The team has landed about 200 miles outside Yarin City in the middle of a mountain range. They have met up with Nova 6 (Dim). The rest of the team is waiting outside while Enzo tries to treat Hunter.
Axel: Come on, come on, come on! He has to get through this, he has to!
Zao: Settle down big man, you have to prepare for the worst.
Axel: You mean give up? Well you may have but I hav’ne.
Zao: Given up? I haven’t given up? Who the hell do you think you are?
Axel: Do you wanna go?
Zao: Come on then!
Ace: Lock it down! Both of you now! Axel, Zao is right. We have to prepare for the worst.
Axel: Who do you think you are, ordering me about like that?
Ace: I think I am your superior officer and I’ve had it up to here with you disobeying my orders!
He raises his hand above his head
Axel: Well, that’s only up to like my chest so you’re obviously not that near the end of your tether.
Ace: Seriously? I can break your arms all day; I’ve done it once I can do it again.
Ace: I’d like to see you try!
Ace turns away from Axel.
Enzo: He would like to see you.
Ace walks onto the ship and into the captain’s room. He is lying on a bed as pale as a ghost with lacerations all over his face and body.
Ace: Hello sir… (Whispering)
Hunter: Don’t worry Lieutenant; it’s not as bad as it looks.
Ace: Really sir?
Hunter: No, Enzo says I only have a few minutes to go.
Ace: Oh god…sir…I’m so sorry.
Hunter: it’s alright soldier, I’ve come to terms with it and now you have to as well.
Ace: Yes sir.
Hunter: I need to give you some advice about the team.
Hunter: Now I’m going, you have to take charge as the highest ranking officer. I’m not sure whether they’re gonna make you captain or what but either way, you are in charge and therefore you need to get them on your side.
Ace: Yes sir.
Hunter: If you can get Axel on your side, the rest will follow. You need to assert your authority, show them why you are in charge. I know. Go grab my pistol from that chair over there.
Ace gets up and brings the pistol to Hunter.
Hunter: This gun has killed more officers and commanders than I can count. I call her Kat, after the ex-wife, she was a real bitch so it’s a pretty fitting title. I have had this pistol since I started at the academy and now I want you to have it.
Ace: What! No, sir, I couldn’t.
Hunter: Maybe if the squad sees that I’ve given it to you.
Ace: They’ll think I’m a real officer?
Hunter: No (chuckling) they might think I liked you and hopefully that will count for something. Look, there isn’t much time, I know you can do it you’re a great soldier, hell, you remind me of me when I was younger and I am pretty brilliant.
Hunter: Damn and I was 2 days from retirement….
Ace: Wait, what?
Hunter: Not really, I just always wanted to say that before I died. Goodbye lieutenant and good luck. You have a lot resting on your shoulders. More than you know.
Ace: Goodbye sir.
Hunter lets out a gasp of air. Ace sits by his bed for a couple of minutes and then shuts Hunter’s eyes and walks outside clutching the pistol tightly in his hands. The whole team looks up at him as he comes out.
Ace: He’s gone.
Axel: Why are you holding Kat?
Ace: He gave it to me ACTUALLY! And I would thank you to not question the decisions of your recently deceased captain or me for that matter, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
Axel: Yes…sir… anyway, what is our next move?
Ace: Right. First things first, Enzo and Achilles; go and dig a proper grave for the Captain.
Axel: What? We need to bring his body back to New Earth.
Ace: My god! What did I just say about arguing with my orders! We can’t go back. Not now. We can’t leave on this ship they’re probably tracking us as we speak so we have to move quickly.
Axel: Why can’t we go with Achilles?
Ace: (Through gritted teeth) we can’t go with Achilles because we can’t be seen going back to the Dawn Spear; or did you forget where we were? Now all this stuff has happened, they will be tracking all ships going off or onto this planet and his ship has got “Inner Rim Armed Forces” written all over it.
Khasun: He is right Axe.
Ace: Thank you, ok, Enzo and Achilles go dig a grave for Hunter. Zao and Axel Go and strip down the ship for information. I need anything and everything that could tell us who they are, where they are, what they are doing or what they are going to do.
