The Trackers Break


(Citizen Star News/1STANCESTOR) - 2014-07-02



So, this one time, some S.O.B. sends me and some buddies on a job and claims it will be easy money. Just provide backup for his crew while they steal some stuff, he said.

The bastard fails to mention the possible presence of a particular force operating in the system we were supposed to go to.

On a whim, I called in some extra help before the fight, but it’s not like that would have mattered anyway.

Minutes before contact was made, everything was quiet. I had no real worries. Sixteen cutthroat fighters is enough for almost anything, right? I thought so anyway.

All of a sudden, two signals show up on my radar, headed our way. I told the boys to get ready.

The two ships were identified to be two Tracker Hornets. They moved straight for our attack group in a slow and deliberate pace. Not too fast, not too slow. Almost nonchalant.

I thought, “they must see us, right?”

They kept moving closer, then at 2500 meters, they each sent a short burst of lead our way. No hits.

It was just then that I finally got a feeling that something just wasn’t right about this. But, before I could utter the command to engage…

The Trackers break.

The pair pull away from the zone in a sudden but casual manner. Perfectly synchronized.

My heart hit the floor and my head followed, staring at it right there on the cockpit floor of my Hornet. I realized I had just made the biggest mistake of my damned life. I now knew who we were about to engage with.

I looked up just in time to see the afterburners of the Trackers disappear into the blackness of space.

I grab the flight stick and I yank it as hard as I can, pulling the Hornet upward.

"Behind us," I scream without even looking back there in the first place.

We spent so much precious time watching the Trackers that we forgot about watching our backs. And in this particular situation, fighting who we were fighting, this was even more troubling when compared to fighting your average joes.

In seconds, three previously undetected Ghosts had caught us with our pants down. They wiped out five of us from behind before we could even turnabout.

When we did finally manage to turn into our attackers and engage, two more ships, Super Hornets thundered into the fray so fast, I swear I almost cried out for my mother.

The Super Hornets brought the rain, ballistic ammo was knocking down shields left and right. Ghosts were swinging and jabbing at us through the dark, our naked hulls could not take much more punishment.

It was time to fight for real. It was our remaining eleven ships against their five. But, there was no fight. Not a real one, anyway.

The enemy danced. They were tight and they were loose. They dictated the entire battle. They wiped us out. All my buddies.

I was the last ship. A busted husk of a ship anyway. Port wing gone. Engine missing. Eject system destroyed. I was done.

I sat there waiting to be blown away as a Tracker circled me. I hadn’t even noticed that they had returned to the battle ground. Skilled bastards they were.

The Tracker got in close enough for the pilot to peer into my cockpit, looking right into my eyes through a black visor. I knew he looked me right in the eyes because I could feel it. I stared back out at him.

I was pissed and wanted to retaliate. I wanted to fight. But at the same time, I was hoping that he’d just leave and spare me. I was so shaken, I didn’t really know what I wanted.

Just then, I happen to look and see the Ghosts and the two Super Hornets making egress. The Tracker is the last to leave, flying right overhead, close enough to shake my crippled fighter.

I watch them the whole time as they nonchalantly exit the zone, attitude and all, disappearing back into the darkness.

I was alone where no one would see me, in a place where I shouldn’t have been in the first place, doing a job that’s not even legal. I was going to die out there. The fault was my own.

Right when I was about to give up, a rescue comes and picks me up. How’d they know I was out there? I figure the guys that kicked my ass must have sent them. An act of mercy I’m sure. Whatever the reason, when I finally got back safely to civilization, I figured it was time for a serious life change.

Easy money and ego be damned! I’m not gonna tango with THOSE guys ever again.


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