"Can you tell me where the rest of the Power team is located?"
There was a momentary lull. "Only one is showing up on our locators at the moment, General. Tank's ID card was used to get into the eastside gym. No information on where Pilot, Hawk or the captain is."
"Thank you, Sergeant," Brewer said as he ended contact.
"I heard some biomechs turned on him and fired on him."
"I thought it was a platoon of resistance soldiers."
"I heard he picked up a package that was wired with enough explosives to bring down Volcania."
"Has anyone heard anything concrete?"
"I heard that Dread got angry with him and sent Soaron after him."
"Anyone headed over to the bar for the party later?"
"There are ten parties going on in this section now."
Happy, delighted voices were coming from all directions. Some were positively jolly. Whoops of joy came from all corners as the news kept coming down the rumor mill, growing, getting bigger and bigger. The speculation alone helped fuel everyone's excitement.
Tank ignored them. He ignored all of it. He blocked out the noise and the voices as best he could. He didn't acknowledge the congratulatory back slaps for a victory that no one knew the truth about. He grabbed the weights and lifted them repeatedly. Minute by minute passed, and all he did was lift weights. Repetitive motion, repetitive thinking. It kept him busy. It kept his mind off what had happened. If he thought too much…
Parties. People wanted to celebrate and laugh and enjoy themselves.
Blastarr was dead.
He placed the weights back on the stand and reached up for the heavier weights. Maybe if he could tire himself out, he would stop thinking about what happened.
He looked around at the sound of his name. General Brewer walked into the gym, his grin faltering when he saw Tank.
"General," Tank nodded.
"All this going on around you, and you look like you've lost your best friend. I take it you had a bad day as well?" the general inquired.
"I spoke to Scout just a few minutes ago. He wasn't in a festive mood. I can see you aren't either. Lifting weights when everyone else is having fun? Something bad must have happened with your team today. Difficult mission?"
At that moment, General Brewer was the master of understatement. Tank had no desire to put Brewer on the right track. "Yes, sir. It was a very bad day." Tank was not going into detail. He couldn't. If he thought about how bad a day it had been, about what they had lost, he'd start throwing the weights instead of lifting them.
"Have you kept up on recent Intel from Volcania?" the general asked, his voice sounding a bit wary.
"We've been out of contact the last few hours," Tank explained, sort of.
"I see. I'm looking for Jon. He may have some information we don't. Any idea where he is?"
Jon? The general wanted to talk to a man who was barely functioning after what had happened? He hadn't said more than five words once they started flying to the Passages. "I don't know, General. He headed on down the corridor. I came in here."
The general frowned a bit. "Tank, did something happen today that I need to know about?"
Tank looked around at the people in the gym. They were smiling, happy. For the first time, there was confidence in their talk. Blastarr was dead. Everything else would fall by the wayside or get pushed to the backburner. A destroyed biodread was reason to celebrate since the metal monsters were impossible to destroy.
Yet the impossible had happened, but no one was asking how.
"A lot, General, but I don't think I could give you an impersonal debriefing at this moment. It was an extremely bad day."
"After a bad day. I do understand," the general agreed. "Later would be fine."
Brewer walked out of the gym, not feeling quite as dismissed as he did when he spoke to Scout. Something profound happened to the Power Team. Only that would cause such dismissive behavior. Again, he contacted the C&C. "Sergeant Askins, location of Pilot, Hawk or Captain Power?"
A brief moment passed. "Hawk is at the Quad, General. He just used his ID card to pay for a drink. No information on the captain or the pilot."
Brewer limped as quickly as he could down the corridor, avoiding the happy people and the backslapping and congratulatory well-wishing that was all around him. Something had happened out there to the Power Team. Scout being moody? Tank being more taciturn than usual? What was he going to see when he talked to other three?
"Next round's on the house!"
"Turn the music up!"
"More news coming in!"
"They're finding Blastarr parts as far away as Utah!"
"Ding dong, the biodread's dead!"
"Hey, there's another party going on in the dancehall."
"We've got a better one going here!"
One thing about the Quad was that it had great acoustics. Bands could play at one end of the Quad without amplifiers for the instruments, and the music could be heard clearly at the other end. Every single voice shouting out the news of Blastarr's termination echoed back and forth, each echo raising the decibels, enhancing the exhilaration, making everyone more prone to shouting over the echoes – the Quad was awash with high spirits and happy people celebrating the good news.
Hawk sat in a dark corner, nursing a bottle of homemade beer. Getting drunk wasn't going to help, but at that moment, maybe it would dull things a bit.
The noise of the crowd interrupted his attempts to numb his thoughts. The Quad was usually busy – stores, restaurants, a few bars, it was the closest thing to a marketplace anyone in the post-war world had seen – but hundreds of people filled the Quad's courtyards as they celebrated the news.
Blastarr was dead.
But no one was really asking how. They were just curious and making their own suppositions, but no one was trying to find out the facts.
