Meet Your Evil Twin
Summary: Target practice in an Ungstiri asteroid field turns into something a bit more sinister for the Jackal.
Cast: Barry, Swiftfoot, Torr
Air Date: 2006.07.12

Part 1 of a series. Next part: A Tale Of Two Jackals

Warning: Contains Vulgarity

Cockpit <IND Jackal>

The hatchway opens up to a small metal platform which overlooks a compact command center. Light filters out from hidden coves, evenly illuminating the bridge consoles. A rainbow of telltales and monitors add a touch of color, breathing life into the maze of metal and machinery. A few steps down, the main terminals are arranged in a rough semicircle, following the curvature of the ship's bow. Twin stations centered beneath the main canopy face forward, while another pair face the port and starboard, situated on either side of the cockpit just before two bulky turrets outfitted with the gunnery controls and targeting computers. The whole space is tight-packed, with little room to move when all positions are occupied.


"You fly like I do," Swiftfoot teases, chuckling as she brings the display for the console online, tapping at the keys. "Like a fuckin maniac. But hell, that's the only way to be, meh?"

Barry makes his way back towards the port gunnery console. "Pick a target," he says to Torr, as he painfully settles back into the chair, and then powers up his terminal. "Ain't ever seen Torr barnstorm a landin' pad."

"Learned from Mika," Torr replies, "She flies this shit like this." He heads toward one of the more outlying rocks, vectoring quickly toward the surface of the rock.

Swiftfoot laughs aloud, her whiskers bristling in amusement. "That shit was the best. Watching those Marrines scatterr like sand in the wind. I thought that Castorri was gonna have a corronarry." She trails off into a chuckle and watches the display on the console. "Looks good," she says, offering a thumbs up to Mal.

"Good shit," Barry says, nodding in reply to Swifty. He's already got his turrets free and ready to fire. "Which target Torr?" He says, quickly pressing in several different target co-ordinates. "Or just fire at everything that moves, which ain't a ship?"

"Hell, if its the fuckin' Athena fire at that shit too," Torr remarks, the smirk still on his face. He slows the ship a bit, allowing for a better shot to be taken by the two gunners.

"Now that'd be a laugh," the Demarian says, chuckling. She brings up several different sets of coordinates on the display, then shakes her head. "These look like asterroids and shit. Don't see a... hrr, maybe. What's that?" Swiftfoot seems to be talking to herself at the very end of the sentence.

"What's up Swifty?" Barry says, still tracking his chosen targets. He hasn't fire yet, especially after the tone from the Demarian. "Most likely a prospector or something, heard they come out here a bit.

"Thought we came out here to fuckin' shoot some rocks, huh?" Torr cocks an eyebrow slightly and turns the Jackal. He sets the ship on a vector toward the direction Swiftfoot indicated. "Lets take a look, huh?"

"Meh. Looks like a rrockhopperr," the felinoid says as Jackal draws closer to the object, shaking her head. "What'rre we looking forr, anyhow? What class of ship, I mean? Orr did you guys not rreally get a rreading on it?" Swiftfoot shrugs vaguely, and keys in another few sets of coordinates.

"Didn't get a readin'," Barry says, giving an annoyed sigh. The man shakes his head, and then continues tracking one of the asteroids. With a target selected, he then opens fire on his chosen target.

Torr sets the Jackal on a bit of a coasting trajectory. The ship floats relativly slowly through space, the Martian leaning back a little bit in his seat.

Swiftfoot shrugs vaguely and sets the starboard console to track an asteroid on that side, punching in the coordinates somewhat idly. "Wish we knew. That shit would help a lot." She wrinkles her nose, then opens fire on the poor, hapless asteroid.

Barry's asteriod takes the hits, but just spins faster in space. "Look at that fucker go," he comments, as it takes off on a new trajectory. "Yeah, it woulda helped a fair bit... It had weapons, if that helps any." The man continues to fire upon his target, smiling happily, most likely because he gets to shot something.

Torr keeps the Jackal on the same basic trajectory, altering a bit as he has to when he gets to close to a few asteroids. A fresh cigarette is brought out and lit up with one hand while he pilots with the other.

The asteroid on the starboard side, unfortunately, doesn't fare so well as the one on the port side. It splits into several chunks, all of which take off in different directions. "Hell, mind the debrris," the Demarian says, her ears laying back as she targets the largest chunk of the same hunk of rock.

The asteriod on the port side of the Jackal, that might have been part of Ungstir in a former life, seems to do something its familar with and cracks up. "Fuck... More debris," Barry says, changing his target to a piece that's now drifting in front of the ship.

