Word Count 498
One More Battle In The Final Frontier
By Josh McMullen
Lieutenant Colonel Clint Holbert donated his body to the Space Force just 19 days ago. He
rocketed up into space just 13 days ago, and within a day, was already patrolling the orbit around
Earth for enemy craft. All he had seen in his time was a bunch of merchant ships floating
gracefully down into the atmosphere, disappearing under a blanket of clouds.
He sat in his captain's chair, leaning back to face the ceiling. The trade season was winding
down, and the number of merchant ships slowed to a trickle. A full contingent of 30 officers and
198 enlisted spacemen, and here we are, just watching merchant ships come in, Clint thought.
Like most of the battle-hardened officers before him, he yearned for the heat of battle.
Clint stepped into his office and watched the big blue marble that held his home. The Soaring
Eagle was an all-in-one science, exploration and battle cruiser, and soon would be fitted to do all
three of those things, but for now, was sitting in its figurative dry dock, with contractors working
on it around the clock. Clint sighed as the world rotated below his feet and went about his duties
as captain of the ship.
One day, the monotony of merchant ship duty was broken by klaxons on all decks. Clint bounced
out of bed excitedly, assuming if he could not go to the action, the action was finally coming to
him. He heard the announcement that enemy ships were within sensor range and would be
arriving in Earth orbit within a few hours. He listened for his ship in the mobilization
announcement, but only became more and more crestfallen with every ship that was listed. When
the message ended without any mention of the Soaring Eagle, Clint turned on his heel and sat
down dejectedly in his chair.
He came to a sudden realization. This was his ship, and he would not be reduced to a desk job on
his own ship, when the enemy was sitting on his doorstep. He sat up confidently and pressed a
nearby communication button. “Holbert to Engineering,” he said boldly. “What's the status on
“Still a few hours away, Captain,” a voice said. “They just finished the warp drive, and all
computer functions should be up within the hour.”
“Belay those orders, Chief Engineer,” Clint said brashly. “We're heading out of dry deck and off
toward Saturn, at the highest warp you can give me.”
He knew that somehow, the higher-ups would find out. He knew the risks involved with taking
on a fully-powered enemy ship with one that was barely functional. Honestly, he didn't care. The
smell of battle flooded his nostrils and he longed to engage the enemy at once.
“Head off for Saturn, airman,” Clint said to the young man running the helm. “Warp five, if we
can manage it.” He smiled as the engines hummed to life. “Ready all available weapons, and let's
get ready to rumble.”