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SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN MACTAGGART

EPISODE 2: LEARNING THE ROPES-PART 2


Written by Craig Black, Jake Elmer & Jordann William-Edwards

===

"Well, that's the last of it," said Jaws, putting down the last box, "Thanks, Finbar. Er, I don't suppose you'd be able to stay for lunch?"

"Oh, I suppose I could manage. Besides, I expect young Alasdair here will want to know a bit more about me."

" Och aye, Ah dae...Ye say yer name's MacTaggart. Onie relation tae oor Captain, ur...?"

"I'll say there is! Jaws here's only my good wife!"

"Och, yer wife, eh? Interesting..." If he was being honest, Alasdair was more than a little shocked; he'd never expected Jaws to be married, especially not to someone he'd supposedly met before. They seemed pretty happy together, though, and Alasdair had never seen such compassion in a space pirate before, "Sae, hoo did she trick ye intae 'at one?"

"Well, we can discuss that over lunch...If I can remember which way the galley is!"

"Don't worry, Finbar," smiled Jaws, "I'll keep you right!"

            Alasdair had to smile at this; it was obvious that however long Finbar and Jaws had been together, they were still as in love with each other as they'd most likely been the day they first met each other, and he was looking forward to hearing their story...

===

            Later, Alasdair was on the bridge with Jaws and Finbar. Kyoko had finished her morning's work, so she'd joined them as well. Leslie was with them too, but she was too busy to stop for lunch. As they had their lunch, Alasdair was querying as to Finbar's history with Jaws.

"Sae, hoo exactly did ye two meit, 'en?"

"Well, it's quite a long story. It was a long time ago, back in 2986. The Third Galactic War had been raging on for nearly three years. I was a Lieutenant in the Military Police, on the Procyon Division. I used to be on this frigate, but I'd been told that some of us were going to be transferred to this battlecruiser from the Hinode Division doing an embarkation at our base. I didn't think much of it at the time, and I didn't think I'd be transferred."

"What's 'at got tae dae wi' th' Captain?"

"I'm getting there, Alasdair. Anyway, the cruiser arrived a few days before the embarkation, and some of us were able to get a couple of days leave beforehand. So I just went for a walk around the base. I wasn't really paying attention to my surroundings...and suddenly, I bumped into this other Lieutenant. I was just about to tell her off, when...I just couldn't. She was just too beautiful."

"An' 'at woods be th' Captain, woods it? Was 'at afair she tint th' eye?"

"No, I still have the eye," said Jaws, as she lifted the patch to show her intact right eye, and Alasdair noticed that it had a white patch of fur over it, "I just wear this patch for show. I had it on at the time."

"What fur?"

"Well, I'm certain there's an official reason for it," Finbar continued, "But she told me later that she was wearing it as a tribute to her childhood hero, Captain Harlock. Anyway, she was just beautiful. She just took my breath away. So after we'd cleared up the matter of bumping into each other, I introduced myself, and then I asked her name."

"An' it was...?" Alasdair queried, "Coz obviously she cannae hae called hersel' Jaws her whole life."

"No, you're right," said Jaws, "I was so nervous, I only just managed to stammer out that my name was Keiko Kaizoku. Then I told him I liked his accent. It has softened quite a bit in recent years, but back then it was really something."

"Yes, well, anyway, "Finbar continued," I had to admit that I quite liked her as well. And we'd both signed up at the same time, so that really helped us get along. However, I feared that it wasn't to last. We were on different ships, and I was dead set on the idea that I wouldn't be transferred. We might go our separate ways and never see each other again. Anyway, it turned out that I was, in fact, to be transferred. Now, I didn't regard that with much interest. I mean, it's just a transfer, nothing special. So the other lads and I were transferred over. Oshan Akuma, the new cruiser was called. Then when we set to work, I was still thinking about Keiko. Around lunch, I snuck off to the Akuma mess hall for a quick coffee, and do you know who I found in there?"

"Th' Captain?"

"Ten out of ten, Alasdair. She'd just skived off to avoid all the hard manual labour. Naturally, I was delighted to find out that I would now be working alongside Keiko, so we could see a lot more of each other...Not that we let this get in the way of our duties, of course!"