Torr sends the ship moving quickly up and away from the expanding debris field. "Gettin' a little crowded there," he remarks, then arcsthe ship toward a new patch of asteroids.

Swiftfoot snorts as the starboard cannon strikes its target, but only manages to send it flying off in a new direction. "Shit, been awhile since I done this," she says, shaking her head as she punches up several new sets of coordinates, tracking a sizeable asteroid that's relatively close to the Jackal's new heading.

Barry's shot his the latest fragment of Ungstir, and sets it spinning in circles. With the new pace set by Torr, he quickly selects a new target and then fires manually. "Can we try this on the rock?" he says, before snickering.

Some small debris that Torr seem to miss avoiding bounce off the shield, sending small jitters through the ship. "Yeah, shit wouldn't be too hard, huh." He smirks and shakes his head before going back to that flying thing.

"That'd be a laugh rriot," the Demarian says, as her target is sent spinning off in a new direction, albeit rather slowly. "Then we'd have the Ungstirri militia afterr us. Not that we couldn't outfly em, mind you..." Swiftfoot chuckles and fires at the same target again, the barrels of the cannons tracking its slow movement easily.

The port side turrets arc off into space, one of the beams striking the asteriod that it was target it. The other beam strikes something in the distance, that cause a faint flash. "Fuck," Barry grumbles. "Hope that wasn't something important." The debris that hit the Jackal doesn't seem to worry him that much, as he sends off another burst towards the target.

Torr nods a little bit as he guides the ship smoothly around the next bit of debris that the two gunners are nice enough to create for him. "Fuckin' militia is a joke anyway."

Swiftfoot's target again goes spinning off, this time at least away from the Jackal's trajectory. She starts to yawn, then blinks down at her gunnery console in surprise. "What the fuck is -that-?" she inquires of nobody in particular, her ears flattening. "Six-five-ninerr, Mal. Don't know if you can get a rreading on it frrom therre, but it looks like it might be heading this way."

Barry's target takes the blows pretty well, getting forced towards the space lanes in the distance, if it doesn't get hit by something first. "Six-five-niner?" Barry says, looking over his shoulder to Swifty. "What the fuck ya... Yeah... I've got something. Can't get a readin' yet. She's scrambling."

Torr glances toward Swiftfoot for a moment, then sends the ship into a sharp banking maneuver toward the object of interest.

"She's coming in fast," the Demarian agrees, her tail flicking idly back and forth. "Don't think it's the welcome committee." Swiftfoot shrugs vaguely. "Wanna wait till we've got a rreading, orr want me to give em a warrning shot?" Her paw hovers above the console, the coordinates already tapped in, and only waiting for verification.

"I'm gonna scrambles ours," Barry says, leaning over towards the engineering console, and pressing several button. He's in the pain, and his face is screwed up through the discomfort. "Don't fire yet... I wanna get a registry number on those fuckers."

Torr slows the ship a little bit but keeps the course the same. "Yeah, see what this shit is about before we go and fuck 'em up, huh?" He smirks a little and gets back to his piloting.

"Scan em while you'rre therre," the felinoid says, nodding over at Barry. The screen of the starboard gunnery display still flashes with a verification to fire. "Find out what the fuck we'rre up against, if in fact they're not just flying arround like idiots. See if they got weapons online and all that shit."

The unidentified ship is, in fact, not just flying around 'like idiots', and is still heading straight for the Jackal at a high rate of speed.

Well the scrambling didn't work, but Barry quickly changes the menu and starts to attempt to scan the ship in question as he leans across and uses Solace's terminal. "Come'n," he grumbles to himself, trying to get an ID fix on the ship in question. "What the hell they using to scramble?"

Torr keeps the ship on the trajectory that heads him away slightly from the ship that approaches them. He keeps them roughly toward the other ship, but out of range for now. "Fuckin' shit. Want me to head us out of here, or just get ready to?"

"No fuckin clue." the Demarian says, shaking her head. "Want me to trry?" she inquires, offering a shrug. Then to Torr, "Up to you, chief. We gotta decide fast orr we'll have a fight on ourr hands no matterr what."

A fight on their hands, indeed. The ship continues to head toward Jackal, closing fast.

Torr nods a little bit at this. "Fuckers. Think they are hot shit?" He shakes his head. "Think we'll be back for them. Unless you two wanna deal with this shit now, I'd rather have some more intel before we head in." He fires up the engines to full and sends the ship rocketing toward the outbound vector.

