The Summer I Died
Author: Richard Anthony

Chapter 7
Lieutenant Marinero's Mission

Orbiting the planet Hispania flew the space dock/battle station named “San Marcos IV.” The San Marcos named after one of the ships from the old Spanish Armada. In fact, all the space navy ships of El Imperio Espanola Nuevo from Destroyers, and Battleships to Flag Ships received their names from the former ships that comprised the great Spanish Armada that sailed earth’s oceans in the sixteenth century.
It was a tradition passed down from one generation to another generation of military leaders that made up the “Nuevo Militares Espanola’s” or New Spanish Military. Tradition was at the heart and soul of the New Spaniards. Tradition was the glue that held it all together.
Therefore, as Second Lieutenant Manolo Esteban Marinero and his personal drone Scrak stepped out of the airlock a familiar boatswain’s call piping him aboard greeted them. Next came, the personal greetings from Captain de Avila. The Second Lieutenant smartly saluted Captain de Avila and then the colors.
“Permission to come aboard, Sir,” Lieutenant Marinero said.
“Permission granted to you and?” the Captain replied and then held out his hand.
Lieutenant Marinero clasped hands with the Captain, smiled and said, “Meet my personal drone, Scrak, Sir.”
“Glad to have you both aboard, Lieutenant,” the Captain said.
“Glad to be onboard,” Scrak and the Lieutenant replied.
They started walking off down the passageway.
“Your father is expecting you as soon you get finished stowing away your gear,” Captain de Avila said.
“He hasn’t changed a bit,” admitted Lieutenant Marinero. “It’s always business first.”
“Always,” replied Captain de Avila.
He motioned over an ensign that was following behind them. “This is Ensign Rodriguez, Lieutenant he’ll escort you to your bunk and get you settled in. After that just follow him and he will take you to your father’s quarters. Okay?”
“Yes, Sir,” the Lieutenant said.
Captain de Avila smiled again and said. “Then carry on. See you in a few.”
The Captain turned around and headed back in the other direction as Lieutenant Marinero and Ensign Rodriguez picked up the Lieutenant’s bags and continued walking. Rodriguez looked over at Manolo as they were walking.
“Is it true there was some kind of exploratory expedition that penetrated one of the outer quadrants a month ago?” he asked.
Manolo shrugged.
“I can’t tell you,” he said. “I don’t know.”
Scrak continued down the passageway silently.
“Don’t know or can’t tell me?” Rodriguez questioned.
“I thought I just said that,” Manolo replied.
“No, you said…ah never mind,” Rodriguez said. “We’re almost at your temporary quarters, Sir.”
Rodriguez continued up the passageway and knocked on the side of a closed hatch.
“Enter,” said a voice from within.
Rodriguez dogged the hatch open and followed Lieutenant Marinero and Scrak in. Just rising from his bunk was Lieutenant Vega.
“Lieutenant Vega this is Lieutenant Marinero and his personal drone Scrak,” said Rodriguez.
“They’re here on a temporary assignment that may or may not have anything to do with what happened out there,” Rodriguez pointed over his shoulder. “A month ago.” Rodriguez then placed the Lieutenant’s bag on the bunk, stood at attention, and asked “Permission to wait outside, Sir?”
“Sure,” Manolo said.
Rodriguez walked out of the cabin closing the hatch.
“He is inquisitive,” Marinero said.
“He has always been like that ever since we were boys together,” Vega stated.
“He is family?” Scrak asked.
“Yes, he’s my second cousin on my mother’s side,” admitted Vega. “He drives me crazy sometimes. His heart is in a good place but his imagination is filled with too many of the new science fiction books that are taking the Armada by storm.”
Manolo chuckles and said, “Every family has at least one of them, right? I will tell you this much. If everything goes the way I want it to, in the next couple of hours, I’ll have a lot more to discuss with you and the other pilots aboard the San Marcos than the weather.” Marinero looked at his watch. “I apologize, I must be going.”


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