After an hour of hard work, I got up and left for the apartment upstairs when I returned I gave him a cup of coffee and organic tea for myself.
"What was he like?"
I looked at him the cup on my lips and I looked at him as steam rose from the mug of coffee.
I slowly lowered the mug looking at him. "Your grandfather?" I asked.
He nodded. "He died before I was born and you and your wife practically raised me. I want to know," he said, looking up at me.
He and I looked at each other for a moment and I put the cup down. "He was a strong man who always did the right thing. However he also had an incurable stubborn streak to him if he set his mind on something nothing could stop him from achieving his goal," I said, giving a small chuckle.
"I remember this one time he and I went rabbit hunting so I could cook him a secret family recipe I learned. We had just about caught the Rabbit when it darted…in…to…its den…," I said, then drifted off eyes growing wide.
"What? What happened?" Chang asked, eagerly.
Without saying a word, I bent over the computer and touching the holo documents flipped through them scanning them until I stopped. I quickly scanned it and with a small smile on my face pointed at it.
"What does this equipment have in common?" I asked.
Chang looked it over. "It's digging equipment," he said.
"It's excavation equipment," I said, and he looked from me to the document.
"Why would the Yeerks want this kind of equipment when they can just use Dracon Beam to blast through rock?" he asked.
"because Yeerks are opportunistic, they're not going to break their backs to dig a new hole when they can find one already there no longer in use, how many mines are around Paris? Because whatever they're building its underground," I said, sitting down my tea forgotten.
For minutes, we searched every database in Paris and soon a holographic 3-d map hovered before us. On the map in various distances of the city several dot appeared discolored arias on the terrains.
"Of the ten mines in the area four are in no populated areas and active, two are deemed condemned and the nearby town deserted, two caved in years back and two are perfect for the Yeerks recently bought up and quite close to medium sized towns," Chang said, reading through the list.
I brought the two up and looked at them for a few minutes thinking. "Which one has a larger population, closer to Paris, and better access to the Highway?" I asked.
After a moment, the dots were reduced to one and I leaned on the council. "Gottcha you sluggish bastards," I muttered.
Over the next hour me and Chang got ready in the supply room just off the his TAC room to first scout out the mine then decide if we needed help. "You know you didn't really answer my question," Chang sad as I checked the power packs on my blasters.
I stopped and looked at him from my bike. "There's really not much else to tell but he was a good man and my friend," I said, he nodded, and I lowered my eyes.
It was a couple of hours after the squadron had gotten back to base and me and the Base CO arrived at Chang's Great Grandfather's family house to deliver the news. His Great Grandmother was crying very hard her face in her hands while Chang's grandfather the teenager I caught in my plane stared at me in shock along with his sister.
I took a hesitating breath. "Ma'am I am deeply sorry for your loss your husband was one of the best pilots I ever flew with. And it has been an honor to know him especially since he saved my life today…," I started to say in Mandarin.
"Did you repay it?"
The CO and I looked at Chang's grandfather as he looked at us with ice in his eyes and I nodded. "Yes I shot down the pilot that killed your father," I said.
He looked at me the ice still in his eyes and in one fluid motion stood up. "I wish to take my father's place in the Squadron, my father taught me how to fly just as good as him," he said, and his mother gapped up at him.
He and I looked at each other and I shook my head. "No you're too young and you need to stay home and look after your family," I said, he looked at me for a few minutes then stormed out of the room and I watched him go.
I blinked several times as the memory faded and I slipped my helmet on and turned the ignition of my bike. I gunned the engine a couple of times then tore out of his exit tunnel. I weaved my way through it, came out in an alley near The Louv, and turned down the street.