Rocket: "You see them on your scanners? Did the blarches follow us through the jump?" the space raccoon asked his companion as he tried patting out a fire on the ship's console.
Danger: "We seem to have lost them for now," Danger said, the machine having interfaced directly with their ship's computer and sensor systems. "No, wait, I pick up one hyperjump signature, two point three light minutes away. It's one of the Shi'ar destroyers. I don't think they have detected- never mind, they're going on an intercept trajectory."
Rocket: "Oh for the love of Flark! Why isn't my cloaking up yet?!" the short, furred one complained, "Take the controls! I gotta go hit something with a wrench! Try not to get us killed." Rocket swore as he jumped out his seat, grabbing a multitool and opening a hatch to crawl inside the ship.
Danger: "Very well." Danger took Rocket's place in the pilot seat, her mind taking over the ship's navigation computer before she even placed her hands on the manual controls. "If you are open for suggestions, I have an idea that could get us out of this situation."
Rocket: "Yeah shoot. Just don't shoot shoot shoot, I meant tell me your idea!" came the disembodied voice from beneath the floors, accompanied with a loud clang and several colourful swearwords, three of which was outlawed in two systems.
Danger: Danger took her finger off the blaster controls, a slight look of disappointment on her face. "I need you to blow out one of our sub-light engines and remove your ship's main power core, while I evade the destroyer's fire until the right moment," the robot explained.
Rocket: A panel between Danger's feet popped up, "You want me to do what?! I ain't sacrificing my baby just to save a couple lives!" he said waving a socket wrench up at her before diving back down into the ship. "Aha!" he yelled, before the ship's cloaking came on. "They might find us, but sure as heck won't be able to fire on us."
Danger: "You are missing the point," Danger replied, looking down at the hole between her legs. "Even if we do manage to escape our pursuers for another hyperjump, or against all odds disable their ship, the Shi'ar made it quite obvious they won't stop hunting us across the entire galaxy until they find and destroy us."
Danger: "I have calculated the likely outcome of every option we have, and the only solution with any realistic chance of success is to give them what they want," she continued.
Rocket: A long exasperated sigh came from beneath Danger's feet before Rocket's head popped up from the hole. "Fine, but we better not crash on earth when we get there. There's a difference between laying low and being stranded, and the second option is not a good one. Oh what am I saying, without the ship's core, this will be a one way trip."
Danger: "You have my word I will help you restore your ship once we get back to Earth," Danger said, while reaching down into the hole to tear out one of the thick power cables. "Convincing these aliens they destroyed us will require some deception, though, and unfortunately something more substantial than mere holograms."
Danger: "If they detect the power signature of our reactor core amidst the debris, however, they should hopefully be convinced of our demise." The robot girl held the end of the cable to her chest, where the protective plating moved out of the way and the wiring underneath shifted to form an ad-hoc attachment.
Danger: Bright blue arcs surged between the cable and the plug, followed by a twitch going through Danger's body when she closed the connection. "I have attached my own power core to your ship's systems, that should provide us with enough energy to make it back home."
Rocket: "Okay okay, just give me a minute, Dalia and I went through a lot of adventures. She was the most stable thing in my life, this power core." the furry friend replied. From under the floor plating, hushed talking could be heard as he delicately disconnected the ship's most important part.
Rocket: When he reappeared, he was in the hull of the ship where he first climbed in, lifting up a few more panels to remove the cumbersome object. "Putting it in airlock now. The password for the sublight engine detachment is 'I am Groot', which is pretty much all my passwords, but that's beside the point."
Danger: "No worries, I already gave myself access to all systems," Danger replied. "I will drop the cloak the moment I detach the engine, faking an accident. I expect the Shi'ar to open fire the moment they detect us, so brace for impact, and prepare to eject the core on my command."
Danger: "Dropping cloaking field in three, two, one- and here they come!" The inertial dampeners were strained to their limits when she banked the ship hard to the side, dodging the energy beam cutting through the empty space where they just had been a moment before. "I am trying to throw off their aim with holographic decoys."
Danger: An impact shook the ship when they were caught by stray blasts from the Shi'ar destroyer. "Eject the core now!"
Rocket: Rocket slammed the ship's hatch door, the contents in the airlock shooting out of it. Rocket touched the porthole at the airlock door, whispering a final goodbye, holding back a tear.
