Buck Rogers in the 26th Century
"Time and Again"
Written by: Erin Weinstock
Novelization verison by: Reba Grayladyfalcon
I dont hold any of the copy rights in this story, and this story was
made without profit .
Buck searches frantically for the right switch. Hes holding the steering
handle with one hand. His eyes search over his control panel. In the
glass window of the cabin, he could see the earth rushing up to him. He
holds out his free hand over the controls in his search. He presses a
button off to his far right in the cabin. He smiles at finding what he
needed, but that changes one moment later. A computerized sound of the
boom filled his ears. He closes his eyes and drops his hand from the
"That reaction time needs some improving Captain Rogers," a female voice
He takes off his head set, and starts to unhook the safety harness. "Its
a flight simulator not a real jet," Buck replies in a frustrated tone as
he starts climbing out of the hatch.
"Im guessing the great captain has more important things on his mind
right now?" VO asked.
Buck still climbing down off the simulator, answers the voice without
turning back to look. "Jennifer, you know whats on my mind right now,"
Buck replies. He gets to the bottom of the ladder and hops down. He
turns to see Jennifer walking towards him. He tries to hug her but she
pushes him back.
"Not now Buck, you need to do this again, at 2100 hours," Jennifer
Buck trys to embrace Jennifer once again, only to be pushed away again.
He drops his hands to his sides. "Do I really have to?" Buck asked.
"William Buck Rogers, the air force needs you. Pilots are needed now
more than ever and you need to be brought up to date on the latest high
tech fighters," Jennifer replies.
"Im no bird Jenny, I love the water, and you know that. Besides Im fully
up to date on the whole air force flock," Buck replies.
They start walking away from the simulator. "The only reason youre not a
bird and you love the sea is because of that mistake you made on the
U.S.S. Highstone in your landing," Jennifer said looking in to Buck's
"Larson told me after hed helped get me out of the jet. Id taken him
back to his days of recovering mercury astronauts from their capsules,"
Buck said with a chuckle.
"And you havent flown since, you're not up to date on the latest
birds in the flock," Jennifer replied looking at Buck.
"So I havent been in the air a few years, the NAVY loves me. Cant
you just tell them to find somebody else?" Buck asked.
"The NAVY thinks if you can weather the oceans with flying colors,
surely you can return to the air, and do the same," Jen said.
He puts his head down a little, and rubs his forehead with two fingers.
"Thomas, Penner, Reinking, Cook, Vigil -," Buck answers.
She turns to him, then gives him the kind of hug he was looking for
earlier. "They want you, your friends on the water have to wait their
turn. Theyve never been up in the air like you have." She hesitates then
gets closer to him. "I need you," Jen said looking in to Buck's eyes.
"Oh Heaven is a Pizza on Earth at 7:00 pm tonight?" Buck asked with a
She breaks her hug, and recontinues walking. "Stuffed shells in your
company, I cant wait," Jen replies as she walks off.
Chicago, sunset partly cloudy, just outside of Oh Heaven is a Pizza
At the Oh Heaven is a Pizza on Earth. People were sitting and enjoying
their meals while some listened to the news. "And in national news U.S.
tensions heated up even more with the oil bearing countries in the
middle east," the news reporter said.
Buck and Jennifer are sitting at a table, multiple tables off to the
side at a bar where they can see the TV. The two already have bread
sticks, water at their table, plates with food on them, most of the way
eaten. Theyre trying to talk, but the TV is being too loud.
TV was loud in the back ground. "The president is due to have talks with
the top representatives in these countries tomorrow, but many doubt hell
make good head way in the talks due to the accidental bombing of fifty
civilian homes, near to what the military had believed was a nuclear
weapons manufacturing base," the report announces.
While the two are talking, in the background we can faintly hear the
restaurants music playing. It was the symphonic music from the 70's and
"I dont see how thats going to help things, Jen. Theres no way Im going
to this guinea pig program theyve set up," Buck said taking another bite
of his dinner..
"Bucky, the scientists are sure there will be no harmful effects from
this. It will boost your stamina, sharpen your concentration, give you a
good nights rest," Jen said as she takes a sip of her wine.
"Ill do it if youll wake me with a kiss?" Buck said with a grin.
"Tomorrow at the base, Ill confirm it with your commander," Jen replies
having to talk a little louder over the news up date.
Buck was also getting really annoyed "One second, Jen." He stands up
and shouts across to the bar. "Will you turn that down, god damn it!
Some of us dont want to hear about worlds suffering right now." He sits
back down and returns to speaking low. "As you were saying?"
"Ill set it up, Ill even wear that red dress you like when I wake you
up," Jen replies with a enticing smile.
A moment later the waiter brings the bill and places it on the table.
Buck looked at the waiter. "You make me look forward to being put
under," Buck said taking the bill.
In the doctors office. Buck is sitting straight up on the patient bed,
looking around the room. The door opens and the doctor enters the room.
Buck looks at his watch. "Not bad, that only took just over an hour,"
Buck said still glancing down at his watch.
"You not the only person on my list mister," the doctor replies as he
grabs up the chart and starts scanning through it. "William Rogers?" the
"Please, call me Buck," Buck replies.
"So Buck, have you ever participated in a drug testing before?" the
doctor asked glancing up from the chart at Buck.
"No, Im only doing this because Im told this will help me in flight,"
"The drug should. You know when you sleep, thats your bodys time for
recharging. What this stuff does is it pushes the brain in to producing
more of the chemicals. You need throughout the day to think straight and
to stand on your feet longer," the doctor said walking over to Buck's
side. The doctor pulled out a small container of pills and placed one in
to a clear bag for Buck to see.
"But pilots sit," Buck said joking as he examined the pill.
"Hogwash Rogers, you know what I mean. Besides I bet you have another
reason for doing this," the doctor replied with a smile on his face.
"And that is?" Buck asked.
"That girl I saw that came in with you. She had such a sound of worry in
her voice for you. Shes your girlfriend, right?" the doctor asked while
taking the pill out of the small bag.
"Well, she's kind of like a ..." Buck stopped and started to blush.
"I thought so, doesnt want to see her man get hurt now does she?" the
doctor asked placing the pill in Buck's hand.
Buck quickly changed the subject. "You say this will put me out for just
two hours?" Buck asked holding up the pill.
