The flight took him a day to get to his remote destination.
The place hidden deep in the Himalayan mountains, was only known to a few select people and they were all dead- except for him.
The second base, smaller than their main base of operations that was destroyed by Galactor.
Walking into the narrow cave entrance, the smell of dank water assaulted his senses. His heart racing like her was thrown back in time. Approaching a back door into the old base.
He once had spent a good portion of his youth learning how to become a better pilot attending High school and flying. An orphaned young boy befriended by some fighter pilots who saw his potential.
The old steel back entrance door stood before him as he punched in a code. Unsure if it would work Matt had to try. The code proved true even after all of these years.
The doors hydraulics hissed, as it opened into a huge cavernous aircraft hangar- walking in the lights automatically flickered on from the generator. Observing the dusty coating on the equipment from the years of human absence in the place.
The long, abandoned base haunted him as he walked through it, his footsteps echoed around him. The ghosts of his past still there in its silence- he saw them in their red uniforms, ready for action at moments notice. Memories of its life in its days of operation during the war with Galactor left him feeling empty. He had been a part of it, until his accident.
Soaking in the familiar surroundings, he opened a long locker with his alias on it and pulled out his red uniform, pulling on, feeling the stiff fabric against his skin, he was pleased to find it still fit his lean fit form, he continued his tour. Something inside of him changed with the uniform, he became the man he once was in his late teens.
Lowering his face, clenching his jaw. The old survivors guilt lingered with the ghosts of the place.
There was a time when thought he’d let all go. The day he became Marks father, the joy of a son in his world and the powerful love for him blinded him to his past. Watching him grow, and his wife’s happiness and joy.
He could forget for a while he was ever a pilot running dangerous secretive missions-- Now Andersons proposal brought it all back.
Reaching the hanger, he observed the one remaining fighter jet in the launch bay. Its fresh red paint and strips still vibrant even under the layers of dust. He ran his hand over the smooth titanium, leaving streaks to reveal the name on the side.
Red Impulse. F-5 the sleek fighter jet Kentaro had made especially for him. He hoped he would return to the squad if he recovered enough to do so. Kentaro’s commitment to his cause was unshakable. At one point, he would have followed his squadron leader to the ends of the Earth and his own death without question. He almost had many years ago during the early part of the Galactor war.
If it wasn’t for Natasha he would have found a way to fly again-- she put a hold on it, seeing more than he did, that it with his injuries, he wouldn’t be returning anytime soon if ever. Under than gentle demeanour, she could be stronger than a loin.
Eventually learning of the deaths of the remaining crew at a place called Cross Karakorum. Masaki and Onishi- They died helping the Science Ninja Team defeat Berg Katse-- bringing a temporary end to Galactor.
It stabbed him in the guts to know all of them were dead, but he lived on. He abandoned them by not recovering to return like Kentaro felt he would, leading a period of depression and guilt.
He began to piece it together, after they adopted Mark. Ken was in fact Kentaro’s only son. Ironic as it was, he didn’t know how to broch the topic with Ken. How do you say you’re the only survivor of the squad by default and now raising Kentaro’s grandson?
He opened the cockpit canape, and jumped inside it. Feeling the leather seat creaking from his movements. The technology for these fighters would still be the best, they were further advanced than any other even in their day.
Kentaro had already began the process of making the fighter jets space worthy, this was the first. Running his fingers over the controls, emotionally overwhelmed he closed his eyes leaning back. He longed to take it into the skies, test it to the limits. Push the outside of envelope and imagine four other red fighters alongside of him.
Reluctantly, he left the pilots seat, leaping out of the jet, landing on the ground with a light thud. Choosing to leave the fighter jet in the Hanger.
He signed heavily, he was about embark on the final mission, a member of Red Impulse. If Kentaro was here he would be reminding Matt it was inevitable. He had said had much when he visited him during his recovery- and Anderson reminded him of it recently.
If a form of Galactor was rising again in the form of Spectra than he had to investigate it, find the missing crews if possible. It was the only way to protect Mark and Natasha, what if they came after them again? Maybe the only way to protect Mark was let him become the leader of G-Force—follow in the footsteps his birth father had laid out before him, It was in his blood to fly.
Once he ran his mission he would have to make a stop in Utoland.
Ken would want to know, and he had a right to know the truth. He’d breach security protocol to fill him in. He saved the world once and deserved the respect.
The time to have the long talk about the past was nearing, he just hoped the alien creature that almost destroyed the earth last time hadn’t somehow come back to life in a new form. Time would tell…
Matt stood for a moment watching his son and wife in the gardens. The carefully manicured lawns and hedges made a perfect backdrop for his family. A light hearted day of laughter and closeness.
Mark was an attentive son, attention to details and would often sit quietly beside her when he wasn’t running around the place with his friends.
He’d been back from the base a few days, his jet delivered to a base to made ready for his mission. He hadn’t informed Natasha or Mark about it at this point.
He was still going over the final details, organising a squadron. Two other pilots to for a new team with a new name—they would be flying out of Riga from a new base set up for missions. No longer would they be Red Impulse, but the new Red Rangers a division of Galaxy Security running dangerous missions.
Matt figured he could find the locations, and galaxy security would take it from there.
Breaking his promise to Natasha was the hardest part. Never to fly on missions of this nature again. He would be gone in an hour, walking over to them he kissed his wife on the cheek, as Mark picked up a ball and started kicking it around the yard with Jason joining in. The two of them worked well together when they weren’t arguing.
Matt wandered over and joined in, for a while the three of them played a game of soccer enjoying the brief moment in time of feeling free from the foreboding threats beyond the stars.
Eventually it was time to go. Heavily burdened with a dangerous mission ahead of him, it broke his heart to say goodbye to them.
“Be back in a few weeks. Time will fly… you’ll see.” He promised his wife, drawing her in a tight embrace as Mark watched them from the sidelines. He couldn’t read his stoic young face.
Embracing his son, he asked him to look after his mother. Mark being a responsible child reassured him he would. Young Princess stood closer to Mark, she placed a hand on his shoulder.
“I know you will, I love you both.” He sadly studied both of their faces burning the moment into his memory-- one last family embrace and he was gone.