“By the Gods what was that?” I yelled. Someone from the ground was firing on us. It had just missed my wing tip as I took evasive action.
“Arr?” Jake shouted.
Arr flicked on his com link and hailed the ground contact. I listened for an answer, but didn’t hear one. Instead, we caught the second missile in the left thruster. That engine went dead and the ship listed heavily to the left. I fought the controls to compensate.
Arr was dialing the com link to another frequency when the third shell struck our tail.
“Forget that Arr,” I ordered. “Strap in – we’re going down!” I pressed the button on my lap belt and the safety harness came down over my shoulders. “I’ve lost it!” I yelled. “We’re going in hard.”
There wasn’t any clear ground to land on.
“Over there,” Jake pointed to our left. It was a small patch of land. No more than a meadow. Not long enough for a landing and too far away for a glide. I’d lose too much momentum in the turn.
“This is a pod, not a fighter,” I shouted in frustration. “If I could make a turn like that I’d be able to land it rather than crashing. This is like driving a disabled freight loader.”
When I heard the belly of the pod catch the tops of the trees I cut what was left of the engines. We slammed into the trees and were cutting a swath through them when we hit something really hard. I felt the control panel in front of me crush back into my chest and saw something coming through the glass toward my eyes before everything went black.