Barry takes a moment to read out the number that's being transmitted. "PRI-0105-AK4," he calls out to Swifty. "That ain't right, Bastards are retransmitting our own registry code back to us... Fuckers." He makes one more attempt, this time attempting to 'burn through the other ship's ECM field. "Got something, she's a Calliope... Ain't got anything else."

"How the fuck they doin that?" Swiftfoot snorts, shaking her head. "Assholes. Least we got morre inforrmation than we had last time. Know we'rre looking forr a Calliope, in any case." She wrinkles her nose, eyeing the gunnery display and flattening her ears. "Yeah, Torr, let Mal trry this one last time, then we'll bug out.

Whoever they are, they're still coming in hard and fast. The other ship actually picks up speed as the Jackal starts toward the outbound vector, as if attempting to catch up. Even more eerie than the sudden burst of speed is the complete radio silence throughout the entire encounter.

Torr shrugs a little, letting the ship gain distance on the Jackal. He glances toward Malion. "Do this shit quick, huh, don't want the fuckers too close."

"Fuckin' arseholes," Barry says, shaking his head in disbelief. "It's like they aren't there... I can't get anything else." He moves back fully into the port gunnery console, and straps himself in once more. "Fuckin' ghosts... I ain't even getting comm chatter."

"Lets go then," Torr grunts out. He increases the speed of the Jackal, sending it hurtling toward the outbound vector on a slightly weaving path. He does his best to allow the Jackal to escape.

Swiftfoot snorts and flicks her tail a couple of times, her eyes still on the display. "Fuck it. Let's get out of herre. We can come back when we've got Sol orr something, maybe she can figurre out what's going on." She sighs and shakes her head. "Pity, I had em lined up nice and neat too. But hell, we don't even know what they've got."

The other Calliope doesn't bother trying to follow the bobs and weaves that Jackal's pilot takes, instead keeping their ship on track to the obvious destination: the jump point. On a brighter note, it's not gaining quite so fast, and still isn't within range for most standard weaponry.

"Sol might be able to do somethin' with this shit we've got," Barry says, shaking his head. "I wanna know how the fuck they managed to redirect our own reg code back... didn't think it was possible." He presses several buttons on the console, and then brings up the short distance sensors. Not as effective as the comm console, but it works.

Torr shrugs a little as he listens to the conversation going on around him. He listens a little too hard apparently, as the ship dives to the side a little bit, setting it off trajectory.

Swiftfoot nods, her eyes narrowing as the ship bucks off to the side. She looks over at Torr. "What the? We hit something?" She snorts and shakes her head, shifting her eyes back to the gunnery display. "Shit, they're closing," she says, a faint note of alarm creeping into her voice.

And they are indeed gaining. The slight deviation from course allows the other vessel to pull uncomfortably close to weapons range. For most standard weapons, anyhow. What they're actually armed with is still up for debate.

"Got something," Barry says, almost sounding excited. "Reg number is PNI Zero seventy two, ZS nine... Ship name is IND Heyna" With the basic complete, he quickly switches back to the normal console mod. "I think they might most of the same equipment as us."

Torr frowns a little. "Can't fly and talk, fuckers," he replies. Then he falls silent, and the piloting drastically improves and the ship is headed up toward the old vector quickly.

"Then fly," Swiftfoot says, following the comment up with a snort. She eyes Barry/Mal then, her ears flattening again. "Wait, Hyena? Uhm... doesn't that strrike you as a little bit odd? Especially if they'rre outfitted the same way as we arre...?" The felinoid eyes the gunnery display. "Fuck yes. They'rre falling behind."

Torr's sudden improvement in piloting seems to have caught the pilot of the other vessel off guard. The ship has to veer off course to dodge a patch of asteroids, which puts it even further behind. The jump point lies dead ahead, and it doesn't look like there's any way that the ship now known as the IND Hyena could possibly catch Jackal. But she keeps right on coming anyway.

"We've got stalkers?" Barry says, shaking his head, as he once more takes over the port gunnery station. "Sounds a bit fuckin' strange. Now if they've got a crew like ours, I say we bounce them and kill all the fuckers." The turrets by now, have tracked back and facing aft, namely in the direction of the chasers.

"We'll find the fucks next time," Torr remarks as he heads the ship out of range and eventually out of the system, Once they are safely in FTL space, Torr stands. "I gotta go take a fuckin' nap after that shit. What a pain in the ass." Then he is heading aftward.

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