"You just keep telling yourself that, Finbar, honey!" Jaws said cheekily.

"Sae, that's hoo ye mit," said Alasdair " Hoo did ye persuade 'er tae marry ye?"

"Well, that's the funny thing, Alasdair. I didn't. It was her that proposed to me!"

"What?"

"Honest! It was Christmas 2992. Full year to the day after the War ended. Keiko had come to stay with me on Procyon VI, and we were just sitting, talking, laughing, that sort of thing. Then, all of a sudden, she pulls out a ring and asks me to marry her! And how could I refuse?!"

"So we went and did it, just like that," Jaws concluded, "And we've been together ever since."

"Amazing. Jist one hin' 'at bugs me, thocht. Ye say 'at ye used tae wark fur th' Military Polis? Wa dinnae ye noo?"

"Well, this isn't something I like to tell people," said Jaws, "But back in 3005, I'd been sent out to capture this terrorist the Federation called Princess Midori, but that was easier said than done. Four months, I tried to catch that bitch! But she kept slipping through my fingers, and eventually my superiors lost patience, stripped me of my command and sent me into exile. Enter stage left, one Stellar Typhoon."

"Yes indeed," continued Finbar, "I'd stolen it from the Federation. I'd been holding onto it for a while before Jaws got exiled, but then I said, 'Look, I've got this cruiser. We can use it to get our own back on the Federation. Come with me.' And she did."

"Ah see. Thes Princess Midori woman. Hoo bad was she? An' isnae she 'at woman who's...? "

"No, no. Midori. Not Mildury. I'm not going down that road again! And as for how bad she is, I can sum that up in two words; this bad!" And Jaws rolled up her coat sleeve, to reveal a robotic limb replacement for her entire right arm. Alasdair had seen her hand earlier, but this was the first he'd seen of the whole arm. "Faced her in battle three years ago. She chopped this arm clean off. With my own katana! Good thing that Kyoko was studying robotics at her school at the time!"

"Ye mean...Kyoko built 'at?!"

"Sure did, Alasdair-san." Kyoko smiled, "It was a rush job, too. I gave it to her as a Christmas present a few months after the battle, and that secured me a place on the ship."

            Alasdair was in awe; He'd never suspected Kyoko of being capable of creating such a brilliant piece of tech, let alone to have it ready in only a few months. Such limb replacements were possible, but the ones on the market had taken years to develop. Alasdair simply stared at Kyoko, trying to process this information.

"I know," said Jaws, "I was just as impressed as you are. That's why I took her on...By the way, Finbar here has the same kind of thing. Show him, Fin."

"Well, I don't know if I want to...Oh, okay, then!" But before Finbar could roll up his sleeve, they were interrupted by the alert system going off. The Stellar Typhoon's computer rang into life, with its usual Germanic intonation.

"Achtung, Frau Captain! Federation cruiser approaching from behind, preparing to attack."

"Ah, shit!" Jaws muttered, "Okay, computer. Prepare to repel their attack."

"Your command, Frau Captain...Achtung, Commander of cruiser wishes to talk to you."

"What? Oh, it'll be that Commander Barratt again. Just our luck. Wait there, you lot. I'll deal with him."

"I'll come with you," said Finbar, "I want to see how you manage it this time."

"Hmm, fair enough..."

            Both Jaws and Finbar stood up, and walked over to the large view-screen at the front of the bridge. Jaws pressed a few buttons, and a video image flashed up on the screen. It was indeed Commander Barratt, with Captain Mandarin by his side. He was looking very smug...until he saw that Jaws had company. However, he quickly regained his composure and began with the usual insults.

"Well, well, well. Look who it is; Duchess and O'Malley!"

"Shut it, Barratt," snapped Jaws, "You're the only pussy around here! What do you want?"

"Well, I should think that would have been clear to you the moment your computer alerted you to our presence. Our mandate is simple; either you hand yourself over, or we annihilate your cruiser. And your husband's."

