Usual disclaimers apply. Battle of the Planets belongs to Sandy Frank.
Daniella says: What if, in “The Galaxy Girls”, Mala didn't want to blow up the Solar Express but to kidnap Anderson? The story begins when Anderson, drugged and knocked-out, wakes up on the transport that is taking him to Spectra. If you care about continuity, this takes place before “Strike at Spectra” and half-way through the Anderson-Sarah arc I am writing for Gatchamania, i.e. after they start spending time together but before they express their feelings openly.
Anderson could've done without the face looking down on him. A cruel, smiling face. He groaned, taking stock of his surroundings. Then he shook his head to clear it from the buzz that was ringing in his ears.
“Mala. To what do I owe the pleasure? And, to be more precise, where am I?”
“Anderson. Kudos for taking it so calmly. You're on a transport barge, on your way to Spectra. Have you been there before?” she asked conversationally.
“No, I'm afraid it wasn't part of my training,” he said sarcastically.
“Good, good, I see you haven't lost your spirit.”
“What I'm rapidly losing is my patience. Why am I here?”
Anderson realised the foolishness of this statement as soon as he had made it. Losing his patience? So what? He wasn't going to go anywhere, seeing how he was manacled to the bench. But he looked at Mala unblinkingly.
“Why you are here? Why do you think? They say you're a clever man. In fact, my brother thinks you are our most dangerous foe. More dangerous than those annoying teenagers you send to fight your Federation's wars.”
“Those teenagers are actually winning the wars for the Federation,” replied Anderson icily. “And, in any case, they are better than the cannon-fodder your brother sends to fight his wars!”
“They are proud and honoured to fight and die for Spectra!” snapped Mala.
“As if they had any choice!” snorted Anderson.
“I will not debate battle tactics with you, Anderson! For your information, you are being taken to Spectra. What will happen to you there will be decided by my brother!”
Anderson's face closed.
“You mean he will imprison and torture me.”
“I mean exactly what I said. It's up to him. My job was to get you to Spectra.”
“Don't you feel humiliated?” asked Anderson, looking at her. “Your brother doesn't trust you with plans?”
“If you are trying to annoy me, you will fail,” Mala snapped again.
“Not at all. I'm just making an observation,” Anderson said mildly.
Mala sat back in her chair, across the transport floor from where Anderson was sitting bolt uprights, but with his hands and legs cuffed to the bench.
“We still have some way to go. I suggest you try to enjoy the ride,” she said.
“At your command, ma'am,” said Anderson, relaxing his head on the wall behind him. It wouldn't hurt to indeed rest a bit before his kidnapping turned into a prisoner-of-war situation.
He must've dozed off, even without the help of the drug he had been administered before, for he woke up just as the barge was beginning its descent towards Spectra. He made to stretch his arms, then remembered in time that he was shackled. He limited his movements to twisting his stiff neck left and right.
“Welcome to Spectra!” said Mala triumphantly.
A welcoming committee had been set up. Green-clad foot soldiers, some officers in ceremonial garb with distinctive markings on their uniforms. Anderson counted a few colonels – if he translated their rank to its Earth equivalent – and a general. From the latter's uniform piping, he was in intelligence.
“So!” he thought. “My own counterpart!”
It was totally unwarranted, but he felt a surge of pride that the Spectrans valued him enough to send their big guns to meet him.
To be continued
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