They were just happy a seemingly indestructible biodread was gone.
Chalk one up for the good guys, right?
"How are you, Matt?"
Hawk turned when he heard his name being called. "Todd. It's been a few weeks. How are you?"
Brewer sat down opposite Hawk. "I'm a little confused. Everyone here is celebrating the fact Blastarr was destroyed. I've passed by a lot of good celebrations. I've got people smiling in The Passages for the first time in I don't know how long, and what I've found so far is three members of the Power Team looking angry and depressed."
Hawk didn't say anything. He just took another sip of beer.
"Scout is keeping himself busy looking for repair parts in the lab and ignoring everyone in there. He's not making jokes or engaging in conversation. Tank is lifting weights, something someone from Babylon 5 would not need to do in order to stay in shape since he's genetically designed that way. You're here drinking a beer, something you don't normally do when you're on duty, and I'm assuming you're still on duty since no one has come in for a debriefing yet. I haven't spoken to Pilot, and I can't find Jon. None of you seem at all concerned that Dread has gone AWOL for the last twelve hours, no one is reacting to Blastarr's recent loss to our war, and all I do know at this moment is that your team has had a bad day."
Hawk almost laughed at the ironic use of words. "Bad day? You have no idea."
Brewer motioned for the barkeep to bring him a beer. "It sounds like it," he said as he took a sip. "Remember when we went on our first mission right out of the Academy?"
Hawk nodded. "You were my wingman. It was over the Atlantic. The two of us against eight enemy fighters, and we blasted each one out of the sky. Took us a while to do it, but we won."
"Then we celebrated," Brewer reminded him. "So did everyone else in our squadron. And that was just the two of us against the eight fighters."
Hawk smiled slightly at the memory. "We got roaring drunk and were both hung over when we gave our report to the general."
"Good thing the general had a sense of humor," he laughed. "But we didn't realize that our wives had been worried sick about us when the base lost contact with us during the battle," Brewer kept on with the story. "Of course, we didn't know that they knew that we had been out of contact. I remember Joanna giving you hell for making her worry."
"She had a temper," Hawk agreed.
"According to Tank, all of you have been out of contact for some hours, and no one here has any idea what's happened to you."
Hawk saw the parallels immediately. "Bad day, Todd. Long story."
Brewer drank some more of his beer. "I still need to speak to Jon. Do you know where he is?"
Hawk shrugged. "I think he was heading toward the visitors' quarters. He's not really talkative right now. Might be a good idea to leave him alone for a while."
Brewer took his beer and took a sip. Hawk could feel his friend's eyes almost boring holes into him.
"Matt, what the hell is going on? What am I going to run into when I talk to Pilot and Jon?"
Hawk leaned back in his chair. "You won't be running into Pilot," he murmured. He couldn't stop his voice from choking at that moment.
Hawk looked directly at Brewer and asked in a flat voice, "Ask yourself one question: how was Blastarr destroyed?"
The general was taken aback, his frown showing his confusion. "I haven't been given that information yet. All I now for a fact is that Blastarr was destroyed."
Hawk nodded. "Well, let me tell you just how bad our day was."
Happy, smiling faces…
Laughing, cheering voices…
Excitement running through people like an electrical current…
General Brewer sullenly trudged through the crowds. Any thoughts of celebrating were gone. What Matt had told him had driven them away.
Jon and Jennifer? How had he missed that? What she did, what she sacrificed, what she said -
Alone, she destroyed Blastarr with an explosion, losing her own life in the process when he infiltrated their base.
He didn't know what to say to Matt when he learned what happened. How could the mere vocalized "I'm sorry" even make a difference?
He had to talk to Jon. He didn't know what he'd say, but he had to talk to him.
It was quiet.
Everyone was everywhere else celebrating.
No one was staying in their quarters. Why should they when there were parties going on everywhere at The Passages?
Jon sat in the quiet room. He didn't want to be around anyone. He couldn't bear the sounds of happiness all around him.
Everyone wanted to celebrate Blastarr's defeat. Who could blame them? They fought and worked every day to survive, and when something like a biodread was destroyed, who would dare say they shouldn't have a moment to celebrate?
There may not be another reason for years.
Jon tried not to think. If he thought, then he would feel. If he felt, he would fall apart. He couldn't do that. Not now. He had to keep it together.
If he didn't move…
If he didn't think…
If he sat in the quiet and pretended that he didn't exist…
There was a knock at the door.
Jon ignored it, but whoever was on the other side knocked again.
"Come in," he finally called out.
The door opened, and General Brewer walked in. "Can I talk to you, Jon?"
Jon didn't answer. He didn't move as Brewer approached him.
"I found out from Matt what happened," Brewer said as he moved a chair in front of Jon and sat down. "Most of it, anyway. It was difficult for him. I wish there was something I could say, but I know there isn't."
Jon sat there, unmoving.
