Enjoy The Fireworks

He had just finished another pass, but more were coming. "We need more support out here!"

Another hard turn and another pass. Others were doing their best, but sometimes even your best didn't seem enough. This was one such occasion. Joss didn't want to fail. Somewhere...out there, he sensed his father's presence and Joss wanted to do him proud.

"Left! Bank left! No! Right! Right! Wait! Leeeefffttt!!!" Tanaka's high pitched voice squealed from Joss's pocket.

"Let me drive!" Joss said as he dodged an incoming meteor, did a 180 degree turn, and blasted it to smithereens.

"Ranger Four to Ranger One, do you read?" A voice sounded from the radio.

"This is Joss, go Ranger Four."

"Joss? What are you doing out here? You were rotated out!"

"Tanaka experienced some... technical difficulties... I took his place."

"Whatever, look, it looks like there's a high concentration of meteors up ahead, we need to clear a path for the ship."

"How many fighters do we have?" Joss asked.

"Thirteen, the rest are in the repair bay." Ranger Four replied.

"That's not enough to punch through the cluster," Tanaka chimed in.

"We need a plan," Ranger Four said.

"I'm thinking..." Joss's brow furrowed. He thought of his father. What would he have done? He looked out at the numerous meteors and something came to mind. "Is anyone else having trouble reading their instruments?"

"I have," Ranger Four replies, "I think the asteroids in this field have magnetic materials."

"No, no common occurring material could mess with our systems like this. You'd need a strong magnetic field." Tanaka said.

"What if it isn't common?" Joss asked. "What if it's neodymium?"

"That doesn't make sense," Ranger Four said.

"No, think about it," Joss started, "Neodymium is a powerful rare earth magnet. One of the most powerful there is. That could explain why these things are drawn to the ship, they're being pulled into it."

"How does that help us?" Ranger Four asked.

"Neodymium is highly combustible," Joss continued, "All these meteors have been blowing up pretty nicely, but if we could get them close enough to cause a massive chain reaction..."

"I don't think that'll work," Tanaka said, "The Dwarf is the largest hunk of metal for lightyears, and we can't just bring these meteors in close and blow them up without damaging the ship."

"There's got to be some way we can use this to our advantage," Ranger Four said.

Joss's eyes widened, "We do a fuel dump! We dump our fuel tanks into the cluster and light it."

"Are you nuts?" Ranger Four exclaimed, "How do we get back to the ship without fuel?"

"Run on the reserve tank," Tanaka said, "That's kinda what they're there for, after all."

"Are we all in agreement?" Joss asked, "This the plan we're going for?"

There was a brief moment of silence, but eventually all the fighters agreed.

"Okay then," Joss engaged his retrothrusters and prepared the fuel tanks to dump, "Hold on, Tanaka, this is gonna get wild!"

"How? I don't have any smegging arms!"

"Let's kick us some ass!" Joss shouted as he started to weave through the cluster of meteors, he engaged the fuel dump.

At the same time the other fighters did the same, weaving through the asteroids while dumping their fuel. Soon, large trails of highly flammable super-sci-fi spaceship fuel wound around the asteroids.

"Everybody clear the cluster," Ranger Four said.

The fighters made their way back to the Dwarf while Joss's fighter turned to face the cluster. With a grin, he selected his laser cannon and opened fire.

Tendrils of fire engulfed the field, when they caught an asteroid a bright explosion ensued. When the first meteor went up, the ones around it followed suit. Soon, the Dwarf was bathed in a bright orange light as the explosions went off exponentially.

"Smeg," Tanaka said in awe, "That was one hell of a fireworks show. Now... could you please go back to the Dwarf and get me to the science deck so someone can fix me?"

Joss chuckled, "No problem buddy."

Joss turned the fighter and made his way back to the ship. Once he landed and stepped onto the floor of the landing bay he spied a coupon for a free, lifetime's supply of drinks at Parrot's Bar. He smiled and snatched it up.

"Must be my lucky day!" he beamed while the other pilots gave him thumbs up. He looked up, not up at the ceiling but instead, beyond it and smiled. "Thanks, dad."

<Okay, so the ship is more or less out of immediate danger from the cluster of asteroids. Though that karma field's still up to its tricks. If Talon wants, he can dump Tanaka in the science bay. Then he can head off to Parrot's for a well deserved round of victory drinks, head back out to make sure no more asteroids hit the ship, or whatever he wants to do.>

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