Out of the Ashes by TransmuteJun
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Chapter 3

When they returned to Galaxy Security Headquarters on Riga, the Team went immediately to Chief Anderson’s office for debriefing.

“You all did an excellent job.” the Chief congratulated them, after the Commander had completed his report. “I only regret that we had to use you at all. The Spectrans on those mecha had plenty of time to send a transmission to their home planet, or back to Earth, before they were destroyed. Now Zoltar knows that there is a new G-Force Team.”

“And we’ve lost our element of surprise for Operation Homefront.” Tiny pointed out.

“Not only that, they now know something of the P2’s weapon capabilities.” Jason muttered disgustedly. “They’ll be prepared when we encounter them next.”

“Not necessarily.” Princess replied. “We didn’t use our Tricolic Bombs, or the Fiery Phoenix. They have no idea about those particular attacks.”

“And they don’t know who any of us are.” Andie added.

“I think it’s safe to say that they strongly suspect that Mark, at least, is on the Team.” Anderson interjected. “From what he and Princess have told me, Zoltar already knew that Mark was alive, and obviously the Spectrans know he hasn’t been recaptured by their Forces.”

“We’re going to have to re-design our attack strategy, or Operation Homefront is unlikely to succeed.” Andie stated.

“We have to assume they’ll be prepared to meet us, now.” Tiny nodded. “There’s no chance of taking them by surprise.”

Mark looked over at Princess and Jason. While they were disappointed at the necessity of having exposed their existence so blatantly to the Spectrans, they didn’t appear as gloomy as Tiny, Andie, and the Chief did.

Were they thinking the same thing he was?

“That doesn’t have to be the case.” the Commander interrupted.

“What?” Tiny turned to look at the Eagle, confused. “But, now the Spectrans know about us…”

“You’re assuming that the next time we meet them, they’ll be prepared for us, because they know we exist.” Mark said. “But… what if we didn’t give them any time to prepare?”

“What are you proposing, Commander?” Anderson asked him.

“I’m proposing that we do to the Spectrans what they did to us.” the Eagle replied grimly. “They destroyed most of Center Neptune, then left. We let our guard down. We thought that we had dodged a bullet. But instead, they came back the next day, when we didn’t expect them, finishing off G-Force’s base of operations and attacking the Earth in multiple locations.”

“What if we did the exact same thing?” Mark suggested again.

“Commander, that’s brilliant!” Princess smiled excitedly. “Zoltar knows that Galaxy Security tends to react slowly. He knows that the Chief likes to think things through from all angles, and take time to recover after each encounter.”

“Heck, that’s what the purple bastard likes to do himself.” Jason pointed out. “Before, he would always be attacking us, and then take awhile to recover and build his next mecha.”

“Not to mention, the ones we encountered today were sloppy.” Tiny added. “Chances are the Snakeheads rushed through building them, to attack Mars as quickly as possible.”

“So you think the mecha the Spectrans used today were their only ones?” Andie asked. “You don’t think they don’t have any others in reserve?”

“No.” Mark shook his head. “I don’t think there are any in reserve. When we were at Ramstein Aerospace Base, Jason, Princess, and I overheard Zoltar complaining about how long it was taking to build mecha. And we just destroyed two of them. I don’t think they have anything else major up their sleeves right now.”

“And even if they did, how does that possibility make initiating Operation Homefront now any more difficult than launching in three weeks, as we had originally planned?” Jason asked the Harrier. “No matter when we attack, we’re not going to know for certain that Zoltar doesn’t have any defensive mecha in reserve.”

“But we do know that right now, he’s just lost two that he had planned to keep around.” Princess grinned.

“They certainly aren’t attacking anywhere else, right now.” the Owl mused.

“You guys make a good case.” the Harrier smiled, leaning back in her seat. “I like this idea.”

“How soon are you talking, about, Mark?” the Chief interrupted the conversation, clearly attempting to throw cold water on the excitement that was beginning to build within the G-Force Team. “Certainly the Spectrans might not be prepared if we launch Operation Homefront now, but neither are we. We still have troops to train, weather patterns to analyze, Spectran defenses to study…”

“If we wait to do all of that, we’ll lose our window of opportunity.” the Condor retorted, jumping up and turning to the Eagle.

“I like your idea, Commander. I vote yes.” he stated. “Let’s attack them tomorrow.”

“This isn’t a democracy, Jason.” Anderson protested.

Tomorrow?” Andie’s eyes grew wide. “Are you sure?”

“I’m sure.” Princess said, standing up and joining the Eagle and the Condor. “We are ready. Look how well we worked together today! We’ve been planning Operation Homefront for months now. Sure, we’ll have to be flexible and maybe make some last minute changes, depending on what we encounter, but how is that any different from most of the missions we’ve ever been on?”

