Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Escape

And now for our thrilling conclusion

Tee’s diagnostic system quickly repaired the short circuits. He tottered over to his supine friend and began to administer first aid. Rugen’s eyes opened and he spoke: “What happened?”

The princess responded. “Your friend’s last shot knocked out the restraint controls, freeing me to strike down that vermin.”

At that moment, there was a loud pop and smoke issued from the control panel. Alarms went off and more explosions echoed from other parts of the Temple.

“Looks like my shot has shorted the power grid. This whole Temple is going to blow. Let’s get out of here.”

Tee picked up Rugen; he and the princess began to run. Smoldering fires and sizzling conduits filled the hallways with acrid smoke. Occasionally, another explosion pierced the air. Confused guards, panicked worshipers, and freed prisoners fled toward the exits, followed by the trio. They made it without incident out of the temple, through the jungle, and back to their ship. Tee place Rugen in the pilot's chair. 

"Can you fly her?"

"I think so," Rugen responded weakly. He engaged controls and they were off. As they sped through the atmosphere, a flash of light blossomed from the surface as the Temple's power grid exploded.

When their ship reached space, Rugen looked to Tee saying, "OK, Tee. Get us out of here." Tee began making the calculations for the jump into hyperwarp.

"Hmmm. Looks like we have a computer malfunction. I'll have to make repairs."

"Make it quick! We have company!"

Two Imperial scouts were vectoring towards the Templar runabout. Rugen turned the nose of his craft and increased speed. The scouts began firing their lasers, but Rugen was able to evade their wild shots. Tee continued working on the navigation computer. Rugen engaged the automated laser turret, honed in on one of the scouts, and fired. The beam struck the enemy, rupturing the engine. The enemy ship was dead in space.

More laser shots. One struck the runabout. A shower of sparks erupted from the controls. Suddenly, their grav system shorted out. Rugen and Tee were strapped into their command seats, but the princess, standing behind them, suddenly flew up into the ceiling, bumping her head. Rugen returned fire. The enemy erupted in a burst of flame.

"Whew. We're free. How's the computer coming?"

Before Tee could respond, laser fire licked the runabout's hull.

"Another one! Long range but coming fast."

"The computer's fixed." stated Tee.

The enemy scout closed the range while blasting away with its lasers. Rugen returned fire; his shots hit the scout but did no serious damage. The enemy was more accurate, however. Laser fire scorched the Templar ship's hull; computer circuits began to pop.

"Computer's down."

"Holy Temple! Get it working!" Rugen shouted to his partner. He then muttered to himself, "Let's see if I can shake this heretic." Rugen fiddled with his controls and pushed forward on the throttle. The engines whined but the runabout began to outpace the scout. Laser fire flashed harmlessly past the ship. Then the ship rocked, and Rugen felt like he had been thrown back into his seat.

The runabout jumped into hyperwarp, and they were away.

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