"You never learn, do you, Barratt?" Jaws smirked, "It's the same thing every time; you show up and threaten to blow us up if we don't comply with your request. Then the two of us fight for a few minutes, and then I proceed to kick the shit out of you and your pathetic assistants. You'll need to introduce some kind of variety into these encounters, or it'll get boring pretty quickly."

"As a matter of fact, MacTaggart, I do plan to shake things up this time...This time, I'll kick the shit out of you! How do ya like that?!"

"There you go again! You're getting overconfident about-" KA-BLAM! Jaws was knocked to the floor, as Commander Barratt suddenly opened fire on her. "WHAT THE FUCK?!"

"Just adding some variety, MacTaggart. I'm making the first move this time."

"Oh, are you now?" Jaws growled, as she picked herself up, "Well, let's see how you like my retaliation, you maple-sucking bastard!" Then she walked over to her command chair and sat down. "Computer, give me full manual control of this ship!"

"Your command, Frau Captain." the computer squawked, and a steering column quickly unfolded itself out of the floor. The wheel was seemingly modelled on that of an old-fashioned sailing ship. Jaws took hold of it, and swung it hard to the left. As the Typhoon slowly turned around, everyone could soon see the distinctive profile of the Oshan Akuma staring back at them.

"Okay, Commander," Jaws smirked, "Let's see you try to top this." Jaws pressed a button on the column, and the Typhoon opened fire with a set of pulse laser-cannons. The result was a resounding explosion just beneath the bridge of the Akuma. Then Jaws began to advance slowly forward, still firing.

"Hey, Captain?" Alasdair asked, " Wa dinnae ye jist dae 'at hin' ye did yesterday? A Skippy, Ah hink ye called it."

"It's not as simple as that, Alasdair. If I tried that, then Commander Barratt would simply ignore us and blow up the Stellar Monsoon instead. We can't risk the lives of Finbar's crew and our own."

"But surely, we coods drive them awa' ur...LOOK OOT!"

"What...? AAH!"

            Jaws was forced to stop sharply and reverse back; the Oshan Akuma had returned their fire, and was coming straight at them. Jaws was still firing on the Akuma with her pulse cannons, but in her haste to get a good shot, she didn't watch where she was going.

"Jaws, look out!" Finbar suddenly shouted, "You're going to hit the...!" CRASH! The Typhoon crashed hard into the side of the Stellar Monsoon. Then, to make matters worse, the Oshan Akuma hit the Typhoon head on, sandwiching it between the two cruisers. The Typhoon slowly began to crumple as the Akuma increased its power.

            In the midst of the chaos, Jaws panicked, and tried to fire up the boosters, forgetting that the Monsoon wasn't exactly the most solid surface to do so on. It was blasted away by the boosters, and now it was spinning out of control into deep space.

"Oh, that's marvellous, isn't it, Captain?!" Finbar snapped.

"Hey, how was I supposed to know that was going to happen?!" Jaws protested.

"Look, never mind how! We need to get my cruiser back."

"But we're already under attack. We can't divide our attention like this. It'll be the death of all of us!"

"I don't care, Jaws! You've got to think of something, and fast!"

"How CAN I think?! I've got the goddamn Federation on my tail, haven't I?!" By now, both Jaws and Finbar were nose-to-nose with each other, and Alasdair could see that if they remained at loggerheads with each other much longer, then Commander Barratt could very well have his way this time, and destroy both cruisers. He had to think of something. Suddenly, he remembered something.

"Bide a minute. Captain, those Capital Fighters. We coods use those!"

"Don't be stupid, Alasdair!" said Jaws, "Even if we had all of them operating, they wouldn't be enough to rescue the Monsoon."

"Ah dinnae mean loch 'at! Ah mean we shoods launch th' Fighters an' lat at Barratt wi' them. Ye ken, tae distract heem. 'En while we've got his attention, Finbar can gang after th' Monsoon in thes cruiser an' rescue it."

"That's crazy, kid..." said Finbar doubtfully, "...So crazy, it just might work! The Typhoon's not much use for anything else now..."

"Are you suggesting we go with the idea of a newly recruited Chief Engineer? And an Assistant one, at that? With no combat experience?" Jaws was rather incredulous at this notion, even though she quite liked Alasdair.

