BotP Close-up 097

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Bobkat
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BotP Close-up 097

Post: # 717Post Bobkat »

This week gives us not only a glimpse into the team dynamics but also the larger world in which G-Force resides. It's "Rockets out of Control"!!!

There are still 'conventional' space launches in the Federation. The mission involves two astronauts aboard Laurelei III. I find it funny that Chief Anderson calls the astronauts "so young" considering he oversees G-Force's operations. What are our favorite kids, chopped liver!? :lol:

They have to track Anderson down, thanks to a signal he sends out, and rescue him from Zoltar's clutches. Spectra is particularly sneaky in this ep since they destroyed the rocket's guidance system. It's an excruciating choice - die in a fireball before hitting a major Federation target (as in where Anderson was being held!) or hitting the target and dying anyway. The astronauts make it clear what they want - not to be an instrument of Spectra's evil doings.

Enjoy this week's plot: "Rockets out of Control" :D

The Other Jason's write-up is here: https://www.battleoftheplanets.info/ep97.html

E97: Rockets Out of Control

Act One

7-Zark-7 is at Center Neptune working for G-Force keeping an eye out for alien invaders. But every once in a while, like today, they're allowed some time off to watch an historic space shot. Zark settles into his Ready Room to relax and watch as two astronauts blast off to check out sub-planet Zora for the feasibility of using it as a refueling station in their space shuttle program. 1-Rover-1 follows Zark and starts yipping about being hungry! Zark gives him a wrench and the robot dog goes about his happy way. The space facility comes into focus on Zark's monitors.

At the launch site, the two astronauts are ready to board and the "taxi" drives them to their craft. A crowd is gathered at the railing including G-Force. Mark comments it's interesting to watch someone in their "line of work." Keyop believes the field is becoming "overcrowded." Princess says she knows "how they feel with all the years of training leading to this one big moment." Tiny adds it's a pretty dangerous job but Jason counters it's no tougher than the jobs they're handed. Tiny rebuffs him telling Jason not to snap. Jason tells Tiny to chill, noting, "they get all the glamour and glory." Mark reminds them (but mostly Jason) that they all each have a job to do but ultimately they're all on the same side.

A small helicopter makes ready to take off from a house. An older gentleman steps out of the house with an aide noting they are behind schedule. The man boards and the helicopter lifts off. Meanwhile, the launch countdown proceeds at an underground Mission Control. The technicians all keep their focus on their instruments to make sure the launch proceeds as normal for the Laurelei III. The astronauts step aboard the lift to take them to their capsule while computer monitors track every piece of data related to the ship and launch. Just before being lifted, they're told, "Success and a safe return" by the older man who was picked up by the helicopter. The astronauts salute and proceed to their capsule.

Chief Anderson stood by the older man earlier and now the group watches from a nearby observation building. The chief muses about how young the astronauts are (they're older than G-Force, by the way!) and unaware of the dangers they face. He peers through some binoculars to see the astronauts seated in the capsule. The final countdown commences at ten seconds to blast off after the hatch closes. The rocket lifts off flawlessly with the crowd, including G-Force, left in awe.

Thirty seconds after lift-off the rocket in "on course" with the older man liking the "successful space launch." The man invites to drop Chief Anderson off at his "security base" but the chief plans on staying put. The Secretary is sure the chief can be spared and the chief relents. Outside, G-Force stands around with Keyop calling the space shot "old news." Princess is glad there was no problem with Mark adding it was a "smooth operation." He says the astronauts are on their own now just like them. He asks the team what they should do now and Keyop offers that they should go back to their Ready Room. The team agrees and they take off.

The Secretary and Chief Anderson board the helicopter while Zark notices "something strange" about Secretary Claybourn's assistant. Zark then checks in with Secretary Calybourn's office where his female assistant finds blood on a curtain and a very seriously hurt Secretary Claybourn! Zark notes "unknown assailants" attacked Secretary Claybourn. The robot connects the dots that there is an imposter of the secretary running about and he just departed with Chief Anderson! The chief is in grave danger and Zark must contact G-Force right away.

The team hang out in their Ready Room with Princess and Keyop playing music, Tiny eating Space burgers while Mark and Jason try to beat each other at ping pong. Tiny makes a comment about being between jobs and filling the void with food (he eats while waiting). Jason tells him it's the music. "If Princess and Keyop played slower, you'd eat slower." Mark then cracks the tempo isn't helping Jason's game one bit! "I need some competition." Keyop takes that as a challenge and goes into a drum solo causing Mark to misfire and knock the Space burger out of Tiny's hands! When Keyop is done, he asks, "Who won?" Tiny answers, "I lost."