"Just two hours, and after that when you wake up and youll feel more
awake n live then any bear thats been asleep a full long winter," the
doctor replies as he's handing Buck two glasses of water. "Drink a half
a glass now then the other glass and a half when you take the pill. I'll
tell you right now, you dont wanna taste how that pill is going down,"
the doctor said.
Buck drinks a half a glass of water as the doctor recommended then he
places the pill in his mouth and starts to drink more of the water. But
after realizing he was having trouble swallowing the pill he started to
gulp the water. Finally after all most both glasses of water it finally
went down. "That tasted terrible," Buck said as he swallowed a couple
more times to get the bad tasted out of his mouth.
"I told you it would. Now go to bed. Its going to be in room four, just
before the end of the hall," the doctor said pointing down a small hall.
"You mean I dont get to sleep in here?" Buck asked.
"Of course you cant sleep in here. What made you think you could?" the
doctor asked with a puzzled expression on his face.
"I waited in here for over an hour, sleeping before taking that horse
pill you just gave me. Yes, it did occur to me that you'd want me to
sleep in here to watch over me," Buck replied getting off the patient
"I hope you have pleasant dreams. The others that took the pill said
they had nice dreams," the doctor said with a smile.
Buck leaves the room, shutting the door behind him. In the hallway,
he moves slowly down it, till reaching the door the doctor had
mentioned. He opens the door, and goes inside. Inside he finds a bed and
some monitoring machines in it. Standing next to the doorway was a
"If youll just lie down here, Ill begin with your preparation," she said
"Preparation for what?" he asked as he lifts off the bed covers and sits
down on the bed.
"Ill need to hook you up to these machines for monitoring while you
sleep. Theyll be recording of your breathing, pulse, and amount of brain
activity. Could you take off your shirt please?" she asked.
"I cant hook your shirt up to the monitors. I need your bare skin for it
to monitor right," she explains.
He takes off his shirt. "I dont think my girlfriend would like this too
much," Buck said jokingly.
"All this is, is a job to me. Youre just another fly boy who needs some
much needed rest, Rogers," the nurse replies. While shes saying this
shes attaching lines to him from different machines and explaining what
each one is for. "These two lines go to monitoring your breathing and
pulse," she explained as she hooked them up to Buck. "And these go to
monitoring your brain activity. Now, if you'd please lie down I can turn
on the machines," she said.
Buck lies down and covers himself up.
"Im going to leave now, and when I do, Im going to turn out the lights
to help you go to sleep faster. The machine on your left hand side has a
round blue button on it. When you awake, I need you to press it. That
will tell me its time to come and get you. Do you have any questions?"
Buck looks over to the machine with the button. "None," he says softly.
Finally the light go off, and he heard the door shut. Buck turned over
and lays on his side. His eyes were getting harder to keep open, he
slowly closes his eyes.
"Ow..." Buck moans, and slowly opens his eyes. Hes in complete darkness.
He tries to move but can barely manage it. White flashes before him one
moment, and then he feels more pain. Suddenly above him he sees his
name, his age 34, his birth date July 08, 1972, his race. Then darkness
again, which quickly changes to a picture of a mushroom cloud above him,
then darkness again. He places his head on his forehead. This is where
the pain is coming from. Two lines are on it, but instead of stickers at
the ends, he finds small needles stuck to his head. He feels his way
down the wire to the end then rips them off. Seconds later the pain goes
away. After a few more moments in the darkness two green squares of
light, and a red triangle of light appear once more above him. The
lights are formed out like a face.
"Hello Captain Rogers, why have you disconnected the information
transmitters?" a strange voice asked.
"What? Where? What are you?" Buck asked in a confused state of mind.
"My name is Doctor Theopolis. I am the supervising intelligent computer
of Earths Defense Directorate. You are in a health regeneration
chamber," the strange voice replied.
"What? Youre a doctor? Supervising computer of Earths Regeneration
chamber?" Buck asked even more confused.
"Im sorry. You must have many questions that need answering. If you had
left on the information transmitters, youd have known about what I had
just told you. I have been told by some humans that the information
transmitters can cause a very small amount of pain. That must have been
why you removed them. Your body has been returned to what we at the
Directorate believe a good state of health for your species. I will
release you now from the health regeneration chamber," the voice said.
Moments later a small amount of light eluminates around Bucks face, then
a door starts opening at his feet. Suddenly the tray he's lieing on
starts sliding backwards. It slides him in to a room with a very morgue
like feel. There are many small white closed hatches on the wall that
maybe just large enough for a body to be fitted inside. He shields his
eyes from the bright light of the room. The tray hes on stops moving
when hes fully out of the chamber. When he sits up and starts to get off
the tray, he realizes hes in a medical gown. He grabs the back of the
gown with his hand. He places his feet on the floor and walks round the
room, looking around still holding the gown closed. The room aside from
looking morgue like, also has a very sterile look to it. Theres what he
believes to be a door on one side, but it really doesnt look it much.
More like an outline of a door. Theres no door knob, or latch, nothing.
The door like the rest of the room was white. All that is near this
door is a panel with light behind it. He walks over to this and touches
it but nothing happens. On another wall there are a set of three light
panels set into the wall, once more set up in a face lay-out.
"Since you do not want to use the information transmitters to be brought
up to date on the current state of the world, I have sent for Doctor
Huer. He will provide you with an ambuquad, who will bring you up to
date. Do you wish to have me send for a set of clothes to replace the
medical gown youre currently wearing?" the strange voice asked.
"Yes, Id like some clothes! What kind of joke is this? Why cant I speak
to you in person, where are you?" Buck asked looking around.
"Youre already speaking to me directly. Remember I am the supervising
computer at the Directorate," the voice replied.
"Whos playing me? Whats going on?" Buck asked still searching for the
Buck soon noticed that the door were changing colors from white to gray.
Doctor Huer walked in followed by Twiki. Dr. Huer looked a few years
older than Buck with grey hair and a thin built. Buck also noticed a
small robot following the Dr. Twiki stood just about a foot higher than
Bucks waist. The robot or ambuquad was very sleek looking. The head was
"T" shaped with a mesh looking eye near the end to each side of the "T."