"Well, you went with Kyoko's ideas when we were searching for the Stone Of Possibilities. Remember, when she'd just joined us? And we're still here!"

"Okay, there is that, I suppose...We never did find that goddamn Stone, did we?"

"No, we didn't...But listen, Alasdair's idea is as good as any, even if he is a new guy. Come on, we've got no time to lose. Launch the Fighters now. Come on!"

"What? But...I...ugh, fine." Jaws had to admit defeat, something she was never really good at. She moodily walked over to her command chair, grabbed the microphone, and barked down it, "Leslie, Blackmask, get down to the Capital Hangar, pronto! Launch all Fighters now!"

"Yes, Captain," came Leslie's reply, "But what about CF-4, Captain? It's still undergoing maintenance."

"Sorry, Leslie, but that'll have to wait for now. We need every Capital Fighter out there! I'll be right down as well in a few minutes."

"Yes, Captain," Leslie sighed, "Over and out." With that, Jaws put the microphone back, and motioned to Kyoko. "Come on!"

"Hai, Captain-basan!" And they both ran off towards the Capital Hangar. Alasdair walked up to Finbar.

"Noo, whit's tae dae next, Finbar?"

"Well, for a start, you can get the Capital Hangar up on the view-screen. You need to signal each fighter to launch."

"Och...okay." Alasdair said, sitting down on the co-pilot's seat, "Thaur we gang." He looked at the view screen, and before too long could see three of the Capital Fighters getting ready to launch, with the forth being lowered down on the vehicle lift. "Reit. let's gie thes show oan th' road, shall we? Open launch doors! Capital Fighters, stain by fur take-off. Number 1, go!" Jaws flew out with CF-1. "Stain by, Number 2...Go!" Leslie flew out in CF-2. "Number 3, go!" Blackmask in CF-3. "Hauld oan, Number 4...I'll gie ye an extra few minutes tae gie ready, Kyoko, seein' as yoo've jist arrived."

"It's alright, Alasdair-san," Kyoko responded, "I did all the checks and that as I was being lowered down. I'm ready to go!"

"Alrecht, if ye insist...Number 4, go!" Alasdair watched as Kyoko took off in CF-4. Considering how greatly the craft must have been modified in the past, Alasdair was impressed that it could still take off as quickly as it did. As CF-4 disappeared from sight, Alasdair thought to himself, "Tak' caur o' yersel' oot thaur, mah pretty goddess..."

"Right," said Finbar, "That's them all out. Now, set course for the Stellar Monsoon!"

"Aye, Captain..."

===

            Meanwhile, on board the Oshan Akuma, Captain Mandarin was intently surveying the Stellar Typhoon. She was confused when she saw it retreat away from them.

"Commander Barratt? The Typhoon's retreating. What should we do?"

"Let them go. It's Captain MacTaggart I want, and she's already run off in that special fighter she...What the HELL?!" Commander Barratt had expected Jaws to try and attack him on her own, but he hadn't accounted for the rest of the Capital Fighters. Mandarin spoke up again.

"Commander Barratt, she's launched more fighters. Do we attack?"

"Of course, Mandarin. Annihilate them all. Mixed up sons of bitches won't know what hit them!"

===

            As the four Fighters approached the Akuma, Jaws shouted out her instructions.

"Right! Kyoko, stay with me. We'll keep them distracted up front. Leslie, Blackmask, sneak round the back of them and take Commander Barratt from behind!"

"Hai, Captain-basan." Kyoko chirped over the radio.

"Yes, Captain." Leslie and Blackmask responded as well, before preparing to make their dive under and behind the Oshan Akuma. Jaws' plan was to distract Commander Barratt by attacking from the front with CF-1 and 4. Meanwhile, Leslie and Blackmask would take CF-2 and 3 and attack from behind while Barratt had all his weapons trained on Jaws and Kyoko.

===

            Captain Mandarin was still observing the scene back on the bridge of the Akuma. After a few minutes, she saw CF-2 and 3 dive out of sight.

