Carnifex could feel the sound of his weapons radiating through the ship and into his controls as they spewed angry red bolts of energy at his enemies. Glancing over his shoulder he could see a Cobra following him, targeting his engines. His shields were still up but unless he could shake the Cobra soon they wouldn't be much good to him, especially since he had run out of shield batteries not long ago.
Carnifex decided to break off the pilot he'd had in his sights and start evading. He pulled his ship into a tight upward turn, strafed from side to side to dodge fire, and then veered left. The Cobra matched him move for move. He pulled into a roll and started spiralling outward before peeling off at an odd angle and could see almost directly above himself the Cobra just barely making the same turn no more than a hundred meters away. Hitting his engine kill at just that moment Carnifex continued his turn while coasting and just as the cobra pulled out of its own turn and trained its weapons on his ship Carnifex levelled his own guns with it and reengaged his engines. He slid a little bit to the right as the two ships rushed together, exchanging fire and strafing. He waited until the distance reading dropped down into the 100s, the last digit a ferocious blur, and then suddenly dodged to the right with as much force as his ship could manage before pulling back to the left and coming to a full stop. The deep hiss of his thrusters decelerating his ship filled his ears. The Cobra was now seventy meters away. Carnifex started firing as high in his firing arch as his guns would allow, turning upward again to keep the Cobra in sight, his shots curling downward from his peripheral vision toward where he was focused on the fighter.
The distance reading slowly ticked down; forty six.. forty five.. forty four.. forty three.. Carnifex saw red bolts of energy shoot toward his target from above; one volley... two... three... the shields of both ships fizzled out at the same moment. Seeing his opponent launch a mine Carnifex pushed his ship back up to full speed on his controls, his engines whining under the strain of trying to keep up. The two ships shot apart again and gained distance. Now out of sight behind him Carni checked the other ship's status with his sensors. He had scored a few hits, that much was certain.
Coming about quickly both ships started toward each other again, shields down and weapons blazing angrily. Carnifex took care with his aim, not falling back on any fancy thruster work this time he rushed forward. Guessing at the right moment to launch a cruise disruptor he fired it away and then focused on dodging as it forged ahead quickly toward the Cobra. His guesswork payed off well; the cruise disruptor struck the ship moments after the pilot launched a mine, the EM shockwave triggering its proximity detonator and damaging its user. Carnifex kicked in the reverse thrust and opened fire once again, the Cobra's shots falling short of his slowing ship. As Carni's shots collided with his target they obliterated hull, equipment and weapons alike and as it passed by his ship the Cobra began to bleed flame.
He saw the bright flash of its destruction reflect off his ship's hull and immediately checked his scanner. One of the pilots in his wing had been killed but their superior numbers had won out. The last Lane Hacker fighter, the one that Carnifex had been forced to let slip through of his fingers, was trying to cruise away but was being targeted by the other two members of Carni's wing who'd also finished off the first Lane Hacker. Their concentrated fire ripped it to shreds in seconds.
Carnifex looked through the now calm region of space toward Planet Erie and could see Scania Station, an orbitting speck. After a moment gazing he opened his coms, "Fall back to the Wapos, we'll have to repair at Ames," he said as he pointed his ship toward the ilky black dark matter clouds.