Johnny America


An Un­ti­tled Sto­ry about Spaceships


“I will stop you.”

She whis­pers this in­to her hel­met mount­ed trans­mit­ter. No­body hears it. With all the en­er­gy weapons go­ing off around her, the chances of any mes­sage get­ting through with­out sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­fer­ence are just about nil.

Her num­ber three en­gine has just gone dead. She’s jarred off course, but quick­ly rights the craft. The dead en­gine is pulling her fight­er down and to the left. She read­justs her flight stick to a neu­tral po­si­tion. It’s not a per­fect fix, but it’ll work long enough for her to kill this fucker.

What the hell is his deal any­way? Who the hell parks their fight­er in a crowd­ed space­port full of sol­diers and opens fire?


Shit, too close. She’s got to keep her mind on shoot­ing this lu­natic down, not on what his mo­tives are. Who cares any­way? All she knows is that he killed a lot of peo­ple to­day, he is at­tempt­ing to kill her, and that if she does­n’t kill him first, he will prob­a­bly head straight for the space sta­tion. She will not al­low that.


Too close again. Shit. How is he so good? Scum like him should go down easy.

She can’t seem to get be­hind him. She’s not even get­ting close to a clear shot. What the hell kind of fight­er is he in?


Shit­shit­shit­shit­shit. He just breached her shields. With his hull. How the fuck did he get so close?

Her first re­flex is to over­steer in the di­rec­tion of shield breach, but breach­es are usu­al­ly made by weapon blasts, not by ships. She over­rides her in­stincts and hits the af­ter­burn­ers while curv­ing away to the left.

She’s got a com­fort­able dis­tance be­tween them now but this guy is in­sane. She did­n’t even see him get close. No­body is that fast.


Ex­plo­sion to her right. A safe dis­tance away. Scan­ners are still in­di­cat­ing he’s a few hun­dred me­ters be­hind. Not quite a safe dis­tance, but she’s still confident.


Clos­er this time. Still not “too close” though. She’s fine. She’s fine. She’s fine. Fine. Shit! Where did he go? Stay calm.

She search­es the scan­ners. Not there. Dou­ble check. Not there. Try for vi­su­al con­tact. No signs of him. Fight­ers don’t just — FLASH.

Shit! Too close. Where did he come from? She’s feel­ing less con­fi­dent now. FLASH.

That blast ex­plodes safe­ly to her right again. She swings a hard turn to her left. He’s­right­in­frontofher — FLASHFLASHFLASH.

She miss­es him three times. She’s got her con­fi­dence back now though; it’s not im­pos­si­ble to get him in range. Time to go on the offensive.


An­oth­er “safe” ex­plo­sion. This time to her right. She re­peats her last ma­neu­ver in re­verse — SHIT.

Mis­siles head­ed straight for the cock­pit. She pulls up as fast as her craft will al­low. They fol­low. Beep­beep­beep beeeeeeeeeep. Shit — as­ter­oid. Where did that come from?

Mis­siles. She’s got to keep her mind on the mis­siles. What do you do with seek­ing missiles?

She flips the trig­ger switch, then in­structs the com­put­er to fly her mis­siles in front of the hos­tiles and then to­ward the as­ter­oid at a slow­er speed. She hits the but­ton; her own mis­siles go fly­ing. She watch­es the com­put­er car­ry out her in­struc­tions; they work. The hos­tiles are fol­low­ing her mis­siles now, head­ed to­ward that stu­pid fuck­ing ran­dom asteroid.


All of them ex­plode at once, blast­ing the as­ter­oid in­to peb­bles that are ab­sorbed and dis­in­te­grat­ed by her shields.

And now, where the hell did the oth­er fight­er go? Shit, straight for the space sta­tion. Of course.

He thinks she is dead. At least, she hopes he thinks that. She turns on her sig­nal jam­mers — maybe he won’t no­tice her. She clos­es in.

500 me­ters.

400 me­ters.

Get­ting clos­er. He still has­n’t no­ticed her.

300 me­ters.

200 me­ters.

He’s still obliv­i­ous. She’s go­ing to make it. What if he has shields?

Shit. There’s no way. Not on such a small fight­er. Shit. 100 me­ters. 50 me­ters. His craft twitch­es; he’s no­ticed her.

25 me­ters. He be­gins to pull up and to the left. No mat­ter, she ad­justs her course slight­ly. She’s go­ing fast enough that he’s not get­ting away this time.

10 me­ters.

“I think I win.”

7 me­ters.

3 me­ters.

1 me­ter.


Filed under Fiction on October 6th, 2005

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