Monday, December 13, 2010

To Space – Chapter 3

At the Colorado Springs American Air Force Command Center, an enormous 50-foot screen projected a world map. Over two thousand points were on the map and could not have been enough. The Space Defense Force was tracking Chinese and Soviet satellites with 99.9% accuracy and had decided that the two thousand satellites pointed at the surface needed marking; that was probably less than forty percent of them.

The visibly moving points were surveillance satellites launched into low orbit. The slower they moved, the higher their orbits were. At intervals of five degrees, medium orbit satellites hovered on the equator near North America, Europe, and Japan. The blinking point at 135 degrees East was Star Scorpion.

Star Scorpion's job was to catch enemy ICBM launch information from surveillance satellites, calculate their trajectories, control defense satellites and laser cannons on the surface to intercept them, and order retaliatory strikes from nuclear submarines. It was like a space defense control tower. However, with the SDI not at full capacity yet, seventy percent of its abilities sat dormant as it floated in space.

"The Demon Summoning Program will only control the satellite's computer temporarily. As long as the demon does not destroy the satellite, you should be able to use it again," Baker explained.

"Don't try to console me. More importantly, we need to make sure that word of this plan doesn't leak out to the Senate. Getting the Senate to recognize the existence of demons would be a hundred times harder than getting them to approve an invasion of Nicaragua. And if that summoned demon destroyed the satellite, they'd be screaming over the waste of $2.5 billion," General Louis replied, careful to consider the political implications.

"$2.5 billion is nothing. True, the problem right now is just with one country, Japan, but it's plain as day that if the demon world keeps expanding, the problem will spread to Asia, Eurasia, and eventually North America. This plan is our last-ditch attempt at stopping that." Feed could not hide his irritation.

"Sixty seconds and counting. 50, 40..." The countdown to the program delivery started.

"20…10, 9, 8, 7…"

"Stop! A Soviet communication satellite is jamming the signal!" cried someone watching a circular display on the console.

The color drained from Feed's face. But General Louis just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Don't worry. It's just the same old reaction.

"Give me the number of the transmission beam that was jammed," spoke the businesslike voice of another general.

"Numbers 2 through 40, and 50 through 80."

"Stop the corresponding beams. Use only beams number 41 through 49."

"Yes, sir."

The countdown to transmission began again.

"...3, 2, 1, starting transmission!"

The host computer started groaning. Messages checking the status of the transmission scrolled down the display one after another.

"Program transmission complete. Ready to stand by." The command center stirred with commotion.

"OK, shut down Star Scorpion's relay functions. The substitute satellite is 145 degrees East, Mark V. Professor Feed, you can start the program at any time," General Louis said.

Gripping his ornate cross, Feed's gaze fell on the small display. The SDF's RPV was still sending footage of the carnage in Japan. Set's pillar of flesh had already grown to the size of a small mountain, and judging from the whole scene, there was no movement of anything alive.

Nakajima Akemi...I haven't seen you since before I left. Unfortunately I can't afford to wait any longer. All I can do now is pray that the gods bless Yumiko. Feed clenched his hand into a fist.

"Start the program!" Feed's insides churned as he called out.

Inside Star Scorpion, 35,800 kilometers above the equator, the Demon Summoning Program started running.

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