There was a mouth hole near the bottom of the "T." The arms are not all
intact, the lower halves are separate but are connected by fluttering
"Captain Rogers I presume?" Dr. Huer asked as he walked over to shake
"How did you do that?" Buck asked looking over at the door that has
changed back to the color of white.
"Do what?" Huer asked following Buck's eyes to the door.
"You walked through a wall!" Buck said with a shocked expression on his
"Oh forgive me. I forgot the fact you are not familiar with how doors
work. Am I right Rogers?" Huer asked.
"Call me Buck." Buck hesitated still looking at the door. "I know how to
work a door! That wasnt it.. it's just that there was no way of opening
it! No door knob, no handle, nothing!" Buck replied looking at Dr. Huer.
"Door knob?" Huer asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Please, hold
out either of your hands to me," Huer asked.
"Why, what do you want?" Buck asked with concern.
Huer takes a device out of one of his pockets. It looked like something
Buck had seen in the grocery stores to scan for prices. But it looked a
"I need to scan your hand print in to Earths population database. When
this is done, youll be able to open any door that will permit access
when the time for it is allowed," Huer replied reaching for Buck's hand
"What?" Buck asked even more confused.
"Just hold out one of your hands please. Theopolis are you here?" Huer
asked glancing over to the far wall.
"I am integrated in to almost every location of this complex, Dr. Huer,"
"I need to talk to you about our coming guests, it is of the utmost
urgency," Huer said.
"I think you have more pressing matters already here, doctor," Theopolis
Buck cautiously and slowly does as he was commanded. Huer scans the hand
Buck had given to him once, then Dr. Huer flips Buck's hand over to the
other side for the finger prints.
"I must apologize again to you, I don't have the time required to answer
all your questions. "Twiki, this ambuquad here, is the one who will do
that for me. Hes also here because as of today hes been assigned to you
as your companion. Hell help you with anything within reason you could
want," Huer replies as he scans Bucks other hand. Huer glances over at
Twiki. "Say hello, Twiki," Huer commanded the ambuquad.
"Biddi biddi biddi."
By this time Huer is done with his scan, and has placed the device back
into his pocket. Huer sighs. "Twiki is fresh off the assembly line. Hes
only programmed with what the company that made him gave him. He may be
a Crichton series ambuquad, knowing all that there is to know. But he
knows nothing what so ever of how to interact with others. Im afraid
youll have to teach him how to do that," Huer said glancing back over at
Huer walks over to the door, turning to Buck. "Just place your hand on
the lit panel, and youll be able to leave here," Huer said showing Buck
Huer turns to Twiki. "Twiki, will you show Captain Rogers, I mean Buck
to his living quarters?" Dr. Huer asked.
Twiki gently grabs the nearest of Bucks hands to him, and starts to move
to wards the door.
"Ive touched that before, it doesnt do any thing," Buck said walking
slowly with Twiki towards the door.
"It didnt work before because you werent in the population database.
Thats why I scanned your hand," Huer replied.
Buck pressed his hand against the panel. "My living quarters? Listen I
was told the drug would have no ill effects, that I'd be able to drive
home. I dont need some robot to show me the way," Buck replied with some
anger in his voice.
"I dont know of what drug youre speaking of. But trust me when I say
this, without Twiki you wont know how to get home," Huer replied.
Before Buck can answer he started moving through the door way, Twiki
pulling him along. He has a shocked expression on his face as he passes
through. Twiki walked along side Buck as he showed him the way to his
quarters. They came to another door with no handle. Buck pressed his
hand against the panel and the door opened. Buck entered and started to
look around. There is very little furniture in the room, just a couch, a
table, and a picture of a woman in a dress holding a flower.
"What is going on here?" Buck asked looking at Twiki.
Twiki still near the doorway. "What do you mean by ..Whats going on
here?" Twiki asked.
"This place, Doctor Theopolis and Doctor Huer, the Defense Directorate
whatever?!" Buck said looking around.
"This building is used for the Defense Directorates staff of operators
and fighter pilots as a place of residence. Doctor Theopolis is the
supervising intelligent computer of the Directorate. Doctor Huer is
Director of the Defense Directorate," Twiki explained.
"And what is the Defense Directorate?" Buck asked looking at each corner
of the room.
"It is the establishment of this planet meant to serve as its protector
from outside aggressive forces," Twiki replied.
"How come Ive never heard of it?" Buck asked glancing back at Twiki.
"Because it was established in 2258 on March 17. 252 years after you
were put into stasis," Twiki replied as he watched Buck.
"Come again?" Buck asked as he turned around quickly and looked at
"Because it was established in 2258 on March 17. 252 years after you
were put into stasis," Twiki repeated.
Buck is taken back a little but then he laughs. "Good joke, great joke
wheres the camera?" Buck asked looking around trying to find the hidden
"Biddi.. what joke? What camera?"
He walks over to the little robot still amused by what he thinks is
false information. He starts looking over Twiki. "Come on, wheres the
antenna?" Buck asked looking over Twiki.
"Biddi.. what is "antenna"?" Twiki asked seeking an explanation.
"Someone is controlling you, aren't they?" Buck asked as he walked
around the small ambuquad. "Robots dont talk. They make cars, roam
around Mars and hump rocks, theyre overpriced metal dogs," Buck replied.
"I am an ambuquad, not a robot," Twiki replied with a small amount of
"Cant seem to find it," Buck said as he gets up shaking his head at the
"Who made you? You dont look like you were manufactured in the United
States," Buck asked.
"I was manufactured in the Northern American Continent, country of
The New States of United America, in the city of New Fort Worth, Texas,"
"Cute," Buck said smiling. "Whats with this "New" United States of
America, and this "New" Fort Worth?" Buck asked.
"In the year 2006, The United States of America was bombed and turned
in to a nuclear waste land when talks failed between the country and
another that had in a lesser matter been attacked."
Buck taking all this information in couldn't believe what he was
hearing. His eyes reflected his thought that maybe what this ambuquad
was saying might be true.
"Once the United States had fallen in to a state of total dilapidation
due to the nuclear bombing, life changed for all of its citizens. They
no longer cared for land and energy the way they once had. All that
mattered to them was survival, nothing else. It was many years later in
the year 2141, that the New States of United America gained recognition
as a present country to be accounted for," Twiki informed Buck.
