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Friday, October 19, 2012

F3 Pursuit

"Report." Flynn said, despite knowing the situation.
He stood on the small bridge looking at the viewscreen. It was a far cry from his old ship's viewport with display overlay, but it sufficed. The solar and insterstellar winds collided in the shock, spraying charged particles everywhere.

"We're flared." Hank Sherman said, looking at his consoles. "Ann, you keep this up and you're going to burn out the sublights. You can't cross a shock at speeds like this."
"Explain it to them" Ann switched a chunk of the viewscreen to the rear optics. The sensors displayed a half-dozen ships in pursuit, pulse cannons at the ready as soon as they closed to optimum firing range.
"Maintain course and speed," Flynn said, calmer than he thought he should be. It was an old Command trick, one he picked up from the CO of the Bridgeton.
"Are you out of your—"
"Finish that sentence and you'll spend the rest of the trip bringing every piece of engine equipment up to Alliance standard specs."
Ann chuckled. "I don't like agreeing with him, Flynn, but I am pushing the sublights hard."
"The tide is coming," Flynn said.
"It's not scheduled for two more hours, system standard time." Ann smacked a console to make a warning light go off.
Ann was one of the best pilots Flynn had ever seen. She had a natural gift for making a ship do what the specs said was flat out impossible. Flynn had years of experience in the stars, navigating, piloting, and in tactics. All of that time honed instincts, and he knew he was right. The tide is coming.
The ship jolted hard.
"Number one sucked in a bundle of hyper-charged particles." Hank updated them. "It's going to take a minute to flush them. You'll have to cut back on number two or we're going to pull."
"Keep number two at full until we come left fifteen degrees, then retract the sub light nacelles" Flynn ordered as he spotted what he had been looking for in the shock's charged field.
Ann held her yoke steady fighting the engine's pull to go way past the prescribed turn. When she got on the course, she grinned at Flynn. "Retracting sublights. We'll coast clear of the shock's wavefront in three minutes. They won't catch us."
"Raise masts and sails." Flynn commanded.
"Now?" Ann questioned.
"Yes, now."
She shook her head, but initiated the sequence. "We're going to lose a little speed with solar shock's particles pressing on the . . . sails."
In a moment, the charged particles that surrounded the ship retracted into the inky blackness of interstellar space. The sails, still extending, began catching the stream of dark energy, pulling the ship out of the system.
Flynn smiled.
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