notch couldn’t stop himself it was like a drug, a couple a hours ago he had grabbed the field glasses to get a better look at all those eyes looking at him and was lost in the variety that had sprung to view. He realized that the rooms behind the windows had beings packed into them, most just stared back, some moved and milled about to get a better view and then stared some more.
It never got truly dark that night just twilight for a couple hours then the haze brightened back up. His stomach growled for like the third time and notch hopped up to hit the head and take a shower. Then he planned to get his chef on. Before he left the wheelhouse he turned on the antique world war two furuno radar and started it warming up a process that took awhile, then as an after thought he turned on the new anus computer suite that nobody had used since it was installed last year because everyone onboard was a professional and knew how to fish.
Half an hour later notch stared at his face in the mirror and wondered what these beings thought “well” he said to himself “At least these people won’t treat you like dirt for being injun ‘aye'”he smiled then covered his teeth with his lips.”breakfast time I’m thinking waffles and bacon.”
The internal sensors informed jak jak that another crew member had just perished due to tidal stresses bringing losses to thirty eight since he had left Angel. That was the fifth and final blackhole before the sensor net marking the frontier and civilization. There was nothing more left, both main power cores were fried beyond repair and the drive shunt was making a death rattle deep down in its housing. It was shaking in a cyclic rhythm that repeated every few seconds and caused a shudder to course threw the ship stem to stern every ten to fifteen seconds or so. Down in engineering warning lights flashed everywhere in the vacuum and the chief engineer screamed in frustration as the reactors controls became unresponsive and the injection nozzles melted to slag, the building radiation started to cook its way through the shielding causing discharges that crawled along all surfaces and had people scrambling for there lifes swimming desperately in sudden zero gee to escape the deadly lightning. The cores both leaped into space using thrusters as the chiefs hand was still a foot from the scram panel.
jak jak had milked the cores for every last inch he could before he dumped them at the last second he could. just shy of the border on a deadstick trajectory toward central planets. the drive cores exploded and triggered sensors all over the frontier. Help would be along presently. hopefully.
Half the crew was dead and dieing and only ten members of the team reported as fully functional but he suspected they were lying. The ship was hammered and the three remaining class five powerplants, severely damaged by feedback from the main cores, were already beyond critical and could not be jettisoned safely, they would blow soon.
Jak jak had no choice they had only one good escape pod. He had spent several thousand years crawling around a spaceship alone in zero gee and when he went on E.V.A. veteran spacemarines took notes.
He folded out of his seat and started herding survivors to the airlock bouncing off surfaces faster than most of the crew could see or think. He got the survivors outside. The pod was a joke. It was in fact “the cookies can” a single seat runabout with extra room for groceries intended for short in orbit trips to go shopping. Didn’t even have a damn stereo. Jak Jak tied the survivors on the outside with sticky tape and a wad of wires ripped straight from the ships guts as he had left the ship. He ripped the hatch door off and chucked it to save weight then crawled in and took off at a depressingly slow pace.