The Elder Plan


7/9/20233 min read

The ship's metal table, weathered by countless war meetings and strategizing sessions, lay between us as we prepared for our next journey. The lights from the control panel cast an eerie glow on Ravager's face, emphasizing the lines of concentration etched there.

"Alright, Moe. This is going to be tricky," Ravager started, his gaze focused on a holographic projection of the outer rim planet. "We're dealing with the most fortified solar system in the galaxy, but our destination is an elder home, far less heavily guarded."

A bead of worry nestled itself between my brows. "What's the plan?"

Ravager leaned back, crossing his arms over his chest, the five steps he outlined painted a daunting image.

"Step one," he began, "we have to navigate the Maelstrom Nebula. It's a treacherous path, but it's the only way to avoid the main defense line."

Gramps piped in from behind us, his voice heavy with worry. "The nebula is volatile, unpredictable. What if we get lost, or worse, end up disintegrated?"

We paid no mind to his concerns, focusing instead on the task at hand.

"Step two," Ravager continued, "once we bypass the defense line, we'll have to deal with the proximity mines around the planet. They're a part of the secondary defense system. We'll have to maneuver carefully."

Again, Gramps chimed in, "You'll need a map for the mines. Without it, we'll be flying blind."

The silence that followed his comment was deafening, but it was promptly filled by Ravager moving to step three.

"Step three involves hacking into the planet's security grid. We'll need to disable the surveillance cameras and alarms around the elder home without alerting the planetary authorities."

"But, the grid is updated regularly. If they've changed their codes since Fitt last updated us, we could set off every alarm on the planet!" Gramps' protests fell on deaf ears as we continued our discussion.

"Step four," Ravager maintained his steady pace, "we infiltrate the elder home. We'll need to blend in. The staff needs to believe we're there for legitimate reasons."

Gramps' voice echoed with concern, "But those are innocent people, Ravager. We're not just talking about breaking the law here. This is a moral line we're crossing."

Ignoring his words, Ravager moved onto the final step. "Step five is the extraction. We get the information we need, find the cure, and then get out of there as fast as possible."

"And if we're caught?" Gramps interjected, his voice small and trembling. "It won't just be the facility security we're dealing with then. It's the entire planet's force."

The room fell into a tense silence after the plan was fully laid out. Each step was a minefield, and the risk was astronomical. But it was a chance we had to take for Gramps.

With a heavy sigh, I stood up, pulling on my jacket. "When do we start?"

Ravager's eyes met mine, full of determination. "Now."

The Nomad roared to life, the familiar hum of the engine accompanying us as we prepared to dive headfirst into the most dangerous mission of our lives. We settled into our seats, our hands flying over the navigation console. The coordinates were set, the throttle was ready. Everything was going as planned.

Suddenly, the navigation console went dark. The ship was adrift in space, disconnected from its destination. I looked at Ravager in alarm. "What happened?"

A frail figure emerged from the shadows. Gramps. He walked from the back console, having disconnected the navigation core. The life drained from the ship's systems, plunging the navigation into darkness.

"Gramps? What are you doing?" I stammered, my heart pounding in my chest. We could start bumping into asteroids at any minute and the ship wasn't built to maintain internal pressure with outside force.

His voice cut through the darkness, filled with resolute determination. "Enough is enough. I have a new plan."

And with those words, the chapter came to an abrupt close.