Mission: The Barrage Requirements: 1,000 Word Minimum Rewards: 100z, 20 XP, 40 SP, You can now train with Vasha.
Description: Every so often around these parts, an asteroid belt roams through another even larger asteroid belt making for one big recipe for disaster and destruction. Some people call this "The Barrage". One world is about to be struck by The Barrage. When you arrive to investigate, however, you find one powerful woman in a space suit defending a planet with next to nothing but her bare hands. Who is this madwoman? Only one way to find out...
“So what's it like?” Jingle asked for the fourth time since they'd left the desert world behind. Salt merely rolled his eyes, head in one hand. His eyes were out of focus and half open, not really paying attention to anything ahead. He thought on the village, they were under the impression that Jingle would be better served living the life of a galactic patrolman than a child soldier kept around to defend their village. They were more than willing to let the Brenchian take her with him to better her own chance at existence. At the outset he'd thought it would be a good idea...but GODS DAMN did he regret it now.
“S'like I said an hour ago...” he mumbled, checking to make sure that he was still on course. “...S'a big ol' satellite that jus'......floats there. They'll teach ya' what'cha need'a know to do what yer gonna do.” He finished, glancing back up through the wind screen into the black of space. The proximity alarm began to go off, Salt rousing from his stupor and leaning forward. There was an object approaching!? “Hang on!” he bellowed as he grabbed the yoke with one hand as the other went for the throttle.
Throwing the throttle forward the auto pilot disengaged, the system warning him he was deviating from his plotted course. The small fighter lurched forward suddenly, Jingle shouting as she was thrown forward until her safety harness caught her. An object passed by at high speed, Salt catching sight of it out of the corner of his eye. An asteroid of not entirely insignificant size had missed the ship by a narrow margin. “That were close.” Salt mumbled to himself. He watched the space rock shoot through the big empty, realizing it was heading for a planet they were less than an astronomical unit from. Salt didn't know what it was, but he could see on the side of it that faced away from this systems star there were cities upon it.
Seizing the yoke again he prepared to bring the fighter around when the proximity alarm began to go off again. “Another?” Salt asked no one in particular, continuing to tune out Jingle and her frantic shouting. “Gotta be a shower....” He continued, moving the craft out of the path before bringing it around. Hundreds of the things whizzed by, Salt frowning at what he took in. “A'right then.” he spoke, flipping a switch on the instrument panel before he heard the guns on the fighter begin to wind up. “Kid!” He shouted back to Jingle, getting her to stop panicking for the moment. “I need you to aim the guns! Think of it like the targets in the sand!” He shouted, taking the yoke in both hands before the ship began to move.
The Imeckan child watched a monitor flip up before her, showing her an image of what was going on outside before a reticle centered itself on the screen. “I....I got it!” She shouted back, taking to the controls as Salt weaved between two of the things. The next one that encroached upon the ship was suddenly destroyed by a purple lance of light. Debris scattered from the wrecked rock, revealing several more coming in.
“We're gonna move, kid, get ready!” Salt shouted, eyes beginning to light up a luminescent red as he looked through the asteroid pack. Seeing the path appear before him the fighter began to bob and dart, weaving it's way through the asteroids. Jingle fired rapidly, each shot breaking up an asteroid into smaller, harmless, bits that would burn up in that planets atmosphere. Salt manipulated the controls, sending the craft into a controlled spin that allowed it to whirl between two asteroids easily.
“We can't stop them all, Salt!” Jingle shouted as three more of the things broke apart. One of the guns suddenly stopped, audibly winding down. “These things weren't fully charged!?” Jingle shouted in mild disbelief. Salt frowned at that, it was true he did kind of just take the ship as it was without checking anything beyond it being air tight and not rigged to explode or anything.
It was only another few shots out of the other gun before the thing wound down. “We're empty!” Jingle informed the ranger. The ship rocked then, tossing both occupants about before the ship began to pitch and tilt in a slow rotation. A single asteroid had managed to scrape against the side of the ship, wrecking havoc on the craft. “Dammit we lost an engine!” Salt growled as the light faded from his eyes. He'd expected that particular space rock to be blown apart and hadn't tried to avoid it.
“I'm gonna try to get us out of the way.” Salt explained, diverting full power to the remaining engine. Before he could actually fire the engine, though, a loud tapping sound caught his attention. Both of the ships occupants looked upward, Salt staring mouth agape at what he saw. A blue skinned woman with no protective gear what-so-ever was standing on the ships canopy.
She waved at both Salt and Jingle before pointing at the oncoming asteroids, then making a gesture with her hands, mouthing something. Salts mouth shut after the third time she said whatever she was saying. “Stay still please.”
The ranger nodded before pulling his hands off of the controls, the woman smiling at him before she rose to her full height, a glow forming around her. With a gesture she unleashed a magenta wave of light that surged through the asteroid pack, vaporizing them before they got to far. Then she turned back toward the planet, extending her fingers and firing several smaller scale versions of that attack. Salt didn't need to see the explosions behind him to know the woman had just wiped out the space rocks that had gotten past them.
When she was done she knocked again, gesturing by repeatedly pointing down with her pointer finger. Salt cocked a brow and shrugged at the blue skinned beauty until she began to speak again.
“Landing gear?” Jingle asked aloud. Salt once again shrugged before hitting the switch on the controls. The struts moved slowly out of the bottom of the craft, Salt flashing the woman a thumbs up. She smiled at them before placing her empty hand on the canopy. There was a strange sound then, like air scraping against air. An odd whooshing Salt hadn't heard in his life time up until this moment.
In the blink of an eye the blackness of space had been peeled away, replaced by a grass land filled with tall, yellow, grass. “What in the....” Salt began, watching the woman jump off of the canopy before he pressed a switch on the thing, letting the canopy pop open.
“You were doing very well out there!” The blue skinned beauty spoke with a nod as she looked over her shoulder. “I didn't want to step in unless you couldn't handle it.”
“Who th'heck're you?” Salt asked as he undid his harness before jumping out of the ship, he needed to inspect and repair the damage.
“Me? My name's Vasha. You're a pretty interesting guy, mister. You could run that scenario a few hundred times and only one or two times out of those hundred would someone stop and even try to help. Say, why don't I show you some tricks?” She asked, smiling at the Brenchian.
“Yeah, well...” Salt began coming around under one of the wings to look at the damage engine. “....Tryin'a stop an asteroid pack with a single fighter, tha's a dumb move. What my ol' Cap'n would call an ABSOLUTELY BONEHEADED move.” Salt explained.