16 – Red burn

This was not going to work. As soon as the boosters kicked in he knew the trajectory was off.

“Great…” he thought. Instead of ramming cleanly thru the service hatch he would now: a) Crash straight against the armored hull, b) Graze the upper deck and fly off into space or c) Ricochet off the keel and burn into the atmosphere of the planet below…

“So its instant splat, slowly suffocate, or roast alive. Where’s option ‘d’ when you need it?”

The distant ship grew larger in his view screen, tiny digits telling him exactly how far and how long before the shape his imminent death became clear.

“It sure sounded good back at that shitty backwater little planet you so desperately wanted to get off from, huh? A pirate’s life full of adventure, riches, the chance to see the worlds. Well, guess what, genius… a pirate’s life usually ends with a pirate’s death.”

The grey form in front of him almost filled the whole little screen now.

“What kind of asshole designs a boarding ram without even the most basic maneuvering capabilities?”

The numbers in the screen were getting smaller fast… VERY fast.

“What kind of stupid young asshole joins a pirate crew when he’s drunk and desperate enough to take any chance to get off a boring planet almost off the stellar charts?”

A small alarm began to beep as the little digits started blinking red. The whole of the screen showed a rapidly approaching wall of metal.

“So instant splat it is then? Thank the universe for small mercies, I guess.”

At the very instant the digits on the screen reached zero he suddenly realized that, for the very first time in his short life, he actually thought of that stupid little planet he had so eagerly escaped from… as home.

• • •

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