NovaCore sat like a small city in the middle of the dense jungle just 20 klicks from where Akira DeNaga, leader of The Hand, landed his Stealth fighter just outside NovaCore’s detection zone. He activated the camouflage shields as he exited, watching the ship blend into the jungle canopy.
The tranquility of the jungle moon of Pandaria could be deceptive, and yet almost magical. Moonbugs danced in the darkest areas of the jungle, tiny flashes of light in the night.
Akira had one goal. Destroy the Gynnos Seeker Project.
There were dozens of building clusters covering over 25 leagues of ground. The science labs hovered on large daises among the clouds, above jutting buildings that punch the sky. The ground buildings extended 30 feet underground, connecting to the ancient catacomb mazes that ran even deeper throughout the inner planet.
The Hand spies within NovaCore had provided a detailed map of the planet and the building that house the Seeker Project, plus the Pandaria sentries patrol shifts and routes. Automation controlled the science centers and sky labs during sleep cycles. The security detail focused on ground patrol while sentry droids patrolled the sky.
At the main building, Akira placed a communication control device on the outside communications array. He entered the code that had disabled security alerts and allowed entry into the building. The inner lift took him to the roof, bypassing all other levels.
One sentry operated the security post on the roof. Akira pulled on his gas mask, counting to mark time. On the last count, the door opened. He sprayed the sentry, knocking him out before he could stand and react.
Stepping out and moving around the guard post, he flipped the lever that released the sky-hopper. Once he docked with the Sky-Lab above the building, he crossed the sky bridge through arched doors to the control panel, punching in the entry code, GJH289KV834.
The force field dropped. Moving down the hallway to the next door, he repeated the process through three more doors using different codes.
The lab was home to thousands of storage cubes and data panels, and other life forms detained within containment housing cubes.
Akira accessed the database inputting the project ID number, SEEKER-420DALF. Library cubes and panels shuffled and shifted, bringing to the forefront project SEEKER. Instead of biotech data, or bioweapons, or sophisticated bio intelligence, he found living animals.
He read the data file.
Gynnos Mountain Wolves. Genome experimentation. Gene Splice on the bonded pair. Genetically altered for hunting and finding the Gynnos race, specifically the ones that carried the marker of the royal lineage.
Male rejected alterations over six full lunar rotations. Male did not survive. Female survived because of the mutated gene and elevated antibodies that appeared with the onset of the gestation period. Three pups, all born healthy. Project successful.
The female wolf growled, pulling his attention away from the data file. A movement to his right was the only warning he got. An MEC9 robotic sentry appeared, extending an arm and firing at him.
Akira dove to the ground, pinned down between the housing cube and the database. The sentry had grazed his arm with that shot. He checked the wound. It hurt worse than the sun scorch, but he’d survive it.
The MEC9 fired again, hitting the cube control panel, releasing the door mechanism. One adult wolf and three pups jumped out. They watched the robotic sentry instead of him.
He took a deep breath and prepared to stand and fire. The female wolf jumped over the database, ripping the sentries’ firing arm off. Akira fired at its sensor panel, completely disabling the MEC9 unit.
Turning to the database, he entered the code that would wipe all the information about the Seeker Project from the system. Looking at the wolves, knowing the mission requirements, he gripped his blaster and then re-holstered it.
When he retold the story later to the rest of The Hand on their ship, the Hidden Glove, he ended the adventure tale by saying, “I arrived a destroyer and left a savior.”
One of the wolf pups scratched his boot. He picked it up. Mama and the other two wolf-pups were asleep on the palette in the corner of his quarters.
Escaping Pandaria Moon was tricky, but without the wolves, possibly impossible. They were way more intelligent than the average mountain wolf. There had been a genuine connection, a silent communication, between him and them.
Finishing his report log, he input mission complete. He left out the part where he released the wolves before destroying the project.
The real savior of the day? Smiling, he thought, wore a furry suit.
Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop
Jan, April, July, and Oct.
Welcome to Storytime Quarterly Blog Hop!
Below are the participant links, so you can cycle through and read all the flash fiction stories if you so choose. All stories are around 500 to 1000 word speculative fiction—flash fiction stories. The story I am sharing today is from my Space Opera world Starlight Galaxy series. It is an origin story about the wolf-pup that befriends Bella that you meet in the bigger story. Read with joy, as Holly Lisle likes to say.
The Gynnos Seeker Project by Juneta Key <–YOU ARE HERE