Going Down with the Ship (Image from Era: The Consortium – A New Dawn)

“The stabilizers have gone out. Watch yourself!” Tristra shouted to Anitiri as the Ximian tumbled through the level 12 elevator doors. The world tipped and reeled. Heavy metal canisters broke away from their braces and shot across the open floor to crash against the ship’s deck and burst into flames. Smoke billowed and choked the air.

“I thought you said getting out would be the easy part. Catch!” Anitiri threw her heavy pistol to Tristra then launched herself across the open docking bay. There was only one ship in this hangar, a carefully concealed getaway vehicle which lurched across the floor with each failure of the Smertios gun ship’s control systems.

Their escape pod slid across the bare floor in a screech and groan of metal as the larger Smertios vessel lost control again. An overhead voice announced continuing system wide failures as red and yellow lights flashed emergency warnings across the ship.

The world skidded sideways. Tristra leaped to avoid pieces of a mechanical arm that had come loose and were bouncing around the bay. Anitiri took a hit to the stomach with a pipe. Any other race and that would have crushed vital bones and organs but Anitiri only stumbled to one knee and kept moving.

A technician’s access door from the side of the hangar slid open and seven Smertios Security soldiers rushed into the hangar. Anitiri gave Tristra a frustrated look.

“Maybe they’re just here to say goodbye?” Tristra called out over the sound of another exploding barrel. The shifting ship took three of the soldiers off their feet immediately and they slid into a pile at the farthest end of the bay. The rest fired on the rebels as Tristra and Anitiri neared their escape pod.

One of the soldiers leaped over a stack of tools, firing his weapon and slinging curses at Anitiri. Two more tried to surround Tristra, their aim swinging wild with the pitch and tilt of the ship. Their shots missed by an uncomfortably close margin. Another jolt from the gunship and the pod slid towards the rebels, escape was now so much closer.

Anitiri crouched as a soldier took aim in front of her. She put two fingers to her head and concentrated her psychic power on the soldier. His body dropped like a falling stone and she leaped over it, one hand swinging her up and into the escape vehicle.

Tristra fired a shot at another soldier as she used her own Psychic ability to crush the nearest Smertios guard. They both fell back and cleared the way to the pod. In quick succession, Tristra had herself inside the vehicle and the navigation system firing up. She paused to watch Anitiri ignite the main engines.

“I think you were right,” Tristra said with a grin. “We should have waited until we were off the ship to blow the explosives in engineering.”

Ship-wide disaster

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