Titan Run Part Three
Martin Sr. thought about how he hadn’t really taken a strong interest in the case surrounding his younger brothers incident. They got along well enough when they were younger.
When their mother passed away and their father was still heavily into his command. The two of them were sent off to the Academy on Mars, where their bond grew weaker. That didn’t change the fact that they were brothers, and he loved him.
“I’m on the tube heading towards the command post,” Martin said to his communications officer aboard the HHC Elizabeth. “I should be there in about fifteen minutes.”
“I will have the information you requisitioned ready sir,” a voice responded. “Oh and Captain, we are all cheering for your niece up here.”
A smile crept across his face, “Thank you, I’ll relay the message.” Martin reflected on his niece, at how resilient she had become. He thought she would make a fine officer, if she ever chose to be in the military, even if she decided to go into engineering or become a mechanic. He was amazed at how resourceful she was, when he first came to see The Hammerhead, he had been impressed with her skills at rebuilding the ship. He meant to ask her why she chose not to crisan the ship after her father, or even calling it ‘The Hammerhead II’ in honour of its sister ship that was lost.
Within no time the tube brought him to his stop, he disembarked and walked through another market area similar to the one where he had lunch with Kayla, William and Rebecca. He had lucked out and the base commander on Titan was one of his old classmates from the Academy, so he could use the base’s resources while he was there for the race.
In the ten years since the first Titan Run, the race had become a huge success. Both members of the military and public entered the race. Martin remembered watching old archival races with his brother and their grandfather. Even as kids he could see the racing bug had bitten his younger brother. He felt a lump in his throat as the memories were coming back, his brother had won the Titan Run four times, the most out of anyone in its ten year history, yet Martin Sr. never took the time to see him win, even once.
“Captain Martin,” a strong voice called out.
Martin looked up to see a slender woman walking towards him, “Yes,” he replied in form.
“I’m Macy, I am with the Titan Run racing committee and I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time?” She held out her hand and he took it firmly.
“Sure, what is this about?” he responded.
“Well sir, it’s in regards to Kayla.”
“Kayla. Is she in any trouble?”
With the race only three hours away, Kayla made sure The Hammerhead was in its starting position and got to work on the pre-race checklist. Looking over every system one last time, she felt fear and excitement course through her body as she worked. It wasn’t the same as when she helped her father. They worked side by side in the cockpit up until she would be brought up to the command center to watch him start. The memories of her father made her sad.
“Oh dad,” she whispered as she sat down in the pilot’s seat. Kayla realized that she was going to be starting her first race as a pilot. When her father was still around they had often discussed her joining him on a partnered race prepare her for the serious responsibilities of the cockpit, before she would go solo on one of the smaller circuits – until she was ready to take over the helm of The Hammerhead. She gripped the steering controls firmly, “No turning back now,” she said as she went back to work.
While Kayla worked she thought about the dream she had once shared with her father to one day build a larger vessel and just spend some time having adventures – even though she thought other people would find the idea corny. The Hammerhead wasn’t the kind of ship she dreamed about, but it had a small cot and waste facilities and a small pantry for supplies. Not enough room for a crew, maybe enough for one person, maybe two people if they didn’t mind being cramped in with no personal space.
“ATTENTION ALL RACERS, MAKE SURE YOU SIGN OFF AT THE MONITORING STATION FOR YOUR TRACKERS,” a loud booming voice called out over the intercoms.
“Shit almost forgot.” Kayla called out. She got up and headed towards the rear loading dock, as she disembarked, she failed to notice the silhouette of someone standing next to the ship.
“What do you mean you want to remove Kayla from the race?” Martin Sr.’s voice had taken a sharp edge.
“Sir, calm down,” Macy, the Titan Run representative said.
“After everything that girl has been through,” he paused that gather his composure. “And you want to break her even more.”
“No, this is for her safety.”
“What? Her Safety?”
Macy got up and started to pace. “There have been some rumblings going on through the pits.”
“Why am I only hearing about this now?” Martin demanded, “I’m her guardian and I don’t care that I am not planet side, I should have been informed immediately.”
There was a thick silence between Macy and Martin. “It’s because of her father,” he said calmly. “My brother, that is why. Both the Military and your committee have not hid their disdain for him, so much so that it took me pulling a lot of strings within the military to get Kayla into this race.” He stopped for another moment to calm his nerves, “All this talk about safety is just bullshit, you want to create a scare, a panic and get her to leave the race.”
“No, Sir, this is serious,” Macy said.
“If it’s serious, if there is a threat towards my niece, I want every single piece of evidence, and I want security to be increased.”
“Sir, you need to get her to withdraw from the race.”
Martin Sr. stood up and faced a large window. Outside he could see the city, sparse industrial systems interweaving with small buildings, tubes, full of people, both residents and visitors of Titan, anticipating the race. The weight of the situation caused a visible strain on him.
“I don’t want her to hear about this from anyone but me.” He turned and looked firmly at Macy. “She is my family, my responsibility, so I’ll discuss this with her.”
Macy stepped forward, not allowing Martin Sr.’s presence to dissuade her, “What is there –”
Before she could get out another word he cut her off, “I don’t care about your company’s image. I only care about my niece. She will decide for herself what she wants to do , is that clear.”
“OK,” Martin said. “I’ll need you to stay with me while I look into this whole situation a little further.”