"We didnt strike back?" Buck asked as his eyes started to swell with
"The United States did launch an assault to counteract the missiles. As
a result of the bombing, other countries allied with the United States
also took action against the one who had been the aggressor. The result
was World War three, where no one was the winner. Most of the world fell
in to the same state as the U.S," Twiki replied.
"This isnt real," Buck said to himself. "Twiki, what year is it now?"
"2518," Twiki replied.
"I need to get some air," Buck said as he headed for the door.
Twiki started to follow Buck towards the door. Without turning his head
back, Buck paused and lowered his head. "You stay here," Buck ordered
Twiki stopped his pursuit as he was ordered. Buck pressed his hand
against the light panel, and walked out.
Dr. Huer was sitting at his desk. A woman about Bucks age with shoulder
length brown hair, slender built was standing next to Dr. Huer's desk.
"I dont see why Im the one who has to go get him," Wilma said.
"Its been a rough day for him and a rough day for myself. Our uniting
with the Draconian Empire is just two days away. I have miles upon miles
of paper work that needs to be tended to. Not to mention, talks between
their transmissions with the computer council. Hes just woken up after
500 hundred years of stasis. And from what Ive been told by Twiki, hes
not taking the news about his new predicament very well. I just want you
to talk to him, he needs to see a human face right now. I doubt hearing
about his whole world being destroyed by an unfeeling
machine really has him in a good state of mind at this moment. Youre
going to be his squadron leader, he needs to build respect for your
command," Huer informs Wilma.
Wilma sighs. "Yes sir. Where was he last seen?" she asked.
"Twiki informed me that he was last seen heading for the old ruins, just
outside of town." Huer hesitates then smiles. "Thanks for doing this
Wilma, I wish you good luck," Huer replies.
"And I you doctor," Wilma replies as she turns and leaves.
At the old ruins, Buck slowly walked up the dirty street with cracked
cement, and wreckage from miscellaneous things. Buck stopped and leaned
against the corner of a marble wall. He looks over at a worn looking
street sign. Beyond that nothing but small grouping of charred dead
trees and bushes. He gently shakes his head and lowers it. A moment
later he heard something coming up behind him
"Buck ... Buck!" Twiki calls out. Twiki being followed by Wilma. The
little robot stops when he gets to Bucks side.
"Why?" Buck asked looking around at the devastation with tears falling
down his cheek..
"The United States launched an assault to....." Twiki started to inform
"No, that wasnt what I was asking." Buck hesitated and looked at Twiki.
"Why was I put in to stasis? Why was I brought back?" Buck asked with
tears in his eyes.
Wilma slowly walked over up to Buck. He turned back around and gazed at
Wilma. "Im told by Dr. Theopolis, that the air force had put you under
some type of sedation. And that shortly after that at the request from
another with in the air force, you were put into stasis to keep you from
harm during the bombing," Wilma explained to Buck.
"Jenny," Buck replied softly to himself.
They stood in silence for a moment. Buck continues his stare towards the
"The Defense Directorate is in dire need of new fighter pilots. Not many
have come forward because of what some believe to be a high casualty
rate. Because of your rank as captain, it was decided that you already
had enough flying experience to serve in sort missions," Wilma said
watching for any expression on Buck's face.
Buck gleems at Wilma after hearing that. Then he motions for them to
follow him. They go in to an area across the street. He raises his arm
and points at what appears to be the remains of a house that was totally
destroyed. "My home, 1039 Sir Kay Avenue. You say you want new pilots?
Well, you can tell the Defense Directorate they can sit on it. Im not
your man!" Buck replied with rage.
"Captain Rogers, the peace of the world is at stake. Your planet needs
you," Wilma informed him.
"I dont care, because you know why? I have nothing left to care for!
Everyone and everything I ever cared for is gone! Why didnt you just
leave me in stasis?! I bet I would have been happier in there!" Buck
"You were on the brink of death when your chamber was found. The stasis
chambers that were used back in the early 21st century tended to fail
easily, youre lucky to be alive!" Wilma replied.
"Tell me how this is luck?! My whole world is gone, everyone that meant
anything and everything to me is gone!!" Buck yelled.
"Youre a survivor, and a window for the rest of us in to a more simpler
time. The world is not what it once was. Who knows, maybe youll find
this life better, Captain Rogers," Wilma said trying to understand what
Buck is going through.
"Do you know how I gained the title Captain?!" Buck asked with anger.
"For being a member of the air force?" Wilma asked.
"No! It didn't have anything to do with me being in the air force! I
gained the title of Captain on the sea in the NAVY! The only reason why
I was listed in the air force at the time I went to sleep was because
they needed pilots, and I had a small background in the air! Now just
get off my case, lady! While I go and try to find something of a life
for myself. Not in service to some government!" Buck said as he walked
off heading further in to the wilds of the woods mixed in to the ruins
of his former home.
"You leave me with no choice, Rogers," Wilma said as she starts to pull
her weapon out from it's holster, and aims it at Buck.
"You're going to have to shoot me lady. Because I'm not going back with
you," Buck says as he turns and starts walking away. Wilma takes careful
aim and fires. A moment later, Buck feels a stinging sensation, then he
clasped in to unconsciousness.
The next morning in Buck's quarters, Buck is laying on his bed. He moans
and slowly starts to open his eyes. He slowly sits up holding his head.
"What happened?" he asked. But soon answers his own question. "She shot
me!" he said.
"Are you feeling better today, Buck?" Dr. Theopolis asked.
Buck slowly turned his head in the direction the voice was coming from.
"Just tell me one thing, what year is it?" Buck asked still holding his
head as he slowly stands up.
"Why its 2518. What an kind of odd question is that?" Theopolis asked.
"Because the last time I was put to sleep I didnt wake up for 500 years,
and I was hoping this was just all a dream," Buck replied sitting back
down on the edge of his bed.
"Oh none of this is a dream, Buck. You'll begin your flight training at
08.00 hours today. Should I have Twiki bring you in something for
breakfast?" Theopolis asked.
"Training? Dear God in heaven, you wont give up on making me one of your
new fly boys will you?" Buck asked then hesitated for a moment. "Did you
say some breakfast? That sounds pretty good about now. I think Ill have
some scrambled eggs and maybe some pancakes," Buck replied.