Zark calls the team on video monitor with a "Double Red Alert" informing them about Secretary Claybourn being attacked three hours ago, an hour prior to the Laurelei III's launch. He's in the hospital in serious condition but they've been unable to learn anything from him yet. On top of that, Chief Anderson is now missing! Princess wonders about the secretary since he was present for the launch. Mark counters that the secretary at the launch was obviously a fake. Zark adds the imposter now has Chief Anderson and could put their security system at great risk. He tasks the team to find Chief Anderson! They salute, chant, "G-Force!" and are dropped out of their Ready Room.

The team transmutes and launches from Center Neptune. Zark summarizes the dire straits to the team: Laurelei III's path has deviated. It occurred immediately after Stage 1 rocket separation. Everything is being done to rectify it but so far, the rocket remains off-course. Jason calls it "rough" and wonders what they can do to help the astronauts. Zark tells them the plan is to put Laurelei III into Earth orbit but if it fails, it will fall to Earth in a giant fireball. Zark's calculations have the rocket crashing "somewhere in the Eastern United States in an hour from now." Evacuations are underway but the damage will be within a five-mile radius of impact. The robot goes on explaining Chief Anderson created the Laurelei III program and he's the only one that can help in the situation.

On board the Phoenix, Tiny asks Mark directly where to start looking for the chief, because they really don't have a clue. Jason wonders why they always seem to get the "impossible" jobs but Mark isn't interested in questions, what they need are answers. Meanwhile, the fake Secretary Claybourn reveals himself to be Zoltar! He says the Earthlings have a surprise waiting for them while his captain, wearing a bug-eyed mask and constume, congratulates him on the use of his Guidance Interceptor – it caused Laurelei III to go off-course. Zoltar asks where their "illustrious" prisoner is being kept and the captain shows a picture of a large room where Chief Anderson is tied up sitting in a chair. He's "tucked away" where he can't do anything, or so Spectra thinks!

Chief Anderson signals out by pulling on the setting stud of his watch. The Phoenix picks up the signal and Princess reports to her teammates they're receiving radio signals from the chief. Mark wants to pinpoint his location while everyone faces her. Princess works to hone in on the signal finding "not far away" and "ninety degrees left on Grid 20." Tiny turns the Phoenix into the proper direction of Coast Harbor. Mark doesn't like it – "the world's largest atomic center is located there." Coast Harbor is proving to be a popular place because Chief Anderson's signal is generating from there and it's the place Laurelei III is expected to crash! Jason believes Zoltar wants them to go there and Mark agrees, but they have to take the chance if they expect to rescue Chief Anderson. If they don't, "that spaceship is doomed."

The team flies down from the Phoenix after Tiny lands it. They run to the building where Chief Anderson's signal is being sent from. Zoltar watches them on closed circuit cameras. He's quite pleased about the team falling into his trap! He urges them to step in ever closer.

Act Two

Zark paces in the control room because he's lost contact with the team. He knows they're working in radio silence now and while they are entering a friendly facility, it's that simple. Zark says the Coast Harbor Atomic Energy Center belongs to the Federation. However, his Remote Sensor Probes tell him Zoltar and his men have taken the facility by force – it's in enemy hands now. Zark states Jason may be right – it could be a trap for them. Zark wishes they would contact him so he could help.

At the Coast Harbor Atomic Energy Center, Mark knows they're close. The team splits up with Mark and Princess going one way, Jason's alone and Keyop and Tiny go in a third direction. Inside the building, Mark is about to throw his boomerang except it's Tiny and Keyop not being the best of infiltrators! Tiny admonishes Keyop for being "clumsy" while Mark and Princess chuckle at them before moving on. However, Zoltar has them all under video surveillance! The captain is anxious to "throw them a volley" but Zoltar wants them together so they can be finished "all at once!"

Inside the giant room, Chief Anderson sits as all five enter at the same time! Mark is the first to greet him and Princess is happy they "got here in time." Chief Anderson apologizes to the team before Mark cuts him loose. However, metal doors slam shut around them – they're trapped! Zoltar and a few of his men stand at the top of what appears to be a missile silo. He shouts down to them that they are doomed for disappointment. He says they will meet their end with their own rocket. Chief Anderson asks if he means Laurelei III and Mark confirms it. Chief Anderson is shocked and Princess points out the tremendous explosions that will be caused by the uranium storage tanks. Zoltar is pleased they figured out his scheme and tells the commander/captain that he can take over now. The commander pulls a lever.

