The binary-pattern hammering of the rear cannon echoed through the cockpit as I wove the nimble little fighter through a veritable swarm of shells, the automatic point defense of the light cruiser sitting a mere seven hundred meters away doing its utmost to smash me into pulp. A quick glance at the screens told me that the missile still had a lock.
I yanked the control stick backwards and pressed on the right pedal, sending me into a tight upward spiral towards the relative safety of the carrier. But I wouldn’t be settling into the hangar just yet – my little interceptor was one of the few fighters left and the missile boats needed cover.
The short-wave radio crackled unsteadily.
“Highland Seven, fall in behind Highland Five and Swarm Three. Juniper Nine will make a run to killbox Delta-Seven.”
“Roger that, Control. Give me a few seconds to lose this missile.”
I swerved hard into a high-gee left and released the chaff. The throttle slid to full under my fingers, and I left the explosion behind.