Wing Commander Junior Novelization Chapter 26

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Chapter 26
Book Wing Commander Junior Novelization
Parts 2
Previous Chapter 25
Next Chapter 27
Pages 123-126
Source Wing Commander Chapter 26, Part One and Part Three

Dramatis Personae

Part 1 Part 2

Christopher Blair

Christopher Blair


Jeanette Devereaux
Paul Gerald
William Wilson

Paul Gerald
Corey Obutu
Jay Sansky


Unnamed Marines (3)


Geoffrey Tolwyn

William Wilson


MARCH 17, 2654
1130 HOURS

Part One

Gerald crossed the ConCom's bridge in several long, deliberate strides. "Mr. Blair," he began, then suddenly smashed Blair's helmet with the butt of his rifle. "I believe you just called me a traitor."

     Blair rolled across a console, then fell to his knees. After flipping the weapon around, Gerald aimed it at Blair's head. He pulled the slide back, then nodded at the NAVCOM. "Turn it off."

     Three simple words ... yet they shocked Blair. If Gerald wasn't the traitor, then--

     A hollow laugh resounded from the rear corner of the bridge. "To think we came from you."

     Wearing a space suit and holding a large Kilrathi pistol, a man stepped from the shadows, a man whose thin face seemed familiar, but Blair couldn't think of a name.

     "Wilson?" Gerald said, his tone so full of surprise that the word had barely escaped his lips. "But the Pegasus--"

     The admiral took a step forward, and Blair had never seen a man more consumed by hatred. "Twenty years of service. Ironic, isn't it?" He extended his arm, the pistol directed at Gerald.

     "Wait," Blair cried. He lifted his cross with a trembling hand.

     Wilson drew back, gazing suspiciously at the cross, then at Blair. "Where did you get that?"

     "It was my mother's. She was killed at Peron." Extending a palm in truce, Blair slowly got to his feet, holding the cross like a shield in front of him.

     For a second, Wilson's eyes glazed over, as though he had taken _ himself across the light-years and back to the massacre. "When you remember Peron, what do you feel?"

     "I feel hate."

     "So you think you're a Pilgrim? Prove it." He raised his chin to Gerald. "Kill him."

     Blair's nod came easily, and he turned back for his rifle. He had enough bitterness stored inside to fight Gerald, but could he kill the man? The answer was obvious.

     "No rifles," Wilson said. "Use the blade."

     Shifting back, Blair pulled the cross from its chain and touched the center symbol. The cutting edge flashed out.

     Gerald withdrew a long, ugly-looking fighting knife from his vest. "I was right all along. Come on, Pilgrim. Pass your test." The commander lunged at him.

     Blair backed up and slipped behind a console. He climbed on top of the station and leapt into an open area, near the helm controls. Gerald followed. Now they circled each other, jabbing with their blades.

     Suddenly the commander whirled around, boot raised, and kicked Blair in the ribs. As Blair fought to remain standing, he saw Gerald lift his blade--

     A horrible tearing sound came from the sleeve of Blair's space suit. He reached for the tear. Automatic voice alarms warned him that Gerald's blade had penetrated the suit's first layer.

     He tensed once more as a wild-eyed Gerald searched for an opening. The man's blade shot at Blair once, twice, a third time, and Blair blocked each assault.

     Then he grabbed Gerald's wrist with his free hand. He threw himself beneath the commander and swept out the man's legs. Gerald landed hard on his back as Blair rolled over and centered his blade over the man's heart.

     "Finish him!" Wilson cried.

     He looked at Gerald, whose face grew colorless in the half-light. The commander moutheda curse, and Blair felt as though he had been dipped in ice water. He imagined Gerald screaming in agony. He lifted the blade a few inches, preparing to drive it home--

     Then turned, flicking his wrist.

     The blade swished through the air, threw off flashes of gold and silver, then ...


     The admiral flinched and looked down at the cross stuck in his chest. His space suit began hissing loudly. He stumbled, reaching blindly for support, then slumped against a column.

     Gerald sat up and went to the admiral, whose face looked white and bony. "Wilson!"

     Despite his agony, the man remained awake.

     "Why warn Tolwyn?" Gerald demanded. "Your Kilrathi friends could've destroyed Pegasus, taken the NAVCOM, and jumped to Earth with no interference."

     He smiled weakly. "I'm a Pilgrim. And the stars were the Pilgrims' destiny. Not Earth's. Not Kilrah's."

     A faint click drew Blair's gaze to the admiral's hand. Wilson had just triggered a concussion grenade!

     "C'mon!" Blair cried, already turning to retreat. He crashed into a pair of big chairs as he and Gerald darted toward the hatch.

     At the first hint of the explosion, they dove toward the corridor. An intense wave of heat wiped over Blair's legs as he hit the rattling deck. His comm unit crackled as the boom overloaded his mike. He crawled toward the corridor, but a second explosion had him cowering again. Black smoke poured over them, and the snapping of flames grew louder. He forced himself to stand and took a deep breath. Gerald was already on his feet.

     "Now do you want to know who your traitor is?" Blair asked.

     The hatch at the corridor's end opened, drawing Gerald's attention. A Marine crouched near the edge, directing the business end of his rifle at the commander. "Halt!" he shouted as two other Marines joined him.

     "Deveraux?" Gerald called back.

     Deveraux jogged from behind the Marines and through the hatch. "Sir? What are you doing here?"

     "Never mind. Secure the fuel cells. Blair and I have some business to take care of."

Part Two

Blair and Gerald returned to the Tiger Claw, fetched pistols, then rushed into Captain Sansky's quarters like military police.

     The captain sat up in bed, his sickly face showing only mild surprise.

     "Gentlemen, I don't pose a threat." He checked his watch.

     "In fact, I'll be dead in a few minutes." Noting Blair's frown, Sansky waveda finger at a needle lying on his nightstand. "In the old days they used cyanide. The plecadome, I'm told, makes for a more peaceful retreat."

     "Jay. You were the best CO I had." Gerald lowered his pistol and huffed his disappointment. "Why?"

     "Because, Paul, sometimes the role you play isn't the one you were born for."

     "You've failed at both," Gerald growled.

     "Have I?" he asked, his voice heavy with irony. "A bad spy and a bad captain." His eyelids grew heavy as the poison took effect. He battled against it, lifting his hand toward Blair. "Here. Give this back to Tolwyn. Please."

     Blair took the ring as the admiral's hand fell limp. He held the ring tightly, needing something to believe in for the moment, something tangible, something that wasn't a lie.

     "Commander?" Obutu said over the intercom.

     "Talk to me, Mr. Obutu."

     "Engineering reports that the Kilrathi fuel cells have arrived. They'll have them adapted in a few minutes. They estimate that we'll have sixty percent power."

     "Very well. Prepare to get underway." Gerald shook his head at Captain Sansky. "I can't believe what he did ..."