A fox covers his head with a pillow as a computer voice says it's time to wake up. After a few minutes the smell of breakfast filters into the room. He then sits up, and rubs his eyes. Yawning
as he stands to dress, the sound of his mothers voice crackles over the intercom. Wake up hon. Breakfast is ready. Jack hops on one foot to trying to pull his pants up, Then answers, ok I will be
right there mom.
After dressing, Jack heads for the kitchen. The door closes behind him, just missing his long fox tail as he walks down the hallway. His mother smiles as her son enters the room, and sits at the
She smiles. Then carries his breakfast to him. Eat it all up dear.. He mmmssss as he takes a bite.. Good as ever mom.. She sits across the table to eat as well. Thank you dear. You don't want to be
late for work . He looks out the window as a small shuttle craft docks with the station..
Jack thinks back at the time when he, and his parents arrived at the station. A giant orbiting complex for tourism, science, and a rest stop for space workers. The vast complex has circled high above
Jacks home planet of Foxway, for the last fifty years. A small blue-green world with three moons. Located in a busy space corridor the station handles large amounts of traffic.
Jack finishes his breakfast, and looks at his mother. We almost have enough credits to buy that little place on Foxway mom. You know. The lakeside cabin in the woods.. You deserve it. You have put in
too many years on this tin can. His mother looks back with a smile. Your a good son. But since your father died. The cabin has little meaning any more. You use the money to start that shuttle
business you wanted.
He growls lightly thinking of the faulty airlock that killed is father, and says if I ever get my paws on the squirrel that certified that airlock. His mother takes his paw, and says, Leave it be
son. It was declared a accident. You will only get into trouble.
He sighs, and nods. Your right mom. But it still hurts when I think about it.. She looks up at Jack with tears in her eyes. In a choked up voice she says. It hurts very much dear. But you make it
bearable. If I lost you too. I ..I don't what I would do.. He gives her a big hug. I don't plan on leaving mom. He then kisses her cheek.
He acks as he notices the time.. I got to run. If I am late, my boss will give me heck.. His mother smiles, and waves as he goes out the door. Bye Jack.. A muffled bye mom is heard just as the door
closes behind him.
Jack runs to catch the shuttle to the other side of the complex. He shouts wait!!! The pilot scolds. Your going to miss me one of these days. Jack grins. Yea. I probably will. She shakes her head, as
he takes his seat. Jack smiles as he eyes the cute vixen shuttle pilot. She tries not to let it show that she likes him. She calls for clearance, then pilots the craft quickly to the far side of the
As the shuttle docks. Jack unbuckles from his seat, and waits for the passengers to depart. Then walks over to the pilot, and says. Jenny.. I might be starting a shuttle business. She turns, and
blinks. Really? He nods. I am going to need a good pilot. If your interested let me know. Ok? Jenny humms.. I will keep it in mind hon.. He smiles. Ok. But I got to run. He nearly falls, looking back
to wave tripping over his feet.
Jenny giggles to herself as Jack stumbles out the hatch. Then shakes her head. I can't imagine that fox running a shuttle service. She then checks, to see if all her new passengers are seated. Then
calls again for Clarence for the next stop on her route.
Jack hurries down the passageway to the shuttle control center. He meets a rather stocky badger as the door to the center swishes open. He says. Fox!! Come into my office. Jack follows him in. Just
as the door shuts. he scolds.. Your nearly late again, as he points to the time readout on his console.. Jack stammers. B.. B.. But sir.. His boss frowns. you know you need to be here at least 15
minutes before the shift change. I am getting complaints from the other workers. So shape up, or it's your job.
Jack nods. It won't happen again sir. His boss sits at his console. He looks up, and nods. See that it doesn't. Now get to work! Jack nods, Yes sir. He then walks out, very glad that was over.
He is met by his co-worker that smiles. Hi Jack. How's it going? Jack looks back. Oh! pretty good, Ben. I got to get out of this place. Ben smiles. Hey I know where your coming from. If you figure a
way out. Let me know too.
Jack nods. I will friend. He then walks over to the shuttle control console, and sits down in front of a large screen showing most of the space around the large orbiting complex. Jacks job is to help
sort out the shuttle, and other traffic. Though mostly under computer control. He monitors the traffic, and shuttle operations.
Another of his co-workers looks over, and says. Here is the traffic report for the last hour. She lays a electronic paper pad in front of Jack. Jack glances down at it, and nods. Thanks. Looks like a
normal Monday. Busy. She nods, and walks out of the room. Jack thinks. She probably is one of those the boss spoke of.
Jack has worked here at the space traffic control center for almost 2 years now. He started after graduating from space traffic control school. A friend he met there got him the job. At first he
found it enjoyable, and the money made life for him, and his parents much better. But now with the loss of his father, he only wishes to start the shuttle business he, and his father planned to
This has caused some problems. Spending time trying to find people, and the equipment to start the business causes him to be late, and to take much time off. He has to decide soon about starting the
shuttle business. Losing this job won't look good if he needs to find another at a later time.
The computer system is nearly perfect in it's control. So Jack usually brings a magazine to read to pass the time. He leans back in his chair as he finds something interesting to read. Daydreaming at
times, thinking about the shuttle service he wishes to start.
Startled by a loud alarm. Jack looks as the large screen shows a large object heading for the station. Jack inquires of the computer. What is it? It responds. There is no identifier sir. By this time
his boss breaks in. Send out the space tugs. That object must be diverted now.
