“Okay, listen up,” says a voice in your ear. “As of thirty seconds ago you are the last remaining Bouncer pilot in this system. Reroute on vector 4.96 and await further instructions.”
Jacobs. Of course it is. You try not to flinch, knowing that your odds of passing just dipped significantly.
The dials in front of you zoom in and out of focus, yellow and red numbers chasing the light fantastic three inches from your face. The compartment around you slowly lifts, the controls shuddering under your hands.
You grip them tight.
A green beacon appears on your central sceen, flashing in the void. You adjust course, bringing the ship around to zero in on it and run a scan. Carrier vessel – D class, standard complement 307 souls. But it’s in distress.
You open a comm channel. “Civilian carrier this is Private Holder of the MSC Reliant, do you copy?”
There’s a burst of static, maybe a hollowed out voice who tires to reply. You try again.
“Repeat your last? Civilian carrier do you read?”
Another hissed transmission, half cut off and then –
“Bouncer 2-87 we need you do regroup with reamining forces at the following position.” A flash of new numbers glide over your central display. The ship swerves as the auto pilot registers the new co ordinates and begins to correct your course. You override it. There’s a brief pause as your decision to ignore the command becomes aparent. “Where are you going pilot?”
You realign, bringing the thrusters back on-line and leaning into the turn. The peddles under your boots ease downwards as you put pressure on them. The ship speeds up, heading away from the waypoint you’ve been given. There’s another broken transmission, but you hear a few words clear enough.
Lost, power, down, unknown-
You’re coming up on their position within minutes, your breath loud and fast in your ears. This is it, the final test.
And everyone’s watching you disobey your only order.