They were being chased! A small group of Rebels were blasting through space running from the military’s massive fleet. They had just stolen a war cruiser and were trying to get to their base without getting caught. Unfortunately, this would not be the case. The hyperdrive had been damaged in a fight and they were stranded out into space next to a glowing red sun. With their engines burning the last of their fuel trying to fight the gravity field of the sun, they were frantic for escape.
All the members of the crew were out of control. With every attempt to find a way out, they only found more things that their ship couldn’t do. And without an engineer down in the engine room, they were doomed nonetheless.
Jason Moore, a big, strong, sturdy man was at the captain’s chair dealing with the chaos on the bridge. “How close are they?” he asked to his first mate Simon, yelling over the commotion.
Simon looked back. Him and Jason had been friends for a long time. Long enough to where they could communicate with each other with a single look. Jason could tell exactly what he was saying. He stood up and walked over to his friend and put his hand on his shoulder. Jason gave Simon a similar look and nodded his head. Simon let out a smirk just as they looked back at the front screen and saw a giant warship blast out of light-speed.
The ship fell silent. Members of the crew were looking at the front screen in fear. There were ramblings about death and no escape.
“Everyone, quiet,” Jason said calmly with a hint of dread in his voice. The crew stopped mumbling. He turned his gaze to his friend and asked, “Could you see if we can talk to them?”
Simon brought up a hologram from his control panel and began trying to find a connection with the opposing ship.
“I only have audio, no visual,” he told Jason.
“Well let’s give it a shot,” he said as he pushed the transmission button. “This is Jason Moore. State your business here.” Nothing. No voice or anything to be heard came from the other ship. Growing uncomfortable, Jason spoke again, “What do you want? You want to kill us?” Still nothing. Jason became impatient, “Why don’t you stop playing this game with me and face me like a man.”
“What the hell are you doing?” Simon said shutting off the transmission system. “Look at the size of that thing. Stop provoking it!”
“I’m trying to get them to speak,” Jason argued.
“Well it’s going to get us killed,” Simon warned.
Jason looked around at the crew to find that they were staring back at him. He looked back at Simon’s work station and asked, “How much power do we have in our shields?”
Simon brought up a screen that showed power percentages. He looked back at Jason and said, “Not enough.”
“Turn them on and prep the lifeboats for departure,” Jason ordered.
Simon hit a button on the screen and the shields came to life. A blue tint around the ship flickered on just as the ship’s automated voice came on the intercom, “Warning. Ship’s shields are at five percent.”
Jason’s stomach turned. He stood up straight and removed his hand from Simon’s shoulder and looked at him angrily.
“I said we didn’t have enough.”
Jason exhaled heavily and leaned on the control panel so he could catch his breath.
“Okay,” he said to himself. He took a deep breath and looked up at his crew who were still staring at him. He stood up so he could address to them, “Alright everyone, when I give the signal, everyone run to the lifeboats and abandon ship.”
Just as he gave out his order, the intercom made a loud screeching noise and then suddenly fell silent. Then a voice sounded from the speakers and began to speak.
“This is your last chance Rebels,” it said using a voice scrambler. “Surrender immediately and you all will be imprisoned with a chance of parole after ten years time.”
“Ah ha! It speaks!” Jason yelled back at it pushing the button once more.
“Jason, I don’t think this is a good time for your personality to come out,” Simon said grabbing his arm and pulling it away from the button.
“Simon,” Jason looked back frustrated, “I am just as scared as you are right now. I’m using this ship as a distraction so we can escape. If they’re not focused on this thing, we are all royally screwed.”
The voice called again, this time with more intimidation and urgency, “What will it be? Death? Or imprisonment?”
“That’s your offer?” Jason said challenging his foe. “All of my men are ready to die for our cause, and you think you can buy us with the chance of life after several years in prison?” All of Jason’s crewmates looked at him. Some of them completely were willing to die, however, most of them weren’t ready. There were looks of fear, and remorse. It was then when Jason knew what he had to do. He took his finger off the transmission button so he could speak to his crew one last time. “I know all of you are scared. Believe me I’m scared too. Which is why I’ll give you a choice. Abandon ship now while you still have the chance. If no one stays then I will personally fight him or her off so you can get a way. If any of you stay, there is an even greater chance of others getting out of this alive. If no one stays, I don’t know how many I can save by my self. Jason put his finger on the button to transmission back on to find the voice frustrated and trying to get their attention.