Jack nods, as he signals the nearest tugs to intercept.. He then turns to his boss. It appears to be a Titan class freighter sir. But it's transponder is down for some reason. The Badger walks to the
console, there he looks at the screen. Yes I think your right. Put the station on yellow alert. If that thing hits us. We could loose half the complex. I must inform the administrator.
After sounding the yellow alert alarm. He opens a com line to his mother.. She asks what is going on. He tells her; It's not serious now, mom. But we have a large freighter approaching without
apparent control. You should take the next shuttle, to get off the station. She asks. Will you be alright son. He responds. Yes! This part of the station is well protected.
Please hurry. If the administrator orders red alert. All doors will be sealed to protect the station from wide spread decompression. In case there is a collision. She says. Ok Jack. Please be
careful. I will go now.. He says. Ok mom I will. Bye now, and closes the communication link..
Just then his boss returns, and announces. If the tugs can't turn the freighter soon. I will put the whole complex on red alert. Jack nods. The Space tugs are just now intercepting sir. The badger
walks over to a view port, and says. Good!! We should know soon.
Jacks mother runs to catch the shuttle. She shouts, Wait!!! Just as the last call for passengers is made. Jenny hears the cry, and takes one last look to see just as mrs. Fox hurries into the
She pants a little, and says. I was sure I missed you.. Jenny starts to answer just as the red alert alarm sounds. She grabs mrs. Fox by the paw, and pulls her into the shuttle.
Jack's thoughts are of his mother as he tells the computer to put the space station on red alert. The badger shakes his head. Then checks the screen again. The freighter will strike the inner ring
unless it's course is changed. Jack starts to respond just as the speaker crackles with the excited voice of the space tug captain.
The console comes alive with calls as the red alert is sounded. Every one is after the reason for the emergency. Through it all Jack picks up on Jenny's call. She requests information as well. Though
he would like to ask about his mother. Jack tells everyone to stand by so he can hear the space tugs.
The space tug captain again calls. We have the frieghter in tow. But she may still hit the outer ring of the complex. The badger grabs the microphone, and says. Use all means to prevent it Joe.. The
captain responds. The cables will snap if we push any harder sir. Then the whole room seems to go quiet as all eyes watch the screen.
Jack's eyes glaze over as the freighter swings toward the outer ring of the station. Not knowing his mother is safely on the shuttle. He cries out. That's my section!! If my mothers there she will be
killed. I must release the hatches. His boss grabs his paw, and says get a grip fox. We all have family here..
Meanwhile in Jenny's shuttle, Jack's mother watches the large freighter as it swings toward her part of the station. She cries out. Ohhh no!! It's going to destroy our home. Jenny nods her head. It
is going to be close.
Jenny adjusts the com system so they can hear the traffic. The voice of Jack's boss shouts. Just a little more power Joe.. Joe responds. I dare not push it any more. We are at 150 percent of the
cables rating now. If they snap. The freighter will wreck a quarter of the complex.
At this point Jack's mother says. I wish there was a way we could help. Jenny nods. I could try to nudge the freighter a bit. Might just be enough. But I can't put you at risk misses fox.. Jack's
mother smiles. Don't worry about me honey. We must do what we can to save the station. There are many lives at stake.
Then lets do it!! She tells misses fox to fasten her seat belt as she maneuvers the shuttle toward the immense freighter. She points. There, I will dock with the freighter, and apply full thrust.
That should slow it's swing toward the complex enough to give the space tug time to pull it clear..
Back at the control center. Jack's boss spots Jenny's shuttle moving toward the great ship. He cries out. What's that crazy shuttle pilot up to ? Jack nearly faints as he recognizes the transponder
of Jenny's shuttle. He then calls... Shuttle J500.. Clear the area!! I repeat clear the area!!
The small shuttle continues toward the docking port of the giant ship. Just as Jack starts to make another call. His boss pushes him aside, and calls. This is the station commander. Clear the area
J500.. Jenny hears the calls, But ignores them as she carefully docks with the huge ship.
The shuttles computer indicates a hard dock, as Jenny sets the shuttles main engines to maximum thrust. A shudder runs through the shuttle as the force strains the docked connection between the two
Jacks boss calls the space tug as he realizes what the shuttle is trying to do.. Joe! We have a crazy shuttle jockey trying to keep the freighter from hitting the station. The captain responds. What
ever they are doing is helping us. Tell them to keep it up.
Jenny smiles as she picks up on the conversation between the commander, and the space tug captain.. She turns to misses fox. If this ship holds togeather, we just might succeed. I think it's time we
got into the emergency pod though. The shuttle will be destroyed if it strikes the outer ring of the station. Just then a explosion rocks the shuttle craft.
Jack gasps as he watches the tail end of the shuttle explode in a bright cloud of orange. He desperately calls. Jenny, please respond.. His boss looks at Jack. You know the pilot of that craft? Jack
nods. I take her shuttle every day sir..
Jenny looks at her console, then activates the emergency beacon. She cries. We have lost one of the main engines. The other two may explode any second. We must take the escape pod now!! She then
helps Mrs Fox to her feet. They both work their way toward the pods hatch. Just as Jenny opens the hatch another engine explodes. She struggles to get mrs fox, and herself into the pod as smoke
quickly fills the shuttles cabin.
At the main control center. The space tug captain is heard calling. What's going on. We felt a strong vibration just now. Jacks boss answers back. The shuttle just blew a engine, Joe. I doubt if it
will be much more help. the captain responds. I see. I was afraid of that. Those old shuttle engines can't handle full power for long. Just then the whole shuttle seems to explode in another bright
Jack cries out, Nooooo!! at the apparent loss of his good friend, Jenny. His boss shakes his head. Then calls the space tug captain. Joe. The shuttle just exploded. I think it just may have pushed
the freighter enough to miss the station. The captain responds. We felt the nudge. I hope the pilot of that shuttle made it into a escape pod.
