The escape pod has a hard plastic seat. A seatbelt automatically flies across you and you’re locked in. An emergency comm console flies down, but there is no navigation. This ship is designed to be shot out and picked up.

The metal door in front of you closes. You jolt back into your seat as the pod flies off into space. There are no windows, just white walls and a tiny viewscreen. You send off an emergency signal. A tired old man with deep blue hair answers. This is Commander Ritsk, your direct report.

“Those bastards said they had you in cryo,” he says. “I didn’t believe them. Did your team survive?”

“I… don’t know…” you uncomfortably acknowledge.

“Standby for pickup,” he frowns.

While you wait, you take out the circular data chip from the guard. There’s a slot for it on the comm dash. It’s a video captured by the guard. Behind him is the ship in chaos.

“Cora, I hope you get this message. There’s very little chance I’ll escape the ship alive. Take care of Racel. I love you both. More than there are stars in the galaxy. You were right, I never should have… I’m sorry.”

The chip pops out as your pod is enveloped by friendly starcraft. You’ll live to see another battle.


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