An orange globe of heat reduced to grains where Captain Mark Williams, Jedi Squadron, of the Eagle Brigade and his S-4 Starfighter had been a moment before. The blurring shreds of light caused his wingman, Captain Scott Parks, to blink repeatedly trying to clear his vision. Out of reflex, his gloved hand reached toward his face to rub his eyes but bumped against his face shield of his helmet.
Scott panicked. He was blinded by the sudden flash of light. Alarms went off in his S-4 Starfighter
He took evasive action. But from what? The scopes had shown nothing in the area. He yelled into his headset as his peripheral vision returned.
"Flight Control, This is Jedi One. Aggressor in the area. Unable to read. Jedi Two is lost." Then, speaking to the on-board computer. "Spoc, give me a target."
"Target unavailable," said Spoc in its synthetic computer voice. Spoc was the S-4’s on board computer. Its nick-name was a short version of NASPOC, National Aero-Space Pilot On-Board Computer. Its main function, in simple terms, was co-pilot.
"Flight Control,” said Scott. “Are you there?"
There was no reply.
"Scopes are empty," said Spoc. "Jedi Two is no longer on our scopes. Initiating system check for malfunction.”
"Affirmative," said Scott. "I can't see a thing." He blinked his eyes rapidly. His whole face felt slick. He longed to rub his eyes with his hands, but gloves and face-shield prevented it. He still saw a globe of light from the flash. Globs of heat throbbed under his arms and around his torso. Out of the corner of his eye stars winked out as something passed by.
"Flight Control, I'm not alone. Please respond," said Scott. "Someone is up here with me."
Scott shook his head inside his helmet. Get a grip.
“Spoc, begin evasive maneuvers,” said Scott. “I can’t see.”
His peripheral vision had returned but with the blur of Earth below and stars above, he could not distinguish anything but chaos. His radio buzzed alive.
“Jedi Two. This is Flight Control. Please report status.”
Scott took a deep breath. Procedure. “This is Jedi One,” he said. In his mind he repeated the word ‘procedure.’ “I have lost contact with Jedi Two.” Scott blinked. He’s dead…procedure. “Unable to confirm with visual. My sight is presently impaired.”
“Confirmed loss of contact with Jedi Two,” said Flight Control. “Scopes read solitary contact with Jedi One. No other contacts are in vector.”
“Confirm,” said Scott. “My scopes read no other contacts before loss of contact with Jedi Two.” His watering eyes were clearing. “Presently, engaged NASPOC into automated evasive maneuvers. Request next directive.” Procedure, procedure, procedure.
“Maintain present status. We will advise, momentarily.”
“Roger, Flight Control,” said Scott. “Will maintain.” The last word began a new chorus in his head. Maintain, maintain, maintain.