“I vote yes too, Mark.” the Swan smiled at the Commander.

“I trust you, Commander.” the Owl added, coming to his feet. “I’m in.”

“If this is what you honestly think is best, then I’m behind you, Commander.” the Harrier stated, rising to her feet. “In the time we’ve worked and trained with each other, I’ve never known your strategic instincts to be wrong. I’m in as well.”

The five members of the G-Force team turned to regard Chief Anderson, each of them staring the Galaxy Security Leader down in their own individual way. Yet the Chief didn’t appear to be dissuaded from his original opinion.


“Sir, this isn’t…”

“I said, ‘no’, Commander!” Anderson spat. “I’m in charge here, and this is my decision to make. We are not moving up the timetable for the attack. The Federation Forces are simply not ready.”

“Then let us help them get ready.” Princess suggested in a reasonable tone. “You have to admit that the sooner we do this, the less prepared the Spectrans are going to be.”

Mark felt a warm rush of gratitude for Princess’ grace under pressure. While his strategic mind remained, his missing recollections of the past sometimes caused him problems, as they were right now. The Commander simply didn’t know Chief Anderson well enough to have anticipated that he would take the Eagle’s suggestion as a personal affront to his leadership skills.

But Princess did.

“Perhaps,” the Chief conceded, “but I’m not certain that’s going to be enough. Regardless, tomorrow is entirely too soon. Perhaps we could move the schedule up by a couple of days…”

“That’s still too long…” Jason began to protest, before Mark cut him off with a withering glare.

“Thank you for considering it, Sir.” the Commander said politely, before ushering everyone else out of the room.


“What was that?” Jason demanded, the moment the Chief’s office door had closed behind them. “You just gave in!”

“No, I didn’t.” Mark smirked. “Princess has something up her sleeve.”

“You know me so well.” the Swan smiled flirtatiously, winking at the Eagle before turning to the Harrier. “Andie, would you come with me?”

“Of course.” Andie replied, a little confused but dutifully following Princess down the hall. The two young women put their heads together, and Mark could hear soft giggling coming from their direction as they departed. He was glad that the Swan was on their side, else he might have been worried by their secretive demeanor.

“So you’re just going to leave it in their hands?” Jason demanded.

“Of course.” Mark grinned. “Who else is more capable?”


The Eagle wasn’t surprised when the Swan contacted him a short while later on his communicator, suggesting that the Team meet up immediately in Chief Anderson’s office. He did raise an eyebrow at her request that they all appear in full uniform, but complied, re-transmuting with Jason and Tiny before leaving for their meeting.

Upon arriving at the Chief’s office, they saw the Swan and the Harrier standing next to a man dressed in a red uniform.

“Good to see that everyone is here.” Colonel Rigel stated gruffly, turning to Anderson. “We shouldn’t even be having this meeting at all, so the sooner it’s over with, the better.”

Mark’s stomach lurched. What had Princess gotten them into? But as he looked over at the Swan, he noticed that she was smirking slightly from beneath her visor.

“What is this all about, Colonel?” the Chief asked angrily, rising to his feet and placing both hands palms-down on his desk as he surveyed the G-Force Team.

“The Commander proposed an alternate timeline for Operation Homefront.” the Colonel harrumphed. “One that you don’t seem willing to consider.”

“I can’t believe that you came here for this.” Anderson groaned. “I don’t suppose you were informed that the suggested launch date is tomorrow?”

“As a matter of fact, I was.” Rigel replied, grinning at the Commander cockily. “I think it’s an excellent idea.”

“What?” the Chief’s face turned beet red as he took in the Colonel’s words. “How can you say that? We’re not ready!” Anderson looked as if he might storm out of the room.

“The Red Rangers are ready.” Rigel stated, folding his arms and planting his feet on the ground in such a manner as if to suggest that if the Chief attempted to leave the Colonel would tackle him personally to keep him there. “My pilots are prepared to take on whatever aspects of Operation Homefront you care to assign them.”

“And the G-Force Team is ready as well.” the Commander added, stepping up beside Colonel Rigel. “We understand what is at stake here, and we’re not going to rush into this without being fully prepared. But we are prepared, Sir. We’ve been training for this Operation for four months, now.”

Chief Anderson looked back and forth from the G-Force Commander to the Red Ranger Colonel, his face turning purple for a moment before slowly returning to its normal color.

“I know when I’ve been outvoted.” he sighed, hanging his head. “We’ll launch Operation Homefront tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Sir.” Mark said quietly, stepping back from the Chief’s desk.

“I hope you’ve gotten your rest.” Anderson warned them all. “It’s going to be a long night.”

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