Behind a large display of light and sound, the metal hull of the vessel shuddered, as usually happened when impulsed to change course abruptly. The signal to do so was given by the figure on the screen, his image momentarily distorted with the strain on the ship’s integrity. Nonetheless, he continued talking, giving directives while there was still time to do what must be done, before it became too late. The crew, minimal in number and tested to their core, listened intently to the words and to the space between them. They hoped to find some clue within the sounds that might indicate more clearly the gravity of the moment.
“When you have come to the edge of the progression,” he said with a calmness nurtured through a lifetime of having to maintain his focus as everything around him was disintegrating, “that’s when you must jump.” The jump held the weight of destiny for them; the crew knew, with those words, the campaign had led to a dead end. There would be no further attempts to out-maneuver the mercenaries, no more steadying input from the calm-voiced navigator on the screen. Moments away from an unknown fate, they braced themselves to its arrival by collectively moving mental energies to a single thought.
“Systems ready.” Those words gave voice to internal coordination among the crew. Final checks and adjustments complete, attention turned toward the flickering image on the screen.
Large grey eyes transmitted what his words could not, for the last navigational coordinates were vital to record. The unspoken communication lovingly shared was also a vital coordinate to this band of humans being hunted for their souls. Anchored thus, they prepared for the jump.
“A co ren, and farewell. The portal is stable. We will close it as soon as you are through. We will find each other again and remember this day. You each and all remain in our hearts. Jump time imminent. Farewell. Remember who you are.”
The transmission crackled into an electronic haze as the ship became engulfed in a pulsing green light. A grand shudder, and they were through, free in space lit by a foreign array of stars.
Deft fingers quickly tapped coordinates into place. The ship slowed, turned, then surged smoothly onward. With an audible sigh, they signaled their relief to each other. The pursuit, for now, was over. Now another chance to thrive, to survive was theirs. Excitement would have to wait for fatigue to play itself out. Time, for the moment, was theirs, for rest, for remembering.