Brewer kept on talking. "How are you doing?"
Jon had no idea how he was doing. He was numb. He was raw. He wanted to scream at the world. "I don't know," he finally said. "I couldn't do anything. I was safe on the jumpship, and she was at the base facing off with Blastarr and an army of biomechs. She was hurt so bad - I could tell from her voice. I heard her last word." He took a shuddering breath. "I heard her die."
Those last moments, those last sounds, they came together in a heart-wrenching memory for Jon that he couldn't drive out of his mind.
Then he realized that the general was speaking to him.
"…I wish I had some words of wisdom to say to you, but there's nothing. We all know to expect an empty place at the dinner table when we're soldiers, but it's different with a small group. We're not just a military platoon. We're also friends and family. It's a whole different way than we were trained to fight."
Empty platitudes, even from a well-meaning friend, didn't make a dent in Jon's heartache.
"I always admired Jennifer," he said. "She got away. My children were taken in one of the early attacks. They're Dread Youth soldiers now, and I have no idea where they are or even if they remember me or my wife, rest her soul. I'm terrified that I'm going to look across the battlefield one day and see one of my kids pointing a gun at me. The idea that someone could break away from the Youth gave me hope like I hadn't had in a long time. She told me that there's always a chance they could escape or they could be rescued."
Jon nodded sadly. "She was always good at that. She never believed in a lost cause. That there were a lot of reasons to keep on fighting."
The general leaned forward, balancing his elbows on his knees. "And that's what you and your team will need to do, Jon. Keep on fighting. No matter what. Take the hurt and the anger and use it. Eventually. Right now, all of you need to deal with this. You need to grieve and be angry and sad. Take all the time you need here."
The general stood up and walked back to the door. He had his hand on the handle and paused. Without turning back to Jon, he said, "I know it hurts. I lost my wife a few years ago in an attack, and I wanted to hurt anything metal that got in my way. I did. Lots of biomech bodies stacked up in a short amount of time. I destroyed them, and they made me a general for it. Nothing's going to help. Everything's going to hurt for a while. I just want you to know if any of you need anything, I'll do what I can. Just let me know." Then he walked out.
Jon sat in the quiet again. Sometimes, there weren't words that could help. Brewer knew that. All he could do is offer condolences and support. Maybe that's all anyone could do.
But it didn't change things.
People were celebrating Blastarr's destruction. Happy people were laughing and dancing and cheering their good fortune that a single biodread was in pieces.
But Jennifer was dead.
She was gone.
There, in the quiet of the room, Jonathan Power cried.
Command and Control
Only one computer tech was on duty. Everyone else had given themselves a few hours off to join in the festivities.
Brewer didn't mind. In fact, he encouraged it. Why let his own sadness keep the others from having fun?
Blastarr was dead, but no one was asking how. That one bit of information singled Brewer out, kept him from the festivities. He was a soldier, and he understood the sacrifice. He understood Jennifer's selfless actions, and he understood how it felt to be the one left behind when a teammate sacrificed themselves to protect others. It was a pain too many soldiers had experienced, but experience didn't lessen the pain. He would have to write up the report soon enough, but for now, he let everyone celebrate. There were legitimate reasons to boost morale by letting people be happy. Eventually, they would all learn that there was more to the story than just 'Blastarr was dead.'
Finally, in a need to hear some sound other than the whirring of computers, he asked the tech, "Didn't want to go to any of the parties, Corporal Askins?"
"Someone had to stay here, General," he answered. "Never know when more good news could come in."
Brewer sighed. Good news. No mention of bad news. No one wanted to think that bad news was hidden somewhere. "That's true. Anything new?"
"Sort of." Askins pointed to a particular point on the scanner. "This is that spot in Colorado Springs where the explosion happened. The one that brought down a mountain?"
Brewer nodded that he remembered the earlier report of an explosion. "What about it?"
"I sent a local team there. They're getting some strange readings. They're transmitting them here."
Brewer walked over to the monitor. "Isn't that a machine frequency?"
"It's the emergency frequency of one of Dread's machines when its power source is failing. But in the remains of an explosion of a mountain? I don't understand. How would they be inside a mountain?"
Suddenly, Brewer did understand!
Blastarr was destroyed in an explosion.
Chase died blowing up Blastarr somewhere.
The Power Team had to have a base somewhere, right?
"Any other readings?" Brewer asked quietly. Please, please, please let there be other readings.
"Sensors can filter through the mechanical readings… That looks organic. I can't get a lock on vitals but there's something there."
"Organic? As in human organic or would it be animal organic?"
Askins double-checked the readings. "Definitely human."
For the first time since he heard how Blastarr was destroyed, Brewer felt like smiling. Immediately, he brought out his communicator.
"Jon, are you there?"
A moment passed before Brewer heard an answer. "Power here."
"Get your team back to your jumpship. I've got some news for you!"
Note: The lyric Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go comes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.