Recap: In the last installment, Quim and the others hijacked some ships from a munitions factory. While scoping the place out, they noticed one large transporter leave, to bring a munition delivery to the Trisken flagship, which was orbiting the planet. After Triple was wounded by shots to the torso, he decided to pilot the other transporter, bringing the final batch of munitions to the Trisken flagship.
Triple's mind had become muddled; Lost in the past. Every person that died during their mission took its toll on his mind. Now he was facing the end of his own life, he could only daydream of the display that was going to see him through to the end of it. There is no worse pain than the feeling of loss or guilt. The seeping wounds across his torso didn't even feel that bad, compared to it. He stared blankly out the windscreen of the ship as he approached the distant stars, soon the ship was cocooned in flames, burning up from breaking through the atmosphere of Trisk. The rocking of the ship badly affected his wounds, Triple felt like he was going to keel over as the shakes got stronger.
"Leaving a planet is worse than entering one. It takes a lot of concentration to stay on point, the slightest lapse in thought and you'll find your ship drifting back down to the ground." Bird's soft voice spoke in his mind. It was as if she was sitting right next to him. "The first flight." He muttered to himself. Seeing movement beside him in the cockpit he looked around, nearly jumping out of his skin. It was her, sitting pretty in the seat beside him. Blinding and angelic with a smile that made him want to tear his eyes out, wishing it could be the last thing he ever saw.
"You're sweating." She said with a look of concern. He knew he was. His clothes had become soaked and it left him feeling cold. Triple had assumed it was the blood pouring out of him. "Yeah, I guessed that. Either that or piss." He started to laugh, which caused him pain. But, nothing could distract him from Bird. "You're burning up." Doc Freeman said. He felt a hand reach down to his forehead. The instant it made contact with his skin he jolted in his seat. No one was around him. He was alone once more and the ship was swaying off-course, he pulled to bring it back to its target. He strained himself to do so but managed it nonetheless. The rocking continued and got stronger as he aimed the ship back toward the stars.
Finally, he was through the fire and the ship steadied itself. Slowly he could see the enemy fleet in the distance, Trisken ships, mixed with Confederation vessels. They were little more than dots, but, he knew he would reach them soon. The radio of the ship activated as he came closer to them and he could hear the voice of a Trisken. Slimy, off-beat, broken. Hisses followed each word that ended in an s. He couldn't concentrate on what they were asking him, something about codes if he was to guess. "Yeah, my codes. I'm making a delivery of the munitions to take out the last of The Confederation." Triple replied, doing his best to mimic the speech pattern of the one speaking to him. He knew his busted microphone wouldn't send the message in full, but, he knew that hints of a Trisken voice would allow him entry. The biggest ship in their fleet. He thought to himself over the talking of the Trisken. He felt himself drift and he slapped his own face, to stay awake, which helped momentarily.
"You're having a problem with your comms. Fix it and send us the codes." He heard the voice say, sounding more frustrated than before. "This is 60-2B. Requesting permission to land." He said, then he started to say random numbers and letters, as he started to punch the com system. The microphone burnt out and sparked heavily, he could feel his hand go numb after hitting it. That didn't hurt him though, instead, it just made him angry. He ripped and wrenched at the thing, tearing it from the console and tossing it aside like a tuft of grass. "Stupid thing." He mumbled as he flexed his hand, shaking off the pins and needles.
"You can turn around Triple. You don't have to go through with this." Doc Freeman said. Triple looked around and saw him sitting in the seat Bird had previously sat in. "I'm dying anyway. May as well go out with a bang and take some of these bastards out with me." He replied lazily. Triple tried his hardest to grin at the end, but, he felt like he was moving in slow motion. "I ran. A long time ago. There's no shame in it. If you can make it over there, you will survive." Doc Freeman said as he pointed to the other fleet in the distance. "You ran?" Triple asked after he looked to see the dots that made up The Confederation fleet.
"I did. It was back on my home world. There was an attack when I was about nineteen. I could have fought, I could have done something. Instead, I fled to Free Space and started a new life for myself. I'm not proud of it, but, I knew if I didn't I would die." He said as he leaned forward, his hand outstretched, and he lay his palm on Triple's shoulder.
