This story is based on one I wrote in January 2015. See “Escape”.
“I’m sorry! The frackin’ console was exploding and the Orion was gaining. There must have been a malfunction.” Pete Ostrander slammed the lid of the console down. Smoke and scorch marks marred the edges and around the buttons.
Captain Jan A’Mungo pulled her afro down, pulled all the loose hair back and tied it up with an elastic. She was sick of the tendrils falling into her eyes.
“Not his fault, Jan.” Jack Ender entered the bridge. “The cargo’s secured. That last jump was a doosey but everything is in good shape. The Orion had us in a corner.”
Jan’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t try and sweet talk me Jack. That was FUBAR and you know it.”
“Come on, Jan. This is a rust bucket and we were up against a state of the art Galactic patrol vessel. We’re lucky we came out the other side.” Pete gently touched a button and winced. The monitor he wanted came on without exploding. He released his breath.
“Report.” Jan tugged her tunic down and got back into the command chair. “Where are we?”
Pete tapped the buttons on his console. Screen after screen came up and went. He scratched his chin and the week old beard. “Um, nowhere.”
Both of the others turned to stare at him.
“Well, of course we’re somewhere.” He shrugged. “I just don’t know where that is.”
Jan gripped the armrests on her chair and took a deep breath. She counted to ten. Then she turned to her husband. “Please explain.”
“I tapped in the coords for Epsilon 4. But the console was sparking all over the place what with Ho blasting us to crap. So now, here we are.” Pete rubbed an ear. “If I get lucky, I can figure out what was damaged and trace us back.”
“Into Captain Ho?” Jack ran a hand through his cropped black hair.
Pete shook his head. “I don’t think so. He’s probably long gone. We left in a hurry and he probably didn’t have time to calculate our jump.”
“Apparently neither did we.” Jan’s eyes narrowed again at her husband. “You can get us back?” She watched as her husband pressed a finger to the spot between his eyes. She knew from experience he was about to tell a tale.
“Um. Sure. We can get back.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “I’ll check our inventory.” He got up and left the bridge.
Jan waited until Jack was gone. Pete was fussing with his console. “You don’t have a clue. Do you?”
He ran the heel of his hand across his cheek. “Well, no. But I will. Really.”
Jan got up and put a hand on his shoulder, her cheek next to his. “I believe you. Get it done.”
He gave her that lopsided grin that had attracted her to him in the first place. “Sure, Captain. I’ll get right on it.”
She cuffed him, gently, in the head. “Good. I’m gonna take a nap. Call me when you have something.”
Eight hours later, showered and with a food pack in hand, she re-entered the bridge. Pete had the lid of the console up. Jack was missing. “How’s it going?”
“Jack went to bed about 4 hours ago.” He shut the lid of the console. His blond hair stood up in every direction and his eyes had dark circles under them. “I think I have it.”
She sat in her command chair and popped the top on the food. The smell of beef stew filled the bridge. “What do you have?” Jan spooned a mouthful and waited.
“Well.” Pete rubbed his eyes. “I traced the jump record back to the attack. The last fifteen seconds before the jump I can see where there’s a power surge in the jump circuits.” He arched his back and stretched his neck back. “Anyway. I think I know where the surge sent us. If so, we have a new, uncharted jump point.” He arched an eyebrow.
Jan blinked, the stew forgotten in her hand. “A new jump point. One the Galactic Patrol doesn’t know about.”
Pete grinned. “If we can get back.”
Jan’s hand covered her mouth, eyes wide. “Our own, secret, jump point.” She dropped her hand and grinned. “Can you get us back?”
“I think so.”
“Make your notes and go get some sleep. We’ll do this when you’re rested.”
Eight hours later, they were all in their seats on the bridge, strapped in and ready. “Proceed when ready.” Jan nodded and smiled at her husband.
He turned to his console. She could see his shoulders rise and fall with a deep breath. “Commencing jump sequence.”
“Jump sequence commencing. Proceed.” Jan gripped the arms of her command chair. She didn’t know if they were going to make it back to known space or leap out farther into uncharted space.
Jack as usual, joked. “Saddle up boys and girls. It’ll be a ride.”
Jan rolled her eyes just as Pete hit the button. The ship shook as space blurred and time seemed to slow to a crawl. It felt like forever between breaths. After what seemed like an eternity, they popped out into real space. The stars aligned.
Pete studied the monitors closely then turned his chair to face the rest. “We made it. We’re just outside of Talia system.”
Jack whooped, unbuckling and leaping out of his seat to embrace Pete. “I knew you could do it!”
Jan winked at her husband. “Better mark the spot. We’re gonna want to know these coords.”
Pete gave her a mock salute. “Yes, ma’am. Right away, ma’am.”
“Prepare to jump to Onyms system. We have a cargo of weapons to deliver.”
Jack bowed to her. “Yes, oh great queen of the spaceways. We hear and obey.”
She snorted. “You’d better.”
They all laughed and got to work. The rebellion had a new weapon. A secret jump point. Jan grinned. This might even get them some parts and repairs.
Find more of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Group here: http://www.fmwriters.com/flash.html