“Cassie.” Frank says carefully. “Micro jump.”
“Are you crazy, you want a jump while in system?” North exclaims.
“We are not in any system. There is only the planetoid and it is about 1/2 grav. We are close enough to get the exact position of everything. Cassie should be able to drop us out without hitting anything. A mico jump.”
“I am calculating now … should not be a problem.” Cassie says.
“Before you jump …” North starts but cuts off as he feels the jump. A moment later there is a sudden jolt that has everyone thrown against their chairs.
“Normal space, just outside the planetoid. The shuttle is in trouble.” Cassie reports. “Their systems are failing.”
Frank looking at his readings. “Cassie adjust trajectory to intercept the shuttle. We’ll nudge them back into clear space. Once we get them free so that fleet can get them, prep the shuttle for launch and open a channel to the carrier group.”
“Adjusting course to intercept. Comms open.” Cassie says as the ship flashes towards the floundering shuttle.
“Command carrier. This is the ERS Cassiopeia. We are here to assist.” Frank calls out.
“ERS Cassiopeia. This is the command carrier Dragonfly, this is a military operation and you are in violation of the MOA. Depart the area immediately.” Is the immediate response.
“Dragonfly, your shuttle is in trouble and we are going to assist.” Frank answers tersely. “Cassie, close connection.”
“Closed, and we are nearly to the shuttle, matching speed.”
“We’re getting hit with a lot of energy.” North adds. “Cassie increase power to the fields.”
“I am having some difficulty.” Cassie replies as the ship lurches.
“Get under the shuttle and we’ll push it out of this storm.” Frank hangs on as the ship lurches again.
“OUCH!” comes from the speakers as the ship lurches hard to one side.
“Cassie!” Frank calls out. “We’re getting slammed about, compensators to maximum.” He calls out.
“All ready at max.” North replies. “If we don’t get out of here soon, we may need rescuing. She is taking a beating.”
There is another lurch from the floor and then a thud. “Got them!” Cassie groans. “Heading for clear space, brother, are they heavy. Ugh! GO ON A DIET!” she yells as the ship lurches again.
“Nearly free.” North exclaims. “She’s doing it!”
There is one last lurch and then the shaking and shuddering stops. “We’re in free space. The shove on the shuttle is sending them higher. Let’s not do that again captain.” Cassie says.
“Sensor chief. I have perimeter breach at MOA boundary.” The tech calls out. “What the…”
The sensor chief comes over and looks at the displays. “What you got ensign?” He ask and then sees what the operator has on his station. “A jump point? Get a trajectory, quickly!”
“No need, the exit point is opening right here.” The tech says pointing over his shoulder as collision alarms start sounding.
“Jump port opening!”
“Heavy mass off the starboard bow.”
“Unknown energy, EMI off the charts!”
“Command carrier. This is the ERS Cassiopeia. We are here to assist.”
“SILENCE THOSE ALARMS!” the man in charge yells, and silence reigns on the bridge. “Comm, patch me into that ship.” The captain says as something about that ships voice is familiar.
“Patched in sir!”
“ERS Cassiopeia. This is the command carrier Dragonfly, this is a military operation and you are in violation of the MOA. Depart the area immediately.”
“Dragonfly, your shuttle is in trouble and we are going to assist.” The man says tersely. “Cassie, close the connection.”
“Closed.” Says a famine voice, and the connection goes quiet.
“Targeting can’t get a lock on that ship, but we got an optical lock, ready to fire.”
“Belay that!” the captain says. “I think I know that man. Recovery! Standby to get our shuttle back.”
“It’s beyond our reach.” The recovery chief says.
“Not for long.” The captain says, and then softly. “I hope.” And then he raises his voice. “Get me some specs on that ship. What are we looking at?”
“Tactical here. We got nothing in the databanks. It doesn’t match anything we have. We also cannot detect any means of propulsion and we can barely detect the craft itself. If it was farther out from us, I don’t think we could find it. As it is, we can barely get a read on its structure.”
“Not sure if it has any, but, I wouldn’t trust these readings. It has some sort of energy field around it.”
On the main screen of the command carrier the optical scanners keep the sleek ship centered.