"I dont know about scrambled eggs and pancakes, but Ill see what can be
done," Theopolis replied.
"So who are we at war with?" Buck asked as he attempted to stand again.
"No one, why do you ask?" Theopolis replies.
"Some lady I was speaking with yesterday. She said the Directorate had
some great need for fighter pilots. And that there was so much risk in
the job that not very many were applying for it," Buck said.
"There is a great need for fighter pilots because of what has been said
regularly to Earths Transportation Directorate. Pirates have been
attacking their unarmed cargo crafts for years now and we are in such
need of supplies that the Defense Directorate has been called upon to
escort the cargo craft to ensure them safe passage," Theopolis replies.
"Pirates? Youve got to be kidding me?" Buck asked with a shocked
expression on his face.
"I am not kidding you. Why would I kid about something like that?"
"Real Pirates in this day and age, Ill be darned. Who said the past was
dead," Buck said with a light chuckle. Thinking for a moment "By the
way, whats the name of Ms. Ray-gun?" Buck asked.
"Excuse me?" Dr. Theopolis asked.
"The lady I was speaking with yesterday, the one who shot me. What was
her name?" Buck asked.
"Her name is Colonel Wilma Deering, she is your new squadron leader."
There was a buzzing noise at the door. "Enter," Theopolis said. Twiki
entered Buck's quarters carrying a tray. "Ahh, hello Twiki, did you find
something for the good Captain to eat, to his liking?" Dr. Theopolis
"Poached eggs with a side of hash browns," Twiki replied handing Buck a
tray and a cup of water.
"Thank you Twiki," Buck replied taking the tray and water. Buck sits
back down on his bed with the food, and picks up part of it. "It doesnt
look like eggs, or hash browns. In fact, I'm not sure what it looks
like. Twiki ? Are you sure this is eggs and hashbrowns? It looks more
like kind of a pancake," Buck said examining the strange flat objects on
"That's poached eggs and hashbrowns Buck. Just like you wanted. Did you
want anything else?" Twiki asked
"Yes, if you dont mind my asking," Buck asked with his brow is furrowed
"I dont mind, ask me," Twiki replies.
Buck holds up both his food disks in each hand to Twiki. "Could you tell
me which one of these is the hashbrowns, and which one of these is the
poached eggs?" Buck asked with a puzzled look on his face.
Twiki pointed out which one was the eggs and which one was the
hashbrowns. Buck, not sure if he should eat this strange food place the
tray back down and shook his head.
"Buck, you have approximately 15 minutes to get to the main hanger to
start yout training," Twiki informed Buck.
"I'll go when I'm darn good and ready to go," Buck replied with a
Twiki walked over to Buck, grabbed him by his hand and pinched down
lightly. "I was ordered to escort you over at 07:45," Twiki said as he
pulled Buck towards the door.
Buck feeling some pain from Twiki's grip. "All right, I'm ready to go.
You can let go of me now Twiki," Buck said.
Twiki released Buck's hand and escorted Buck to the main hanger. Inside
Wilma is walking across a line of men, women, and aliens. Everyone was
dressed in flight suits. A long with Major Dantin, whos standing before
the line watching. Theres also a line of doors off a small distance
behind the line of trainee pilots. While shes walking shes checking off
a list in her hand.
"Well thats all except for..." Wilma said. Before she could finish her
sentence Buck walks in.
"Did I miss anything?" Buck asked looking over at Wilma. Unaware of
Major Dantin and the trainees behind him.
"No, youre just in time," Wilma replies as she makes another check mark
on the list. Buck turns around to see the other pilots. Upon running his
eyes down the row,he comes to his first alien. Its a Saurian; its scales
look like green/blue beads. The top of the head is loaded with many
crocodile-like ridges. The chin sticks out forward
some, and the eyes have a glassy pearl-blue look to them.
"Godzilla! Godzilla!" Buck says laughing. Everyone stands there and
looks at Buck, not knowing what he's talking about.
"Get in line Rogers," Dantin orders.
Buck does as hes told, and walks to the end of the line.
"Now that youre all here, Id advise you to put on these gas masks. Wilma
is going to hand you before entering the holographic training
simulators. Any questions?" Dantin asked.
Wilma once more walks along the line, handing out what almost looks like
tight-fitting surgical masks to each trainee pilot.
Buck raises his hand. "Huh, sir?"
"Yes Rogers?" Dantin asked.
"Holographic training simulators?" Buck asked.
"The rooms contain solid holograms that through an intercom system in to
the room. Ill be able to tell you and the others how to pilot and
control your ships," Dantin explains.
"Ships?" Buck hesitates. "Never mind."
"Training begins now. I want you all to find an unoccupied holographic
training simulation room. Located behind you along that wall," Dantin
said pointing behind the trainees so they know where hes talking about.
The trainees start heading off towards where they were pointed to, some
of them putting on their mask while walking. One heads towards Buck whos
moving along with the others. Its a man that looks a few years younger
than him. He looks bright eyed and full of life. He walks a little
faster to catch up with Buck.
"Youre that man from the 20th century arent you, Captain Buck Rogers?"
Buck looks over at the young man. "Well I was born in the 20th century
if that's what you mean," Buck replies.
"Right, and you were put in to stasis just before the War. It is so cool
meeting you. Is "cool" the right word? It meant neat, or keen in your
day, didn't it?" Fox asked.
Buck lifts his eyebrows at Fox. "And what may I ask is so cool about
meeting me, mister?" Buck asked.
"Fox, Hieronymous Fox. But everybody just calls me Fox," Fox replies
holding his hand out to Buck.
"With that mouthful of a first name like that I can see why," Buck
replies shaking the young man's hand.
"My father is a historian, as was my grandfather. Its not what I plan
for my future as you can tell. But meeting you is like meeting one of
the pages from the history files they have and had been making all these
decades. Youre a walking file folder of history," Fox says hoping he
didn't insult Buck.
"Whatever kid," Buck replies while he starts to put on his mask.
Buck puts on his mask and goes inside an air lock which leads to the
holographic training simulator. He closes the door behind him. Buck's
standing inside it, soon another door opens on the other side of the one
he entered from. This newly opened door shows another flight hanger.
