“Get ready Angel… this is about to get ugly.” Jack said, breathing deeply now to gain concentration.. “If anything happens, sir, just want you to know you’ve always been a good friend to me. Now, let’s get out of here.” Angel said, making his own preparation’s inside his cockpit.
As they neared the battle, alien fighters and fighters from the Intrepid were locked in multiple dog fights, with both ships firing cannons in to each other’s hulls. Explosions were erupting from the Intrepid; it was no question that the Intrepid would fall soon. Jack tried not to think of all of his friends on deck, of all the innocent lives about to be lost because of some different groups agenda going on. It filled Jack with anger, but he concentrated on his breathing again, trying to focus.
They were mere seconds away from entering the chaos. Jacks heart began to beat faster, with perspiration building on his forehead inside his helmet. “Let’s do it!” Jack yelled, punching his afterburners to get through. Laser and plasma fire were flashing all around him as he rolled his fighter through it all with fighters from both sides frantically flying about in a mangled mess. A bright flash flooded his cockpit, and as it cleared he could see the Intrepid had split in half. It shocked Jack, and even now disgusted him as he could see crew being pulled out in to the vacuum of space. Jack shook his head, and focused on the battle ahead of him.
Angel was on his tail, mimicking his every move, dodging enemy fire. “Come on baby… hold together…” Jack said, as he accelerated further, pushing the Hornet far beyond any speed it should be able to handle. The fighter began shaking from the stress. He angled towards the alien dreadnought, flying alongside its hull to keep a low profile. They were halfway to the jump point.
As they neared the edge of the alien ship, Jack used what little afterburner he had left to punch through the last wall of plasma and laser fire. As they flew through it, Jack received a direct hit to his side on the main hull. His cockpit dimmed, and his fighter’s thrusters stuttered slightly but picked up shortly after. As the cockpit became illuminated, there was smoke coming from his navicomputer, and without it, he couldn’t jump.
“Angel, my computer just fraking fried! I’m going to try and repair it, keep any fighters off my tail, Jack out!” Jack yelled as he began trying to handle the task of reaching the jump point, and opening up the electrical panel to his navicomputer. He’s had to make in flight repairs before, but not on this magnitude nor under these circumstances. Trying to keep steady, they were almost to the jump point. Meanwhile, the alien dreadnought was finishing up the Intrepid.
As he fiddled with the wiring, reconnecting certain wires to different sockets, he cursed under his breath as he dropped his pliers. Reaching down to pick it up, he accidentally nudged the stick, pushing the fighter down. Jack corrected it quickly, breathing heavily, perspiration began building, fogging his visor up. He cursed again; he hated them as they never did a damn good thing for him.
As he finished with a few more wires, with a relieving beep of the computer turning on took a huge weight off his shoulders. He began putting in the jump point coordinates. They were almost out of there, and seemed clear for the most part. Relaxing only slightly, he turned his head around to see the aftermath of the destruction behind him. Sadness crept up on him, as he suddenly realized the outcome of all this. He would be on the run for the rest of his life, him and Angel. After this they would be considered killed in action, but he knew something now that he shouldn’t, and that made him a threat to somebody.
As they neared the jump point, Jack and Angel made last minute corrections, and jumped. Leaving the Intrepid, and their lives behind.
2 years later…
The “Astral Queen” is the home of Jack Reynolds and his small crew. They make a living amongst the stars, doing whatever they can to get by. A Constellation class starship, the “Astral Queen” was an older model of the constellation starship variants. To many, she looked like she would fall apart during take-off, but she was as sturdy as could be with the help of her crew. This was Jack’s home, and the crew on board were his family.
After the incident with the UEES Intrepid in the Hymedian Trade Route, Jack and his partner, Angel, went under the radar to hide from the UEE. The surviving crew of the Intrepid was beginning to disappear, and Jack knew the UEE had something to do with it. He had no intentions of getting involved, and would continue to make his living as he saw fit.
“Ash, what the hell is going on back here? You told me we wouldn’t have any problems for another two months!” Jack said aggravated, leaning against the hatchway to the main engine room. “What do you mean; the primary coolant injection line doesn’t work?”
“Everything’s fine, Captain, don’t get too flustered. I told you that 2 months ago.” Ash replied, as she was digging in to an electrical panel inside the engine. She was young, in her early 20’s. Jack found her on a rundown space station in the Goss system as he was looking for a replacement part for one of the engines on the Astral Queen. His previous mechanic apparently got all religious and went on some pilgrimage saying this sun was his new god. Later on, Jack found out he had flown a shuttle in to a sun, only to be incinerated within seconds. Ash even offered her services to come aboard and repair the coolant leak herself. Jack offered a job on his crew, and she didn’t hesitate to accept.
Jack was stumped, he didn’t realize how much time had flown by. “Well, can you fix it?” he asked her, hoping the answer would be yes. “I can get her to last for a week tops after that, we’ll be a smoldering wreck in space Captain.” She said, standing up from the panel, turning to face him. Green eyes, brown hair, and fair skin, Ash didn’t look much like a mechanic, but the greasy brown mechanics jump suit definitely gave her that tom boy look. Jack sighed, shaking his head in frustration. “Alright, if that’s the best you can do we’ll try to find a replacement part when we get to Kellog. Janty offered us a job to ship some pharmaceuticals out to one of the outlying colonies.” Jack said, as he turned around to head to the bridge. “Just get her working Ash.” He said as he began to walk off.
“Pharmaceuticals my ass…” He muttered to himself. Jack knew Janty never did anything humane, but he needed the money to get food and fuel for the ship and his crew. They had been barely surviving for the past few months, and right now he needed a good job. So there they were, off to live honest lives doing not so honest work.