As they neared the asteroid, they began flying a long it’s surface, close to it in fact as they began trying to scan the inside of it, expecting to detect some hollowness which would reassure the fact they’re was a possible pirate base inside. To no avail though, they found nothing. “That interference is getting stronger; it may just be over the side of this crater, whatever it is. Keep focused gentlemen.” Jack spoke over comms with confidence, he wasn’t about to let this flight recon mission go bad. Just as they began flying over the crater, the first thing to appear was a graveyard of derelict starships.
“Oh my god, tell me guys see this shit?” Jackyl said over comms in shock. “What the hell happened here? Jesus. See that freighter over there? I think that was one of the missing freighters that were reported two weeks ago.” Serv spoke over comms, sending out a report to the other pilots regarding the freighter. Sure enough, he was right, and it wasn’t the only ship that was here that had been reported missing. The space was littered with cargo floating freely in space, as well as ship components. “Begin a full sweep of the area; let’s find out what the hell happened here.” Jack ordered over comms, focusing on his sensor panel as his sensors picked up a stronger signal, coming from deep inside the graveyard.
“Everyone else getting that strange reading? That EM signal just tripled in strength. Keep weapons hot boys, let’s check it out.” Jack said over comms again. They all confirmed immediately, and began an intercept course towards the signal. “Stay hot boys, and keep your eyes focused. This smells sour.” Jack said over comms again. His grip tightened on his throttle and stick as he began speeding forward at interception speeds, double checking his fighters weapons and shield systems. The blip disappeared, as if it had never been there.
“It just disappeared, what the hell?” Jackyl said over comms in frustration. “I see a ship somewhat intact up ahead. It doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen, can anyone else get any classification on that thing?” Angel said over comms. He was right; there was some strange derelict ship ahead.
It was black, with a very smooth surface to it. It appeared to be dead, floating in space just like the other wrecks. Jack knew something was wrong. “Break off, this doesn’t feel right. I’m hailing the Intrepid.” Jack said, as he began trying to bring up the Intrepid. All that came through was static. “Shit, the EM Interference must be so strong it’s blocking all communications.” Jack said as he continued to try and get patched through, boosting the signal. “Well sir, were out here on our own, so let’s check it out shall we?” Jackyl yelled over comms in cockiness. He pulled away and began flying towards the derelict ship at high velocity. “God damn it Jackyl, I said break off. Abort and get back in formation.” Jack said, but there was only static that came over the line. “Serv, follow Jackyl before he gets himself killed. The EM interference here is blocking out all communications.” Jack said again, but again only static came through.
He looked down at his sensor panel, and it was all white noise. The EM strength had gotten stronger, and was blocking any short range communication between him and the other pilots. He cranked his head over to the right to see Angel confirm if his communications were out as well. Angel shook his head at him, raising his arms in confusion. Jack cursed under his breathe, he knew things were about to turn sour. As he began trying to relay hand signals to Angel, Serv banked right and headed towards Jackyl. Only Jackyl couldn’t be seen anymore, he had disappeared from visuals.
With no communications, they were each flying solo. Just as Jack began trying to see if he could boost his comm signal, the derelict ship lit up in its full entirety. He waved at Angel to confirm that he would follow, and he punched his throttle forward, and angled towards the alien vessel. As they got closer, he saw sudden red flashes from two fighters that were closer. Serv and Jackyl were firing at something, when all of a sudden the unknown enemy appeared; a sleek, horse shoe looking fighter that was jet black. Before he could take a double glance, Serv was hit and his Hornet ignited in to a ball of fire. Jackyl quickly followed suit as three alien fighters hit him from behind.
Jack pulled hard on his stick and performed a complete 180 in mere seconds. His fighter groaned from the stress, and he nearly blacked out from the G forces alone. Angel was quickly following behind him as the two began retreating as fast as possible. Jack looked around left and right to see where the enemy was, he wasn’t sure if he turned in time to gain some distance or not. Angel was covering his tail, staying very close. The static began to dampen a bit as they began flying further. “Jack…. Can…. Hear…..I Repeat.” Angel spoke over comms. It was difficult to manage to hear what he was saying, but Jack got the message. “Confirm Angel, I can barely hear you. This EM field is amazingly strong; I’m sending you the coordinates to the Intrepid. We have to alert them before it’s too late, confirm if you can hear me.” Jack said over comms as he began inputting the coordinates to the Intrepid, and sending it to Angel. “Confirmed, sir, about Jackyl and Serv…” Jack stopped him quickly in mid-sentence. “Not now Angel, we got a mission to finish, we’ll mourn later.”
Alone in the asteroid field with no support, two pilots dead, and no way to reach the Intrepid through communications, it was a blind shot flying through the graveyard to get back and alert them. With the alien fighters in hot pursuit, Jack and Angel were in a race to reach the carrier before it was too late.
To be continued…