Jack's ears perk up. He then thinks. Escape pod? Why of course. Jenny would have used one I am sure.. He then checks the emergency channel for a possible signal that would be coming from a pod..
Just then Jack's boss announces to the entire complex. Brace for collision!!! A alarm sounds throughout the complex, as everyfur holds on to anything that is solid. Then a low rumble runs through the
immense structure as the freighter's hull grinds against the stations outer ring.
Even only bearly touching, the two massive structures scrape, and grind for what seems like hours. Tearing at each others hulls, till the freighter finally is pulled slowly away by the space tugs
Jacks boss bangs on the console. Then shouts, I want damage control teams to the outer ring immediatly. Calls about damage start coming in as he speaks. He glares as Jack continues trying to pick up
a signal from the pod. He shouts. Fox forget that. We must work damage control first. Then we can check for surviors.
Meanwhile inside the escape pod. Jenny, and Jacks mother find themselves quickly moving away from the station . Jenny beats on the com unit, and shouts. Darn thing. It's not working. Jacks mother
shakes her head, I am sure we will be found dear. Jenny nods. Maybe. But acording to the readings, the explosion has pushed us into a lower orbit. We might even loose orbit.
Mrs Fox stares back at Jenny for a minute or so. Then smiles as she says. I am sure my son will find us. Jenny sighs.. I hope someone does. She again tries to get the com system online.
Jack looks back at his boss, and says. Yes sir. He then turns to the console. Even though he helps with the damage repair traffic. He keeps a line open listening for anything from Jenny. Torn between
fear, and hope. He wonders if his mother got on Jenny's shuttle, and if she is alive or not.
Three hours pass before most of the stations airtight doors are open again. Most damage was to a small part of the outer ring. Not counting many electrical problems, plumbing, and a few air leaks
caused by the vibrations of the collision. Jack asks if he can leave after his shift is over. His boss nods. Get some rest fox. You did a fine job.. He smiles. Thank you sir. But I must try to find
Jenny. My mother may have been on that shuttle as well.
The badger nods back at Jack. I understand. Take all the time you need fox. If you need help, come to me. Jack blinks, and smiles. Yes sir. Thank you sir.. His boss then walks back into his office.
Jack pinches his self to see if he is dreaming. The badger never treated him this nice before.
Ben walks over, and smiles. If you need any help just ask. Jack looks up, and says. Thanks a lot Ben. Your a good friend. Jack continues to monitor the emergency channel as he can till the end of his
shift. Just as he starts to leave he picks up a weak signal. He says. We have a emergency signal.
Ben nods. Confirmed Jack. I think I can get a lock on it's location. Jack watches as Ben tries to locate the point of transmission. There! I have it. No! now it's gone. He turns to Jack. But if this
is right. The pod is very close to the planets atmosphere. If it's orbit decays much more it will burn up.
Jack nods, and checks to see if any emergency rescue shuttles are available. There is a old shuttle in Bay 5C. But no team is available to fly it. Jack turns back, and says. I can fly it. All I need
is someone to help with navigation.
Ben walks over to Jack. I will help. Let's go. There is no time to waste. Jack smiles. Your a great friend Ben. But it will be dangerous. I couldn't... Ben interrupts. Jack, I am well trained in
rescue as you know. Let's not argue. We are wasting valuable time. Jack shakes Bens paw, and says. Thank you Ben.
Just then the commander walks into the control room, and says. What's up? Jack turns to the badger. We picked up the pods emergency signal sir. Ben, and I are going to try to rescue it. The commander
humms. I see. We will do all we can here to help. But with the repair operations, I can't promise a lot. Jack nods. We understand sir. The fox, and skunk then quickly leave for the shuttle bay.
Jack punches the turbo lift button. Then turns to Ben.. I hope we can find that pod in time. The doors to the lift open as they walk in. Ben nods, and tells the computer to take them to Bay 5C.. Ben
turns to Jack, and says. It shouldn't be hard. I have the location of the signal. We can be there in less than a hour.
The turbo lift shudders a little as it speeds toward it's destination. Ben grabs the handrail, and shakes his head. I hope this thing makes it to the shuttle bay. Jack nods. Just as a loud squeal is
heard, and Jack is sent flying into Ben on the other side of the lift car..
The fox, and skunk lay in a heap on the floor as the lift screeches to a stop. Jack looks at Ben. You ok? I couldn't stop myself. Ben groans a little. Yea. I guess so. He, and Jack stand up. Ben
tells the computer to take them on to the shuttle bay.. But there isn't any response.. Jack grumbles. We can't be far. Help me up. I will climb out on top of the lift car to see where we are. Ben
nods, and holds out his paws. Jack then quickly climbs up, and opens the hatch.
Ben grunts, Hurry up... Your kinda heavy.. Jack shouts. I am hurrying.. He then pulls his self up through the hatch. Ben stands below the opening looking up, and says. Can you tell where we are? Just
a minute. I see what the problem is with the lift. Just then the control panel lights up, and a voice says stand by for reboot.
Jack sticks his head down through the hatch, and smiles. Did that fix it? Ben grins. Yea... What did you do? The control cable worked loose. That's why the auto braking came on so suddenly. Jack
drops to the floor of the lift, and says. Well lets go..
Ben nods, and tells the computer to proceed. Then as the turbo lift quickly speeds toward the shuttle bay. Jack smiles.. I am glad that fixed it. It would have been a long climb to the next exit. Ben
nods as the lift gently slows to a stop.. As the doors open, the computer says in a monotone feminine voice. Shuttle bay 5C.. Have a nice day. Ben Ewwwws!! The old program must have loaded on reboot.
