Chapter 14: Preparation for Battle!

Copyright© 2021 by A Carpenters Son

After Susan Delaney got her eagles, she let loose a war hoop. A few minutes before Rowland had asked her, “Colonel Susan will you head up the West Coast Watchers for me? I will include a hundred 885s and teachers to train.”

Susan looked to her father and mother seeing the smile on both of their faces, “Yes Sir. I would be proud too.” The family story was when Susan was five years old. Her dad had asked the family if it was okay to move to Washington DC? Susan asked her one-star general Daddy, “Will you get another star daddy?” Robert Delaney smiled and said, “Most likely Susan, do you want your daddy to be a two-star general?” Susan laughed and giggle and said, “Of course daddy. I like two stars two times as much as one.”

What she didn’t see was her mom and dad holding hands hidden by the table, and her mom squeezing her dad’s hand almost to the point of pain. They both knew what this meant for their daughter. They had lived through it a half dozen times or more. Susan’s brothers, girlfriends, nephews, and brother-in-law would be coming into the Cadets as First Lieutenants.

Rowland had asked Susan’s CO Colonel Shellie earlier if he could have her. She was there for dinner and would place the Eagle on Susan’s Cap.

Rowland asked Henry if he had something he could use for a lectern. Henry brought out an oak wood cabinet with a plug-in mic that would go into one of a dozen wall sockets around the room. There was also a little black box that supported a wireless mic.

“I’m seeing why General Delaney likes this place so much. I first thought it was because of the food.” Rowland laughed when Henry grabbed his heart at the compliment.

“Anything else General Rowland?” Henry smiled.

“Sit with us. Eat with us. Get to know us, please.” Rowland asked, “I think we will be back many times.”

“Can my wife join me?” When Rowland nodded, “It would be an honor, Sir.” The two shook hands.

Rowland stepped behind the lectern. He noticed Delilah doing something in front of the Lectern. What he saw brought a smile to his face. A beautiful piece of cloth 2’ by 2’ A dark green silk background with a 6” gold star with “4th DIVISION” in 3” letters and “THE WATCHERS” also in 3” letters below the Division designation.

Rowland grabs the mic, “It looks like we have arrived.” As he stood in front of the lectern, “Thank you, Captain.”

“How many have 10 or more kills today?”

About twenty men and women stood up including General Bob and his wife Teresa. Please stand if today was the first engagement as a Space Cadets?” Over two-thirds of the 150 men and women stood up. “Please stand if you have any concerns as to why we are killing the spiders.” About 50 stood up. “Please keep standing until I answer those concerns.” Rowland looked around as Delilah passed out dozens of 8.5” by 11” copies of pictures of a six-foot-tall spider, and the remains of her mom and the two Macon City Sheriff Deputies. Rowland waited until an Air Force Captain had raised his hand, “Yes?”

The captain asked, “What do the spiders want?”

Susan stood and raised her hand, Rowland nodded, “Today I was talking to one of the Spider leaders. He invited us for dinner, then laughed, he said we would be the main course.”

Delilah stood and looked at Rowland. He nodded, “Ladies and Gentlemen, what I am handing out are pictures of a six-foot spider. We don’t know how big they get. Another picture is the remains of two deputies of the Macon City Sheriff’s Department. I took my oath to be a cadet standing next to Tom Shaw. Tom came from the Macon City Sheriffs and knew these two men. One was the Sheriff’s son-in-law and his best friend. The woman ... is ... my ... mother.” Delilah was having a hard time, but she made it.

Rowland picked it up, “My mother-in-law. The spiders have made it personal for Delilah and me. Thank you for your help today. Yes, sir, you have a question or unanswered concern?” Rowland said to another man standing. He was the last one of the fifty to stand. The others had all taken their seats.

“I got to use the Tactical display today. Wow. That is incredible.”

“Today was the first time we got to use it in action. It reduced the time of battle by 50% and reduced the possibility of a Friendly Fire incidence by also 50 or 60%.” Rowland commented.

“Sir, I’ve heard we have more spiders coming?” The man sat down.

