Bolthole Aces is set in the HFY Jenkinsverse as created by Hambone and others, initially on 4chan and Reddit. While Deathworlders, Salvage, Humans don’t Make Good Pets, Origins, and Good Training are not required reading to enjoy Bolthole Aces, I highly recommend reading them for the enjoyment alone as well as how they inform some of the more subtle parts of this story.
Thank you to everyone who’s supported me and especially to those of you who read and enjoy my work. Telling stories is a passion that I am so very excited to share with all of you.
I’m always happy to hear feedback or comments, and I hope you enjoy!
Goruu watched the oblong probe eject out of the launching tube as it started tumbling end over end through space. He’d been watching for it but that didn’t make it any easier a target. Clearly Amyni had been watching for it too as she shouted over the com, “Another interdiction spike launched!”
“On it!” Goruu threw his fighter into a sudden dive relative to his previous vector. The heavy ‘ka-thiss-ka-thiss’ of the thrusters responded to his control smoothly and kept him from overshooting his target. Unfortunately, the heavy break from his previous trajectory brought him right in line with the approaching vectors of the two remaining enemy fighters and pointing virtually head on in a game of insanity chicken with the lead enemy cruiser. But it did get him a clean shot; he took it.
Both of his Mag-Bolt rails fired in rapid succession, their electromagnetically propelled rounds tracing a staccato perforation straight through the rugby ball sized probe. He’d gotten it just before it could online and extend the area of hyperspace interdiction further ahead of the Clawbreaker and it’s crippled ward, thus giving them a chance at escape. The success earned him a shot up his own flank for the trouble though as the other fighters closed from behind. His multi layered shielding held; barely.
Amyni’s voice hinted at hope. “The other cruisers are too far back and he’ll have to reload the ejector. I think we can make it! Get back to the ‘Breaker.”
“Can’t, too far.” Goruu had known that truth from the moment that he’d turned to engage the remaining fighters. “Get yourself safe, somewhere outside of Gaoian space, GO!”
“But those fighters!” Amyni’s voice had taken on almost a pleading quality by now. “Goruu!” He wanted to tell her it would be ok, that he was doing his job and this was the only path left; the true path. He settled in to make one final heavy burn as he squared the lead cruiser up dead center on the nose of his craft. It was getting very large in his view. What was there left to say, or do for that matter. Suddenly a memory struck him and he grinned..
“I’ll just hit the brakes and they’ll fly right by.”
“Brakes!? What does that even… You’re in SPACE! There are no brakes! Goruu!”
He didn’t have time to explain. As his grin grew feral, Goruu made one final calculation of his trajectory and those of the trailing ships, aligned himself just past the cruiser, then fired his boosters for one final kick.
Without inertial compensation, the maneuver would have been suicide. With it, it was merely very, very stupid. With boosters roaring, he bore down on the partially blinded cruiser. His radar profile was so obvious as to be the virtual equivalent of a striptease for the enemy gunners and Goruu experienced just a brief moment of hesitation; he was playing a hunch and his last few hunches hadn’t gone so well.
But the moment passed and his time was up. “Let’s Solo these pricks.” Just as the cruiser’s tractors clawed out for him, and milliseconds before they could take hold, Goruu hit the exact point of distance he needed and punched the execute on his hastily calculated macro. His engines cut as he launched every missile he had. The trailing fighters fired their railguns. The cruiser’s tractor ray snatched at him and for the briefest of moments it took hold, throwing Goruu into a G-force yank not even the compensators could fully handle. Goruu held consciousness just long enough to register the screaming alarm of incoming fire as the enemy’s rails finally struck home. Goruu and his fighter disappeared from scanners amid a massive fireball.