I haven't heard that voice for months. Jack laughs, and pats his friend on the back. Yea I know. The two furs then walk out of the lift.
Jack Wows! as he looks at the shuttle. You weren't kidding about it being old. This baby must be older than me. Ben nods.. Yea.. But she is still flight certified, and fully capable to do the
rescue.. Jack twitches his whiskers with a bit of uncertainty, and says. I hope so.
Ben activates the shuttles systems from the Bays control center. Then commands the crafts door to open.. Then says Ok, It checks out. Let's go.. Jack nods, and climbs the steps in to the shuttle. Ben
follows along. He shuts the door as Jack goes over the pre launch check list. He looks over at Ben, and says. We are ready to go. Open the Shuttle bay doors while I call for clearance..
Ben nods, Then starts the Bay door opening sequence. Alarms sound throughout the Bay area, as it slowly decompresses to match the vacuum of space.. Ben gasps as the huge doors expose the Bay to
space, Revealing the blue green planet of Foxway far below. As well as thousands of stars, and nebulas that stretch as far as the eye can see. He then says. I never cease to be in awe of the vastness
of space. Jack nods, I feel the same. There! We have clearance. Ben looks over, and says. Good! We don't have any time to waste. Jack nods, and fires the shuttles maneuvering thrusters till it clears
the bay doors..
Ben smiles. Nicely done, Jack. The last known position of the escape pod is programed into the navigation panel. Just hit the auto pilot.. Jack looks over, and says. Ok. You keep monitoring for the
pod. I will fire up the radar when we get closer. Ben nods. I will ask the station to help all they can. He then sends their current position, and direction of travel to the control center. They
acknowledge the message, offering to help all they can. Ben then continues to monitor the emergency frequencies.
Far below, near the planet of Foxway. The escape pod spirals ever closer to the planets atmosphere.. Inside. Jenny looks over at Jacks mother.. She shakes her head. Then says. How are you holding up
misses Fox? She looks up, and smiles. I am fine dear. You should rest a little. Jenny sighs. I must try to get the com unit working first.. I fear we will enter the atmosphere in a hour or two.
Jacks mother asks. Did you try resetting the com unit. Our apartment com needed resetting often to keep it working. Jenny looks over at her, and ponders a moment. It's worth a try Misses Fox. She
opens the main panel. and resets the com system. Jenny crosses her fingers, and says. I hope it works. Misses Fox nods, and crosses her fingers too.
Jack engages the auto pilot just as Ben shouts. "We have a signal!!" Jack looks over at Ben, and says. What's the location? Ben umms.. Let me run it through the navigation array.. Just then Ben
exclaims. It's gone again!! Jack shakes his head.. How can that be. It's either there or it's not.. Ben sighs. Their com system must be intermittent.. It the second time it was there for only a few
seconds.. Jack nods, and asks. Did you get a location anyhow? Ben shakes his head no.. Not enough time. But at least we know it hasn't burnt up yet.
Jenny, and Misses Fox watch the panel as the com system resets.. Jenny smiles. It's working!! It's... Now it's not..She bangs on the panel, Then bursts into tears. She cries. We are going to die..
All because of this silly com system.. Misses Fox grabs Jenny , and shakes her a little. She shouts. "Jenny!! Jenny!!" We must not give up hope. Try resetting it again. Jenny blinks looking at Jacks
mother for a moment. Then says. Yes, Your right misses Fox. Please forgive me. She then trys resetting the com system again.
Jack turns to Ben, and says. We are nearing the last known location. It can't be far.. Ben nods. But it's orbit may have changed nearing the atmosphere. Jack sighs. Your right of course. He then
shouts. Ben!! "There's the signal again."
Ben smiles. Yes. It's strong, and steady this time. Ben checks with the station to help triangulate a position of the escape pod.. He turns to Jack, and smiles. We have a fix on it.. I am feeding it
into the navigation computer now.. Jack nods, and fires the main engines.. We should be there in a short while.
In the escape pod. Jenny, and Misses fox are excited that the com system finally seems to be working. Jenny looks at Misses Fox. Now we have a chance for rescue.. Just then they hear Ben's voice
calling. "This is rescue shuttle 5. Calling escape pod 1C. Can you hear us?" Jenny smiles. That's Bens voice. They are searching for us. Jenny calls back. "This is escape pod 1C.. Do you hear
Jack turns to Ben. We should be getting close. I will activate the radar screen. Ben nods, and says I just put out a call to the pod.. Jack Hey's. as he hears Jennys voice over the com. That's Jenny.
He then calls. Jenny! jenny! This is Jack. Is my mother there? Is she ok? The com is quiet for a few moments. Then Jennys voice is heard over the com. Jack! Your with Ben? Your mother is here with
me. We sure could use a ride about now. Jack smiles as he calls back. We have a radar fix on your pod. We should be there in a few minutes.
Jenny smiles at Misses Fox, and says. I think we can relax a little now. Misses Fox nods. Jack should be here very soon.. Just then a alarm goes off in the pod. Jenny blinks, and checks the panel.
Jacks mother looks at Jenny, and says. What is wrong? Jenny shakes her head. It's the Altimeter alarm. We are very near the outer atmosphere of Foxway.
