Jack Sterling

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What Ho!

I am Commander (formally Flight Lieutenant) Jack Montgomery Sterling. I was born in August of 1919 in the sleepy village of Beechdale in Cheshire to the Rev. and Mrs Jonas Sterling. When war broke out in '39 I was at Oxford studying Classics, but immediately put my studies on hold and joined the RAF. By the summer of 1940 I was stationed at RAF Biggin Hill flying Spitfires, and the Battle of Britain was well under way.

It was a fine day, that fateful day. I remember that although strangely I cannot remember the exact date. A large German formation was heading towards London and we were scrambled. We climbed high and flew over the Kent countryside towards them. There were several hundred planes, Heinkel bombers with Messerschmitt fighters to escort them.

Flying high we had the advantage, and the squadron peeled away, one by one, and screamed down towards Jerry. As I started my dive, I saw a nice big fat juicy Heinkel directly ahead of me. I eased back a bit so I could attack him from above and behind, and started my attack approach.

At the time I had no idea what was happening...that only became clear later, but all I remember from the time was a huge shimmering blue disc appearing suddenly right in front of me. Unable to avoid it, I flew straight through it.

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It was dark, and cold, and airless. I could just hear the Merlin engine of my Spitfire sputtering in vacuum, then I passed out.

When I came-to, it was in very un-familiar surroundings. I guessed it was some sort of hospital, but the room was finished in a smooth white material I didn't recognize, and there were machines all around. They beeped and had lights on them and I had no idea what they were, although several seemed to be connected to me.

A figure approached. He introduced himself as Dr Fitzpatrick, and over the course of the next hour I sat incredulous as he explained what had happened to me. Now, of course, I understand much of what he described but at the time I was overwhelmed and even confused.

It seems that during my attack on the Heinkel I encountered a temporal wormhole. It spat me out in orbit around the planet Leesti in what I now know as Galaxy One, a few thousand years into my future. I was incredibly lucky, really, as my Spitfire appeared very close to the main station and less than 1Km ahead of an Adder Scavenger. The Adder pilot scooped my crate thinking it was debris, but as soon as he realised it was a manned vessel he dragged me out of the old kite and into the Adder's cockpit. He took me straight to the main station. The medics were able to revive me, and I spent two weeks in a coma until the day I woke up.

Since then I have tried to get used to my new life, as there can be no going back. My Spitfire found its way to Leesti Science Museum, and I was able to sell my story for quite a lot of money to the media and I also spent quite some time talking to various academics and Historians, who were keen to learn about my life in the 20th Century on the near mythical planet of Old Earth as they called it.

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I suppose I could have done pretty much anything after that. I was 21 years old with ample funds thanks to the sale of my story, but my time with the RAF convinced me that I was first and foremost a pilot. I moved to Lave and invested most of my money by enrolling at the Academy, where I breezed through the training courses. It wasn't long before I had my Pilot's Licence and a brand new base model Cobra Mk III spaceship. Being a patriotic sort of chap, and wanting to keep something of my old life alive, I gave her a rather nice Union Flag paint-job, and named her Bulldog One. The paint-job gets a lot of interest, because it is quite striking and of course nobody recognises the flag. My story is always worth a few beers around the bars. I can't remember the last time I had to buy myself a drink!

Since then I've been exploring my new world, or worlds! I have been trading and improving Bulldog One. These spaceships are quite amazing, and their seemingly physics-defying technology makes them very intuitive to fly. Indeed sometimes I forget I'm piloting Bulldog One and think I'm back in the old Spitfire, particularly when using my combat skills to defend myself from the frequent pirate attacks that seem to plague this time. I'll defend myself from attack, and help out the Police or any other ship that is in distress where I can, but I have avoided becoming a bounty hunter and will never attack another ship just because they have an Offender status. They might just be a minor transgressor, or maybe they just got unlucky and forgot to offload some scooped contraband, and I for one don't think those offences should carry a death penalty. Perhaps it is my middle-class, middle-English upbringing. I was brought up to 'Do the right thing' and I have a personal code of ethics which is based on fairness and understanding. So I will not kill gratuitously. However, when I do find it necessary to kill, I am very good at it.

My story is an on-going one, and I report in every now and then to let my new friends know how I am and what jolly japes I've been getting up to. You can find my reports here.

Tally-ho!