Chapter Thirty -- The Cobra Speaks
The Sea Hound roared its way back to the Flying Lab. As it cleared the water, it was plain to see many small dots of humanity boiling out of the concealed exits on the surface of the land mass that had concealed the Black Cobra's base.
"I hope they're all right," Willow said.
"The Cobra trains his personnel well. They were heading for the exits when the first alarms started blaring. Now with the facility flooded, he's going to have a difficult time doing any kind of salvage. The important thing is see those lights?" Tom pointed at a couple of sets of dim glows through the driving rain.
"Those are some good sized fishing villages. Twenty thousand or so people in each of the three you can see. If his ship had taken off, as it would have to be firing out one bomb per second, they probably would have been radioactive within the first few seconds. You did the right thing," Tom finished.
"Sky Queen to Sea Hound. Come in Sea Hound," the radio squawked.
"Hound to Queen, over," Tom replied.
"Couple of things Boss. First the US Navy and the Chilean government received anonymous tips of a terrorist training camp in Tierra del Fuego. A pretty specific location was given. You'd better hurry up before we're noticed."
"Roger that! And the other thing?" Tom asked.
"We received a tight beam message for you including a frequency and a request for immediate contact," the radio read out a series of numbers.
"Got it! Rendezvous in twenty minutes. Anything else?"
"Nope, that's all Sea Hound."
"See you in twenty, Hound out." Tom answered before flipping several switches on the radio set, "Let's see what he wants..."
"Who?" asked Abe form his co-pilot's seat.
"The Black Cobra, who else?" was the response.
The radio hummed to life, "Swift to Cobra come in please," Tom spoke clearly. The conversation in the seacopter had immediately quieted down.
After a brief pause a handsome older man with a long white ponytail appeared on the screen, "Hello Mr. Swift. It's been a while since we chatted last."
"Cobra," Tom responded quietly, "the reason for this call?"
"Simply to congratulate you. This is the third time you have thwarted my plans. It will be the last. You can be assured of that. That young Miss Rosenberg is quite competent. You should be pleased with your recruiting."
"Eep," Willow gasped, "He knows my name!" Oz rested his hand on her shoulder and Buffy stepped forward.
"Hey Mister Cobra, don't you dare mess with my friend!" the blond growled.
"Ah the unexpected one! Miss Summers, I'm really not sure how you can do what you do, but rest assured, I will find out. Why couldn't you have stayed at home this vacation? Your assistance was the proverbial want of a nail. Unexpected, and with damaging repercussions," the Black Cobra actually looked slightly peeved at this.
"I have a knack for that kind of thing. What can I say?" Buffy replied, her tone light but controlled.
"My dear, you have a truly diabolical gift for understatement. Anyway, my quarrel is with Mr. Swift, not you or your friends as long as you stay in California. I am very sorry I may have startled you Miss Rosenberg. In fact, I wish I had offered you an internship first," the Cobra actually had a rueful smile on his face.
"I really don't think I would have taken that internship," Willow answered nervously.
"Probably not, but I should have offered it anyway. Mr. Swift, your company has cost me a great deal of money and time and materials. I will reclaim my pound of flesh. Good day," with that the signal snapped off.
"Get a fix?" Tom asked Abe.
"Not a usable one. Looked like he was bouncing it of a weather satellite," Abe replied.
"Not too surprising," Tom looked pained, "At least he won't be coming after SSI for a while. There was probably several billion dollars worth of hardware in that base. When the power went off, so did the prober jamming field and we were able to get a good read from the Space Wheel. The Cobra is now the proud owner of a very flooded, half built, space station the size of an aircraft carrier. He is definitely going to need to regroup and he won't catch us with his Little Sister control trick again. I have a few ideas on that."
"So what now?" Oz asked.
"I'll pack up the Geotron and a team in Fat Man suits and burrow in from underneath to recover and dispose of all the nuclear material. You two continue your internships and Buffy continues her flying lessons," Tom answered with a grin, "All in all this has been a fairly nostalgic couple of weeks. I haven't done anything like this since the seventies."
The flight back to SSI was uneventful and at the end of the summer an SSI cargo plane came in for a landing at Sunnydale Airport.
Xander, Cordelia, Joyce, Faith, Wesley, and Giles were waiting for the arrival, and looked on in astonishment when the pilot's side window slid open and Buffy waved down at them after taxiing in. The cargo ramp lowered and soon Oz's van carefully backed out followed by Willow and Phyllis Radnor.
"Willow!" Xander shouted as he ran over to greet his friend with a big hug.
The next few minutes were a confused mass of greetings and introductions as Tom and Buffy exited from the cockpit discussing the flight cross-country. Finally though good-byes had to be said and Tom looked over at Willow...
"You know we have a work-study program with the State University of New York at Shopton."A/N
Wheeee this was fun!
All the weird inventions of Tom Swift are from the series except for the Little Sisters, the automated shuttle vans, the ID charm bracelets, the Pigeon Elite, the Bronco Cargo plane, the Duck Mark V, and Ator third generation. The last two are extrapolations of what he did build, and the others he could have built.
In case you can't tell I loved the series as a kid and it's been so much fun introducing more people to it. In the reviews are a number of links to sites specializing in all things Swift including fanfic, so if you want more info it is easily accessible!
Thanks to everybody including the unexpected support from the Tom-Swift Yahoo group which completely blindsided me. Thanks guys and gals!