The heavy jolt catapulting her from the pilot's chair told Tera that a tractor beam had locked onto her ship. Her small, fast, yet admittedly stolen, scout ship.
She righted herself and, bracing her stance with widespread legs, hunched over the controls, skimming the readouts with disbelief. She was well and truly caught, her chance at thumbing her nose at the Republic evaporating with each second of the beam's grip. It was only a strike destroyer that held her--one of the smaller ships in the Space Fleet's arsenal--but her getaway was even smaller, without any mass she could leverage to break free.
So close. She had been so close...
A second jolt almost sent her tumbling to the floor again and this time she didn't waste a moment. She knew the feel of a tractor shear when she felt one. She mumbled as she seated herself, her fingers flying over the console, marrying words to the commands she had to execute on an unfamiliar board. Rotate. Dive. Accelerate. Turn. Again.
Despite the scout's anti-grav unit, acceleration pushed Tera further back into the thick upholstery, sliding her from one side of the seat to the other. She used the relative stability of a brief respite in gyrations to lock herself into the chair's harness then--with a savage grin--started a series of manoeuvres that would take her to the edge of blacking out. But would also, if she was as good a pilot as she thought she was, speed her out of the destroyer's--and the government's--grasp.
She didn't know why the shear had kicked in. Maybe her pursuer had burnt out one of its tractor units. Maybe it had suffered a cascade failure. Whatever the reason, Tera d'Olzon wasn't hanging around to find out. She spared a glance at the sensor display and smirked against the changing g-forces at what she saw. The Republic ship was falling behind--already it was a little over two light-seconds away from her, and the gap was slowly increasing--although it was trying valiantly to catch up.
They wouldn't. Tera knew exactly what kind of craft she'd stolen when she jacked the scout from Tor Gamma's B Cluster shipyards, and it didn't fail her as she lengthened the distance from her enemy.
It was all her fault and she knew it. If she hadn't been so complacent after her last crease-jump, she would have detected the flicker of screen-noise that indicated a camouflaged Republic craft out on patrol. And, instead of staying sharp and crafting an avoidance plan, she bought trouble. Even now, she knew she couldn't divert any of the ship's precious memory to planning a possible hyperspace crease entry. Not yet. She wasn't far enough away to ensure that the destroyer wouldn't also tag her along the same exit path, and didn't want to lose her edge in post-crease disorientation.
The distance from the destroyer lengthened to ten light-seconds--almost enough for her to chance an initial calculation--when her ship got hit by another tractor beam.
Where had that come from?
Sensor maps showed nothing, except for one minuscule blip on the edge of a screen, big enough only to indicate a small comet or meteor. But whatever whacked into her ship held more punch than a large rock and, judging by its tenacity as she again threw her little craft into another series of extreme movements, more power than the destroyer she had left behind.
After ten minutes of fruitless struggling, Tera gave up. Whatever had her in its grip was not about to let her go. And considering that it was already travelling at high velocity, pulling her along like a recalcitrant toddler--with more than enough energy to burn--it would be futile fighting against it any longer. Her engines had redlined five minutes ago and the temperature in the small cockpit was rising as the life-support systems tried to compensate for a battery of overheated equipment.
With a sigh, she powered down the engines, and jolted sharply once more before the tractor adjusted to her sudden lack of resistance. Whatever had nabbed her wasn't Republic--they valued their privacy for one, still masquerading as an inanimate piece of rock as they dragged her through the sector at a phenomenal velocity--but, at the moment, any other player might be equally as dangerous as the galaxy's renowned bully. She would need to be on her guard.