Back on the rescue shuttle. Ben points. There it is Jack. That point of light in the distance. But we don't have any time to waste. We will encounter the atmosphere anytime now. We must rescue them
on this orbit. Jack nods. I can't close any faster. We will pass them too fast for the capture if I do. Ben nods. Then calls. "Escape pod 1C. This is Shuttle 5. We are very close now, and have visual
Jenny returns the call. Ok shuttle 5.. Our altimeter alarm just went off. There is little time left. Bens voice is heard. Yes we know. The capture net is deployed. We should snag you in about five
minutes. Jenny looks at Misses Fox, and says Strap yourself in tight, I imagine it will be a rough grab. Misses Fox nods, then does so. Jenny does the same, then calls back. Ok Ben. We are ready,
Just don't miss.
Ben returns saying. Don't worry. Then gives Jack last minute course corrections as they close on the pod.. Ben says. We must capture on this pass.. Jack nods. I will do my best.. Then as they close,
Ben shouts "slow down.. We are closing too fast".
Jack fires the retro's. He then says. Hang on, It's going to be a rough capture. Ben calls to Jenny. "Hang on tight" Just as the pod slams into the strong net. The shuttle shudders from the jolt, and
goes into a slow spin as Jack works to bring the ship under control. Jack then turns to Ben. We have a stuck thruster.. See if you can shut it down.
Jenny barely has time to warn Jacks mother as the force of hitting the net knocks the wind out of her. She slowly regains her senses, and calls. "Ben!! You guys nearly killed us. What's going on?"
Ben calls back. "Just stay put. This isn't over yet. The capture put the shuttle in a spin, and we will hit Foxways atmosphere if we don't regain control quickly."
Jack glances at Ben.. "Hang on Ben!!" I am firing the main engines when we are pointed right.. It should buy us some time.. Ben nods. Sounds good to me.. He watches foxway move quickly past the
window just as Jack fires the main engines. The force presses him into the seat as he checks the direction of travel..
Jenny's frantic voice is heard. "What's happening guys? Are we moving away from the planet?" Jack returns the call. Yes, Jenny. We are moving into higher orbit. Just stand by. A few long minutes
later he calls. Ok we are out of danger for now Jenny.. How's Mom doing? Jacks mother cries out. I am well. A little shaken up, but ok son. Jack smiles as he calls back. "It's good to hear your voice
Ben interrupts. I hate to break up this reunion. But we need to dock with the pod while we have a chance. I am sure they are a bit cramped over there.. Jack nods, and grins. Yea. I almost forgot. He
calls. Escape Pod 1c. We are ready to dock with your pod. So stand by for docking information. Jenny calls back. Ok Shuttle 5c. It will be good to get out of here..
Jack smiles. Ok Ben.. You operate the capture arm. I will check to make sure the airlock is set. We don't need any problems now..Ben nods. Ok. He then heads for the arm control panel. There he
activates the control computer.. As it boots, He calls the pod. "Stand by for grapple!." Jenny responds. "We are ready."
Jack double checks the airlock.. He smiles, then says to his self. "Good..It's working perfectly." He returns to where Ben is working to capture the pod with the shuttles control arm. He looks out
the small window, and exclaims. Looks good, Ben!.. He nods.. It's a tricky job. The pod isn't positioned the way it should be... Jack nods as Ben attempts once more to attach the grapple device to
Ben uses all his skill trying to grab the pod. But the pods position is making it nearly impossible.. He mutters to his self each time the arm fails to connect.. Jack shakes his head.. Let me rotate
the shuttle back and forth a bit.. Maybe the pod will move enough to make the grab.. Ben nods as Jenny calls.. What's the delay? Ben calls back. Stand by. We should have you docked shortly.. Jenny
acknowledges. "Ok Ben."
Ben continues trying to mate the docking arm to the pod as Jack rotates the shuttle back, and forth. Jack looks over at Ben, and says. Any luck yet? Ben mumbles to his self each time he fails..
In the pod Jenny finds it hard not to keep calling to find out what's happening.. Jacks mother looks over at Jenny, and smiles.. Don't fret dear. I am sure they are doing all they can.. She returns
the smile. Your right Misses Fox. I should be more patient.. Just then the pod shudders a little, and Ben is heard on the com, saying. "We have you on the docking arm.. Stand by for hard dock to the
airlock.." They both smile as they hear the good news.
Jack hurries to the airlock as Ben maneuvers the pod into position.. He pears through the airlock window, and calls out to Ben.. "Your looking good Ben!!" Ben lines the pod up using the computers
virtual docking software. He calls out to Jack. Ok.. It should be soft docked. Secure it with the main docking lever..
Jack pulls the lever firmly to secure the pod against the airlock. Jack shouts.." Looks good here.." Ben calls back. "Testing the seal now." Jack nervously waits as Ben makes sure the pod is securely
locked to the shuttles airlock..
Ben calls the pod.. The seal tests good.. Try the hatch now.. Jenny calls back. "Checking!" Mrs Fox watches as Jenny tries in vain to open the hatch.. She then calls back.. "The hatch won't budge. I
tried three times.." Ben calls back.. "Ok. Stand by. We will check it from this side." Mrs Fox looks at Jenny.. "It's feeling a little close in here." Jenny nods. "Now that you mention it. It does..
Let me check the air supply."
Ben walks back to the airlock, and tells Jack.. "They can't open the pods hatch. Let's try it from this side." Jack nods. He then pushes the airlock door release.. It slowly swings open revealing the
pods hatch.. He looks at Ben, and shakes his head.. "It's no wonder they can't open it. It's been exposed to extreme heat, and welded shut." Ben nods. "Had to be caused by the explosion. It's lucky
they made it at all."
