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6 Escaping Pursui

 "Oh, are you looking for me?" Mazur poked his face into view of the screen.

Captain Argentear was surprised at first, but quickly glared at Mazur before saying, "The Galactic Fleet have issued a Code 5 Warrant for Arrest for you, Mazur Ral Vendick. You are under the charges of piracy, kidnapping, murder, mass murder, terrorism, treason, along with the violation of 155 separate laws. Surrender yourself immediately or we will not hesitate to sink your ship."

Ivan was dumbfounded as to just how many crimes Mazur had committed in the past. He had thought it would be a considerable number, but this figure was completely out of his expectations.

Mazur replied with a smirk, "No you won't. The Andromeda Federation want me alive, my mind is simply too valuable to them."

"Unfortunately for you, pirate, the new prime minister had a very strict no piracy policy and isn't willing to make concessions. You surrender, or you die."

"Damn it, that greenhorn!"

Mazur cursed as he manually closed down the communication line and hurriedly told Ivan to hurry up with the piloting. He would have to manually fly away and evade the barrage of the battleship all the way out of the galaxy. They can't enter hyperspace while within as the Kelbert-Izac Particles of the HDS would still activate and destroy them. The only advantage they had was that as a smaller ship, they could travel faster within the HDS than the larger battleship.

"They're firing already, take evasive manoeuvres!" Mazur was unwilling to let the chance of prolonging his life go and gave full dedication to monitoring the enemy battleship.

Ivan grit his teeth as he held onto the twin controls for manually flying the ship. He increased the primary impulse thrusters to full and also opened the secondary impulse thrusters. With a determined resolution, he then pushed down on the controls and caused the ship to take a rapid nosedive toward the planet.

Large 155mm bullets ripped through the space the Poseidon just evacuated from and flow toward the planet, only to burn up and turn into fiery streak in the planet's atmosphere afterwards.

"Disabling secondary impulse thrusters, Mazur, move all energy into the front and rear shields!" Ivan shouted over the shaking of the ship as it plunged back into the planet's atmosphere at dangerous speeds.

"You're just as crazy as I am!" Mazur had a glint in his eyes as he followed the command and closed several energy circuits within the ship to prioritize the front and rear shields.

The front shield formed a pseudo buffer against the atmosphere as the ship descended, but the outer shell of the ship was still burning up. Ivan's monitors showing the area outside of the ship began to blink off one by one as the friction was destroying the mounted cameras.

At the same time, the battle ship stopped outside of orbit and launched a barrage of 155mm rounds toward the Poseidon, but those that got close were already burning up in the atmosphere and were completely blocked by the rear shield.

"We've crossed the thermosphere and mesosphere, directing power to reverse thrusters to slow us down to safe speeds. Pulling up the ship to maintain altitude, hold on!"

*****

At the same time as Ivan nosedived through the atmosphere, Captain Argentear was beside himself in frustration.

"Ready the positron cannons!" Argentear commanded, only to have a concerned First Lieutenant respond nervously.

"Captain, Sir, we can't fire the positron cannons at a planet designated as a national reserve. The destruction to the atmosphere and planetary surface would have use all court martialled."

Argentear considered this with gritted teeth and complained, "Then we have no means of combatting them at the moment. First Lieutenant Percy, the anti-mechanoid impulse weaponry can't penetrate the atmosphere properly let alone their shield. No torpedo will penetrate the atmosphere either. If we chase them inside the atmosphere, they will simply escape. They have the advantage of mobility and the HDS prevents us from being able to catch them, so what are we supposed to do?"

"Sir, we should request reinforcements and entrap them. We can then send out a party to neutralize the target." First Lieutenant Percy brought his fist to his chest and bowed in military salute.

Captain Argentear sighed in silence before saying, "LHQ have already stated that all other vessels have been deployed to other regions in this massive sweep for pirates. Nobody can get to use within a week, so there is only us."

First Lieutenant Percy stood stunned at the response and started to explain that he didn't know but the Captain raised his hand to cut him off and said.

"We can only keep an eye on them from orbit and follow their tracks. We need to stick as close as we can till we are outside of the solar system and can enter hyperspace. Without the restriction of the HDS, they're chances of escape will drastically plummet. Of course, if we can shoot them down before that it would be even better."

"Understood, Captain!"

*****

Ivan controlled the ship manually as it travelled around Oberon II within the lower stratosphere. An enormous shockwave and sonic boom followed wherever they passed, causing birds and land beasts alike to scatter.

