The Zeppulian swerved. It swerved with a grace completely unbecoming of a ship its size. Its engines rejoiced that someone was steering the ship the way it was designed to be steered, not by random switch flicking or lever pulling. In the hands of a pilot who actually knew how to fly it, it was more than obvious why the Zeppulian was considered the grandest ship in the galaxy. It moved with such exquisite precision that literal poetry in motion thought it was beautiful. Truly, it was a sight to behold.
And it was a sight that Dar’leth was beholding with complete disbelief aboard his ship Opaque 1. As the commander of the Neuzuan space pirate fleet, Dar’leth was used to several things, namely, chasing ships, shooting at ships, capturing ships, boarding ships, and looting ships. He wasn’t used to ships which were previously flying in a completely haphazard and stop-start manner to suddenly swerve with near angelic grace. His violet eyes stared incredulously as the ship his fleet had been steadily gaining on continue to maneuver with utter poise and pull away. He was flummoxed and confused and didn’t like being either of those things so he decided to put an end to all that. His yellow face was flushed green as he turned his horned head to face the gelatinous cylindrical blob on his right. His first mate Pir was waiting for his orders the way she did most things, jelly-like and with great patience.
“Lock on that ship, Miss Pir. Increase thrusters to 85% and direct the west wing to swoop in a counter angle to try cut them off while the rest of us try close in on them. We’ll not letting a ship that grand or fast to get away from us.”
“Very good. It will be so,” Pir replied in the elastic echo which was her voice, the sound of her words resonating as though both distant and close at the same time.
“You heard him, you schlong waffles!” she yelled fondly to the crew. Pir was a Guutnor, a race of gelatinous cylindrical blobs, and like all gelatinous cylindrical blobs, Pir express her admiration through outrageously crass insults. It was clear by her latest insult just how dearly she held the crew.
“Douchebagger Rawkin, increase thrusters,” she commanded the sentient data cloud who manned the engines.
“Mister Qer, if you could stop being a catastrophic dung-muncher for just a moment, maintain current course,” she instructed the vaguely humanoid Tothlez who had just way too many hands and piloted the ship.
“Relay the west wing their instructions, Miss Juub” she echoed to the communications manager, a violet skinned Kerrlu. It was obvious that Pir didn’t like Juub that much but she was still a professional. Juub didn’t really care though and started pushing buttons with the sole limb which protruded from her perfectly round body, relaying the instructions as echoed.
“Once we’ve capture that ship, I’ll get the captain to arrange a viewing of Love Limbs Lost tonight!” Miss Pir declared in a warbled yet clear cry. This brought a great cheer from the crew and from the crews of other ships in the fleet over the communication manager's communicator.
As is well known by everyone who knows, the crew which comprised the Neuzuan space pirate fleet is a collection of alien species cobbled together from across the galaxy. They were brought together by their love of galactic robbery, occasional murders, and cheesy romantic comedies starring intergalactic hologram actors, Q’urth Don and El’zeth Raun. Love Limbs Lost was collectively deemed to be their favourite hologrammie, largely due to the climatic reconciliation scene in acid rain where Q’urth’s character Richard runs to El’zeth’s character Barry and they kiss. Like a lot. In the rain. It was a scene which reduced most space pirates to a puddle on the floor and a few to tears. Miss Pir knew how to motivate people. She also knew how to motivate the sentient data clouds, one-limbed Kerrlus, and faceless Autotauns which comprised her captain’s crew. And what motivated them was the promise of a hologrammie night filled with cheesy romantic comedies.
“Good work, Miss Pir,” Dar’leth commended her. His skin was slowly regaining his natural Bezbulab yellow tone as he regained some feeling of control over the situation. That feeling of control had no bearing on reality but it made Dar’leth feel better so reality let it slide this time. The west wing of the fleet diverged from rest of the Death-Stalkers to swoop at a counter angle to try cut the Zeppulian off. Of course, Dar’leth hadn’t specified which counter angle so they just went off at 57 degrees and hoped that was the angle that their commander had wanted. To the surprise of all aboard Aqua 4 and Ember 2, the two Death-Stalker ships which comprised the west wing, they actually went at the precise angle required to cut off the Zeppulian following its utter graceful swerve if it continued at its current speed and trajectory. Furthermore, with the remainder of the fleet rounding off the rear, escape looked all but impossible for the Zeppulian. The crew about the ships which comprised the west wing could scarce believe their luck and stood, sat, or hovered (depending on their ergonomic work spaces) in near total shock. Their shock then became total when the Zeppulian did the all but impossible and abruptly, yet elegantly, changed its trajectory. Twisting with a burst of speed which would have been thought inconceivable if it hadn’t been witnessed by eyes belonging to witnesses, the pursued ship took off at a completely different 57 degree angle to the one which the west wing had taken. The space pirates aboard Opaque 1, Aqua 4, and Ember 2 were too busy scrambling a counter maneuver to marvel at the scientific and mathematical improbability of ship twisting in a manner which seemed to have no regard for how degrees or angles work.
Back on his ship, Dar’leth’s face had turned bright green once more. He could scarce believe what had happened any more than anyone else who had witnessed what had happened could scarce believe it.
“That’s not possible,” he declared. No one was sure to whom he was making this declaration to but everyone on board agreed with the truth of it. It wasn’t possible. No ship, especially not a ship of that impressive size, could move like that. The laws of physics just didn’t allow for that sort of thing. Just didn’t allow for it. And yet, it had happened. That was the reality of the situation and it was a reality that Dar’leth slowly came to terms with, although he didn’t like it one bit. Reality felt bad for him but that’s just the way it was. Dar’leth felt the jellied eyes of his first mate on him, awaiting his orders. He exhaled.
“Miss Pir, get the west wing to retain formation and counter swerve to lock back on the ship. All remaining ships’ thrusters set to maximum. Alter course to aim for the most improbable trajectory that ship could take to cut them off. We’re not letting a prize that impossible get away from us,” he ordered.
Pir echoed his orders. Miss Juub relayed her echoes, Rawkins increased thrusters to maximum, and Qer used his way too many hands to steer for a point which was an improbable trajectory for the Zeppulian to take. And then the improbable happened.