The Dark Horse was buzzing with activity. Several dozen
people were swarming all over the primary launch area in the belly of the
great ship. In the middle of all the hubbub stood a twenty foot tall robot.
It was a dark grey color with black trim, but almost seemed to sparkle when
the light hit it at just the right angle on the sleek exterior.
This Big Guy had little resemblance to his predecessor. The main
design was the same: a man-shaped suit with thick armor and multiple
weapons. However, this Big Guy looked, for lack of a better word, bad.
Bad as in intimidating and daunting. Dwayne stood with his hands
on his hips as he observed the organized chaos all around him. The BGY-12
looked more like a samurai warrior than anything else to Dwayne. It was
built more heavily than the first Big Guy as well. It had a energy
shielding system, stealth armor, and long-range missile launchers, along
with all of the guns its designers could pack into its frame.
Dwayne wasn't too concerned with any of these facts at the moment.
His mind was preoccupied with the mission before him. Thorton had briefed
him and the Pit Crew and given them as much information about the strange
and hostile aliens as he could. It hadn't been much.
Jo, Garth, Mack, and Ellery were busy making last minute adjustments
to the Big Guy. Several scientists, including Dr. Poindexter, the original
creator of the Big Guy, walked by. Poindexter stopped as he saw Dwayne.
"Commander," Poindexter said as he approached Dwayne, datapad in
hand, "I just wanted to offer my condolences. We all loved Jon. He was an
Dwayne gave the elderly scientist a grim smile. "Thank you, Doc."
Their conversation was interrupted as Ellery, the newest and
youngest member of the Pit Crew, strode up to Dwayne. Ellery, a fiery
Hispanic woman in her mid twenties, sported a grease-stained pair of
overalls topped by an official BGY Project hat covering her long brown
hair. Even though other women would look rather comical and even boyish
in this outfit, Ellery always managed to convey a sense of mystique and
even elegance. She was very serious and formal when addressing Dwayne or
any other superior officer. She always called him Commander. This amused
Dwayne somewhat, since everyone else on the Pit Crew called him by his
Thorton had stuck her on the pit crew for her many talents. Dwayne,
when first presented with her file, had been blown away with her experience.
She had served a term with the CIA. and rumor had it that she had been
floating around in USAF Special Services for several years before arriving
at BGY Headquarters. Of course, the USAF could neither confirm nor deny
her whereabouts for the last two and a half years. Needless to say, Ellery
was a great asset to Dwayne's crew, even if she was a bit hard to get along
with at times.
"Commander." Ellery gave a sidelong glance to Dr. Poindexter.
"We've checked out all systems. They're at 100%." She turned and walked away.
Poindexter smiled. "Well, isn't she a bundle of joy."
"Always." Dwayne smiled back at the doctor, feeling a little better
after the slight jest. "She really needs to chill out. She's wound like a
"Commander," Ellery was a few meters away, tapping her foot
impatiently. "We are ready to launch."
"And not afraid to voice her thoughts and opinions, I see."
Poindexter shook his head in amazement.
"Yeah, Dwayne said. "Kids today." His statement made him think
about his own children, safe at home with his mother and Dar. Dwayne
sighed and headed towards the dark metal frame of the BGY-12. Hopefully,
he would come back alive to see them and E again.
"Commander," Dwayne spun as a familiar voice called to him from
the direction he had just come. It was Ericka. She smiled as she gave him
a hug. "Come back alive, okay?" Tears hung in the corners of her eyes as
she looked up at Dwayne. "I don't need two dead heroes."
Dwayne gave her a reassuring squeeze. "I WILL come back." He gave
her a passionate kiss, not caring who saw them. Several whistles issued
from the catwalk above. Dwayne knew one had to belong to Garth, his
second-in-command. Dwayne pulled away and smiled at his wife. "I love you,
Ericka gave him a wry grin. "I love you too, Commander."
"Commander!" This time Ellery's yell seemed to be even more demanding.
Dwayne headed for the Big Guy as sirens began to wail. It was
launchtime. Dark Horse crew and various BGY Project coordinators scattered
as Dwayne situated himself in the new cockpit. It was a little more cramped
than the BGY-12, mostly because a lot more equipment had been added to
improve the robot's performance.
Dwayne strapped in and looked at the small picture of his family
that had been taped to one of the cockpit consoles. He smiled as he
flipped switches to bring his heads up display online. Suddenly all his
controls were floating several feet in front of his face. Holographic
images of weapons drives, core temps, and hull pressure filled his field
of vision. He could see beyond this, however, to the numerous screens
situated at the front of the cockpit. Using the heads up holographs, he
activated motor control and pressed some of the gostly buttons. The brand
new Big Guy began to clomp towards the also newly commissioned Legend.
Big Guy fired thrusters and situated himself in the gigantic cockpit.
Dwayne switched his mind over into Big Guy mode. For the benefit
of the crewmen and newsmedia on the top deck Dwayne gave a thumbs-up
signal. Big Guy mimicked his gesture perfectly. "Ah, love that new car
smell," Dwayne said into his voice-changing pickup. He mustered bravado
and confidence into his voice that he definately didn't feel.
Dwayne once again manipulated the controls and the Legend
effortlessly lifted off and headed for the clouds.
Mack's voice piped up through Dwayne's helmet. "Okay, cowboy. Easy
as pie. Kill the aliens, come home alive, or the Mrs. is gonna kill me."
Dwayne rolled his eyes at Mack's comment. "Thanks, Mack, that helps
me a lot."
"Commander, let's focus on the mission." Ellery's curt comment cut
off any further joking. "We have serious business to do."
"Exactly," Dwayne said. "I have a debt to repay." Jon's face seemed
to float along with his heads up display. "I don't intend to let them do
this ever again."
On to part 4!
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