Jack nods, and says. "I agree.. Is there a cutting torch here on the shuttle?" Ben nods. "Yes, But we can return to the complex. There we can have a crew open the pod.." Jack looks back at Ben, and
nods. "You are right. Call the pod while I set a course back to the station.."
In the escape pod. Jenny is checking the air supply. She shakes her head as she looks over at Mrs Fox. Then says. "It's a good thing they rescued us. Our air supply is almost gone.." Just then Ben is
heard calling. Jenny responds. Ben!! "We need the hatch open now.. We are running out of air in here."
Ben thinks for a minute. Then responds. "Jenny, The heat from the shuttle explosion welded the hatch. We are heading for the station now.. How long before the air becomes critical?" Jenny calls back.
"Not more than 30 minutes.. It's getting pretty bad in here."
Ben acknowledges Jenny, then goes to find Jack.. Upon finding him, he exclaims. "We have a critical problem on the pod." Jack turns quickly saying.. "What is it." Ben looks at Jack with concern.
"They only have about 30 minutes of air left.."
Jack looks at Ben not saying anything for a few moments. Then says. "Do we have a drill that can punch a hole in the pods hatch? Ben thinks for a moment, then says. "Yea! I believe so. The plasma
drill should go through the hatch in 10 min or less.." Jack nods. Sounds about right. Get it set up. I will be there as soon as I call the complex declaring a emergency, so they can have a crew ready
to get my mother, and Jenny out of the pod."
Ben nods, and runs to get the drill. Jack calls the station turning control of the shuttle to them. He then heads for the airlock where he finds Ben setting up the drill. Ben looks up at Jack, and
says. "You better tell them to keep clear of the hatch. This drill will likely throw some hot metal when it breaks through."
Inside the pod, Jenny, and Mrs Fox begin to pant as the air grows more stale. Jack is heard on the com. "Jenny, stay away from the hatch. We are using a plasma drill to make a hole in the hatch."
Jenny responds in short breaths. "Ok Jack... Will do..".
Ben finishes the setup. He looks up at Jack, and hands him a pair of goggles. "Safety first " Jack nods, and puts them on. He smiles, and says. "Lets do it Ben" Ben activates the drill. Soon a bright
glow from the plasma flow, lights the deck with a reddish hue.
Molten metal starts to drip down the face of the hatch as the beam slowly cuts through the hatch.
Ben places the drill on automatic, then moves to stand next to Jack. He smiles, and says."We should break through in a few minutes at this rate." Jack nods just as bits of molten metal flash in small
explosions. Jack jumps, as a bit of metal singes his tail.. Ben grins, and says. "Best move back a little Jack. " Just then the tip of the drill explodes with a loud bang, showering Ben, and Jack
with bits of hot metal.
Jack, and Ben ack!!! As the small bits of molten metal singe their fur.. Jack looks at Ben. Then says. "You have spare parts... Right?" Ben nods.. "Yea! Its not common. But this happens when a bit of
molten metal splatters the drills plasma nozzle." Jack nods, as he picks a speck of metal from the lens of his goggles..
Ben replaces the tip, and checks the hole depth.. He then starts the drill once more.. Jack puts his goggles back on as the skunk steps back over next to him.. He then says. "How much longer?" Ben
smiles. "Should break through in a couple of minutes now. Better get a air tank ready."
Jack nods. Then runs to get a air tank with a hose .. As he returns. Ben shouts." Jack!! The drill just broke through. Let's get the air going." Jack helps Ben move the drill, then slides the small
hose through the hole in the hatch, and opens the valve... He turns to Ben. "Give them a call. They should be feeling better pretty quick." Ben nods, and calls. "Jenny!, Mrs Fox! We are feeding you
fresh air now." Even after a second call there is still no response.
Ben walks back over to Jack, and says. "They aren't answering." Jack blinks, and without saying a word he bounds over to try it his self. He opens the com, and says. "Jenny!! Mom!! Can you hear me?."
He tries again. His voice becoming more desperate as his concern grows..
Ben takes Jack by the arm, and says."Don't worry.. I am sure they only passed out from the lack of oxygen. They will wake soon I am sure. Also we will be back at station very soon. They will have the
hatch open in minutes." Jack nods, and says. "Your right Ben."
Jack sighs. "I sure would feel better if they were talking though." Ben nods. "Me as well, You can stay here. I best check to see how far from the station we are." Jack nods as Ben heads for the
control deck. There Ben sits in the pilots seat. Taking care not to sit on his tail. He then calls the station.. "Station control, this is Shuttle 5. We will need a medical team as well." The station
responds that everything is ready.
About 10 minutes later.Ben walks back to the airlock, and says. "We will be docking in about 15 minutes. Hear anything from inside the pod?" Jack looks at Ben, and shakes his head.. He sighs.
"Nothing yet Ben."
Jack sinks to his knees as tears roll off the fur of his cheeks. He sobs. "They just have to be ok." Ben bites his lip fighting tears of his own.. He knows Jenny, and Jack's mother should be awake by
now. He pats Jack on the shoulder, and says "Hang tough Fox. We each know the dangers of living in space." Jack nods. Trying to recover his composure..
He starts to speak as a faint tapping sound is heard from the pod. Jacks eyes grow wide as he exclaims. "They are alive!!!." Ben feels the same excitement as well. Then says. "Yea. I hope so,
But...." Jack jumps up, and says "Lets..." Ben interrupts, saying. "Jack. We will be in a docking bay in a few minutes. Lets leave it to the rescue crew."
. Jack sighs.. "I guess your right Ben. But I am sticking right here." Ben nods. "I understand. If my mother were in there I would as well." Ben pats Jack on the back lightly. "Then smiles. I am
sure they will be alright. I will go see that the docking goes ok."