“Yes. We work off a 10-base world with two exceptions. Time and a dozen eggs or donuts.” That brought some laughter. Rowland continued, “The spiders I believe have an 8-base world. Lord Heat said there were a lot of ships like 100,000 and he has gotten rid of 20,000 of them. If they do have an 8-base world, then maybe that 100,000 was 80,000 and now we have 60,000 coming at us. I’m hoping Lord Heat and the Funston Cadets can eliminate another 20,000 or 30,000 by the time they get near.”

“Sir, what do we have to face them with?”

“The Russians have committed 15,000 ships, China 10,000, India also 10,000. European countries have around 2,000, Mexico 1,000, and we will have around 10,000. I would like to reach that 30,000 number to meet them one to one or at least no less than one to two.”

“How many are you planning in a backup force here on Earth?” General Bob asked.

“Eight to twelve thousand ships,” Rowland said, knowing that Lockheed was taking the old 335s and 445s and adding a single railgun to them. They had to remove two seats to make that work. Boeing figured out how to get three railguns into the 555s although the magazines were made smaller holding 15 rounds and not the 25 rounds of the 336s and 446s. Russia was also modifying its 555s in the 3 railguns fashion.

“Commander, you need a man or woman that has some experience working with parts of your Spaceforce that doesn’t speak English.” General Bob had spent two years in NATO doing just that.

Susan stood up, “Father the Space Cadets do not have a person that has that expertise except for you.”

“General Bob, how many kills did you have today?” Rowland asked.

General Bob blushed, he stammered, “17 kills.”

“And your wife?”

“I don’t know, I remember when she got to ten.” General Bob said looking at Teresa.

Rowland looked over at Henry and the two men nodded to each other. Henry talked to a very pretty woman sitting next to him and she got up walking fast to the door. Rowland looked to his watch and was surprised to see it was 6:00 PM, right on schedule.

“I got thirteen Robert,” Teresa said. Susan burst into laughter. Mom only used Robert when she wanted him to listen to HER!

“We got thirty together. Yes, we have a Nintendo at home.” General Bob got much laughter.

“Cadets, would you follow General Bob as your commanding officer?” Rowland asked, “Please stand and make some noise if you would.”

When everyone else stood at Susan’s and Shelly’s table, they did too and clapped and let loose a “YAHHH!”

Rowland waited until it quieted a bit, “Space Cadets. I would like to take this moment to swear in all the men and women that want to join us. Those that have already been sworn in please have a seat if you would.” Rowland saw a group of eight waitresses with carts. Henry’s wife mouthed “GO AHEAD!”

“Officers of the United States Space Cadets raise your right hand and repeat after me. I’ll go slowly. I swear to obey and uphold the Constitution of the United States. I will defend it to the best of my ability against all enemies, Foreign, Domestic, and Alien so help me God. May God Bless our country and our world. At ease Officers of the US Space Cadets. Please turn to your brother or sister next to you and congratulate them for me.” Rowland looked at Henry’s wife and mouthed, “THANKS, PROCEED!”

The room got nosey but that was as it should be. Bob and Teresa came up to Rowland, “Do you have another envelope for me?” General Bob asked.

Rowland handed Bob an envelope with his name on it. A note was under his name, “For Bob & Teresa after they are sworn in as Cadets.”

General Robert Delaney and Captain Teresa Delaney.

The president agrees with me that you will not lose the three years that you have been on vacation from “Time in Grade”.

“What good is that if it won’t increase your pay?” Teresa said.

“Honey, it means I now have over five years in grade as a Lieutenant General.”

“OH. OH BOY! Thank you, God.” Teresa remembered her dream of being married to a four-star General. Maybe her Bob would get that fourth star.

Back to the letter in the envelope:

God says you will volunteer to protect Earth. Thank you both. When you read this, we are in a battle with what started was over 160,000 enemy ships. We have whittled that down to a more manageable number in a week to just below 100,000. We have two of our 885s set up to make five-pound Anti-matter rounds. They make about 800 rounds a day. We are reloading eight of the 336s or 446s. every day.

