Out of the Frying Pan

Part 4. Start at "Coming Out Fighting" below and work your way up.

I put the Garridan mech through its paces; there was no way we were going to escape from their ship only to be blown apart by Earthforce. Casey, my wing-lass, was out like a light due to g-stress; somehow, I was in fine form despite flying in my underwear with no flight suit. I finally found the communicator and turned it on.

“Cambodia, don’t shoot! It’s Mindy Myers! Lightning Four! We escaped from a Garridan ship in a commandeered mech!”

“What’s the passcode, Lightning Four?”

“I don’t know the damn passcode! I’ve been held captive for the last two weeks!”

I jinked the mech sideways and dodged. A plasma beam narrowly missed me.

The Earthforce mechs redoubled their efforts as I approached the Cambodia’s landing bay. My dodging got the girls flying around the cabin and screaming with glee. Sasha slammed into my chest, knocking the wind out of me. This thing was designed for one, maybe two adults, not two adults and four kids.

“Lightning Four? Mindy? If that’s really you, what’s going on over there?”

“I have civilians on board!” Sort of a lie, but they don’t need to know that.

“What’s a civilian?”

“Not now, Jenna. We have to prove we’re not Garridans.”

“But we are Garridans.”

“We can’t tell them that!”

A beam grazed the mech’s left leg, causing it to shudder.

“Okay girls, any idea how we can prove we’re not Garridans?”

Luka tugged on my hair. “I know.” She started, then we all joined in.

My Garry lies over the ocean,
My Garry lies over the sea;
My Garry lies over the ocean,
Oh send him a missile from me.

It was crazy, but it worked. No Garridan soldier would ever sing anything. Singing was like a sonic attack to them. The shooting stopped and they let us land, which was the beginning of our problems.


You haven’t lived until you’ve stood, in your underwear, alongside your wing-lass and four ten-year old girls, also in underwear, and faced down an angry Wing Commander and an amused First Officer, both in standard uniform.

“I trust there’s an explanation for this, Lieutenant Myers.”

“Yes, First Officer.”

“And it is...?”

“Casey –Lieutenant Parks– and I were on patrol when we spotted a Garridan science ship. We went close to investigate but were spotted by hostile forces.”

“Sir, we have standing orders not to engage...”

“I am aware of that, Commander. Let her continue.”

“Our mechs were aggressively disassembled and our flight suits taken. We were held captive for nearly two weeks and experimented on. After that, with the help of these girls who we taught to sing, we escaped in a stolen Garridan mech.”

“And how did these girls come to be on the Garridan ship, Lieutenant?”

Jenna spoke up. “We’re half-Garridans, just like Mindy is!”


At least the cell was comfortable. We had a bed, and we got coveralls. And there were enough blood tests so everybody could have one. Several, actually.