Enzo: Oh sir, can I do that instead, please?
Ace: No, Enzo, (hesitates) you can go and dig the grave. I’m going to try and get hold of command. Khasun, can you set up a safe line to Hamilton.
Khasun: Yeh, I should be able to.
Ace: Good, I need one ASAP, ok team, let’s move out.
2 minutes later…
Khasun: Ok sir, I’ve set up a secure line direct to Colonel Hamilton.
Ace Boards the ship and walks over to the video monitor. Colonel Hamilton’s face appears on the screen.
Hamilton: Lieutenant, report, what the hell is going on, where’s Hunter, what happened?
Ace: I’m sorry to say, sir, Hunter’s dead.
Hamilton: My god…
Ace: He was shot in a fire fight while we were searching for Blake in a warehouse. It was a trap sir, they knew we were coming, we didn’t stand a chance. Blake wasn’t even there.
Hamilton: By the way, I assume this line is secure.
Ace: Of course.
Ace: Naturally we can’t leave the planet just yet. Too many people are looking for us.
Hamilton: Yes, yes of course. I can’t believe that Hunter is dead… he was one of the best commanders this army has ever seen.
Fred: So let’s honour his name by completing this mission.
Hamilton: Excellent idea soldier. However, now you’re in charge, you need to know the true mission. Are you alone?
Ace: What? Oh, yes I am.
Hamilton: Good. Now, what you’ve been told is that you have to rescue James Blake who is our contact in the outer rim forces.
Ace: Well, yes isn’t that the mission?
Hamilton: Lieutenant, Blake is just the tip of the iceberg.
Ace: What do you mean?
Hamilton: Yes, part of your mission was to rescue Blake; however, that was only part of the mission. I am now showing you an image of your true target.
An image is brought up on screen of a soldier in full body armour.
Hamilton: This is the soldier you have actually been looking for. We have no idea who he is all we know is that he is extremely dangerous. He is a mercenary, doesn’t seem to work for any specific side, he works outside the true rules of war and he has his own private army. At first, we had no idea what he was after, but about a week ago James Blake discovered this soldier’s objective. To tell the truth, Blake was never on the side of the Outer Rim he has always been an undercover agent working for the IRIA.
Ace: The what?
Hamilton: The Inner Rim Intelligence Agency.
Ace: But w…
Hamilton: I’ll answer any questions at the end.
Ace: Wait a second…I know this soldier….
Hamilton: Really, I find that highly unlikely, that armour is pretty standard issue, it could be anyone.
Ace: No, no…I know this guy. Oh god! This, this is the guy who shot Hunter.
Hamilton: What?! Are you sure?
Ace: Positive, I would recognise that helmet anywhere.
Hamilton: All the more reason for us to bring him in.
Ace: Bring him in? Sir, this man killed Hunter. I’m sorry but if I get a chance I’m going to put a bullet through his skull.
Hamilton: Lieutenant, who do you think you’re talking to?
Ace: Yes, sorry sir.
Hamilton: That’s better. Now priority one is to bring him in alive, however, if there is no other option, you and your team have permission to take him out.
Hamilton: Now, Lieutenant, do you know who this is.
He brings up a hologram of a blonde woman in her thirties wearing a lab coat and goggles.
Ace: I’ve seen her face but I couldn’t tell you her name.
Hamilton: This is Alberta Steinberg. She is a scientist working at the University of New Phoenix. She is a brilliant young mind who has been experimenting with this substance.
He brings up an image of purple crystalline substance.
Hamilton: This is Invictium. It is a newly discovered element and is the hardest substance in the known universe. The only way we have been able to procure it is by cutting the rock behind it and pulling it away. There has been no way anyone could cut or shape it so it was presumed useless. Well until about a week ago.
Ace: Let me guess, Steinberg discovered a way to cut it.
Hamilton: You’re absolutely right Lieutenant. Don’t ask me exactly how she’s done it but the instructions for the method are on this (a hologram of a computer chip) microchip.
