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What Could Go Wrong (Chapter Cover Art)

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Chapter 64 - What Could Go Wrong[]


23 November 3041
Inner End (Federated Commonwealth)


Sergeant Major Chester Pullman shook the offered hand of Carlos Zapata, MIIO. "It has been a while since we have spoken Agent Zapata."

"Several months. As far as we can tell, your still clean. We have not detected any unusual activity in the area. But I doubt you asked for this meeting for that. What can I do for you?", Agent Zapata replied

"I got a message. Agent Hammel is due back very soon and asked about some sort of special gear and to have it ready to go on her arrival. Know anything about that?", Sergeant Major Pullman said

Agent Zapata looked around before answering in a low voice, "YOU are not supposed to know about that."

"I don't know anything about it. I was told to contact your office about whatever it is.", Sergeant Major Pullman said

"When will she get back?", Agent Zapata asked

Sergeant Major Pullman shrugged as he said "I would say within the week, maybe sooner. Message was from Valasha. Either way, she wanted her gear ready for immediate departure, doubt she will land." He pointed behind him where the entire small base was a beehive of activity and then towards the grounded Union CV Dropship, where the requested Aerospace fighters were being winched aboard. Lack of crew made landing the Aerospace Fighters risky.

"I will have what she requested at the Station waiting for her order to transfer." Agent Zapata replied

"You know a bunch of us are going to. We can always transport it up there for you." Sergeant Major Pullman said

"The less people that have any sort of contact with this the better off WE all are.", Agent Zapata replied as he turned and got back into his car and rapidly departed the Space Port.

Sergeant Major Pullman watched him take off and shook his head, damned spooks do spooky things. But he had completed his task and delivered the information. He turned and went back to getting his people ready to meet Leftenant Colonel Mitchell. As he was yelling at assorted troops that were not moving fast enough, he heard "Sergeant Major Pullman!!!"

This brought his head around and he saw Master Sergeant Pearl Bateman, the lead Aerospace Technician for the planets militia fast approaching. "What can I do for you Master Sergeant Bateman?"

"I have been observing the activity over here. You still have not found additional techs to properly land those birds properly?" Master Sergeant Bateman asked

"Nope, not yet. I was hoping to hear something by now, but not a peep. Worst, we just got a tasking." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"That Dropship is still down two of its launch gear. Me and my people helped Chief Engineer Jones get the other three back up by parting out the last two. Since the birds we normally support returned to the Kilbourne DMM, we have been bored silly. Playing with your birds is all we got. Since technically we are part timers, and we went off duty until next month, well we were wondering if you folks might need some help?" Master Sergeant Bateman said

"I think we can handle loading those birds from the ground Master Sergeant Bateman." Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"Not what I meant. We watched the spare parts, armor, fuel being loaded also. Same as all the gear your ground pounders are loading. There might be a fight where your going. Your going to need proper repair crews for those birds. We want to go along and lend a hand. Without proper support, those fighters and their pilots are one shot wonders. We are civilians right now, for the next month anyway.", Master Sergeant Bateman said

"Seriously? If your not back in time, the AFFC will throw the book at you. What if Inner End gets attacked while your gone?", Sergeant Major Pullman replied

"It has been three years since Inner End was attacked. Besides, the Kilbourne DMM will be here before the month is up for a 3 month stay anyway. Until we get our own planes, me and my people are without a job for months. It took an act of God to get one of their squadrons here and for us to provide the maintenance for them while they were here. Besides, if the AFFC cashiers us, well, we might just join up with you full time." Master Sergeant Bateman said

"Against my better judgement, okay. Get your people and their gear aboard that Union CV. It will be boosting by dark for the Jump Point. Barely enough crew to take off, so you go in with your eyes open.", Sergeant Major Pullman said

"We will be loaded within the hour.", Master Sergeant Bateman said as she turned and pumped her arm up and down. From one of the Space Port hangers, her six full maintenance teams emerged pushing their tools, duffel bags and additional spare parts towards the Union CV. Turning back she said "Told you, we have been watching. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go make sure those folks do not screw up the loading of my planes."


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