by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
Celebrations are in full swing at Space City, marking the safe return of Fireball XL5 after its encounter with a devastating space storm.
The World Space Patrol vessel sustained critical damage in the dangerous phenomenon, with Professor Matic receiving serious injuries. However, thanks to the timely assistance of Doctor Venus, the Professor is expected to make a fully recovery in the Space City infirmary.
Colonel Steve Zodiac, commander of XL5, expressed his thanks to the crews of the support ships that found his vessel adrift saying, “It sure was a relief to see them in the distance. We’d been running emergency power almost to exhaustion. Thankfully they were able to patch us up enough to survive re-entry and the return to base, but it’ll be quite a while before XL5 is back to operational status.”
It is understood that Zodiac has been given temporary command of Fireball XL30 until XL5’s repairs are complete. The Colonel seemed pleased with his new assignment, “XL30 is a fine ship, one of the newest in the Space Patrol fleet. Sure, she looks just like my craft from the outside, but there are a lot of improvements in the electronics and power plant. I guess XL5 will get the same treatment during her refit, something that’s been long overdue.”
Doctor Venus has provided an update on her patient, “Matt is doing just fine. He took a nasty knock in the storm, but he’s feeling much better. He’s even started working on Robert, trying to get the robot working again after he blew his top.” Venus estimates that the Professor should be back on his feet within the week.
Professor Matic told us, “Oh I feel like a real space-brain. I should have given Steve a different course as that region of space can be highly unpredictable. If I’d reacted a little faster, I might have saved everyone a whole heap of trouble. Now XL5 is grounded, Robert here is in need of a lot of work and I feel like I’ve been hit by an Astro-Train! Still, I’m sure glad no one else was hurt and I guess it could have been a lot worse.”
Commander Zero, in charge of Space City, said that he was greatly relieved to have the crew of XL5 back in one piece adding, “They’re fine officers and it would have been a great shame to lose any of them. After an ordeal like that, they’re due some R&R and I intend to see that they get it. Even that tootie Lazoon!”
While the safe return of Fireball XL5 has been cause for celebration, there is an undercurrent of uncertainty regarding the disturbing rumours of incursions into Quadrant 37. Claimed by the Astrans, Quadrant 37 is a buffer zone on the edge of Sector 25. Unauthorised activity in that area is expressly forbidden by the Treaty of Kaplax. World Space Patrol Command is continuing to monitor the region and is standing by to assist the Astrans in a joint exploration of the area if it is deemed necessary.