Jack looks at Ben with a half hearted smile, and says. "Ok Ben. I will keep trying to communicate with the pod." Ben nods. Then heads for the command deck of the shuttle. Upon arriving he can see the
stations emergency bay opening .. He sits in the pilots seat. Then checks in with the control center. They tell him to stand by as the shuttle docks under automatic control. He responds
The massive door slowly opens completely as the shuttle glides silently into the huge bay. The shuttles landing pods softly settle to the floor as the door again closes. Allowing the bay to be
pressurized. Ben walks to the main hatch just in time to open it. He waves to the emergency team. Then exclaims. "Hurry.. The two in the pod need attention fast.
Ben steps aside, and says. "The pod is connected to the rear hatch." He then leads the way, with the rescue crew close on his tail.. Jack looks up just as Ben, and the team arrives. Ben asks.
Anything from the pod, Jack? He responds. I think so. But it's hard to hear anything through this small hole.
The leader of the team smiles. "Ok boys. We will take it from here." Jack nods, as he, and Ben stand aside.. The leader turns his second, and says. "Give me a class 8 laser cutter." They set up the
cutter so it's beam start to cut the welded section of the pods hatch. The room again is filled with a bright glow as the laser cuts the hatch free in a few minutes..
The hatch is slowly worked open. Then Jenny is quickly pulled from the pod. She is saying. "I am well. It's Mrs Fox. She isn't doing very well. Please help her." Jack cries out. "Let me see my
mother." Ben, and Jenny hold him back. She says. "Jack, I am sure she will be fine. She is just taking longer to recover for some reason.."
The three watch as Mrs Fox is carried out of the pod. She is then placed on a low gravity carrier. She smiles at Jack, and says. "Come here son." Jack hurries to her side. Hardly able to speak. He
takes her paw with his, and says. "Are..are you ok mom?" She nods. "Just tired son. Don't worry I will be fine." Jack leans over, and kisses her cheek.
One of the medics tells Jack they need to take her to the hospital, and he can see her there later.. Jenny walks up, and smiles. Then says."Don't worry Jack. She's in good care." Another medic walks
over, and tells Jenny she should have her self checked out, and suggests she go with Mrs Fox to the hospital too. She nods, and agrees to go.
Ben smiles at Jack. "Come along. Let the medics do their Job. We can stop by the snack bar. Then go to the hospital to see how the girls are doing." Jack reluctantly agrees, and waves bye to his
mother, and Jenny as they leave. Ben looks over at Jack, and says. "You know I am starving. It's been hours since I had lunch." Jack looks back, with a twitch of his tail, and agrees. They both,
quickly walk to the turbo lift.
Ben smiles as he, and Jack walk into the snack bar, and sit at the counter. A pretty young rabbit waitress walks up, and smiles, saying." What can I get you two?" Ben glances at the menu.. Then
says. "Bring us both a cup of coffee for now." She says "Ok!"
Jack sighs a little. Then says. "I hope moms ok." Ben shakes his head, and says. "Get something to eat. I am sure she will be fine." The waitress returns with the coffee, and says."You ready to order
now?" Ben smiles, and says. "Bring us each a couple of soy burgers, and some nut cakes." She nods saying. "Ok boys. "
Ben grins at Jack, and says."That bunny is a real honey." Jack ummss..Then says. "Was you peaking to me?" Ben smirks. "It wasn't anything important" The waitress then brings their meals. She smiles
at the two furres, and says "Just give a shout if you boys need something else." Ben smiles back with a his tail wagging a bit, and says "We will."
Jack finishes his meal, then stands. He smiles, and says. "Thanks for the meal, Ben. I am heading for the hospital to check on my mother. You coming?" Ben smiles, and says. "I will be along shortly.
I am still a bit hungry." Jack smiles, and shakes Bens paw, saying. "Take care my friend" He then quickly leaves for the hospital, as Ben returns to his meal.
As Jack walks into the hospitals emergency room. Jenny waves, and meets him. She gives him a hug, and says. "The doctor is with your mother now, Jack. As he starts to respond his mother, and the
doctor step into the room. She smiles as Jack, and Jenny walk over to meet them.The doctor tells Mrs Fox to have a prescription filled, then walks away.
Jack blinks, and says. "What's wrong mom?" She gives Jack a hug, saying. "It's nothing to worry about son. My blood is Iron poor. That's why I didn't recover as fast as Jenny. The medicine is to help
build my blood up." Jack gives a sigh of relief, as Jenny hugs his mother. Just then a station guard walks in asking to see Jenny.
Jenny speaks up. "That's me." The guard walks over, and says. "You are to come with me." Jack , and his mother watch as the guard explains to Jenny that she is required to go with him to see the
administrator. Jenny nods, and agrees to go.
Mrs Fox insists on going with her. So Jack, and his mother follow along after Jenny, and the guard. Jenny slows to let her friends catch up, and the guard makes a grab for Jenny's paw. She growls.
"Keep your paws to your self." Jack moves to stand between them, and says. "There isn't any need for rough stuff." The guard grumbles. "Just keep up then.."
Jenny nods flashing her teeth a little, and says. " Just don't try to grab me.!" Jack mother tells Jenny she should try to hold her temper, as the guard leads the small group on to a turbo lift. Jack
keeps his self between the guard, and Jenny till they arrive at the administrators section, near the shuttle control center.
The guard checks in at the main office. He tells Jenny to wait there. He then leaves. Jack blinks, and says. "I wonder what's going on." Jenny shakes her head as Mrs Fox comments. "Jenny, Maybe it
about the lost shuttle ".
