Jack twisted his stick and thrusters flared them around a few pieces of tumbling wreckage. Jack slammed the throttle forward, and engines roared tongues of blue fusion flame behind him. They accelerated towards the British vanguard, and Jack smiled with approval as their point defenses engaged every incoming enemy missile.

Jack found the Spitfire he was looking for at the very head of the vanguard. No surprise there. He tapped a button on his communications display to start transmitting. “Hey, Lance, old buddy. You’re looking a little lonely out here.”

“Not lonely at all,” Lance answered a second later, and his smiling face appeared on one of the displays. “Ivan’s giving us a warm welcome, in fact!”

“What did I tell you about trusting Russian vodka?” Jack asked as the range closed, pulling the throttle back to match speed with Lance’s squadron.

Displays flashed as Betty logged them back into the British networks. A whole new universe of fire plans and point defense options filled his cockpit. Laser turrets and missile pods realigned, thrusters burned to shift them into optimal angles, and gravitic cannons hummed to life as their capacitors achieved maximum power.

“Don’t,” Lance said with a chuckle. “It can give you a real headache in the morning.”

And then Jack’s little squadron of Avengers fired in time with the British vanguard. Grav beams and missiles reached out to smash one Russian ship, and wreckage filled his vision. Pieces of former warships drifted around them. Surviving point defense lasers fired at each other in fitful spurts of otherworldly destruction. Jack accelerated them through the flashing wreckage, trusting the deflection grids to deflect anything too small to dodge, trusting Betty to avoid anything too large to deflect, and really hoping none of those point defenses took a personal disliking to him.

“We have incoming fighters,” Betty reported, pulling his attention away from wreckage.

Jack glanced at the displays to see nearly a hundred Russian fighters closing with them.

“Ignore them,” Jack ordered and focused on the battleship he wanted so very much dead. “Stay on target.”

“Staying on target,” Betty acknowledged.

They shot out of the wreckage in time to the screaming duet of rock and roll guitars and opened fire with every weapon they had left.


The Audacious Affair is available at the following retailers


Barnes and Noble

Apple Books