“Sorry about that you cut out for a second there,” Jason mocked.
“You little shit, if you do that to me again I’ll blow you out of your own ship!” the voice threatened.
Jason nodded to those who wanted to leave. All of the crewmates exited the bridge fleeing to the lifeboats. Those who stayed were just the Simon, and Aaron the gunman. Jason leaned closer toward the microphone and said, “Well looks like you win. I give up. Go on and take me in.” He removed his hand from the control panel entirely and stood up straight.
“Jason, first of the lifeboats are away,” Simon said seeing the first of them launching out of the ship. Immediately following, the automated warning sounded through the intercoms.
“Warning! Enemy fire imminent!”
Aaron turned to his control panel and brought up the weapons screen on a hologram and targeted the opposing ship. He didn’t even wait for Jason’s order before he started firing. Jason leaped for one of the vacant control panels to put up his own weapons screen and began firing.
Jason’s ship began firing red plasma blasts from the Ion Cannons from the hull. The plasma bolts found their way to the enemy ship as they began to get hit from enemy fire.
“The shields are gone!” Simon yelled out as the emergency alarm sounded.
“Turn the ship on its side! Use the hull to shield them!” Jason yelled back.
Simon whipped the steering wheel out from under the control panel and banked a hard right. The ship began rotating using the absolute last of the fuel. With the last of the fuel gone, the ship began drifting towards the sun and stopped being able to shield the lifeboats. Jason and Aaron maneuvered their lasers in an attempt to stop rockets from finding their way to lifeboats. They fired rockets back aiming for the enemy’s plasma blasts. They couldn’t keep up, and Jason knew it.
Simon pulled up full view on the front monitor of the bridge. The enemy ship was firing rockets faster than they could stop. He looked at his personal monitor and saw lifeboats losing signs of life. He yelled back at Jason, “We’re losing lifeboats!”
Jason left his monitor to look at what Simon was seeing. There was one thing to do.
“I have an idea,” he said looking at Simon. “It involves explosions.”
“Explosions of the giant magnitude kind?” Simon asked with a grin.
“The very same,” Jason answered. “Why don’t you hit that there self-destruct button?”
“How much time should I give it?”
“Two minutes. That should give you and Aaron enough time to run for the lifeboats.”
“But Jason, you’re not that fast.”
“Not to the boats. I could still make it to the pods though.”
“You’ll never make it.”
“Hey, it’s me we’re talking about,” Jason said with a smile.
Simon turned his head and looked at the red self-destruct button glaring at him to the far right of the control panel. He slammed his hand on it and set the timer to two minutes. He leaped out of his seat and gave Jason the biggest bear hug he had ever given anyone. “See you at the base,” he said just before he sped away with Aaron at a greater speed that no normal human was capable of.
Jason ran in the same direction knowing that at the end of the hall if he took a left instead of a right the life-pods would be waiting for him. The problem was, he didn’t have enough time to get there. The ship’s automated warning system sounded over the intercom once again and said, “Thirty seconds until self-destruct.”
Once the warning system shut off, Jason saw the life-pods. He ran towards his liberation as fast as he could. Unfortunately, he was nowhere near as fast as Simon or Aaron. With only ten seconds left on the clock, Jason flung himself toward the middle life-pod and slammed into it’s back wall nearly knocking it off of its hinges.
He instantly closed the blast door and pushed the eject button with only three seconds left on the clock. The pod launched itself upward just as the ship’s core began to combust. Jason pushed another button on the wall beside him. Immediately a slimy liquid began filling every inch of the life-pod. Starting at his feet, it rose quickly until it reached his neck. He took a deep breath before it consumed him. Once the liquid had filled the entire space, it dried up, and then began retracting itself until it formed a space suit around Jason’s body. Jason exhaled feeling satisfied. There was just one thing he had forgotten.
The ship had exploded sending debris in every direction. Without the sound of the explosion as a warning, Jason had been caught completely off guard. Thinking he was free, he leaned back, wishing there was room for him to sit.
It was as if it had come out of nowhere. Debris came from under the life-pod and ripped the blast door clean off sucking Jason out into space. His body slammed into a chunk of the ship and rolled under as it passed by.
Unconscious he floated in space reminiscing of home. The enemy warship jumped into light speed and left what ever was left to die stranded in space.
Not quite dead, Jason’s body slowly floated toward the red sun. The gravity of the sun had him in its grasp and eventually would make him apart of it self.