"What is that battleship doing?" Ivan asked without turning his head away from the monitors of the remaining functional cameras.

"It's still orbiting the planet behind us. It can't keep up with our speed though, and as long as we evade any torpedos and those positron cannons, we will escape the solar system and can jump into hyperspace."

The Poseidon tore through the atmosphere as it began ascending. Ivan had Mazur redirect all the energy to the front, rear and top shields this time to defend against any 155mm rounds the battleship may fire at them in the process.

Ivan's arms were shaking with the ship as it broke through the final layer of the atmosphere and entered orbit. He didn't remain still for long though as he made evasive manoeuvres to avoid being locked onto by the battleship. He sped away into the distant blackness nervous of an unknown assault that can come at any minute.

Mazur who was monitoring the radars abruptly spoke up at this point, "The battle ship is still firing 155mm rounds at us but I'm picking up a growing heat signature. They are preparing to fire their positron cannons."

Ivan began sweating bullets as he constantly swerved around to avoid the shower of anti-mechanoid rounds while trying to anticipate where the battleship's main artillery would fire.

"They're charging up is compete! Pull to starboard!"

"Activating secondary impulse thrusters!"

Ivan pulled on the controls and he and Mazur were almost flung out of their seats as the ship made a sharp tilt and shifted to the right. Just moments later, two beams of light, each thicker than the Poseidon itself, tore through space and disappeared into the distance. Ivan could feel the pure destructive power contained within them, and shields or not, one direct hit from that would turn their entire ship into dust.

The Poseidon continued to accelerate rapidly until a bit over half the speed of light. At this point Ivan noticed on the external cameras, white sparks in space and the hull of the ship began to get thin tears at random positions. He nervously slowed down slightly in order to avoid colliding with the HDS.

Captain Argentear's battleship was in a poor position. It could only move two thirds the speed of the Poseidon within the HDS, so the distance between them was rapidly increasing. The Poseidon was no longer within visible range and only the short-range radars could pick it up meaning the only available weapon the battleship had that was still effective were the pair of Armstrong Mk IV Positron Cannons.

Ivan flew manually relying on long-range radars to detect the nearest exit of the solar system. Positron beams flew by occasionally, but with enough distance between the Poseidon and the Galactic Fleet battleship, there was enough room to comfortably evade. Despite the low accuracy though, Captain Argentear wasn't dissuaded from his offensive and continued to fire at the Poseidon.

This chase continued for several hours in stagnation. Ivan however hadn't slept and by this point the only thing keeping him awake was the fear of death.

"We're successfully out of the solar system, we can now jump to hyperspace," Mazur sighed in relief.

Ivan nodded, also relieved. "Increasing velocity to FTL. Manually adjusting vector for a random jump."

"FTL approaching, engaging secondary impulse thrusters for jump to hyperspace."

"Successfully jumped into hyperspace, making small adjustments to avoid Galactic Fleet tracking."

Ivan calmly spoke the current status of the ship as each change occurred. He was so tired that this small sense of security was enough for him to completely doze off.

Mazur saw Ivan slouch over on the commander's seat and sighed to himself before walking over and dragging him off. He dumped Ivan on the ground and took his place manually controlling the ship. Several sensors started beeping as the Galactic Fleet battleship had also entered hyperspace and had detected them with their hypersonic radar.

Captain Argentear constantly tried to cut off the Poseidon in hyperspace and drop some torpedos to force it to slow down and drop back into ordinary space, but Mazur kept outsmarting them at every turn and evade them. He led them on a wild chase for hours at a top speed of 2.6HU before finally shaking their trail. He still manoeuvred though hyperspace in randomized paths before feeling confident they were lost.

*****

When Ivan awoke again, he shivered at the touch of the cold metal floor of the bridge. He realized he had fallen asleep and turned his head to scan the surroundings. The ship was in one piece, but all the cameras on the outside of the ship were broken and instead the bridge had been risen to the 'lookout' position at the top of the craft and the electro-shielded glass around the bridge gave a 270 degree view of the surroundings.

What surprised Ivan though, was that even through the glass, he couldn't see anything. Not even the glimmer of a star was visible, just a pure black abyss.

Seeing Ivan wake up, Mazur sighed aggrievedly and stated, "We managed to shake off the Galactic Fleet, but we just happened to pick the worst vector to enter hyperspace. Dropping out in deep space, we're completely fucked."