Teresa spoke, “I saw the two 336s at Lockheed loading up five boxes each and I asked what was in the box? They said they were replacing the rounds they had used up in the battle. There were in big print 10 Anti-matter rounds on each of the boxes and a WT of 58 LBS.”

“How big were the boxes?” Bob asked.

Maybe “6” X 15” about 4” hi,” Teresa said. I saw others take a heavy-duty cart with many dozens of the same boxes on them to other ships.

“We have learned from experience to always reload that day or the next day after a battle,” Rowland said.

“We have a plastic card in each ship reminding us of what to do after a battle. You will hear “Got to take care of the ABCs.” It stands for After Battle Checklist.”

“Honey, skim the last. We got other things to take care of.” Bob then folded the letter and put it into the envelope and tucked it inside his shirt.

“Mr. and Mrs. Delaney, please stand with me as I talk about your daughter.” Rowland found Shellie and nodded to her too. She came forward shaking hands with the Delaneys.

“May I have your attention please.” Rowland announced to the gathering, “On the way to Lockheed the last five on my ship were holding hands ready to transport out. We lost at least a dozen circuits the first one was our Replicator. I agree with our sailors if no coffee we turn the ship around and go back to port.” Rowland got much laughter, “One of my Lieutenants ask if we had seen enough action to cause a rash of promotions? The truth be known we probably did see enough action. You, too! These promotions tonight are to put the power in the right place to help prepare for what is coming at us. I want to talk about the first one for a bit. She doesn’t look like an old-timer.” Shellie giggled, General Bob shsss her which caused Teresa to also giggle. Bob just smiled and shook his head biting his tongue to keep from laughing.

“Her Watcher number is 12. She will be heading up the 8,000 to 10,000 watchers along the west coast of the United States. We have over 350 of the brand new 885s coming off the assembly lines from China. These will be important in the days ahead. Each Regiment will receive 100 of these ships tomorrow or the next day. I have pilots coming from all our major partners along with a dozen brand new 775-Fs with the Tactical Display Program in all of them coming from Lockheed. May we have Lieutenant Colonel Susan Delaney join us up here, please.

Susan wiped her eyes and squared her shoulders then marched up to the people standing around the lectern. Once she got there she came to attention and saluted, “Colonel Susan Delaney reporting.” Rowland returned her salute, “About face, At ease.” Rowland nodded in the direction of Bob, Teresa, and Shellie. They together took their places in front of Susan.

Rowland noticed another sixteen Cadets enter taking up residence at two tables furthest from the lectern. Tom was there, Chief Jacob was with him. The Specialty Battalion had been working like crazy. They had over two thousand cadets. They had the headquarters by the airport ready to go. Each cadet had a certification and had taken other family members or friends around the earth or the moon.

“All of us were there today. That Battle with four hundred and one ships against our 27 will be taught to all our cadets and Susan’s father has promised to take it to Congress. I have full faith in Susan’s leadership ability and our use of technology. Susan will be taking on the West Coast Watchers as the Commanding Officer with the Rank of Full Bird Colonel. I plan to make three Regiments. We have two more to do tonight.

Family and friends, how does she look?” Rowland knew Susan would turn around. When she did Rowland Saluted her, and she returned it. Susan mouthed thank you to Rowland. “Susan crowd yourself in there with your parents. We have more fun coming up.” When she did, General Bob whispered in her ear, “Now is the time to choose an XO and Aid.” He thought he was being quiet, but Rowland heard it.

“Your right General Delaney. Now is the time. Susan, who would you like to have as XO and Aid?”

“I haven’t talked to them.”

“Well, let’s take the time, I’ll help,” Rowland said.

“You know them, sir, I’ve gotten to see your brothers in action. I ask Captain Paul Taylor to be my XO and Captain Jeffrey Taylor to be my aid.”

Rowland was dizzy for a few seconds. He then shook his head and bent to the mic, “Will Captains Paul and Jeffrey Taylor join us at the lectern please.” The two stepped forward. When they got to the lectern, they both stopped. Came to attention and Saluted Rowland, “How was dinner?”

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