"Commander, two of the fighters have ducked beneath us. Do you think they've chickened out?"

"I strongly doubt that, Captain Mandarin," said Commander Barratt, "Everyone working for Captain MacTaggart shows an unconditional loyalty and devotion to her. They wouldn't dare abandon her in battle. They'd be lost without her...So it's important that we destroy her first. Don't pay any attention to those two."

"Anything you say, Commander. What about that patrol craft who's staying with her?"

"Take her out as well. I know for a fact that's her Chief Engineer piloting it. She's very popular among Captain MacTaggart's crew, and if we destroy her, then we'll deal a huge blow to their morale as well."

"Of course, Commander. Opening fire..."

===

            As CF-1 and 4 approached the Akuma, it suddenly opened fire on them. Jaws was undeterred, as laser bolts shot past, barely missing her; the Capital Fighters had been upgraded with stronger armour and better weapons, so they could soak up hits better than the standard fighters. Jaws knew that Commander Barratt wasn't aware of this, and she revelled in the chance to take advantage of it. She returned Barratt's fire, and managed to take out one of his guns.

===

            Barratt wasn't going to be beaten so easily, but just as he was about to order Mandarin to increase the power of their weapons, he was thrown to the floor as something hit the Akuma from behind.

"What the fuck was that?!" he shouted at Mandarin.

"I think that was those fighters that dropped out, Commander."

"I know that, Captain! Find some way to shake Captain MacTaggart off, and then turn the ship around. Then we can let those two bastards have it!"

"Yes, Commander Barratt. I've got just the plan. Fire the Electromagnetic Cannon on the patrol craft!"

===

            Jaws saw the Akuma unleash an electromagnetic bolt, and was horrified to see it heading straight for Kyoko.

"Kyoko, LOOK OUT!"

"What-AAH!" Both of them could only watch as the bolt hit CF-4, with a resounding explosion as the bolt effectively fried the craft's engines out of action. Jaws forgot her fight with Barratt, and shot over in CF-1.

"Are you alright, Kyoko?!" Jaws yelled over the radio. The response was rather shaky and difficult to hear, but Jaws was relieved when she could hear Kyoko's voice.

"I'm fine, Captain-basan. But that bolt's screwed up my engine. I can't move or use the equipment."

"Look, look, don't worry. We'll try to think of a way to fix it. But for now, I'll just have to carry you in my tractor beam. We can't have you floating around defencelessly in space, can we?"

"I supposed not, Captain-basan." Kyoko said, as Jaws locked CF-1's tractor beam on CF-4, "Thanks. Try not to get too excited with your moves. I don't want to-CAPTAIN-BASAN! LOOK OUT!"

"What's the-OH, SHIT!" Jaws screamed. After she'd fired the electromagnetic bolt, Captain Mandarin had begun to turn the Oshan Akuma around, and now its rear end was swinging out right towards the two Fighters. Jaws attempted to pull Kyoko upwards, but she'd only managed to get clear herself when the cruiser hit CF-4 and knocked it out of Jaws' tractor beam. Kyoko was flung away into deep space, and because her engine was fried she couldn't stop herself spinning out of control.

"TASUKETE! TASUKETEEEEE!" Kyoko screamed in Japanese; she was barely able to speak coherent English under normal circumstances, but in situations like this it became impossible, and she had to resort to her native language. Jaws watched on in horror as Kyoko spun off into the darkness. She desperately took hold of her radio.

"Leslie, Blackmask, cover me! Commander Barratt's screwed up Kyoko's craft, and now she's out of control; we've got to save her!"

"What?!" Leslie shouted in response, "Okay, Captain, I'll be right there! Nobody fucks around with my best friend and gets away with it!"

===

            Jaws and Leslie weren't the only ones worried about Kyoko. Back on the Stellar Typhoon, Alasdair had been watching the whole scene on one of the external cameras. Needless to say, he was absolutely horrified.

"Aw, SHITE! Finbar, turn thes hin' aroond! We've got tae sae Kyoko!"

"We can't turn around Alasdair! We lose too much time! And besides, aren't Jaws and the others out there with her? They can rescue her."

