I said, “Bandits at two o’clock low.”
On my display monitor, I could see nine enemy craft that had somehow survived the attack and managed to get off the ground flying away from the fleet base.
“Let’s go get them,” I added.
We followed the Deathbringers. The pursuit only lasted a few minutes. They noticed our fighters, did the math and turned around to meet us.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins, and my heart vibrated with anticipation. I’d been fangs out for a while.
Laser bolts bursting from all our cannons, we zoomed in and closed the distance. I caught a fighter in my targeting scope and fired. The enemy vessel vanished in a blinding explosion. I swung my golden Viper up and around in a sharp curve and found myself behind two Deathbringers. They flew away in different directions.
I had to make a split-second decision. I said, “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” and followed the one to my left. The gomer threw his space fighter all over the sky to shake me. I lined up my shot and squeezed the trigger. The Deathbringer disintegrated under my continuous fire.
The second Deathbringer was making a sharp curve, trying to get on my six. It lashed out at me with its cannons. Laser bolts streaked past my fighter. I released four Sparrows that made an almost 180 turn and went after it. The gomer twisted and turned and managed to avoid all four, but now I was on top of their fighter. The Deathbringer went on a twisting dive. I followed and kept firing. It erupted in angry red flames.
I throttled back, pumped a fist and thundered in my mike, “Are you not entertained!”
Caroline said in my ears, “First time I watch you in action. Gotta admit you’re a lot more badass than what I’d thought.”
I looked at my monitor to see what was going on with Liz and Keiko. What I saw made my eyes bulge and beads of sweat appear on my face.
On my nine o’clock high, Liz was hot on a Deathbringer’s tail, spitting a deadly stream of laser bolts at the bandit. She was so focused on her target she didn’t see another enemy vessel sneaking in right behind her.
I shouted, “You’ve got a bandit on your ass! Break right!”
Liz probably heard the urgency in my voice and immediately rolled right. The laser bolts fired by the Deathbringer on her six missed her by inches. I snapped my Viper’s nose into a hard-climbing turn and gave the gomer who had almost killed my wife all I’d got, laser cannons and missiles. I obliterated the Deathbringer and then shot a few more bolts into the wreckage to make sure.
I stayed motionless for a few seconds, allowing the relief to sink in. Liz broke to the left and gave chase to her original target. “You are welcome!” I said after her. No answer.
“I got four kills,” I announced.
With the tone of a teacher reproaching an overly enthusiastic student, Keiko said, “Jim, we are a team. This isn’t a competition,” and then she cheekily added, “At any rate, I got four too.”
Oh, for crying out loud!
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