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had failed him. After fifteen terrifying minutes, he'd gotten it working, locked onto a jumpgate beacon and reemerged in normal space, albeit nowhere near the place where he'd wanted to be. He counted himself lucky, and anything that Ivanova came up with to make sure that there was no getting lost in hyperspace was just fine with him.

"Delta Six, you're the anchor," Ivanova continued. "Hold here so we can link to your signal and extend out toward the target like a string of pearls. Don't stray too far or you'll lose contact and get lost in the gravitational eddies. Then we'll have two rescue missions to worry about.

"And be careful," she added. "Only a moron would go this far off the beacon on purpose, but there's still a chance it could be a trap."

Delta 6 was being piloted by a relative newcomer named MacPhearson, or simply "Mac" to his friends. If there was going to be a tricky maneuver in hyperspace, Ivanova wanted the person with the least experience to have the most stationary position. Not that it wasn't important: it was the anchor, after all. But it was certainly the assignment wherein the pilot would get into the least possible amount of trouble.

Mac in Delta 6 took his position, turning toward the rest of the squadron as they began moving away. For the briefest of moments he felt a chill, then it passed and he concentrated on the job at hand.

Slowly the other Starfuries made their way through hyperspace. Since they were moving off of their originally intended course, everyone kept checking and rechecking their instruments. A thick ball of mist, a sort of hyperspace cloud, roiled towards them and they passed through it. It momentarily interfered with their instrumentation, but the moment they were past everything snapped back to normal... or at least
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