Shuttle three, Challenger, was already lost to sight. Roy caught sight of a gunship's yellow flame just before it disappeared into a missile explosion. "Maneuvering. Stand by." Roy's sense of balance protested as Jay turned the Shuttle. "What have we got?" "Missiles. We've got five miles per second on those snout ships. The missiles only get one pass. They can't hit us if we keep veering. " "You hope." "Semper fi, mac. Let me know when you think you have a shot at something." "Yeah, sure." The missiles were in the main compartment, and the big bay doors weren't open. The ring of green lights dropped away aft. "Go, baby, go." Roy prayed. Talking to the ship. Why not? What else can I do? "Maybe we should open the bay." "No point." The dreadful green lights were fading. "Our missiles can't reach them either. Save 'em for Mommy Dearest. How long before we're in range?" "Maybe an hour, if we don't get hurt, and they don't get more acceleration." Roy poked numbers into Atlantis's computer. "Looks to me like they're pouring on all they have." "So are we. Roy - " "Yeah?" "General Gillespie said Michael might not make it." "Yeah, I heard." "That leaves it up to us." " Well, there's Challenger." "Heard from Big Jim lately?" "No." Big Jim Farr. Six four, only he managed to lose two inches in the official records. Laurie Culzer and Jane Farr and five kids were sharing a house in Port Angles. "Think he's had it, Joe." "I think we act like he's out." "Which leaves us." "Which leaves us. Maneuvering. Stand by."