Steadying his hand on the stick as he eased the throttle forward with his other, the G forces began to quickly build up as he was launching from the UEE Bengal Class Carrier, the Intrepid. Checking his fighter’s diagnostic screens to ensure everything was spot on. One error and the fighter could crash in to the Carriers deck just from take-off. He was no rookie however to flying, and was a skilled fighter pilot amongst his squadron called the “Kings and Queens”. This man is Jack Reynolds.

            Flying a standard F7A Hornet, Jack knew everything to this fighter. Sleek, fast, and armed with enough weapons to cause some serious damage, it was the one of the finest fighters ever developed. He knew how to give it just enough love to get her to do what he wanted when he wanted. He was a firm believer ships had to be treated with love in order to know how to fly them properly. He was known for pushing his fighter “Betty” far beyond its safety parameters.

            The “Intrepid” had been patrolling the outer territories of UEE space, just outside the border between known and unknown space. It was a common area for pirates to lurk in these bleak corners of the Galaxy, and the “Intrepid” was tasked to defend the outer trade lanes that connected the out-lying colonies together. There was strange activity reported in this specific area, known as the Hymedian Trade Route. It was a major trade lane that connected the mining colony of Rovun, and a small research colony owned by Kalliota Enterprises. Entire convoys were disappearing along this trade route, and no one had been out to investigate, that is until the “Intrepid” showed up.

            Jack was nearing the end of his military career, and this would be his last assignment with the UEE. In two months’ time he would be a simple trader making his living among the stars. He was a simple man by nature, but respectable and was often considered a natural born leader. A Gentleman at heart, but stern when it came to business, he was a reputable flight leader in his squadron, and held the rank of Captain.

            As he cleared the Hangar deck, exiting out in to the vastness of space, he had already begun inputting flight trajectory’s manually to plot out his four man flight group’s reconnaissance patrol. He never trusted the on board computers or anything automated, it made him feel out of control. Some would call him stupid, but he was known for being at times more precise and faster than the computers themselves.

            “All pilots, this is Alpha Leader, assume flight formation Delta and confirm the flight trajectories I’ve sent to your navicomputers, out.” Jack said in to his comm. They’d been flying this part of space for weeks now, and nothing had shown up. Not a single pirate or even a trader for that matter. This asteroid belt they were doing recon for was the best hope they had for any action out here, but Jack wasn’t holding his breathe. His pilots responded with the familiar click that confirmed they received his trajectories. As they assumed their flight formation, they began their descent in to the belt.

            “Man, we ain’t gonna find shit out here, we’ve been patrolling these lanes for weeks and nothing has shown.” Jackyl said over comms. Jackyl, also known as Brent, was known for his un-professional use of language. “Cut the chatter, Jackyl. Just one more patrol closer to getting on with our lives.” Jack paused, reading his scanners as they continued to fly through the belt. He made a few sensor adjustments before continuing. “UEE wants to show how big and mighty they are out to these colonists, so be it. Just do as your told and keep your head level, out.” Jack said before cutting his comm off. He understood Jackyls impatience, and he was ready to get out himself.

            “True enough, sir, but don’t you think it’s a little crazy to send a carrier out this far? I mean hell, these colonists don’t even give a damn about the UEE. As far as they’re concerned, they’re outlaws living on the fringes of space. Why should we protect their asses?” His other pilot, Serv, said over comms. Serv was a good kid, and his real name was Kyle. Unfortunately for Serv, the “Intrepid” was his very first assignment straight out of flight school. “Because their still UEE colonies, and were obligated to help them whether they like it or not.” Jack responded, sighing as he began noticing some sensor fluctuations. “Clear comms, is anyone else getting that static on sensors?” Jack said as he began running a sensors diagnostic, trying to figure out the problem. “Affirmative, sir, that’s definitely something. Could just be EM interference from some of the asteroids though. I think I see the source of the interference however, patching it through now to your navicomputers.” Angel said over comms. Angel was Jacks best pilot and friend for years. He couldn’t think of a single mission they hadn’t flown together.

            “Copy that, Angel, it seems to be coming from that large mass at our 2 o’clock. Let’s go check it out, boys.” Jack said over comms as he began steering his fighter towards the new destination. The asteroid was huge and definitely looked like a great temporary base for pirates. Maybe they would get some action after all. “Gonna get us some action, sir, hell yeah.” Jackyl said in excitement over comms. “Can it, Jackyl, and keep your eyes forward and on your sensors. I don’t want things going south on us.” Jack responded sharply, now wasn’t the time to get cocky and complacent about things. “That interference is getting stronger, sir, I suggest we get ready for something.” Angel spoke over comms with a sense of caution in his voice. Jack had a bad feeling about this, but he swallowed it down. “Ready weapons and shields, and assume Zeta combat formation.” Jack ordered over comms as he began punching in numbers to his energy regulators to power up the shields and cannons.

            “Let’s just check it out and bug out at the first sign of trouble, Jack out.” As the four man formation flew, each pilot began feeling a sense of suspension in eager anticipation to uncover the mystery. Each pilot had an itchy trigger finger ready for action.


To be continued…

The End

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