Only this one has a strange looking space ship inside it. The ship looks
like the paper part of a Japanese fan folded into a half cone. With
another half cone coming up the rear, theres an opening into rear. Meant
for space as the jet-rocket propellant hole. Theres a window in the
middle of the large half cone, with latches. This is where the pilot
climbs in. Also theres two small fins coming out to both sides of the
ship. In the front of the ship theres a hole cut into the dead center.
This is for when the ship fires. These fins come more out of the ship
when its in space. When theyre out, they show two more jet-rocket
propellant holes. In front of the space ship theres a long tunnel.
"What is that?" Buck asked.
"Thats your training ship," V.O. Dantin replies.
"Thats a ship?" Buck asked with a sarcastic tone.
"Thats an Z-87 Wolf fighter space ship. The latest from the Defense
Directorates top engineers. Get in it Rogers, we dont have all day to do
this," V.O. Dantin replies.
"Put a sock in it, Im going," Buck replies as he walks towards the ship.
"What?" V.O. Dantin asked.
Buck doesnt answer as he heads for the Z-87. Then climbing on to it he
finds the latch on the cabin window. He opens it and enters the space
craft. After hes in he pulls down his cabin window door and locks it
back in to place. Inside the Z-87, Buck looks over the controls of the
Z-87. "Wow, its like a Curtiss A-3," Buck said softly to himself. Not
knowing that Major Dantin heard him.
"What is a Curtiss A-3?" V.O. Dantin asked.
"Its a plane my grandfather used to fly back in the 1920s. I got to take
a look at it once. The controls in the Wolf are like the Curtisss," Buck
replies as he smiles to see something kind of familiar.
"Except this isnt some antique air craft. Its a state-of-the-art space
craft and I want to see you fly it out that launch tube this minute,"
V.O. Dantin orders.
"Where's the button to start this thing?" Buck asked looking around the
panal. He moves one of his fingers pointing to each switch around the
Z-87s dash board.
"Its the one most near your center, and by the way. Where "do" you want
me to "put a sock in it?" V.O. Dantin asked.
Buck smiles. "Forget it teach," Buck replies as he presses the button.
One moment later the Z-87 rushes forward into the launch tube. Buck is
in shock at the speed of the rush. He sees the tube moving further back,
as the image of space quickly comes forward. He grips the control
throttle tightly. Once out of the tube and in space, he takes off his
mask to catch his breath. Only to find he cant.
Several hours later a couple of the trainees began leaving the air locks
that lead to the holographic training simulators. Wilma and another
woman were walking side by side heading towards the simulators doors.
The other woman is Princess Ardala. She's wearing as business like
dress. The ends of her dress had a fancy trimm of lace to it. As they
were walking, a medical team rushed pass them and over to the air lock
that lead to Bucks holographic training simulator. All of the medical
personnel were wearing masks similar to what the trainees were wearing.
"So are all of these pilots fresh recruits?" Princess Ardala asked
watching the medical crew enter the simulator.
"No, there is one that has logged some flight time in the past," Wilma
replied with a concerned look on her face.
"Oh? And which one is that?" the Princess asked as she looks around at
the other trainees that are out in the flight hanger.
Wilma stilling watching where the medical entered the simulator. "This
isnt good," Wilma says softly walking towards the simulator at a faster
pace. Princess Ardala followed close behind her.
Wilma peers in the open doorway. "What happened to him?" Wilma asked
"He took off his mask! Clear out, we need to get him out for medical
attention!" one of the medical technicians yelled out.
Wilma moves out of the way of the door, Ardala keeping her distance too.
The team comes rushing out, holding up Buck. One is holding an air mask
over Bucks mouth.
"Buck Rogers," Wilma says under her breath.
"He took off his mask in a holographic training simulator? I dont see
how that makes him any better than all the others," Ardala said as she
looks over at Wilma.
"I should have told him. He didnt know that was dangerous," Wilma
"Its common knowledge that the Rarcom particles dont fully contain the
gasses that build the images, how can he be so dumb?" Ardala asked.
"Hes not dumb. Hes a man out of his element. Princess, that man is from
the 21st century," Wilma replies watching as they carry Buck from the
"That isnt possible, Colonel Deering, I am not dumb. I have been .."
Ardala is interrupted by Wilma.
"He was found in a stasis chamber nearly dead. We brought him back
because he held the rank of Captain back in his day," Wilma explains.
"Captain, really? A commander of the sky," Ardala replies with a smile
on her face.
"Actually, he told me his rank of Captain has to do with the sea, not
the air," Wilma replied glancing over at Ardala.
"How interesting. Colonel, Id most like to meet with this man later.
When he has recovered from the gas," Ardala requested.
Several hours had passed and Buck is standing before Huer. Still a
little hazy from the gas in the simulator.
"I should have been told!" Buck shouted.
"Im sorry Buck, all of the other trainees knew of the danger. Were not
used to people being unaware of the gases seeping out of containment,"
Buck looked over at Dr. Huer. "And another thing, there must be
something of great importance going on soon. I doubt you would have
woken me up if there was just some common need for fighter pilots," Buck
said watching Dr. Huer's expression.
Dr. Huer hung his head. "There is, do you know what Therbidian Crystals
are?" Huer asked.
"No, why? Should I know?"Buck asked.
"Therbidian Crystals make energy. They power almost every kind of
electrical and mechanical device we use. Until recently the only way to
get these crystals was mining on foreign planets. A job considerably
dangerous, but now theres new technology that lets us make Therbidian
Crystals artificially," Huer replies.
"They power everything, even the Z-87 Wolfs?" Buck asked.
"Almost everything, the Z-87s are powered by water," Huer replies.
"Water powered vehicles, that was on the start back in my day," Buck
"In order to make these artificial crystals, and ensure new safety on
Earths shipping routes, an alliance has been formed between Earth and
the Draconian Empire. Both sides are needed to provide technology for
the artificial crystals. And the Draconian Empire has agreed to help the
Transportation Directorate in defense against the pirates," Huer
"So then why does the Defense Directorate need new pilots if the
Draconian Empire is doing the protecting for us?" Buck asked a little
"The alliance has not been made solid yet. When we bring our half of the
equipment to the Albersay Space Station it will be." Huer stands and
walks over to Buck. "We need the fighters to act as an escort for the
ship carrying the technology to the station. We need to ensure this
happens because otherwise we stay in the trouble weve been in for the
longest time now with supplies not reaching Earth," Huer explains.
