As the ship began taking off Jeran could see several of Solvar’s troop entering ships of their own. He had hoped to get off before they had arrived. It would have been nice to escape before they were able to follow. Now however it looked like a dog fight would be starting soon. Jeran knew that his only advantage was his speed and the fact that they his opponent wanted him alive so that they could get the activation codes from him.
Also he had a head-start so he wanted to take advantage of that the best he could. As he got into orbit around Quill he began moving around the planet, using the gravity of the planet to increase his speed. Some bigger ships that would be following him would have a harder time keeping up this way. The faster personal ships would have been able to do it but those had more trouble pulling out the planet’s atmosphere. Only light cruisers like his would be able to keep up with him.
Unfortunately, several of the ships that were following him were light cruisers and according to Jeran’s sensors they were equipped with magnetic pulse cannons which would be able to disable his ship without damaging it too much. Solvar must have specifically outfitted some of his light cruisers with them in cause they would need to chase down Jeran’s ship.
Jeran needed some way to shake his pursuers. He pulled up several star charts and began looking through them, all the while dodging blasts rome the MP cannons. Eventually Jeran nodded, this system had an astroid fields and if he was able to move through that he should be able to escape their sensor range and then make a break for it. His only other option was to evade the blasts long enough to escape from the solar system and then activate his faster than light drive, however the longer he kept avoiding it the more likely that they would get a lucky shot on him.
He dived into the astroid field and began maneuvers through the giant rocks. Normally people flew through them at much slower speeds or avoided them entirely. The astroid field helped provide sensor interference and forced the other ships to come into the field with him or risk losing him entirely. Jeran almost hoped that they would give up, he didn’t want anyone to accidentally die during this stunt, however they came in after him despite his hopes.
Now it was the time for the dangerous stunts which put the people in both ships are risk. It involved flying too close to the astroids and going between small gaps between astroids in hopes that the pursuing ships either gave up or crashed. Jeran winced as one of the blips on his scanner suddenly disappeared. Given the speed at which it had been moving it had almost certainly crashed into on of the astroids. It was sad to think that Jeran might have know the pilot of that ship.
It wasn’t much longer that the other ships disappeared too, although the the dangerous astroid fields even a short time felt like ages. After he piloted the ship out of the field and set it on autopilot he laid back in the pilot chair. He sat there for minutes wondering who those pilots might have been and if they had anybody important to them. It had been easier being a soldier when you didn’t know anything about who was on the other side. Maybe he was being to get to old of this sort of thing, that or he was beginning to think to much about what he was doing.
After a while longer he stood up and returned to the cabin where Null was. She was sitting there beside Silvia though it didn’t look like anything was happening. “So how is it going?” Asked Jeran as he sat down beside Null. “I just finished escaping our pursuers, for now. I’m sure they will find us again though if we get spotted.”
Null nodded, “Everything is going well now. I’ve started the generic reformat but it is going to take a while and I am going to need to check on the process ever couple of hours. It is sensitive and things could go wrong if left on its own for extended periods of time. Also your daughter should probably be waking up sometime in the next day or so.” She stood up and stretched a little bit, “So what are you planning on doing now. We have your daughter but we can’t really go back to anyplace. Do you have someplace safe to go or are we just going to fly around until we run out of gas and food and then make a quick stop someplace.”
“Well about that…” said Jeran as he scratched his head, “After everything that has happened my savings has almost been completely emptied and even if it wasn’t Solvar has been using my bank as a method of tracking me down. This means that we need to think about how we are going to afford anything now. Once my daughter is cured you could leave if you want and I’m sure I can find work someplace where Myth will never find me.”
Null looked over at Jeran and asked, “And do you know where I should go? Anywhere I got I put people at risk, ANGEL will come after me and there would be plenty of people who want my powers and most aren’t as kind as you are. Sure I can protect myself but people will get hurt if I try to protect myself. And you… ANGEL almost certainly knows that I have helped you, they won’t just leave you to go free. No, it would be better if I continued traveling with you, in case something happens and because I don’t have anywhere better to go.” Null passed by Jeran and patted him on the shoulder. “So don’t worry, you get to enjoy my company for a while longer.”
As Null left the room Jeran felt somewhat relieved. He had grown used to Null’s presence and would have been disappointed if she had left. He then sat down next to his daughter and waited for a while. He knew it still might be a while before she woke up but he wanted to wait be her side for a least a while.
I must have been a couple of hours before he finally got up and left. He had initially come to the room to ask Null about money but that had never gotten resolved. He found Null in the kitchen making something to eat. He decided to ask her a question about something that he found strange, “You seem to eat more then normal, is there a reason for that or is it just a way to pass the time?”
“Do you normally ask such question to women?” Asked Null though she really didn’t mind, “If you must know I eat because there are always tradeoffs. Using nano-machines I was able to improve my body but doing so makes it require more energy when a regular body so to deal with that I need to eat more then a normal person. I has gotten worse now that I have active nano-machines again because they require energy as well and it needs to come from somewhere. I just chose to use food as my energy source because it was convenient.”
“Ah, I see, I guess forbidden technology isn’t all powerful after all. It had more limits then I expected it too.” Replied Jeran.
“Everything has limits, even the power of forbidden technology and ANGEL. The only question is where the limits lie and how you deal with them. If something did not have limits it would cease to be technology and start to become magic.” Said Null matter a factly.
Jeran nodded in understand, “Now, back to what I was talking about earlier. Since you want to stay for a while we should figure out a method of making some money. There is always mercenary work but I would rather not do that, there is more then enough danger in my life as is and I’d rather not work for people who I didn’t know their true goal.”
“Yes, it terms of things that could make money but we would rather not do I am sure that there would be a lot of people who would be willing to use my nano-machines. Again, I don’t want to do that, for reasons other then that it makes it easier for ANGEL to find me.”
“ANGEL, they are a problem. If only there was a way to escape their grasp. Do you know of any places that are outside their reach and that they wouldn’t search for us?” Asked Jeran.
Null shrugged, “Not that I know, sure we can run but I their reach extends everywhere in the galaxy as far as I know. If there is a place they don’t go then I don’t know about it. Our best option is to stay on the move so that by the time they find where we are we will have already left. That is what I used to do… though last time I eventually got caught.”
“Well I guess we will have to do better this time now won’t we.” Said Jeran with a smile. Now that they had escape with his daughter and that she would be cured he felt fairly optimistic. Just protecting his daughter seemed like and easier task then looking for a cure that was said to be impossible, at least this way he had an easily decernable goal.
“After all that happened, why don’t we celebrate?” Asked Null as she pulled a bottle of wine out of the fridge. Jeran wondered where she had gotten that, he didn’t remember her picking it up but she must have somewhere.
“Well, why not? We deserve it don’t we?” Replied Jeran with a smile.