The Eath Defense Council was every bit as
angery as Admiral Lord had expected...And then some. Several members said the reactivation of a "Star Force" was blasphemy.
Others claimed that the Admiral, had found a whole new way, to disobey orders...Pointing out his already infamous service
record. ( This was a new, all time low.) Some, even questioed his sanity...He was after all, risking an interplanetary
incident, over the fate of one person...And using the Star Force, to do so?
It was decided, that Lord be forced,
to retract his proclamation...Or be discharged from service. The sooner the better, as to maintain good relations
with Tunisia. This order was sent back, to the "New York." However...There were some members of the E.D.F. Council, who smiled,
The Tunisians were equilly upset...They insisted that
Mr. Specter was as evil as the Dectrans. The High Council couldn't understand how it was that one Earth ship, could
see so differently. It was decided by Tunisian officials, That the "New York" was to be ignored...Not to be assisted,
in any way. This decission was helped along by E.D.F.'s own recomendations. As far as the Earth fleet was concerned, The ship
was to be labeled as "rogue." Not to be fired uppon, unless push came to shove...
Captains Ossyrus and Venture had grim expressions...Handing
over the memo to Admiral Lord. Maxx looked at it...Then gave a smile. "I told you, it wouldn't be taken well...Read it to
the crew." He said, handing the paper back. "Sir?" Ossyrus questioned. "It's the collective thoughts, and ideas of
the crew, that make the Star Force, what it is...Let them decide." said the Admiral. "Yes sir." Ossyrus replyed...Then asked."You
knew, this was comming?" " Why do you think, I appointed two captains?.. This way, there'd always be someone in authority
on the bridge." Lord smiled. "I see..." Ossyrus said half heartedly. "You two, will do fine!" Lord offered. Venture found
his voice, now. "Sir, permission to speak freely?" "Of course..." Lord replyed. "Sir, they're only doing this because...Well,
because of your history. Stories about you and the brass, are legendary...Bureaucracy and the Star Force, never really
saw eye to eye...I think, Captain Avatar would be proud of you, sir!" "Thank you, Mr. Venture."
Later, The crew decided...The Star Force would remain
as such. Everyone on board, knew this decission would blackmark them. They would have little change to further their career
in Earth Defense. There was also the possibility of a lifetime of disgrace...All for the fate of one man,..Mr. Specter. Also
known, was the fact that Star force, had done the very same...Many times. This drove the decission.
The news was a bittersweet victory for Maxx
Lord. His people had backed him in this political suicide...With the vote cast, Maxxmillion Lord smiled, and handed his rank
pins and insignia to Ossyrus and Venture. "Gentlemen, the ship is yours. I'm off, to change out of this uniform." He
started, as Venture interupted. "Sir, we need you to stay aboard..." "Call me Maxx, now..." Lord corrected with a smile. "
I'll call you, "Sir"...If its alright with you. We've decided, that as long as you're onboard this ship, you are to retain
your rank, sir! Unofficially, of course...But here." Lord was taken off guard. "...I see...You realize, that such a decission
is in direct violation of E.D.F. orders, then?" He reminded. "Yes sir, we do..." Ossyrus answered. Maxx looked at the officers,
thinking this over. "I'll considder it, then...But I think, the Star force is in very good hands! Thank you, gentlemen."
With that, Maxx was off to his stateroom.
Lord was reading in his study, when the intercom sounded.
"Sir, I have an incomming message from Earth Defense Headquartes,..Priority One." Said the Com. officer. "Ignore it, maybe they'll
go away." Maxx replyed. "Sir, they say they want to talk to Admiral Lord, head of the new Star Force." Maxx was caught by
surprise. Someone in H.Q. actually acknowleged the new title? "...Put 'em through." Maxx answered, curious to hear who this
"Greetings Admiral...It's nice to see, your reputatuion
in action...For a while there, I thought it was all based on hearsay." Said the voice on the other end. "Well, I'm glad to
entertain you,.. Really...." Lord shot back. The voice laughed. "Admiral, I've read all the information you've sent about
the Tunisian situation...And, from your position,.. I'm guessing that Mr. Specter's more important, then you're letting on."
"Hell, yes!.. If we can figure out how Mr. Specter's technology works,..We could take the fight to the Dectrans! On their
own ground...We'd have a chance!" Lord exclaimed to the person on the other end. "Your arguement is sound...But, as usual...Our
council has put Diplomacy ahead of sanity! After hearing your your side, I agree with your decision." Came the reply. "Then
you acknowlege the Star Force?" Maxx questioned. "I do now, as I did then...Admiral. And I think, your first priority, should
be finding, and protecting Mr. Specter." Came the answer...After hearing it, Maxx really started
wondering who was on the other end. "...Right...Thank you..." "I know a thing or two about engineering,.. I'd love to hear
how Mr. Specter got the U.D. drive to work. Let me know, if you get the chance." The mysterious person added. "Somehow, I
don't think H.Q.'s gonna want to hear from me..." Maxx replyed. "I understand that...But I'm retired. I don't work at
H.Q. anymore. However, I still have alittle pull. You can reach me through Miss Conroy... Tell her, Sandor sent you!" Maxx
sat there...It was as if someone hit him with a brick. "You still there, Maxx?" "Uhh,..Yes sir, Mr. Sandor,..Thank you." "We'll
talk again, Admiral...And let your crew know, we have faith in their ability to do what needs to be done... Good luck to you,
and our Star Force!" "Yes, I'll do that, sir!"
Later, Maxx Lord addressed the crew...Telling
them, his news from the original Star Force. Moral on the "New York" soared...There was now, a goal. A reason to struggle
through diversity. It was time to go...Lord was on the bridge with Captain Ossyrus, getting everything ready for lift off.
Now everyone took to their stations, waiting for the
Admiral to give the word...Lord looked about the bridge..."OK, people...We have a very difficult task ahead of us...Stay sharp
and be brave...I'm counting on everyone of you!" he said, with a proud smile..."Engine room...?" He inquired to the officer
in charge. "Energy generator at plus 110%....Standing by, sir!" The man answered. "Very well...Engage the Wave Motion Engine...
It's time for the 'Excaliber' to take flight!" With this, the newly re-chistened
vessel lifted from her moorings... Heading skyward as
the twin suns set over Tunisia.