Once back at base the other cadets were sent back to the barracks for some rest. Ven was summoned to the head office of the training headquarters. She had begun to wonder what was going on.
From what she’d heard cadets usually had to make it back to base on foot, and she didn’t know why they had sent a copter for them instead.
Now, to be summoned to the main office, something was definitely up.
Upon entering the office she saw the head master, Colonel Marks, and sitting across the desk from him was Admiral Entra, second in command only to Commander Yaeger himself.
This was definitely unusual.
“Ah Ven,” the admiral had known her since she was a little girl, “Come, sit.
” Ven did as instructed, taking a seat in the black leather chair next to the admiral, while the head master stayed at his desk.
The admiral continued talking, “I wish I could say that we were here under better circumstances.”
Ven saw the ashen look in the admirals face and felt sudden alarm. “What’s going on?” She asked.
“There is no easy way to put this....” Entra’s speech trailed off before resuming again, “the Atlas has been taken captive.” Ven’s heart sank.
Not only was the Atlas the most powerful ship in the human fleet, but the commander had been on it. That meant Tirus was either dead or being tortured at this very moment.
“Where...” Ven tried to ask the question but the words had trouble coming out. The admiral anticipated it instead.
“The northern islands.”
A tear came to Ven’s eye. “The northern islands...” she repeated the words. The northern islands were where Ven had been raised until the night of the barracks explosion.
The Arzat central command was there.
“I want to go in after him.” This time the words came out without hesitation.
“As I figured you would.” The admiral responded, “so I’ve been speaking with the head master. But I need to know something.”
“Whatever you need.” Ven responded.
“I need to know that you can keep your personal feelings aside, and perform as though he were any other rescue.
The truth is, you are not only our best cadet, but you have achieved higher scores than any operative in our military’s short history. We need you. The commander needs you.”
“You have me.” Ven’s will was fierce.
“Very well,” the admiral went on, “upon conference with headmaster Marks we hereby grant you the rank of Covert Extraction Operative,
and your first assignment is the extraction of Commander Yaeger. Felix will be assigned to you until the commander is back safely.”
“Felix.” Ven thought about it. The robot was nearly unstoppable. Together they would be a force to be reckoned with. “Excellent.”
The admiral continued, “A quadrocopter is going to take you to Sky Eye Two, from which you will paradrop to the Arzat headquarters, attempt to infiltrate it,
and determine the whereabouts of Commander Yaeger and the Atlas.
Sky Eye two was a flying platform that the humans had built, there were three total, that floated high in the atmosphere on helium tanks and propellers,
and they never came down thanks to virtually limitless fusion reactors. Their crews performed satellite like reconnaissance.
“Your first priority is rescuing the admiral, your secondary objective is to recapture or destroy the Atlas if possible.
Ven didn’t say anything, she merely nodded her head, her expression grim with determination.