The Gauntlet

  The Gauntlet

                 Chapter One  

   "Holy shit! That was one of the main engines!" Star-Lord shouted. "They did not just take out one of MY engines!"
    "That's not good." Drax said.
    "Ya think?" Star-Lord asked, jumping out of his seat. "How the hell are we supposed to get out of here?"
    Rocket leaped out of the back seat and into the chair nearest the weapon controls.
    "I got the missiles!" Rocket said, aiming at an incoming space ship. 
    He pressed the buttons. Two missiles fired out at once. One crashed into the intended target, blowing it up instantly. The other hit a ship swooping down in front of the exploding craft.
    "Wooh! Two in one!" Rocket shouted with a fist bump.
    "I am Groot." Groot said.
    "Yeah I see that one, Groot!" Rocket said. 
    He fired another round of missiles that struck one large ship below its cockpit. It burst outwards with parts flying everywhere. A thruster blade smashed into the cockpit window, cracking the glass.
    "Whoa!" Rocket said. "A little too close!"
    A loud bang sounded when the Milano was struck on its side. The space craft shook violently. 
    When the shaking stopped, Drax rose from his seat drawing his twin daggers.
    "That's it! I've had enough of this! Throw me out there and I'll shred those morons!" Drax said.
    "Attack a bunch of ships? Are you crazy?" Rocket asked. "With those little knives? I think your muscles took over where your brain should be."
    "Well at least it's better than standing around and letting them attack us!" Drax said.
    "One of our engines just went out. You think we can just fly to anywhere right now?" Gamora asked.
    "I am Groot." Groot said.
    "Guys, guys. Hold up a sec." Star-Lord said. "I think we can still get out of here."
    Another ear-piercing BANG! came when something hit the belly of the ship. The Milano tilted sharply to the right. Everyone inside was flung onto the right side of the cockpit, all hitting the wall hard. Groot crushed some electrical boxes causing them to spark.
   "I am Groot!" Groot said.
   Rocket stuck his head out from under Gamora. 
   "Yeah, I'm sure that hurts!" Rocket said.
   "This hurts more." Star-Lord said, his voice muffled under Rocket's blaster. 
    He pulled the large gun off his head, exhaling deeply. Drax lay sprawled out on top of him. His daggers stabbed into the metal interior on both sides of Star-Lord's head.
    Drax pulled himself into a sitting position, glancing around the cockpit.
    "You think we can still get out of here now?" Drax asked.
    "I was in the middle of coming up with a plan." Star-Lord said.
    "And if you have one, I'd really love to hear it." Rocket said, crawling out onto Groot.
    Gamora rolled onto her stomach and rose to a crouching position.
   "I'd love to." Star-Lord said. "If you could just get off me."
   "Sorry." Drax said. He got off Star-Lord's mid-section.
   Star-Lord sat up. Drax crouched next to him, pulling his daggers out of the wall and placing them into their sheaths.
   "Might wanna be careful with those. I almost got my head chopped off." Star-Lord said.
   "So what's your plan?" Drax asked. 
   Star-Lord got up shakily, using his hand to stop his fall on the wall. Drax pulled him up with one arm. Gamora and Groot were already standing. Rocket crawled onto Groot's shoulder.
   Star-Lord pointed to the flight controls.
   "We need to fly outta here." He said.
   "And how are supposed to that?" Gamora said. "You said yourself that one of the engines is damaged"
   "Yeah, and the other engines are working just fine." Star-Lord said. "That is,  until they destroy the second main engine, that we're stuck."
   "Until! We still got it right?" Rocket said. "One beats none."
   "Exactly." Star-Lord said. 
   He walked toward the front of the cockpit. He climbed onto the nearest chair. Outstretching his arm, he grabbed onto the next chair. Scaling the seat arm rests up to his chair.
   Rocket leaped off Groot's shoulder. Jumping from chair to chair and taking a seat next to the weapons controls. Strapping himself in, he grabbed the controls.
   "I'll bomb up the next idiot who tries to shoot us." Rocket said.
   Gamora and Drax climbed into their seats. Groot shuffled next to rocket.
   Having himself strapped in, Star-Lord gripped the flight controls.
   "So where are we going with just one working main engine?" Gamora asked.
   Star-Lord tapped the monitor in front of him.
   "I spotted a wormhole near hear before we got attacked. We can get there while balanced on the one engine." He said.
   "You think it's gonna work?" Drax asked.
   "We're in space, dammit! Of course it's gonna work!" Star Lord said.
   "Do you think we'd have gotten out of the Kyln without my help?" Rocket asked. "Cause this is the same type of situation."
   "How is this the same?" Gamora asked. "We're out in space being attacked."
   "It's the same because we think we're stuck, but we can think our way through." Rocket said, thumping his forehead with his finger. "With a small percentage of getting out alive, that is."