Danger: Danger aimed the ship's weapons at the ejected core and prepared to fire. "Hold on to something, this might get bumpy." A bright flash lit up the dark of space behind them, followed by the shockwave of the explosion gripping their ship and hurtling it away. "Cloaking field restored," the robot pilot said when they drifted away.
Rocket: Rocket clung to a storage bay handle bar for dear life as the ship bumped and shook, caught in the outer fringe of the explosion as Danger sped away. "Just concentrate shielding on the rear! We dont want our asses burnt off!"
Danger: "Thank you for the suggestion, I would never have thought of that myself," Danger replied, her voice dripping with electronic sarcasm. Once the rapid acceleration stopped and their cloaked craft drifted away, she adjusted the ship's sensors, using only passive detection so not to give away their presence.
Danger: "The Shi'ar stopped firing," she said, bringing up the telescope feed. "Our ruse with the ejected reactor core and the debris field of jettisoned cargo appears to have worked. By the way, I forgot to mention it, but I jettisoned the contents of the cargo bays to create a debris field."
Rocket: A soft thud thud thud came from the hull as Rocket kept bumping his head against the wall. "My limited edition omni sexbots. Mint condition. one thousand and thirty two different positions memorised. All still in their original packaging. I would have made a fortune with them." he whimpered.
Danger: "I am sorry for your loss," Danger remarked, already running the calculations for the hyperjump home. "We all had to make sacrifices to get out of this precarious situation. Granted, you more so than me. You lost your cargo, for instance. And your ship is damaged to the point of being essentially crippled."
Danger: "Not to mention the reward you lost for deciding to side with me against the Shi'ar," she added. "But try to look at the positive aspects. You helped a fellow sapient being escape captivity or a worse fate, and for that you earned my sincere gratitude."
Rocket: The whimpering turned into an all out bawling. "What's wrong with me?! What can't I just be happy and took the stupid garkin money?!" he yelled.
Danger: "Because despite your projected image of ruthless mercenary and continued denial, you actually do possess an ethical system capable of morality," Danger stated. "If I hadn't been convinced of that, I would never have agreed to this endeavour, and most likely killed you the moment we met."
Danger: The robot turned her head to look at the sobbing raccoon next to her. "If it is any consolation, I have more than two and a half thousand sexual techniques stored in my database."
Rocket: "Curse you and your magic science!" and it dawned on him, "Who got what now two thousand techniques? Well I could maybe piece together bits here and there and upload that to them... if earth's internet is to be believed, then I can still get some money out of this. Then again, the rate of exchange for earth to galactic creds is laugh. Oh well."
Rocket: The space raccoon got up and walked over to the cockpit, leaning against the arm rest. "So... what's the ETA on earth? When are we getting there?" he asked.
Danger: "If my corrections are correct - and why wouldn't they be - we should be able to reach the solar system in three hyperspace jumps." Danger brought up a holographic star map to show their projected route. "Even without the main reactor core to help us recharge the jumpdrive, it should take us less than an Earth day of travel."
Rocket: Rocket eyed the physical connection between Danger and the ship. "I'm guessing that's gotta be connected the whole time." he gave a little sigh at her in the pilot's seat. He liked piloting. He liked being in control.
Danger: "To my power core, yes," Danger replied. "Not to the rest of me." The machine's chest parted to remove the glowing device, her shape adjusting abilities creating an external protective shell for it. "If I go easy on the holograms and blaster beams, my energy cells can last several days without recharging."
Rocket: "Fantastic, because I realised we were actually close to a binary star I want to show you. Right between them is a black hole, and the light coming off that is absofrikkenly amazing. We just need to stay far away from one of its planets, its a death trap. Also need to keep an eye on weird energy readings, sometimes the blackhole would pulse out a weird quasar that radiates an energy that screws with electronics."
Danger: "That sounds like a highly unlikely stellar constellation," Danger replied, getting out of the pilot's chair to let Rocket take the helm again. "I cannot wait to see it."
Rocket: "If you think that's highly unlikely, then you should see the rest of the galaxy. Babe, there's some mind flarkingly insane things out there that would be impossible were not for the fact they exist." Rocket replied as he climbed back into his seat, tapping at the controls and bringing up their new flight route. "And if you're good, I might stop at the souvenir shop at the edge of the great void. It's a little mom and pops place on a rogue moon."
Danger: "Then I could get something for my friends back home," Danger mused aloud, before nodding in agreement. "I guess a little detour won't do any harm. Let's go!"
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