Here is the last snippet. The new book should be out this weekend!
Justin stayed in the cockpit and watched the radar screens. The formation of fighters continued to close. He felt a tap on his arm and looked to the right. The co-pilot was tapping his helmet. Justin realized that he had taken his helmet off.
“Sir, the Fleet says that they are NOT, repeat NOT an escort. We are recommended to take evasive action and they suggest we return to base.” The co-pilot looked very anxious.
Return? And fail a mission? Screw that! He turned back to the cockpit. “Action stations! Get those guns manned and prepare for battle.” The ESS troops in the shuttle sprang into action and manned the defensive stations.
“Contact Captain Lightfoot. Inform him that we are continuing on to the station. Have his troops man the guns! Pilot, increase speed we need to avoid these fighters and attack that station. The ESS never runs from a fight!”
The co-pilot sent the message, then turned to the commander. “Sir, those fighters are faster than we are. We are sitting ducks in these things! We need to turn back!”
Justin watched on his screen, the Marine shuttles were coming about and retreating! Cowards! He drew his sidearm and pointed it at the head of the Pilot. “If you cowards turn to follow those others I will kill you! Now, make this ship go faster we have a station to capture and traitors to kill!”
The pilot complied and the shuttle increased in speed. Looking at the screens Justin saw that about half of ‘his’ ESS troops ship had turned around and were making for the fleet. He screamed his outrage at this and yanked the communicator away from the copilot.
“Attention all ships, you will return to formation NOW! All ESS personnel are to stay with me, we are attacking this station together! Replace your commanders if you have to but we are not cowards we attack, not retreat!”
Several of the shuttles turned away from the direction of the fleet and resumed course. The rest joined the Marine units and retreated.
The rebel space fighters opened fire when they came into range. Missile alarms and alert sirens began sounding inside the cockpit. Red lights flashed on the defensive consoles as the pilots scrambled to fire counter-measures. The ESS manning the defensive guns were firing in every direction, very few were hitting anything other than the other shuttles. The rebel fighters were a mix of older surplus ships mixed with the newest Imperial fighters.
The faster more maneuverable fighters made short work of the ESS shuttles. Justin watched in horror as those few ships that had chosen to attack with him were blown out of space. The fighters turned away and began to pursue the Marine shuttles that had retreated.
“Sir, the rebels are leaving us alone. What do we do?” The pilot’s were both looking at him.
A feeling of elation came over him. He could do this. All the glory could be his. “Continue your course. Make for the station. We can still attack.”