Hamilton: “And?” what do you mean “and?” do you understand how important this discovery is? Do you realise what kind of weapons, shields, and vehicles could be made from this stuff. Whoever possesses the chip controls the war.
Ace: What’s this got to do with our masked rebel over here?
Hamilton: Everything lieutenant. He is the one in possession of the microchip as we speak.
Ace: What? How the hell did he manage to get his hands on it?
Hamilton: No-one’s quite sure. All we know is that he’s selling to whoever is the highest bidder, inner or outer rim and we can’t afford to spend millions of credits on a god damn chip.
Ace: So you want Nova team to bring it in, is that it?
Ace: But sir, why not tell us that in the first place?
Hamilton: It wasn’t up to me soldier, directions from on high. If it were me, I would have given you the whole story.
Ace: Right, let’s get this done. I have the team…
Hamilton: Your team lieutenant.
Ace: I have my team stripping down the ship for information about where to go. We will find something to go on.
Hamilton: I hope you’re right, for all our sakes. Ok lieutenant, Hamilton out.
The hologram cuts out and Ace walks onto the bridge of the ship to see what the team is doing.
Ace: So, Khasun, report, how are you doing? Found anything?
Khasun: Oh yes sir, we have managed to salvage the latest sets of co-ordinates which were input.
Ace: Excellent! So where are we going?
Khasun: Well, the latest set of co-ordinates point towards…
Ace: No way…
Khasun: Yes, I’m sorry sir but they’ve headed to Lithios.
Axel: But that is the centre of the outer rim. That is literally the most dangerous planet for us to go to in the universe.
Ace: Yes, pretty much…well, set the co-ordinates Khasun, I’m going to see how the others are doing.
Zao: You can’t be serious? We haven’t even got a plan.
Ace: Well we have all time between here and landing on the planet to come up with a good plan.
Khasun: You sound a lot like Hunter you know.
Ace: Well, isn’t that a good thing?
Khasun: Yeh I guess it is.
Ace: Well then, get to it. When you’ve finished, head up to the grave site.
Ace wanders out of the ship and walks up the hill where Enzo and Achilles have just finished digging.
Ace: Good, now lower in the body and fill it in. We’re gonna have a short funeral in 5 minutes.
Achilles: Sir, did the others find anything? Do we have our next heading?
Ace: Oh yeh, we’re going to Lithios.
Ace: Yes. Now let’s move.
Then, the rest of Nova Team walk up to the grave and stare at Hunter’s lifeless body.
Ace: Right, now we’re all here, would anyone like to say a few words?
Enzo: I will.
Ace: Very well.
Enzo: I have known Hunter for over 10 years, ever since he met Kat in a bar on Attorna. That was the day we joined the academy. They were both great soldiers, top in almost every aspect and everyone knew they were destined for great things. Then, 6 years ago Nova team was born and Khasun, Axel, Achilles and Zao joined us. We were the most successful unit, maybe in army history led by Hunter himself who was a born leader. A year into the formation of Nova team, Kat and Hunter were married which tightened even more the bonds in Nova team. But Kat was very ambitious and after a while jealousy struck and she felt she would make a better leader than Hunter. The bonds of love between them began to break and 2 years ago Kat left Hunter and Nova team. Hunter was greatly affected by this, as everyone would be. Kat was so kind but so strong, her absence made a huge hole in all our lives, not just Hunter. However, as we were getting over her departure, news came to Nova team that she had taken her own life. Most men would be broken after such terrible news but Hunter was so strong that he bravely led Nova team to many successes even during this troubling time. His grief for his dead ex-wife soon turned into anger and he refused to even hear her name and this anger became a great strength. After all the hardships he went through in his life, he still came out a true hero and fought right to the end. So Hunter, the best of us all, your spirit will always be with us as long as Nova team exists. “Live and Die Serving”.
Everyone: “Live and Die Serving”.
Ace: Thank you Enzo, now men, joing me in a 3 burst salute in his honour.
All the team members raise their guns to the air and fire three times in perfect sync.
Ace: Hunter, you will be greatly missed and we will honour you by finishing this mission and getting revenge for your death. Ok men, back to the ship. We have work to do.
The team all return back to the ship.