"Mebbe sae, but they cannae barnie aff 'at bastard Barratt at th' sam time. They need uir help!"

"Even if we could help them, how?!" Alasdair thought hard for a few seconds, and then he had the answer.

"Got it! 'At spaur Capital Fighter ye brought in thes morn. Ah coods tak' 'at oot!"

"I'm not sure, Alasdair. I know it's working, but it's still a wreck. You said that yourself."

"Aye, th' keyword being workin'. Lit me tak' it oot, Finbar. PLEASE!"

"Okay, Alasdair. But be careful!" With that, Alasdair bolted off towards the launching bay.

===

            When he reached the launching bay, Alasdair found the terrier who'd brought the fighter in sitting inside it reading a magazine. He ran into the cockpit.

"Listen, son. Three questions, an' answer 'em quick. Diz thes thing's tractor beam still wark?"

"Well, yes..."

"An' dae th' weapons still wark an aw?"

"Yes, barely. Where are you going with this?"

"Lest question; Can ye move yer arse a moment? Thes is an emergency!" Before the terrier could respond, Alasdair had forced him out of the seat and fired the Fighter up.

"Hang on," the terrier protested as Alasdair forced him out, "You've still got to do all the checks and that..."

"Fuck th' checks! Kyoko's in trouble! Open th' doors. NOW!" The terrier didn't bother to argue any further, and simply went to open the launching bay doors. Almost before they'd fully opened, Alasdair shot out, and changed his course towards the out of control CF-4...

===

            Jaws was surprised to see the spare Fighter heading out towards them, and even more surprised to see who was piloting it.

"Alasdair? What are you doing here?"

"Nae time tae explain, Captain. Jist gie back an' cover me. I'll handle Kyoko."

"What? Oh, uh, okay," Jaws responded, "Leslie, Blackmask, you heard. Young Alasdair's got it covered. Change course for the Oshan Akuma."

"Yes, Captain." Leslie said, and began to turn CF-2 around.

===

            Meanwhile, on the Oshan Akuma, Lieutenant McMurdo noticed the Fighters changing course.

"Commander Barratt? They've turned back on us. Do you think they've rescued that patrol craft?"

"I don't think so, Lieutenant. Give me a look." Commander Barratt looked through a set of binoculars. "No, that patrol craft isn't back with them. They've left her for dead. Perhaps they've come back to surrender themselves."

"Perhaps, Commander...But why aren't they sending the surrender signal?"

"I don't know, McMurdo, but I-What the hell?!"

===

            Meanwhile, Alasdair had finally caught up with the spiralling Kyoko. Before doing anything else, he activated his tractor beam and just managed to catch Kyoko in it.

"Dinnae fash yersel', Kyoko. I've got ye! Ur ye alrecht?"

"Never better, now that you're here!" Kyoko gasped, "Arigato, Alasdair-san!"

"That's stoatin tae hear. I'll tak' ye back tae th' Typhoon, an' 'en I'll gie 'at bastard Commander what's coming tae heem!"

===

            It wasn't too long before Alasdair and Kyoko finally made it safely back into the Typhoon's launching bay. Once they'd both landed, Alasdair went and helped Kyoko out of CF-4. He noticed that she seemed to be having trouble walking.

"Ye okay thaur, Kyoko? Yoo're nae hurt, ur ye?!"

"Not badly, Alasdair-san. It's just that I've got this pain in my back."

"Aw, shit! Dinnae fash yersel'. I'll carry ye back tae yer cabin."

"No, not yet, Alasdair-san. I want to see Finbar-jisan first. Just to let him know I'm safe."

"Weel, alrecht. If ye insist." With that, Alasdair lifted Kyoko up in a bridal carry, and began the long trek back up to the bridge.

===

            When they reached the bridge, however, Finbar was nowhere to be seen. Instead, standing at the control console, Alasdair could see Finbar's terrier assistant. He walked over to him, still carrying Kyoko.

"Och, it's ye, is it? Where's Finbar got tae, 'en?" Before the terrier could respond, Alasdair heard another voice.

"Right here!" Alasdair looked to see Finbar on the view screen. "I see Kyoko's safe, then."

