JB04: Toward Dartham

And the story continues, enjoy! To start at part 1 click here.

 

“Changing course, back in a few, boys,” said Landa. “Dartham’s a much shorter trip from here, I can slingshot around B-25 and be there in a couple hours.” She blinked off the screen.

Jack got up from the bed, eyes wide. “What’s he taking my ship to that place for, you think there is junkers there?”

Shrim narrowed his eyes. “No, I don’t think so. He must want it for another reason.”

“Maybe he just needed a ship.”

“Then he would have picked one less recognizable than yours,” said Shrim. “No, he must want it for some other reason. Not for its speed or resell value. What else would someone want your ship for?”

“Must be a fan,” said Jack, straightening his jacket.

“I’m going to try to dig up some more info on Blue Mistake,” said Shrim, taking out his tablet. “You just… continue being useless, I guess.”

“Hey!”

“Oh, and since we’re going to Dartham anyway, I won’t be able to accept a ride there as trade for helping you.”

“What! We agreed-”

“So instead, you’ll wait around till I’m finished doing what I’m doing there, then give me a ride out.”

Jack arched an eyebrow. “And how long is ‘what you’re doing’ going to take?”

“No idea,” said Shrim, returning to his tablet. “Not more than a week, I’m sure.”

“A week!” Jack threw his hands up. “I’m not hanging around in that weird place for a week! And how am I supposed to make a dramatic escape after stealing my ship back if I can’t even leave the planet!”

“You can fly around it a few times if that makes you feel better,” said Shrim. “Just be ready to pick me up when I give the signal.”

“I’m liking this less and less,” said Jack, folding his arms.

The fleshy room shook violently around them, knocking Jack to his hands and knees. Shrim gripped the edge of the bed as he was rocked back and forth.

“What the hell is going on?” shouted Jack.

“Guess we reached B-25,” said Shrim.

“Bullshit! I’ve swung around plenty of black holes and I never shattered my passengers to pieces in the process. This pilot is a hack!”

Landa appeared on the screen. “Update: we’re being fired upon. Hold please.”

“What?” Jack and Shrim said at once.

Landa faded from the screen and was replaced by the image of a familiar ship. Phase beams sprouted from its pristine, white hull and Landa shook again.

“My ship!” shouted Jack. “What the hell? How did we catch up?”

“He must be a really terrible pilot,” said Shrim.

The phase beams ceased for a moment as Landa swung wide around The Real Fast One. On the screen Jack’s ship shuddered and the engines glowed briefly then sputtered out.

Jack let out a short, sharp laugh. “Poor Missy can’t to get it into gear.”

“Gear?”

“Yeah I got a manual transmission on that baby,” said Jack. “Nothing like hitting the high revs before slamming it into second.”

“Transmission? What does that even mean?”

“What matters is he’s not gunna be able to outrun us.” Jack shook his head and sighed. “And he can’t even attempt to drive and fire at the same time. Pathetic.”

The engines of The Real Fast One flickered once more, then the ship blinked from view.

Jack folded his arms. “Well, he won’t get far.”

Landa’s chosen face reappeared on the screen. “Well that was fun,” she said. “I’m just going to gather my senses a bit before we continue on to Dartham if you don’t mind.”

“Follow that ship!” shouted Jack, jabbing his finger in the direction he imagined his ship had gone.

“I’m not sure how I feel about chasing after someone who was trying to kill me,” Landa said.

“Stay a ways back,” said Shrim, “But keep him in sensor range. We’ll wait till he lands somewhere to do anything.”

“Whatever you say, sugar,” said Landa with a wink. “As long as

I get my secret.” She faded from the screen.

“Secret?” Jack raised an eyebrow.

Shrim sighed. “I told you, I’m paying for all this with information. And I think Landa is getting an especially good deal out of this one.” Shrim returned to his tablet, tapping away with one hand. “For some reason I really believe you’re going to be able to solve my little problem.”

“The reason,” said Jack. “Is that I’m Jack Blastwave. Now let’s get this show on the road so I can get out of this intestine and back to a real ship.”

“Hey, I heard that!” said Landa.

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