At the bottom of the silo, a giant turbine starts up trapping the six on a skinny ledge next to the doors. If the winds weren't enough, the commander "increases the voltage" with the team struggling against it. Meanwhile, Zoltar bursts out of the top of the building with his ship. The commander realizes quickly Zoltar has abandoned them in his Devil Star. The commander panics, telling the men a rocket is going to crash there in 20 minutes! The commander and the men turn chicken and stampede out.

In the silo, the turbine has self-destructed leaving a mess. Mark then asks Princess to try one of her yo-yo bombs to blast through one of the doors but it proves too tough because there's another metal layer. Jason asks to have him handle it and the chief falls to his knees saying something incoherent. Regardless, Jason gets to work breaking into the door controls with the welding tip of his cablegun. Once inside, he fidgets with the controls but there's no power to open the doors. Jason is going to "try a little trick" and Tiny hopes he does it before they get blown up! Jason opens a panel to a power feed and asks Mark to cut it with his boomerang. Mark warns him it's a lot of voltage that Jason is about to hang onto. Jason has to fight it and even falls back once. Mark helps him to stand and Jason is determined to make it work as he puts the wire into the hole he drilled out. He dives out of the way and warns everyone to take cover. The wall explodes but the door opens enough for them to escape. Mark tells everyone to "split" and they run out except Jason is still kneeling. Mark goes back to him and the pair bring up the rear to run to the Phoenix.

The Phoenix takes off and once airborne, Mark tells the chief they need to contact Space Control to get Laurelei III back in orbit. Chief Anderson stands on the bridge telling the team it's too late to do anything about Laurelei III. The team is shocked and Jason "doesn't buy it" because if Zoltar can knock it out of orbit, they can put it back. The chief explains the guidance correction system was completely destroyed when Zoltar ripped it off its original trajectory. Mark is at a loss – they're nothing they can do to prevent the explosion. Just then, Zark calls into the Phoenix with a message from the two-man crew – they want their rocket exploded before it crashes to Earth! Chief Anderson lowers his head and says it's a "terrible" request – not that it's a bad idea, just the ramifications are so dire. If the rocket is destroyed, it will take its crew with it.

Chief Anderson knows the only solution now is to destroy the rocket. Zark informs them a decision must be made quickly as the Phoenix is the only craft in range that can be counted on for accuracy. The team is beyond shocked and heartbroken. Chief Anderson says there is a slim chance the crew can eject during re-entry but there is no way to know until after they fire at them. The chief orders Tiny to 10,000 feet (that's nothing in aviation) and then tells Princess to adjust her radio MXOZ to make certain the astronauts' decision is final. Tiny calls out 10,000 feet while Princess confirms the radio is set. Mark stands by his chair in shock, not believing what's going on around him. Mark sits back down as the chief tries to contact Laurelei III but communications has been cut off. The astronauts have made their decision and their peace.

Laurelei III re-enters the atmosphere ann they only have three minutes according to Chief Anderson. He tells Mark to fire at it with the Phoenix's "Super Missile." Mark is beyond conflicted saying there has to be another way. Chief Anderson assures him this is the only way to prevent a massive crash here on Earth. Mark adds this isn't the way he likes to beat Zoltar. Tiny watches the rocket fly in and it becomes a fireball. Chief Anderson confirms it is Laurelei III with Princess saying they have one minute. Jason and Tiny try to encourage him but Mark isn't budging. He sees Zoltar and his maniacal laugh while Laurelei III races to the Earth's surface. They're getting to the point the missile must be fired and Jason takes things into his own hands but Mark shoves him back to finally fire the missile. Jason and Chief Anderson are next to the consoles as Mark slams the launch button. The missile hits the rocket just above the facility and while there is debris falling onto the ground, the Atomic Energy Center remains standing.

Zark says it was a tough decision but it was the right one and the only one. He adds the borderline chance worked and while the astronauts were willing to sacrifice themselves, they managed to eject to safety. In the control room, Zark tells Rover it's nice to have Chief Anderson back. He wonders if Zoltar will ever stop coming up with ways to invade Earth. He flies to his monitors with Rover following with his helicopter tail move. Zark says robots aren't programmed for emotions, but there's something about Zoltar and his evil plans that overheat his Oscillator Reactors. Zark practices some martial arts moves but gets carried away – he's cut off all contact with Zoltar and Spectra because he's shorted out all his controls. Rover yips at him that if they don’t' have contact with Zoltar, it'll be the first vacation they've ever had!

This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2021. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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