Unknown assailants

"It worked" Jamie exclaimed. "I guess I better get started on the engines...."
"Make it quick" Jay said, looking at a scrolling message on his command screen that had just appeared. "We're getting a distress call from the Dwarf, and on just thrusters, it'll take us months to get there..."

Jamie got up and rushed to the engineering section of the ship, while Jay watched the marauders around them drifting by, momentum carrying them to who knew where.

"Can I add these to the tally?" Jay called just before Jamie left earshot.

"No, I pressed the button. They're mine." came the reply, followed by the sound of a door closing, ending the conversation.

Jay sighed and put his feet up on the console. "Would've beaten my ten-minute record..." he mused to himself as he counted all the disabled ships surrounding them.

Meanwhile, Jamie opened the door to the rearmost section of the starbug, and had to shield his face from the heat of the fire burning within. He closed the door again, and tapped on the nearby console. A few seconds later, a warning flashed up on the screen.

*atmosphere venting*

Jamie stood at the door tapping his feet, waiting for the 90-second cycle to complete, and when it did, he was forced into the door by acceleration.

"smeghead, little warning next time." he muttered, entering the command to repressurise the section, and turned to head back.

"There is no way you did that on purpose." Jamie said as he got back to the cockpit.

"That was fast." Jay said, noting that Jamie had only been gone two minutes and the engines were back up.

"Yeah, the engines were only out because they were on fire. I just vented atmosphere and repressurised. I'm a miracle worker and you're going to tell it like you planned it all along." Jamie complained, shaking his head. "Most people would have taken an hour fighting the fire all the way to the engines and found them melted to slag, but YOU GOT LUCKY!"

"We should have seen the 'Dwarf by now." Jay said, a sudden note of seriousness in his voice. The distress signal was less than 5km ahead of them, and a ship the size of the Blue Dwarf was normally as visible as a small moon.

"Could it be a trap?" Jamie said, picking up on his tone and spinning on his chair to check sensors. "I'm picking something up. Metallic, five metres long. One lifesign inside. Receiving an identifier..." he said, pausing to let the computer calculate.

"It's an escape pod... From the 'Dwarf." He said, looking up at Jay, his brow furrowed in concern. "Where's the ship?" He asked.

"Or the rest of the escape pods." Jay queried, "or debris. Can you tell who is in it?"

"Human, but I'm not getting a reply. We're going to have to dock with it."

A few minutes later...

Jay was stood at the airlock, a pistol held out in front of him, aimed squarely at the airlock door. Jamie opened it, standing aside to use the door as a shield, but as soon as it opened, Jay could see who it was.

"Jade?" He said, holstering the pistol and rushing into the pod. Shortly after they had Jade lying in one of the beds of the crew quarters onboard.

"She's unconscious, but scans aren't showing any major injuries. She'll probably be fine once she wakes up." Jay said, putting the scanner away. "We'll just have to wait; we don't have any medical systems onboard."

"And hope she knows what happened to the Blue Dwarf..." Jamie added. "Maybe those Marauders had something to do with it. We could always go back and see if we can find a working computer?"

Jay sighed. Perhaps he could have done something if they'd been closer...

"We should scan again before we do. There might be more escape pods out there." He said, stepping out of the room, back towards the front of the ship.

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