The instant he touched him, Triple woke up. "Doc! It's okay, I want to do this." He mumbled to himself, lifting a hand to wipe the drool from the side of his face. The ships were closer now, the bulk of their fleet Triple could see with a lot more detail than he could before. They were little more than Confederation wrecks, which belonged in a scrap heap, rather than a fleet. He was shocked at the state most of the ships were in. These things aren't fit for fighting. He thought to himself, confused by it all. No wonder they aren't willing to push for an attack.
Triple looked around then reached for his bag, lifting it up from beside him and he sat it on his lap. The bag rubbed against his wounds, rather than let the pain stop him, Triple gritted his teeth and carried on. He started to rummage through it and pulled out his communicator, fumbling with it, he activated the small device as he looked to the Confederation fleet. "I hope I'm close enough." He said as he opened up his comm channel for the ship, he and the others first arrived here on.
"This is Triple. Can anyone read me? I was a part of a task force sent down to Trisk, by order of Ohearah and Brigadier Runish." He said vacantly into the communicator. He repeated the message and within a few moments decided to give up. "Probably still jammed, piece of crap." He said in a frustrated tone.
"Triple. Is that you? We lost contact with you and the team shortly after you left for Trisk." Ohearah's voice was bewildered but he sounded excited to make contact with one of them. "It was a shit show Ohearah. But, we made the most of it." Triple stopped talking, to let out some deep coughs. "I've been shot to bits. Doc Freeman was killed by some creature. Bird took one to the face. And those Raws you sent down, only two of them were still alive by the time I left. We met another squad, Quim and Lags were headed to take out Herzart, and the other team headed for a large substation to take it down." He continued.
Silence followed his words, Triple was unsure if he was still there or if they had lost contact. He shook his communicator, hoping to regain a connection. "I'm sorry to hear that Triple. What are you doing off-world? Are you coming back to the fleet?" Ohearah asked. "Negative. I'm heading for the Trisken flagship. I've got a little surprise for them. Make sure to keep an eye on their fleet and wear a pair of shades." He said as he started to laugh. "Triple, you don't have to do this. Come back to us, don't waste your life." Ohearah said taken aback by what Triple said. "It's too late now, I'm nearly at it. Call this a going-away present. I wanted to say, though. Don't be afraid to push against this fleet Ohearah. Most of these ships are wrecks, a few good knocks and they're done. Without the flagship, I think you will fare well against them." Triple replied as he continued to look around at the Trisken fleet.
He saw the monstrous flagship ahead of him. Its size dwarfed Triple's own ship, especially when all light from the nearby star was blocked out as he came closer to it. He stared blankly at it, shaking his head as it continued to grow in front of him. "This is going to be good." He whispered. Seeing a lit-up slit beneath the bridge of the ship, Triple knew it must have been the main entrance into the ship. He could see from this distance that the hanger was full of smaller transporters and fighters. Upon coming closer to it, he even started to see the movement of troops. They were only specs of dust, but, he could see them clearly with each passing minute.
He finally reached the semi-translucent force field which protected the ship from space, Triple flew straight for it. Knowing that now was the moment of truth; The moment he was waiting for. This would decide whether or not they bought the damaged communicator lie and if they bought his impersonation of a Trisken. The barrier got closer and closer and finally as the nose of the ship reached it, he passed through. Triple ducked into his chair, not wanting to get spotted by any of the personnel. He took the ship down in the centre of the hanger and waited for a moment, while looking at the detonator, resting on the control board.
He picked it up in one hand and held the communicator with the other. "Hey, Ohearah." He asked. "Yes, Triple?" Ohearah replied. "I'm in the ship. I've got a detonator in one hand and you in the other. Put out an announcement. Get everyone to look at the Trisken fleet, this is going to be big." He said as he stood up.
Triple was hunched over slightly from his injuries, but remained on his feet. He watched Triskens walk towards the transporter, none, however, noticed him. With that, he decided to gain their attention by waving. "Hello! Can you see me now?" He shouted. Finally, some paid attention to him and looked shocked at the site of a human on their ship. "Bird, Doc Freeman, the Raws, and every single Confederation soldier who died on your stinking shithole of a planet are looking upon me and smiling right now!" He shouted at them, and as they raised their weapons to fire, he clicked the detonator.
The only thing he could feel was a rumble and the only thing he could hear was a deafening explosion.