Here's a nice big update for you guys
There isnt much more after this, so be ready for the conclusion which, like Brannigan's love, comes fast and hard.
Thanks to my ... oh my god, I have fans!!! Anywho, thanks guys for sticking in there while I write this thing!
“Eight thousand one hundred ninety two bottles of Slurm on the wall, Eight thousand one hundred ninety two bottles of Slurm! Take one down, pass it around, Eight thousand one hundred ninety one bottles of Slurm on the wall!” Fry sang to himself to pass the time. A young main sequence star, accompanied by a light sprinkling of planets, floated into the delivery boy’s field of view, and a light blinked on the console ahead of him. The ship’s computer informed Fry that the particle trail he had been following intersected the planet.. The red head had found his destination.
Fry pushed the throttle forward as far as it would go. A tiny green dot in the ship’s path blossomed into a disk until it filled the entire view port. Fry put his ship into orbit and checked the particle detector. The trail ended in low orbit. “Well that doesn’t make sense.”, thought the redhead. “How could the trail just stop like that?” As if on cue, the answer appeared from beyond the planet’s limb.
Ivan stood on the bridge of his flagship, the Drakos, and admired the view of the planet below. He had always particularly liked this world, Gillegyn 5, for reasons he didn’t quite understand. As often happened, the scarred man’s reverie was interrupted as soon as it began. One of the bridge officers scurried over to his side, urgency plastered all over her face.
“Sir?”, asked the woman nervously.
Ivan gave her an irritated look. He had been thinking deeply and was not in the mood for interruptions. Not that he ever really was of course. “This woman had better have a good reason for bothering me, for her sake”, he thought to himself.
“What is it Lieutenant Carter?”
“Sir, we’ve detected a ship orbiting the planet with us. The identification signal lists it as one of ours.”
“Alright, thank you lieutenant.” Ivan dismissed her with a half-hearted salute.
“Yes sir, but sir, something doesn’t seem right, if you don’t mind my saying so. We weren’t expecting any ships to meet us here, and according to the identification signal… Well sir, the incoming ship’s has been identified as your personal space fighter.”
That got Ivan’s attention. He turned to face the officer on watch. “Lieutenant commander Michaels, scan the incoming ship for weapons charge please.”
“Yes sir.” Michaels pressed some buttons on his console. His eyes grew wide. “Captain! I’m detecting multiple weapons active on that ship! My guess is whoever’s flying that thing will be in range in 30 seconds!”
“Understood. Lieutenant Carter, sound battle stations! Raise shields and charge weapons. Prepare to engage. Fire all batteries on my command!” The lieutenant hurried away to carry out her orders. Red lights and sirens came on throughout the Drakos.
“My fighter can only hold one person, so whoever this is, he or she is alone. Its probably that idiot redhead,” thought Ivan. “He seems just the type to come galloping to the rescue by himself. It’s a pity he didn’t bring all of his friends with him to be exterminated at once, but no matter. The others will come when this cretin doesn’t report back to them. Still, I was hoping for more time to perfect my plan. Vaporizing my enemies in space is most unsatisfying. Then again, being rid of him will be quite a relief. I only wish that he could live long enough to see me torture his beloved captain to death”
“Sir, who are you talking to?” An ensign stood a few feet away, eyeing his captain quizzically.
“Shut up and fire!” , roared Ivan.
Fry could clearly see his adversary now. Its engines were just now finishing their power-up. The reason the particle trail had ended a few hundred miles from the planet surface was quite simple. The ship producing the particles had shut off its engines so that it could enter a stable orbit. Now the engines were being powered up again, probably for an attack run.
It was not the same ship that the delivery boy had seen Ivan escape Talora in. The scarred fugitive had merely used his little shuttle to escape to a nearby star system. Once there, he had docked with his flagship, The Drakos, which had then led Fry on a cat and mouse chase across the galaxy. The Drakos was bigger than anything Fry had yet seen in Ivan’s arsenal. Much bigger. It still had the standard stingray design, but on a scale that dwarfed Ivan’s other ships. It measured over a quarter mile in length, and had a wingspan of over half that long. There were at least a dozen decks. Even more impressive was the armament. Fifteen laser canon opened fire on the Minnow. Six were mounted on turrets on each wing, three above and three below, and the other three were positioned under the bridge. Fry almost shouted “cool!” at the sight of all those guns, until he remembered how very, very bad they were for his health.
Fry had started to charge his weapons as a precaution the moment the Drakos came into view. He would only learn much later that the technology existed to detect weapons preparing to fire, and that this had been how he had announced his hostility to his unsuspecting foe.
