Eternity HTML version

Lt. Norton whooped and yelled, “Weeee Haaaaa, Military Power on my mark,” in
each cockpit, hands danced on selected switches, “We got your ass now… 3, 2, 1,
Both fighters, with engines increasing to military power, banked right and pitched
25 degrees nose down, overtaking the three enemy fighters running for the safety of their
mother ship. Jeff’s first shots destroyed his intended target, the lead craft. The other two
fighters split and the starboard ship was tagged by one of the Captain’s Mark 23 smart
missiles. As Jeff continued a hard left turn to reengage the third target, Captain Terry,
positioned off Norton’s starboard, was able to maintain a perfect formation as if both
fighters were one. She, acting as wing, monitored the radar and especially watched the
space to their flanks and rear for any threat.
As Jeff became fixated on the target, Terry became concerned, “Watch out
Lieutenant, we’re getting too close. Suggest Maneuvering Thrust on my mar….”
Lt. Norton, too focused on the escaping fighter, fired his pulse cannon the very
second his helmet toned a target lock. The juking enemy craft darting starboard exploded
from a direct hit. Thousands of fragments obscured the path of both Terry and Norton.
Neither could help but fly through the debris with Captain Terry penetrating the greater
The body of the dead Rowdizian pilot splashed on her windscreen. Her ship
violently shook from the multiple impacts of debris and Terry yelled to no one, “OH,
CRAP,” after several red warning lights and yellow caution lights joined the lonesome
persistent “ENERGY STORES” on the annunciator panel. An irritating, wailing, warble
sound pierced her skull. This time she didn’t playfully sing, “YOU’RE… FUCKED….
would during the systems warm up and self test of preflight. Terry’s ship was stricken.
She methodically surveyed her situation. As luck would have it, things could be worse,
and they were. The automatic synthetic foam fill had fired from the sudden loss in cockpit
pressure. She reasoned a portion of the destroyed fighter must have penetrated the sealed
life support chamber of her single seat Cobra gunship. But that wasn’t the worst thing that
had happened…. Terry looked to her left and noticed the port elevon and thruster cluster
missing. But… she figured things could be even worse, and they were…. Whatever
punctured the cockpit seal had ripped a four inch gash in her survival suit below her left
bicep and just above the crook of her elbow. Now, she was screwed. On the positive side,
cabin pressure was back up, so the synthetic patch was holding, but for how long? The
bigger the hole, the less permanent the seal. At the first sign of systems failures, Terry had
shut down all unnecessary power, but her ship was spinning counter-clockwise on the Y
axis at about 100 RPM and the spin had to stop. Noting Thruster Fuel was at 19%, she
thought, “How much would it take to arrest the spin while wasting gas through the
missing port array?” Her helmet hissed….
“Hey captain, you alright?” Lt. Norton called, worried about her prolonged quiet
and the ship’s extensive damage. When his call went unanswered he became more
serious, “Avenger Zero Six, this is Avenger One Nine….”
Terry responded as she sat transfixed, watching drops of her blood exit the tear in
her suit in the weightless environment. The drops floated up, then slowly accelerate to