"Very much so, Finbar-jisan. Where are you?"

"Well, I think that should be obvious! While you two were fooling about out there, I managed to catch up with the Stellar Monsoon. Now we're going to go after Commander Barratt!"

"We'll turn aroond, an' come wi' ye." said Alasdair.

"Good man. We'll show that fucker who's boss!" With that, Finbar ended the call, and Alasdair ousted the terrier away from the control console.

"Okay, Kyoko. everything's under control. I'll handle th' piloting. Ye try an' gie th' weapons workin' again."

"Your command, Alasdair-san!" And Kyoko ran off to start her work. Alasdair took hold of the steering column.

"Ye jist bide until Ah catch ye, Barratt. Coz if ye hink ye can harm mah wee sweetie kitten loch 'at an' get awa' wi' it, 'en yoo've got anither hin' coming, ye bastard!"

===

"Commander Barratt, why aren't they sending the surrender signal?"

"I don't know, Lieutenant, but I-What the hell?!" Commander Barratt could see that not only were the Fighters now coming back towards them, but that the Stellar Monsoon had joined them as well. Before Barratt had a chance to order an attack, the Monsoon suddenly opened fire on them, aided by various scattered assaults from the Fighters. Barratt was knocked to the ground. As he picked himself up, he growled in anger. "So...The Captain's precious husband got his precious cruiser back, did he? We'll see who has the last laugh! Mandarin, return his fire!"

"Yes, Commander!" Captain Mandarin quickly opened fire on the Monsoon. Little by little, the Monsoon slowly became overpowered by the Oshan Akuma. It'd already been damaged when the Typhoon crashed into it, so Finbar was finding it harder and harder to defend himself.

===

            Meanwhile, Jaws and the others were trying their best to defend the Monsoon, but it was hard going for them as well. Suddenly, the Akuma's pulse cannon was destroyed.

"Ha-ha!" Jaws laughed triumphantly, "Who got that one, then?"

"I wasn't aiming for his pulse cannon, Captain." said Leslie.

"Or me," said Blackmask, "My guns stopped working five minutes ago."

"I was aiming for the bridge myself." said Finbar. All four of them were puzzled...until Finbar saw the Stellar Typhoon cruise up alongside the Monsoon. "That's who it was! It was Alasdair! Well done, old son!"

"Jist daein' mah job, Finbar. Nae e'en 'at, technically, but still..."

"...But still an excellent job there! Thanks for helping us out. Come on. We'll see if Commander Barratt's up for fighting two cruisers..."

===

            On the Akuma, Commander Barratt and his fellow officers were debating whether or not to keep fighting.

"Well," said Lieutenant McMurdo, "They outnumber us two to one. Three, if you count those fighters. Do we talk, fight, or retreat?"

"You seem easily impressed by numbers, Lieutenant," said Captain Mandarin, "But you must know the Commander would never retreat. What do you think we should do, Commander?"

"You idiot, Mandarin! We can never submit ourselves to this! Retreat! We cannot fight them without any backup, and God knows how long that could take to reach us."

"But Commander, couldn't we...?"

"You have your orders, Mandarin! RETREAT!"

"Yes, Commander," Mandarin sighed, "Standing by to retreat..."

===

            Alasdair and Kyoko watched in delight as the Oshan Akuma slowly turned away and slunk off into the starry blackness.

"We did it, Alasdair-san! And we didn't have to use the weapons after all!"

"Correction; we did some o' it. Min', it was Finbar and th' Captain 'at did most ay th' wark."

"Hmm, very modest, aren't you?" Kyoko then leaned up and kissed Alasdair on the cheek, "And very brave, too. Thank you for rescuing me, Alasdair-san."

"Och, dinnae mention it. It's jist mah pleasure tae come tae th' aid ay a bonnie wee lassie loch yersel'."

"Ooh, you are charming, aren't you? A girl could get used to this!"

===

            When Jaws, Finbar and the others returned to the Typhoon, everyone congratulated Alasdair both for saving Kyoko and for taking control of the cruiser. Alasdair was glad of the praise, but he didn't feel like he deserved it.

