draft 1 from space novel:
“Warning: Beam weapon fired within one Astronomical Unit.” Odessa said, slightly less cheerful.
That would be the neutron cannons. Emi allowed herself a tight smile at how far his aim was off. The snobbish mining A.I. signaled that the drills were almost ready, just twelve more minutes. She groaned, because by her calculations she had seven more minutes before the pirate was in range to do real damage.
She dared not answer his first call, as that would give away her exact position and reveal to him that she was alone on the ship. If he thought she was part of a larger crew, that might come in handy if he were to board the ship.
She really wished Yuichi was with her. Or the Jericho Station Police Force.
On the long scan comm screen, the pirate's vessel began to eclipse the distant Atrellia Carelia primary star as it drew closer.
As it stood, with the ship's engines warmed up, she knew she wasn't going to make it out in time. Not by a long shot. She had no combat training, no weapons. But she sure as hell was not going to “sit tight and wait” for the bastard to arrive and do Gods-know-what with her and take her ship. She'd rather blow up the ship or be ejected out an airlock before giving up so easily.
She strapped herself into her pilot's chair, a strange calm overtaking her as the proximity sensor showed the approaching marauder drawing even closer.
Her breathing became unsteady and her hands were shaking. She had a momentary flash of memory as she recalled the first day Yuichi took her up in his Gerkove jet and she had been so frightened and embarrassed by his teasing laughter. She hated that mocking laugh of his.
Screw this, she thought.
She slapped the engine-thruster power to FULL, and the Odessa Kiev roared to life, still attached to asteroid AGS-04571-PS via its twin petranium-polycarbon cables. The attitude thrusters shook the entire ship with a deep primal rumble.
The ship shot forward from the obscurity of the asteroid field into the open. Emi prepared to face her enemy. The huge asteroid trailing behind the ship caused alarms to sound.