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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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Adrift

by Roi Czechvala


Battles in space aren’t the cool atmosphere bound dogfights of the twentieth century that are still depicted in movies. Battles in space are a matter of orbital mechanics, patience and stealth. Real fighters aren’t streamlined, sexy, sleek affairs. The are ugly little craft bristling with pointy things and energy damping Tesla generators to counter detection as well as retaliation. More than anything else, a fighter looks like a pissed off porcupine.

My last kill was simple enough. Her presence had been betrayed not by my sophisticated detection system, but by a glint of sunlight reflected to these low tek eye bulbs of mine. I dove straight towards the Allied fighter. As she turned to engage, I kicked over in a somersault, and let loose with a quick flash of laser fire to her cockpit, followed by a swift plasma burst to her engines.

Just like that, she was dead. If her atmosphere hadn’t already escaped, she was still adrift.

Dead either way.

“White One Bravo, this is White One Victor, Over.”

“Bravo here, Vic. What’s up?”

“Allied scout just off the northern shore. Threat eliminated. Sending grids now.”

“Keep your eyes open. I don’t have to tell you, if you see one…,”

“…there are a hundred you don’t see. Right. I’ll scout around. See you soon.”

Most of the pointy bits on a fighter are reaction thrusters. To make yourself a harder target to hit, you engage the thrusters in a random pattern. The effect is not unlike a stoned cat in room filled with parakeets.

Just as my craft began lurching like a Philipino prostitute when a ships in port, I heard something. Or rather sensed something.

“Shit.”

It’s impossible to feel motion inside a T shield, but I knew I was dead in space. My engines were cut. Why? Then I saw her. A new ship. One I’d never seen before, though I recognized it for what it was. A lethal matte black craft boldly flying the Allied insignia. She spun like a top as she sidled over to me. She looked me over before winking out.

“White One Bravo, This is White One Victor.” No answer. My comm was knocked out. I punched the comm over to record.

“To anyone who retrieves this message. They can counter our evasive pattern by duplicating it and apparently firing while shielded. Sort of like a flechette grenade. Watch out guys.” I switch off the comm.

Well, she missed my cockpit so I still have air, but she holed my engines and whacked my comms. I am adrift.

Dead either way.



2011-03-01 23:26:08
I liked it.

2011-03-01 16:32:42
Good one.

2011-03-01 11:31:30
Nice way of painting the scene. Also, good job of educating the audience about space warfare, without being preachy. It's tough to do in a Flash piece. MD


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