Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Narrow Escape

It was the dead of night, at least according to the official New Eden time. Tired after a long day of work, Kayleigh finally made the last jump into the solar system that was her destination, following on coordinates she'd picked up just the night before from some drones that had escaped her fire.

While still cloaked at the gate she checked her intruments: all systems go, drone bays full and ready to deploy, coordinates loaded... She sighed and warped the Ishtar hull.

As soon as she came out of warp the adrenaline kicked in: she'd landed right in the middle of a swarm of little drones, which usually meant trouble, and they had bigger friends right beside them. Immediately she willed the ship to turn and burn toward an exit point; as it aligned she heard the lock alarm, and in the same second released a flight of drones.

The missiles hit her hard, nearly wiping all shields in the small ship on the first volley. She heard her own guns fire, having aquired target - funny, she didn't remember turning those on. The hum of her engines went down in pitch: webbed. Shitshitshit! Then a soft beep indicated one of them was jamming her warp drive. Oh, nonono!

With heart hammering in her chest, she overloaded everything: guns, engine, web, armour rep. She had to kill that jamming drone and do it now! Her armour was gone, then back one-third, then gone again and bleeding heavily into hull, then back one-quarter...

Come on, come on!! Kill the little bastard already! she willed at her drones, her wide grey eyes glued to the stargate dead ahead of her but oh so unattainable. Half hull. Stay with me Verdigris, don't you die on me, damn you. Thirty percent hull. She put all her willpower into getting the ship to warp, but kept getting again and again the error message. She shut her eyes and yelled within her mind, finally realising she was going to lose her beloved ship.


"Warp Drive Active" - Aura's cool, mechanic voice.

Sonic boom.

Shaking like a leaf she opened her eyes just in time to see the display go up to one-third armour. Everything else was very, very red. Unbelieving she looked up hull integrity. 8%. If anyone even sneezed, the Verdigris would disintegrate.

Not that there were probably many left to sneeze. At 8% structural integrity surely most of the inner compartments would have been exposed to space, to explosions... She wondered if she had any crew left at all. It had all happened so fast!

If her drones hadn't been tech 2, if her ammo hadn't been nicer than norm, if she hadn't overloaded so much that every single module was now showing damage in the reports she was getting, the Verdigris would be no more.

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