The delivery boy was now faced with two choices. He could stay and fight, or run away with the proverbial tail between his legs. The first option would almost certainly end in either The Minnow or The Drakos exploding in a ball of nuclear fusion, killing either himself, or Leela if she was being held prisoner onboard the other ship. There was no way the delivery boy was going to choose that option. Fry turned his ship around and kicked it’s engine into highest gear.
Glancing hits scattered off of the aft shield. The rear facing radar showed Ivan steadily gaining on the Minnow. Whatever fantastic engine propelled the Minnow through space, there was an even better one on the Drakos. Running would be impossible.
In what the red head hoped was a daring and unexpected maneuver, Fry jammed the stick upward and to port. The sky tilted overhead at an impossible rate, and the surprised redhead was shoved deep into the side of his seat. By the time Fry’s mind had registered just how agile his spacecraft was, the Drakos was already in the field of view. The sight of fifteen separate laser cannon firing in his direction terrified the poor delivery boy, until he remembered his mission. Somewhere on that ship was the woman he loved, and no amount of firepower was going to deter him. That said, Fry reminded himself that destroying the Drakos was not an option. He would have to figure out to disable it… somehow.
A tone signaled that the Minnow had attained weapons lock. Fry pressed the triggers on his joystick. The result was fearsome.
A veritable wave of death and destruction arced away from The Minnow. Railguns clattered, lasers pulsed, and microwave emitters sent cracks and pops reverberating through the hull. Although remarkably fast when flying a straight course, Ivan’s ship could not alter its trajectory very well once it got moving. The Drakos was meant for escaping from the authorities, not for dogfights with nimble fighter craft. The full force of Fry’s barrage struck the Drakos’ shields before it could even start its turn. The enormous stingray was momentarily hidden by an orange glow as the shields absorbed millions of kilowatts of energy. A moment later the Drakos came back into view. It was entirely unscathed.
The Drakos’ laser batteries returned fire. Fry pitched and rolled in an effort to throw off his adversaries’ aim, all the while trying to set up for another good shot. He didn’t have the chance. The two ships closed at a breakneck pace. The Minnow hurtled under the left wing of The Drakos, with only a hundred meters to spare.
Once again the Minnow executed a 180 degree turn. Now Fry was in a position to fire upon the Drakos’ engines, and possibly disable the vessel without destroying it.
The Drakos’ wing mounted laser turrets swiveled in place. They had been placed above and below the wing so that they could face astern and address the aft blind-spot problem that plagued the smaller stingray ships.
Fry took advantage of the few seconds that he had been given while the enemy ship’s weapons tried to reacquire their lock on him. He opened up with everything the Minnow had, but still it made no difference. The shields kept absorbing everything that he dished out.
In a matter of moments The Minnow was back in the sights of the Drakos’ gunners. Fry had to break off his attack and dodge. A few lucky shots scored direct hits on the Minnow’s shields. A flashing message on the ship’s HUD informed the redhead that his shields had been cut to 73%. Fry gulped. “Those lasers pack a punch!”
The incoming fire was becoming too accurate. Fry had to throw off the gunners’ aim again somehow. A little light bulb clicked on in the delivery boy’s normally slow brain. He pressed the throttle forward and shot past his quarry in a matter of moments. He then waited a moment and threw his ship into another turn, firing at his target as soon as his weapons came to bear. The delivery boy was no longer worried about destroying the Drakos. The stingray’s shields were too damn strong to fail all at once. The Minnow would have to pound the shields with everything she had until they showed some sign of weakening.
With the throttle at maximum, Fry was now able to fly around his quarry faster than its defenses could track him. Shot after shot impacted the enemy’s shields. There was still no visible effect but the redhead knew that there was a limit to the amount of energy that any shield could absorb. That shield would fail, even if it took all day.
“Alright, enough is enough,” said a disgruntled cyclops, as the room reeled around her.. Leela had stoically accepted being locked up in a little room for hours on end, but this new business was just too much. Until recently, her captivity had been relatively quiet. The lights had gone on a few hours after Leela had first discovered that she had been captured. They alternated off and on at regular intervals to allow for some sleep time. Food appeared from a slot in the wall every few hours. All in all she was being treated fairly well.
Then all of the sudden a siren had gone off. The overhead light turned from yellow-white to blood red. Leela could just barely make out voices yelling on the other side of the cell wall. A few moments later these sounds were accompanied by a dull roar and muffled thumps. Every once in awhile the room would shudder violently, throwing Leela off balance. It was pretty obvious that there was a battle of some kind going on. “I wonder who Ivan is trying to kill this time?”