   The ship began to move faster, despite being tilted vertically. Other space ships zoomed in front of it. Rocket released the missiles of which blew up three of them. 
   The Milano flew into the blaze left behind from the explosion. It shook violently. The seats threatened to break from the floor. Gamora and Drax held tightly onto the arm rests. Groot wrapped his elongated fingers around Rocket's chair.
    "Come on." Star-Lord said, tightly grasping the controls.
    The Milano flew out of the red clouds and into clear space. The wormhole visible not far from them.
    "Woohoo!!" Star Lord said. 
    Another ship sent a rocket hurling toward the Milano. The alarm sounded out in the cockpit.
    "Shit! Shit!!" Star-Lord said. "Rocket blast it!"
    "I can't see it!!" Rocket said. 
    "I am Groot!!" Groot said.
    Rocket looked to the monitor in front of him.
    "Where is it?" The raccoon asked.
    "How the hell should I know? I'm the one flying this thing!" Star Lord said.
    "Someone blast that thing before it hits us!" Gamora yelled.
    "Do YOU see where it is?!" Rocket asked. "Cause I don't!!"
    Drax turned his head toward the window.
    "On the left!" He said.
    Rocket slammed down the button. Two missiles shot out. He directed them toward the left of the Milano. One collided directly with the rouge missile. Through the explosion, the other missile crashed into the ship that fired it.
    "Hell yeah!" Rocket shouted.
    Star-Lord applied more thrust to the engine. The Milano sped quickly away on it's side. The explosions like a veil, blocking the other space ships from view. The fiery inferno becoming farther away.
    Rocket clicked some buttons on the display in front of him.
    "Uh Quill, I just used the last of your missiles." The raccoon said.
    "That's fine." Star-Lord said. "We're about to get out of here anyway."
    Rocket looked out the front windows. The wormhole now in front of the Milano.
    "You sure we should go in?" Rocket asked.
    "Would you rather get blown up by them?" Star-Lord asked.
    In the monitor Rocket saw the ships emerging from the red haze.
    "On second thought, no." Rocket said. "But we could have worked out a peace treaty with them!"
    "Not with the level of aggression they have." Gamora said.
    "This is why I hate traveling." Drax said.
    "I am Groot." Groot said.
    The space crafts shot out of the maroon-colored clouds. Engines given more thrust, they zipped after the Milano.
   "Hurry Quill! They're onto us!!!" Rocket shouted.
   "I've got it to the fastest she can go!!" Star-Lord said. "I only have one working engine remember? The smaller engines aren't enough to propel us any faster."
   "We don't got no more missiles, so what am I supposed to shoot them with?" Rocket asked. "Those bastards better not shoot at us."
   "The lazer blasters?" Drax said.
   "And how am I supposed to use those when they're facing the front and we got hostiles coming up from behind?" Rocket asked.
   "I am Groot." Groot said.
   "It doesn't matter. The wormhole is right here! We can make it!!" Star-Lord said.
   "Then let's make it, before they blow us all up!" Gamora said.
   Star Lord pushed the thrust to it's maximum. Gripping the handle as far as it can go. 
   The Milano's speed bumped up by a bit. The wormhole getting bigger with more distance covered.
   The ships behind the Milano set their aim on the large M-ship. Missiles launched and coming up from behind.
   The alarms went off again. This time with red lights blinking all around the cockpit.
   "Those idiots are firing at us!" Rocket said.
   "Quill!!" Drax said.
   "I got it! Just a little bit closer!" Star-Lord said.
   "Those missiles are covering a whole lot of range in a short amount of time!! Rocket said. "And I got nothing to counter them with!"
   "We'll never make it!!" Gamora said.
   Star-Lord narrowed his eyes on the wormhole.
   "Oh yes we will. We're THIS close!" He said. "We can make it!"
   The Milano entered the wormhole. The missiles inbound. The space ships coming up from behind.
   "Come on! Come on!!" Star-Lord said. 
   The Milano sped deeper into the dark swirling mass. Into it's depths it disappeared. The ship violently shaking. Metal walls creaking from the force of the spinning vortex. 
   "Great idea. Let's head right into the black whirling hole." Rocket said, with added sarcasm. His voice trembling. "We're totally not gonna die from this!"
    The thruster blade dislodged from the window. Pieces of glass tore away with it. The cracks deepened in the glass as air rushed into the cockpit.
    Groot tightened his grasp on the chair. Rocket gripped tightly onto the armrests, sucking in a deep breath of air.
    "Quill!!!" Gamora yelled.
   One of the projectiles flew into the wormhole. The missile zipping through the uncontrollably fast winds. Rushing up toward the Milano from behind.
    The thruster blade slammed into it. It exploded upon impact. The detonation bursting outward instantly. The Milano was swallowed in it's dark red clouds.
Next Chapter here


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