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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest · #2199145
Contest Entry
         Amidst a field of fallen ships, a lone jet fighter resembling an F-16 drifts through space. Although made from technology of the lost planet, the re-modeled fighter is loaded with high-tech weaponry. The particle beam cannon and various cylindrical devices beneath the wings gives the pilot enough power to destroy an armada. In space, maneuverability is near impossible due to the vacuum, therefore, battles depend solely on speed. For this sake, jets have four exhaust nozzles that handle the fusion reactor which powers the engines.

         Inside, a middle-age male reclines in a cockpit filled with a protoplasmic soup designed to oxygenate lungs, control body temperature and reduce g force on his torso. His sullen eyes gaze up at the bright beige ringed planet through an thick clear glass that separates him from certain death. Several clear surgically implanted tubes protrude from his leather uniform and pierce his body. Due to the damaging radiation in space, blood is pumped and carried through the tubes and filtered through the ship's storage compartment. The storage unit fills the blood with serum and biodegradable antibodies to ward off any side-effects.

         Staring up at Saturn, the man waits for his enemies to arrive.

         “Status Report,” the man says.

         “Yes,” the female computerized voice speaks. “Shields at 40 percent. Power output at 76 percent. Radiation levels nominal. Warning! Drifting too close to Renevene will result in system failure. Please re-adjust course.”

         “I know,” the man says with a long sigh while grabbing the control stick and pulling it towards him. As the fighter slowly turns away from the planet, he pulls the leaver to re-adjust the front seat.

         The jet’s exhaust bursts into colorful flames propelling the vessel further away from the planet.

         “Message from command to Captain Parker,” the computerized voice says, "Due to the defeat at Aqualasia, orders are to evacuate the planet system."

         “Evacuate the planet system?!” The man yells at the HUB. "Why?! We have enough power to regroup and fight back! Who made that call?"

         “Orders are from Admiral Braxton.” The computer replies.

         “Admiral Braxton?!” He says, “What happened to Admiral Toney?”

         “Admiral Toney’s ship Centauri 7 was destroyed along with her crew in their escape. Admiral Braxton has assumed command of the fleet.”

         The man’s heart sinks to his stomach when he hears the news. His tears float from his face and disappear into the breathable liquid.

         “Dad’s….gone…?” He asks and lowers his head.

         War with the unknown race took everything from him: his planet, wife and children, and now, his guide in this hell hole planet system.

         Then, a red flashing beep on his radar lights up the cockpit.

         “Warning! Enemy vessels approaching”

          Multiple lights shine in the black expanse as red mechanical creatures emerge from the bright portals. Their appearance seemed aquatic-like with mechanical ships resembling whales and sharks of various sizes equipped with enough cannons to wipe out a planet.

         However, their presence didn’t break the man’s depression. His head stays glaring down at his lap as they approach.

         “So you’ve finally done it.” The Captain says. “You managed to take everything from us.”

         He raises his head looking at the red flickering lights on the bio-mechanical creatures teary-eyed.

         “Why?!” He asks sobbing. “Why are you doing this to us? You just show up to our planet and raze it for no reason. Are we a plague?”

         Then a red glow appears on the antenna of a whale-like ship as it zeros in on the jet fighter.

         “I won’t let you.” He said clenching the control stick. “I’m not going to let you kill us without telling me why.”

         “If you won’t tell me….” He says as he grips the lever at the side of his seat.


         The man pulls the leaver and the exhaust nozzles erupt into eye-blinding flames launching the spacecraft towards the enemy. His back slams into his seat as the cockpit vibrates.

         The whale unleashes a red beam from is antennae and barley misses its mark as the jet zooms straight towards it.

         Captain Parker presses the red button on his control stick and blue individual lasers erupt from the cylinder devices under its wing. Multiple pillars of flames explode from the whales back as the bolts collide and the jet shoots past it. Then all of the smaller ships fire red lasers towards it as it tries to escape. A bolt slams into the ship's shields rattling the cockpit.

         “Ugh!” The man says as he looks behind him. He sees two stingray shaped ships tailing him firing red lasers.

         “Time for some moon riding.” The man says.

         Due to the vacuum, it is impossible to maneuver properly in space. However, one could use the gravity of near-by satellites to sling-shot their way through a dog-fight. This technique is known as moon riding.

         The jet speeds towards Methone circles around and catapults towards the tailing sting-rays. The man fires his blue lasers and they hit their mark. The creatures explode into scrap-metal and the jet flies on towards the next moon.

         As he approaches Pallene, it explodes into tiny rocks from a moon blasting shell. The ensuing shockwave knocks the jet off its intended course and spins out of control towards Saturn.

         “Warning Warning! Approaching Renevene’s Gravitational threshold.” The computer says as the man’s muscles tighten to its limits.

         Clenching his teeth, he pulls hard on the control stick trying to regain control as his brain spins around in his head.

         “Divert all power to thrusters! Now!” He shouts.


         Then the exhausts erupt in brighter flames stretching far behind the ship. The ship stabilizes as it shoots across Saturn’s face and plows through the dusty rings. The man’s back is pinned to the chair as the cockpit violently shakes. He could hear the ships groaning parts as Saturn’s gravity pulls on them.

         Avoiding certain death, the man steers his ship away from the planet and back into the fight. This time, he focuses on the biggest ship. The command ship. The whale.

         He glares at the expansive ship as it unleashes multiple red lasers and beams towards his direction.

         “Divert all power to the shields,” Parker says. “On my mark, I want to you to divert all power to the particle cannon.”


         Lasers bounce off a faint blue shield as the jet cruise towards the mechanical beast. As the man waits, he sees a gate open up beneath the behemoth ship and dozens of mines fall from it. As the mines drift near the approaching ship, they explode into bright balls of fire. Shockwaves from the blast rattle the cockpit enough to send cracks through the looking glass.

         “Warning! Shields cannot deflect shockwaves. Sustained impacts will rupture the hull.”

         C’mon C’ mon he mumbles as more shockwaves tear through the ship’s hull. Spider-like cracks grow on the glass but he waits, unfazed, for the right moment.

         “Rupture Imminent.” The voice board says.

         “Now!” The pilot shouts.


         The man presses the red button on the control stick and a thick blue beam erupts from a cylinder just underneath the nose of the ship and pierces the command ship. The beam erupts from the other end of the mechanical whale causing various explosions around the large ship.

         The whale explodes in a bright ball of fire expelling debris in all direction.

         “YEAH!”He shouts banging his fist on his leg.

         The ensuing shockwave shatters the window in tiny pieces and the protoplasm expels into the vacuum exposing him to the dangerous elements. He feels his lungs burning as air escapes with his heart pounding his chest. He bangs on the emergency button on the side and another window closes him in again. Still gasping for air, he pulls a handle above him and more protoplasm pours into the cockpit until it fills.

         "The rest should retreat now." The Captain says sitting back in his recliner.

         However, as he watch the wreckage, something catches his eye.

         On a piece of metal drifting past his cockpit, he sees the letters UERF imprinted on it with the words beneath it saying…

         United Earth Recovery Force.

         “What’s… Earth?”
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