Lingua Galactica by S. J. Schwaidelson

Lingua Galactica by S. J. Schwaidelson

Author:S. J. Schwaidelson [Schwaidelson, S. J.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: The WP Press
Published: 2017-12-20T22:00:00+00:00


Tapper was asleep, dreaming of days on the beach at the Jersey shore where his grandmother kept a bungalow. In the dream, he was running along the sand with his sister and their dog, racing an incoming storm. They laughed at the lightning, but the thunder was growing louder and louder until Tapper sat upright in his bed. Someone was beeping relentlessly on his pager. Leaping out of the bed, he strode to his comm unit and hit the button. “This better be good,” he shouted.

“You’ve got a red scramblegram coming into the commroom, sir,” said the mate.

“On my way, Jeff. Put it on hold ‘til I get there.” With economy of motion, he pulled on a flight suit and headed out the door.

In the commroom, three crewmates were standing at the board watching the furiously flashing red light. As soon as Tapper flew in, they stepped aside. “Outta here,” he barked, closing the door behind them. He entered his security code and the angry red light stopped flashing and Admiral Rothko’s face appeared on the screen. “What’s the problem, boss?” asked Tapper, noticing the greyness in Rothko’s face at once.

“The news stinks, Tapper. Major eruption along the Syrian border. Ramadi is involved, so is that bastard Hassan. So far, Mustafa has kept his nose out of this, but he’ll be in before too long.”

Although it was important to be kept abreast of these facts, Tapper knew there was something else on the admiral’s mind. It didn’t take a mind reader to guess what it was. “Where’s Jonathan?”

The admiral sagged in his chair. “Down. Somewhere in Jordan.”

“Is he alive?”

“The last we know, yes. He transmitted his location linked to a throwaway. He’s believed to be on foot heading west.”

“The bird?”

“Gone. He took a hit and jumped. According to the IDF, it was a miracle he got as far as he did in the air before he ejected.”

Tapper sighed, rubbing his eyes. “How’s Mrs. R.?”

“Upset. Angry. He was under direct orders not to fly into combat. She’s here at the Pentagon, negotiating for emergency aid. We’re awaiting an official declaration of war now. This is going to be a hot one, Tapper.”

“Where do you want us?” He knew Morgan should be there with him when the question was asked, but there was no time to get him now.

The admiral looked grim as he gave the order to come home. “We want you here as fast as possible. There’s a Wa’atsi vessel orbiting us now, and we have every reason to believe they are monitoring for the Arabs. I’m pulling two battleships into orbit from within our system, but I want the Washington available. If there were not outlanders in this, I would leave you where you are, but Morgan is experienced with the Wa’atsi and they are not happy campers when he’s around. And tell Cardozo; he’s to stay with you and not on Lomos or wherever else he was planning to go. Official orders are being prepped now and should be transmitted within the hour.


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