"So what does the Draconian Empire get out of all this? A side from
cheap power," Buck asked.
"We be giving them landing clearance on Earth and all of its colony
planets for trade," Huer replies.
"Im not so sure thats a good idea . You might be leaving your door wide
open to let termites eat your home. The name "Empire" doesnt strike me
as a friendly guest," Buck replies looking directly at Huer.
"Buck, theyre not here to conquer, theyre here to help. Besides one of
them, one of the Emperors 30 daughters, Princess Ardala, wishes for you
to be in her company on board the flagship of the Empire, the Draconia,"
"And just why does she wish me? Oh ya its because Im so special," Buck
answers with a sacastic voice.
"I dont know why she wants to have a meeting with you, although that
could very well be the reason. One of the pilots of the Defense
Directorate will be taking you to the Draconia soon," Huer replies as he
walks back to his desk.
"Nice to know I have a say in what I do with my free time," Buck replies
as he walks out the door.
Buck walks back to his quarters and starts to get ready. He soon hears
the buzzing noise from someone outside his quarters. "Enter," Buck said.
A man walks in and glances around Buck's quarters. "I'm here to
transport Buck Rogers to the Draconia," he announces.
"I'm Buck Rogers, I'll be with you shortly," Buck replies. A few minutes
later the pilot and Buck head for the hanger and board the fighter that
is to transport Buck to the Draconia.
As they were about to reach the Draconia the fighter pilot sends out a
request to approach and land on the Draconia.
"Permission granted," was all that was said. The pilot landed the
fighter then he and Buck exited the fighter.
In the corridors of the Draconia, Buck is in the company of a fighter
pilot from the Directorate. A few of the Dranconias workers walked past
them as they stop at a door. The door opened, Buck and the pilot enters
and is met by Ardala. Tigerman is with her. Tigerman has tiger-like
tattoos on his forehead, leading back in to black hair. His nose and
mouth have a small animal like look to them. But to top it off he stands
about 6.7 to 7 feet in height. Buck stops dead in his
tracks and watches this rather large and strange looking man walk
Buck turns to the pilot. "You wouldnt happen to have any animal
tranquilizers on you, would you?" Buck asked jokingly.
The pilot gives no reply to Buck, but Ardala speaks up for him.
"I wouldnt worry about him, hes just my bodyguard. He does nothing
more than what I tell him," Ardala replies.
"Really?" Buck still looking at Tigerman in a type of awe.
"Well most of the time. Hes pretty tame for the most part," Ardala
"Youre Princess Ardala arent you?" Buck asked gazing at this beautiful
"Thats correct my dear Captain. And may I say Ive been looking forward
to meeting you greatly," Ardala replied with a smile.
"I wasnt looking forward, I was actually dr..." Buck was stopped short
when the pilot gives Buck a light hit in his ribs. Buck glances over at
the pilot then continues. "I was actually dying to see the technology
youre putting in for the crystals," Buck said while lightly rubbing his
"Then after that, maybe you and I should spend some time alone. There is
much Id like to know about you, and the world you come from," Ardala
replies walking closer to Buck.
"Oh brother, listen, I know this guy named Fox who Im betting knows a
great deal more history than I do, besides I dont date younger women,"
Buck replies backing a way.
"We can take it nice and slow if you like. What do you say about dinner
and a movie?" Ardala asked getting even closer to Buck.
Buck looks over at the pilot who looks like he'll hit him again if he
doesn't answer the question right.
"As long as the movie isnt about a dooms day plot, Ill be fine," Buck
replies glancing over at the pilot to see if he approved of the answer.
After dinner Buck and Princess Ardala made their way to her living
quarters. Followed closely by Tigerman. The Princess turns her head
slightly, "Stay here," she commands Tigerman.
She and Buck enter her quarters. Princess Ardala then walks over and
flips a few switches. Out from no where comes a T.V. floating in mid
air. They laid back and watched the 1997 version of "Titanic." As it got
to the part where Rose DeWitt Bukater is lying down while Jack Dawson is
painting her on a canvas. Ardala moved even closer to Buck, she places
one hand on Buck's chest and starts playing with Bucks shirt.
"Does that give you any ideas, Captain of the seas?" she asked still
playing with Buck's shirt.
Buck, not being a bit interested in her or the movie. "No," he replies
moving her hand from his chest.
"Maybe this will help," she says as she starts to unzip her top.
"No!" Buck replies jumping up from where they were lying.
"Why not?" Ardala asked.
"Listen, I dont like fast women, well no thats a lie. But I just lost my
girlfriend and everything else that was important in my life. I need
time, so hold your horses will you!" Buck replies standing looking at
"Im a princess Rogers! I can have whatever I want, and right now I want
.. " Ardala was interrupted by a knock on her quarters door.
"Princess Ardala, I need to talk to you. Theres an emergency on "L"deck
that greatly needs your attention," Kane said through the door.
"Im busy!" Ardala replies looking at Buck.
"Whatever youre doing it will have to wait. I need you on "L" deck now!"
"Fine, Im coming," Ardala replies. She turns her gaze back to Buck. "You
stay here Captain, I'll return shortly," Ardala said as she walked
towards the door.
"Have fun," Buck replies as she leaves the room.
"Love of pete, thank goodness," Buck said as he sat back down. A buzzing
noise soon started up. Buck looks around the room trying to find the
noise. Getting up again he finds it. Its coming from a half dome looking
machine. The sound continues until finally the machine starts up and
then Buck hears Ardalas voice.
"This is Princess Ardala of the Draconian Empire. I am out at the
moment, but if youll leave a message telling me of your business with
me, Ill return your call if I see fit to."
A screen comes up from the machine. On it is the face of some unknown
"Princess Ardala, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that
operation "Greek Horse" is still going right on schedule. After the
alliance has been made solid. Your forward has his forces waiting behind
the sun which the Albersay Space Station orbits. Theyll take the station
within their hold with no resistance from the Defense
Directorate. Just think, just within a few hours well have the
technology to make all the Therbidian Crystals the Empire will ever
need. Plus well be able to land our forces on Terra and its many
colonies. This is a great day in our history, Princess....Lacrow out."
Then the screen goes black.
Tigerman enters the room just as the screen goes black. Tigerman turns
to Buck and growls.
