by Alfredd Mann
As Ingstram sat in his
command chair, he wondered what evil, vile things he would do to Taft and
Iffley once he had taken their ship.
Iffley would pay for
what he did and lose a Key to boot. That would make Ingstram very happy. His
thoughts were interrupted when the navigator reported large masses of
starship-type images on the scanner. "What is it?" inquired
"Looks like a
large starship contingent, and it is bearing down on us. Time to engagement,
manuvers, and throw shields toward the front. Arm the weapon systems and
prepare for a generally bad experience."
Ingstram thought for a
moment. "Could this be Iffley's fleet, set up in ambush? No, surely not.
Iffley is not that kind of person. Or is he?"
"25 seconds till
engagement," said the navigator nervously.
He knew his ship could
not withstand half of that fleet, much less the whole thing. If his ship was
hit just once it would be all over.
He left the bridge and
headed for the nearest escape pod. He checked the systems on it and prepared
to use it. He made his way back to the bridge and asked for a status
looking very good, sir" said the navigator.
"I know that,
son, but always remember: Don't panic. That is the motto of many of the
galactic hitchikers that we pick up. I don't understand it, but it seems to
work for them."
engagement, 10 seconds, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, engagement!"
Ingstram went into
action. "Full power to the shields, fire MegaDestroyer cannons. Go for
the lead ship."
guns were impressive, but not quite as impressive as they needed to be. The
first burst from her cannons seemed to have little or no affect on the fleet's
lead ship. It returned fire and heavily damaged the Fashigal's
but one more shot like that and we lose them!"
As if on cue, the lead
ship fired another blast, even more powerful than the first. This blast
totally wiped out the Fashigal's shields and heavily damaged the outer
fire," screamed Ingstram as he tried to stay upright in his chair.
returned fire but it was no use. The shots seemed to be bounching off the
shields of the other ships. Ingstram knew that all was lost, so he left the
bridge and made for his escape pod.
Inside, he strapped
himself in, and ignited the pod's single rocket. As he flew away from his
battered ship, he realized that Iffley had won the battle but maybe had lost
the war. He aimed his craft for the only home he knew. Ganymede. From there he
would formulate his next plan and make Iffley think twice about double
crossing him again.
| ||© 1985, ||K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft|