Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)
By Lindsey Conrad
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Cyprin deployed the flares, causing the bots to cease their pursuit and eagerly drink the toxic, nitrogen powdered fuel.
The bots exploded causing their ship to propel forward, the ricochet starboard. Caratan gripped her seat as the shear force was near enough to rip her from her safety belt. “Cyprin, what’s going on?”
“We have got Driak air-force coming up on our flank, ma’am.”
Caratan twirled her ring around her finger as Cyprin jerked the ship upward to avoid a light-ray aimed at them. We have to shake them quickly. She knew that there was only one way to get rid of the best pilots in the galaxy, but she hated to order Cyprin to risk it. “Cyprin, when you reach the edge of town I need you to turn on the secondary engine.”
“But ma’am, at that speed it is much too difficult to navigate! I cannot possibly perceive every obstacle…”
“Cyprin, you know this area better than anyone. You have taken me out countless times, just trust your instincts.”
He was silent for a moment, “Yes ma’am”
Cyprin swerved again to avoid a tall building then jerked to the right avoiding ammunition from a Driak fighter. He reached the outer walls of the city then extended his hand, holding it suspended above the lever for the secondary engine boost. He closed his eyes, centering his focus, then pulled the lever. The opposite elements fused together combining oxygen and nitrogen’s opposite, flenal, to propel the ship forward. Cyprin quickly tested his memory thinking through potential barriers based on their coordinates. A town due north, woods to the west. He veered to the east causing the ship to nearly spin upside down as it attempted to follow his command. He then turned the ship back to the north endeavoring to curve at a slower pace. Yet the ship still whipped up on its side, struggling to follow his commands.
“Alright Cyprin, let’s get out of here.”
The ship tilted upwards and began climbing out of the atmosphere. Colors in the window changed from a sea green to deep blue and finally to the blackness of space. Cyprin turned on the ship’s tracking device to detect any ships surrounding them. Caratan stretched her neck to view the computer screen and felt a sinking feeling as warnings flashed in every corner of Driak air-force jets. Cyrpin quickly began steering the ship around as many of the danger zones as he could, swerving around the enemy ships that appeared as nothing but a blur.
A flash appeared on the screen blinking red for a Driak ship dead ahead. Cyprin whipped to the left only to face yet another ship. “Look out!” Caratan screamed, as he twisted the wheel then dove downwards to avoid crashing. The ship swerved to the right as one of the other fighter jets sent a volley of shots toward them. Cryprin sent the ship into a spiral then spun upside down and reversed directions. Warnings illuminated the screen just as enemy ammunition penetrated the ships body. The ship shook fervently as Cyprin tried to steady its course. Caratan frantically search the perimeter, trying to find a small gap in the enemy lines for them to slip through. “There! Turn right!” Crypin struggled against the failing ship, but saw where she indicated. In a moments time they sailed through the gap, and where greeted by the calming reprieve of the endless expanse of space.
The relief only lasted a moment as the ship cut sharply to the left, with Cyprin fighting to pull the ship back to its course. “How bad is it?”
Cyprin inspected the gages then answered, “We are leaking fuel and the damage is beyond repair. We need to choose a port, fast.”
“I don’t know where we can go. The Driaks will certainly flag us as fugitives.”
“Well, this ship isn’t going to hold out forever. We have to find a safe place to land.”
Caratan spun her ring again contemplated the next course of action. We don’t have the food or gear to hide. We need help. She knew that she had only one option, she just prayed that it was still open. “We will have to contact the Qüeet-knights. I just hope that they are still willing to provide us protection.”
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