5. Escape

Pirate's Gambit

"Admiral, they've gone down!"

The lines around Admiral Taylor's mouth hardened. The grizzled veteran was fully aware of his vessel's awesome power - as well as its limitations. It was a risk chasing the damned pirate Jack Norton this close to the lunar surface but he had little choice, as his escort fleet was still engaged on the far side of Earth. Now his target had found refuge within the steep cracks of that rugged valley, where the Intrepid could not follow.

Taylor knew that the pirate would have by now switched off all but basic life support, so his energy footprint would be outside sensor scale. In other words, he would be impossible to locate.

"Should we bombard, sir?"

Taylor fixed his gaze on the dark trenches of Vallis Schrodinger. He clenched his fist, knowing it would be a waste of time.

"Negative. One day we'll catch him, but not today."