Just then the administrators secretary asks Jenny follow her. Jenny shakes her head. She says. "I wish to know what this is all about first." The secretary turns, and says. "Miss, Please follow me.
Your questions will be answered inside." Jenny thinks. Then says. "I will if Jack, and his Mother can come with me." The secretary says. "Just a moment." She then steps out of the room.
Jack looks at Jenny, and says. Don't worry. We will stand by you. I am sure Ben would as well." Jenny smiles, and gives Jack a hug, and says. "Thank you Jack. It's good to have great friends like
you, Ben, and Mrs Fox." The secretary walks back in, and says."Miss, They can accompany you."
Jenny nods, and they all follow the secretary. She leads them into the next room, and says. "Please wait here." She then disappears through a door. Jack turns to Jenny, and starts to speak as a large
lion morph appears at the door. As he walks into the room. The three foxes wait quietly.
Then after sitting at a huge desk. He opens a folder, then looks at the three, and in a deep commanding voice, he says. "Which one of you is Jenny?" She steps forward bravely, and says. "I am. Sir".
He responds. "You are the pilot of the destroyed shuttle? " She nods quietly. He then looks at the other two in the room, and says. "What is your business here?" Jack , and his mother both start to
talk at the same time. The lion growls. "One at a time please."
Jack smiles, and says."We are her friends" Mrs Fox interrupts. "She saved my life. I am her friend too." The lion nods. "I see.. It would seem she has saved many lives today." He then makes some
notes. He looks directly at Jenny, and says. "That point is the only reason you not going to have your pilots license revoked, or be required to pay for the shuttle." Jacks mother interrupts. "I
would hope not !!
The lion glances at Mrs Fox, and says. "If you interrupt again. I will ask you to leave." She nods, frowning a little. The lion continues. "As I was saying. You have been pardoned of any wrong
doing." Jenny smiles brightly., and says."Oh thank you Sir." Mrs Fox gives Jenny a hug. Jack smiles as well.
The lion closes the folder, and hands Jenny a paper. He says. "Here is your pardon. You will be assigned to another shuttle in a few days.. Until then you are on paid leave. Get some rest. You may
leave now." Jenny smiles. "Thank you Sir." She, Jack, and his mother all quickly leave the office.
As they enter the hallway. Jenny sighs with relief.., and says."I didn't know what to think for a while there." Jack smiles, and says. "The administrator would have been run off the station if he
hadn't pardoned you. You saved the whole complex." Jenny smiles. "We were just lucky." Mrs Fox smiles, and says. "Such modesty" Jack nods. Saying. "Jenny, your the best shuttle pilot on the complex,
and, I want you to be my partner in a shuttle service I am starting soon."
Jenny smiles, and responds."That's sweet of you to offer." Mrs Fox interrupts."Yes Jenny. Please accept Jack's offer." Jack takes Jenny by the paw, and says. "I would like to have you for my wife as
well." Jenny's eyes grow wide as she hears Jacks proposal. She then smiles back sweetly, and says."But this is so sudden Jack."
Jack kisses her paw, and says."I mean it Jenny. I love you." Jenny smiles, Her eyes filled with tears of joy. She says. "Alright Jack. I will be your wife." Mrs Fox starts to cry as her son , and
Jenny, hug, and kiss each other passionately.. Jack then notices his mother crying. He says. "What's wrong mom?"
Mrs Fox smiles, and says."I am fine Jack. It's just I am losing a son, and gaining a daughter. But I couldn't be happier." Jack gives his mother a tight hug. Don't worry mom. Jenny, and me will be
staying here on the complex." Jenny nods, and says."Yes Mrs Fox. And you will always be welcome to visit or stay with us if needed." Mrs Fox smiles , and gives Jenny, and her son each a big hug.
The little group decides to go to the snack bar. They find Ben still there, chatting with the cute rabbit waitress. He notices them walk in, and says."Hi all." Jenny, and Mrs Fox smile with a Hello.
Jack smiles, and says. "Ben I have some great news" Ben ohs ! Jack gives Jenny a hug, and says "Jenny, and me are getting married." Jenny nods, hugging Jack back.
Ben blinks, and says. "Wow Jack, Congratulations. But I didn't even know you two were even friends." Jack nods, saying. "We have known each other for months. She pilots the shuttle I ride to work
each day, and I want you to be the best man." Ben responds "Sure Jack, I would be glad to. When's the wedding going to be?"
Jack looks at Jenny, then back at Ben, and says. "I... Uh.. We haven't set a date, Ben." Jenny shakes her head, and says. "Not yet. But it will be a few weeks at least." Jack smiles at Jenny, and
nods, then says. "Ben, the three of us are going to start a shuttle service. Would you like to be a part of it?"
Ben smiles, and ponders for a minute. He then says. "Well, I was thinking about making a change. Count me in." Jack says. "Great. All we need to do is work out the finances, and paperwork." Jenny
smiles, and remarks."I have some credits set aside." Ben nods, saying he has some credits as well. Also some friends that would probably invest in the business.
Jacks mother smiles, and hugs her son. Then tells him. "I wan you to use the money your father, and I saved as well.." Jack says. "But mom, that's for your retirement." She responds. "Your success
will give me more security than it will, and your father would have wanted me to help you." Jack hugs his mother back with tears in his eyes. Saying "Your the greatest mom."
The four furres sit together at a table to make plans on the beginnings of Jacks dream of starting a shuttle service.. Mrs Fox offers a toast saying. "Let's all toast the new year, Jack, and Jenny's
marriage , and to the success of the new business " The other three nod, and respond in kind...