"Och, weel, ye dae whit ye hae tae dae, dinnae ye? Ah mean, Ah cooldnae jist lae Kyoko spiralin' it ay control loch 'at, coods Ah?"

"Well, in any case," said Jaws, "You've proven yourself worthy of the Stellar Typhoon for the second time in only as many days. I'm proud of you. In fact, we all are."

"Och, it was naethin', really..."

"And before I forget, you remember when I told you that new Capital Fighter was going to be used as a spare? Well, I sort of lied. It was going to be yours anyway. I was going to wait until you'd properly settled down before I told you, but your performance out there has sealed the deal." Alasdair's feelings were beyond words.

"Y-ye mean...?"

"Yep," said Finbar, "You're going to be the official pilot for CF-5! Congratulations, son!" And he playfully ruffled Alasdair's hair.

"Hey, gie ower, Finbar!" Alasdair muttered, as Finbar simply laughed. Kyoko gave a little giggle at this as well.

"Right then," said Finbar, "I must be getting back to the Stellar Monsoon. Great to see you all again. And it's especially a pleasure to meet you, Alasdair. I should hope we get to work together again someday. Only I hope it's not under such deplorable circumstances!" he laughed, as he kissed Jaws goodbye, "Well, I'll see you around then...Bye." With that Finbar silently left the bridge for the launching bay. Once he'd left, Jaws spoke to Alasdair again.

"Well, as I say, well done. Now, before anything else happens, I've got a little job for you. As you've probably guessed, CF-5 was a total wreck when it arrived, and your little rescue's gone and made it worse. I think it could do with fixing up. I've already got Kyoko lined up to work on it, but she won't be able to do it all on her own. I'd like you to help her out a bit. Consider it your training for your new position. How's that sound?"

"Weel, 'at...'at sounds braw! A wee pet project fur us tae wark oan together!"

"Excellent, I knew you'd agree. Come on, we'll drink to our victory." And Jaws began to lead the crew towards the mess hall. As they went, Kyoko spoke quietly to Alasdair.

"Well, that was a nice surprise, wasn't it? A little project to call our own!"

"Och aye, it is an' aw. An' can Ah jist say somethin'? If yer wark oan it was only sub-standard, yoo'd still be th' best technician I've ever mit in mah life." At this, Kyoko held onto Alasdair and hugged him.

"And the prettiest, too?"

"Yeah, 'at tay, Ah suppose."

"Arigato, Alasdair-san..." And Kyoko hugged him tighter. However, Alasdair was concerned. He'd promised to himself that, for now, his relationship with Kyoko would be strictly professional, seeing that they'd barely just met. But he didn't want to risk losing Kyoko as a friend by telling her this, as he could see just how much she was in love with him.

"I'll hae tae teel 'er suin, thocht. I'll lae it fur a few weeks, an' 'en I'll teel 'er. Aye, that'll dae."

            Meanwhile, Jaws had noticed Kyoko hugging Alasdair, and she smiled to herself. She had seen how much Kyoko liked Alasdair as well, and she fully intended to bring them closer together.

"Just as I suspected," she thought to herself, "My plan is working..."

THE END

Here we go, episode 2! In which we meet Jaws' other half, and the first seeds of another romance begin to be sown...
---
Space Pirate Captain MacTaggart (C) Me 2015
:iconjwthamajestic:
JWthaMajestic Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015  Student Filmographer
Barratt just doesn't quit, does he? Meanwhile...we see a little romance blossoming, eh? ;)
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:icontoastedalmond98:
ToastedAlmond98 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2015
Yes, it certainly seems that way. As the series progresses (in general, not just the initial thirteen episodes), we'll see him becoming more and more desperate, and his constant failures will slowly begin to eat away at his sanity. Mind you, maybe he's brought it upon himself; after all, it was him who first dismissed Jaws, and effectively created his own worst enemy...

And yes, there's more on this building romance to come. ;) Over the course of the five seasons, we'll see Alasdair and Kyoko's relationship take several steps, as they become more and more of an item. And by the end, we might just see this reach its logical conclusion...;)
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