"What a nice place youve got here," Buck said looking around the room.
Tigerman starts walking towards Buck with his hands reaching out.
"Did you hear what that guy just said? Cause I sure didnt," Buck said as
he started to back away from Tigerman.
Tigerman grabs the front to Bucks shirt and throws him against the wall.
Buck gets up and rams Tigerman. At this point the fight turns in to
fists and feet.
The door opens and Ardala enters the room. "Whats going on here!?" she
Tigerman and Buck stop fighting. Buck walks over to Ardala. "I need to
go Princess!" Buck replies as he runs out of her quarters.
Ardala looks at Tigerman, "You scared him off, bad boy! Theres going to
be nothing but bones in your food bowl tonight!" she said scolding
Shortly afterwards a Z-87 Wolf sits bobbing gently on the surface in the
bay, Buck was inside was listening to some music.
"It took some time to track you down! What are you doing out there, and
what is that noise?" she asked cupping her hands over her ears.
"That noise is some music I got Fox to give me. What Im doing out here
is refueling," Buck replied.
"Well can you turn it down? And I know you cant be refueling the Z-87s
they dont come with saltwater converters," Wilma said as she approaches
"Youre finally going to listen to me?" Buck asked as he shuts off the
"Buck, they would never do such a thing. Whatever you heard, you must
have heard it wrong," Wilma replies.
"I didnt hear anything wrong, Wilma. Its what they called "take the
money and run" in my time. Thats what theyre going to do. Even in 2518,
theres an energy crisis, and war will happen if no one does anything
about it," Buck replies as he climbs out of the Z-87.
"That wont happen, theyre giving us a gift of peace, Buck," Wilma
informs Buck again.
"Remember I told you part of what I heard was operation "Greek Horse" ?"
"I remember, but what does that have to do with anything?" Wilma asked
with a puzzled look on her face.
"Everything!" Buck replied loudly.
"I have no idea what some animal from or living in Greece, has to do
with this. Listen, the whole squadron is ready to head out to escort the
ship carrying the technology needed in making the artificial crystals
needed for making this alliance," Wilma said as she turned to walk away.
"There wont be any alliance, at least in Earths favor. I guarantee it,"
Buck said looking at Wilma.
"I dont have the time for this. Are you coming with us, or not?"Wilma
asked as she walks away.
Colonel Deering and a squadron of Z-87's glided along side of the
"I dont think hes coming,"one of the pilots said.
"Neither do I," Wilma replies. Then she sees one of the Z-87's break
formation and flies past at a high rate of speed.
"Buck is that you?" Fox asked as the Z-87 zipped past him.
"Yes, it's me. You lemmings do what you want, Im going ahead of the
squadron to flush out the game," Buck said as he leaned on the throttle
"Where is he going in such a rush?" Fox asked watching Buck.
"Forget him, hes just chasing a shadow of fear that isnt there," Wilma
replied watching the Z-87 pull further and further away.
Bucks Z-87 rushes behind the sun, and is now face to face with a fleet
of Draconian fighter ships.
One dot on Foxs radar screen comes out of an even larger dot. Still
looking at the radar screen. "Did any one else just see that?" Fox asked
watching his screen.
"See what?" Wilma asked.
"Something just came out from behind that sun, then went back in.
Checking now to see what it was," Fox said as he hits a few buttons,
then information comes out on a screen.
"A pirate ship!" Fox said loudly.
"Thats why were out here, in case they attack," Wilma replies.
"Maybe the pirates are Draconian. Buck did say they were going to
attack. Colonel Deering, Im going in for a look," Fox said as he leaned
on the throttle of his ship and breaks away from formation. He headed
for the spot that Buck was last seen.
Behind the sun Buck was all ready in battle with the Draconian ships.
His attacks are wide and spread out, hes trying to keep himself from
being boxed in. A few of the pirate ships have been destroyed. Buck was
coming about for another strike.
As Fox starts to come around the sun, he saw Buck engaging the enemy..
alone. "Thats suicide!" Fox thought to himself. Fox leaned more on the
throttle heading in Buck's direction.
"Colonel Deering, Buck was right, Im heading behind the sun now to help
him fight off the Draconian pirates. Any help you could give would be
much appreciated," Fox said.
"Nice to see a friendly face, who goes there?" Buck asked as he tracks
one of the pirates.
"Its me.. Fox."
"Here to help me in a good old-fashioned dogfight?" Buck asked as he
took aim on another pirate ship and fires.
"You bet," Fox replied as he started to fire his weapons.
Buck glanced over and seen that they had more company coming. It was
most of the Z-87's coming in. "Here comes the calvary," Buck said as he
shoots down another pirate ship.
Some time later Buck is sitting in a field of green grass cross-legged.
Theres a bag behind his back.Twiki is standing beside him talking.
"In 2360 Nqiy of the Brazilian government handed his royal crown over
to J-tal in Argentina. In 2361 Germany and France united, becoming the
current power known in Europe as Espergenin. In 2362 ..." Twiki explains
telling Buck a summed up version of all the world and galaxy history
around Earth thats happened in the last 500 years. Buck glances up and
notices Wilma and fox walking towards him. Fox sits down beside Buck,
while Wilma stands in front.
"Youll be a commissioned captain again," Wilma said with a smile.
"I told you I didnt want to be a pilot again," Buck replies looking up
"Buck, you saved all of us. If you hadnt flushed out that ship from
behind that sun I would have never noticed what was going on. You may
have been a sea captain but the way you handled your Z-87 with very
little flight experience was amazing," Fox said placing his hand on
"Maybe you could teach us a thing or two about the tactics of war? The
Draconian Empire will be more at neck with us now that we know they hold
the pirate ships," Wilma said.
"Fox, do you know what soccer is?" Buck asked looking over at Fox.
"Its a sport that was played by kicking or hitting a ball without hands
in to a goal to score points," Fox replied.
"I had a feeling youd be asking me to come back," Buck said as he stood
up. He takes out a soccer ball he had in a survival pack behind him.
"I'll tell you what.. How about if we play a game a of soccer? Trainees
versus pros, trainees win I stay, pros win I go. What do you say?" Buck
said tossing the soccer ball in the air a few times.
"I say youre on," Wilma replies with a smile.
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