Hey friends! This isn't a real entry for the contest because a) I'm a Rioter so I can't enter and b) Riot Masantha didn't tell me there was a word limit until I'd written the bloody thing, so it's too long. But as a Jinx main, I couldn't resist getting involved, so here's a little story about our favourite Loose Cannon:
Hindsight was not something Jinx spent a lot of time with. This was partly because Captain Yasuo was always talking wisely about “the benefit of hindsight”, and Jinx saw it as her role as pilot to radically interrogate anything Captain Yasuo decided was good sense. But it was also partly because hindsight was BORING. Who cares about what happened yesterday? Today is way more exciting!
Today certainly was exciting: Jinx was floating through space towards certain death. She felt this proved her point.
The circumstances that led her into this situation were a little hazy. Not in the sense that she couldn’t remember them - she had absolute total recall of the sequence of events that culminated in her testing a new Chomper design in the umbilicus leading to one of the Morning Star’s storage bays, and the subsequent explosion, which crippled the ship and left her hurtling towards a nearby black hole in the remains of the bay. No, they were a little hazy in the sense that there was a big cloud of debris.
As much as Jinx preferred not to dwell on the past, however, the one thing she hated even more was contemplating the future, especially when the future involved one of three possible outcomes: asphyxiation due to oxygen deprivation, turning into a space popsicle due to explosive decompression, or violent immolation at the hands of some sort of inevitable electrical fire. The latter would probably be coolest-looking in zero-G, but it still wasn’t ideal. (The other reason Jinx hated thinking about the future was that most of her futures involved Captain Yasuo talking sternly to her about whatever it was she’d done that day, and how it had endangered the lives of the crew and, sometimes, large unwitting sections of the galaxy.)
So for Jinx that generally just meant focusing on the present. She began considering it.
Storage bay. Didn’t really take much damage from the explosion, which was confined to the umbilicus. As soon as the ship detected a hull breach (“hull breach” sounds so judgemental - it was just a little hole!), the internal airlocks slammed shut, marooning her in the bay but leaving her and it largely unharmed. Heck, she even had internal power - each module of the Morning Star having been given independent energy and life support reserves some time ago in a project the Captain humiliatingly referred to as “Jinx-proofing the ship”.
Being alive and relatively safe was a good start. She couldn’t just sit around and wait for rescue though - not if she ever wanted to see her friends again anyway. (By friends, of course, she meant Pow Pow and Fishbones, although she wouldn’t mind seeing the crew again either - Malphite still owed her money.)
The storage bay may be intact, but the lack of immediate Jinx-retrieval suggested the ship had come off rather worse. Jinx pressed her face up against the misty glass of the storage bay’s one porthole. The bay was spinning, but she could just make out the Morning Star spiralling slowly into the distance. Yep, there’s your problem - engines are on fire. That would take a while to fix. If she didn’t do something, she’d be dead before then.
She looked around the storage bay. Poking her nose through the porthole had equipped her with an important fact: the bay was spinning but it wasn’t tumbling, meaning that all she really needed to do was neutralise the thrust sending her in one direction and then reverse it. If the bay had been tumbling as well, piloting it back to the Morning Star would have been borderline impossible without a full suite of lateral and ventral thrusters to make ongoing corrections. Thank goodness it wasn’t tumbling.
Jinx kicked a small metal box out of her way. Sans gravity, the box flew beautifully across the 20 feet of space between her and the airlock, where it connected with a nearby instrument panel, the leading corner making precise contact with the button marked “PURGE CONNECTOR”. There was a low rushing noise, followed by a loud click, as the storage bay’s airlock collar expelled a small pocket of thin air into the darkness of space and then resealed.
Jinx glanced at the porthole again. The storage bay was now tumbling as well as spinning.
This was getting silly, not to mention a little on the urgent side. Jinx started floating around rifling through crates, shelves and drawers. Everything had been pinned down (the storage bay was often exposed to space, so they stocked it to be functional with or without gravity), but in her haste Jinx made no effort to return items she deemed useless to their previous housing. Within a couple of minutes, the bay was full of floating bolts, tools, fabric and small munitions. But then Jinx found what she had been looking for.
Pow Pow was her buddy, the best minigun in space, but it wasn’t her only rapid-fire projectile weapon. (It wasn’t even the only rapid-fire projectile weapon she kept in her cabin.) Lurking in the depths of this particular storage bay, she discovered one of her other old favourites: Pew Pew. Smaller than Pow Pow but with a higher rate of fire, Pew Pew was good for fighting multiple small adversaries in close quarters. That wasn’t what she wanted it for at this precise moment, however.
Jinx grabbed a few harnesses and clipped them onto fixed points around the storage bay, fastening the other ends to her numerous belts. Before long she was suspended in the middle of the bay, equidistant from each side, with the central porthole ahead of her. She held Pew Pew aloft, pointed it directly behind her, and began firing.
The bullets quickly chewed through the hull. There was a high-pitched roaring noise as hundreds of little streams of air began screaming into space, along with a lot of rubbish that happened to be floating around the bay. (As a large screwdriver lightly grazed her cheek on the way past, Jinx made a mental note not to learn anything from this experience.) The harnesses held Jinx in place as the storage bay began hooning around space like a kitten chasing a fly.
Jinx kept her gaze fixed on the porthole and began firing off short bursts of Pew Pew in what would, to the untrained observer, have appeared to be random directions. Bullet holes were now appearing all over the hull, each firing out their own little jet of the remaining air. The aggregated result quickly showed the method behind her madness. Slowly but surely, as air jets escaped in precise directions at precise junctures, the storage bay arrested its Brownian motion and began softening its contortions until, within a matter of seconds, it was sailing smoothly through space directly towards the still impressively smoking hull of the Morning Star.
Easy, she thought, as she unhooked herself from the harnesses.
She had definitely forgotten something though. No matter, it would come to her in a second.
She started to black out.
Oh yeah, breathing! You need air to breathe! You can’t breathe in a vacu--
She woke up on a couch in the crew quarters. Sona was standing over her, looking concerned. She felt fine - better than fine, actually. Weird. Usually not breathing until you die makes you… dead? Jinx stared dumbly into Sona’s big, thoughtful eyes.
“It is not yet time to die.”
Captain Yasuo broke the silence. Jinx sat bolt upright.
“You’re back on the Morning Star,” he said. “Sona revived you.
“Actually, you CRASHED back into the Morning Star. We had contained the engine fire caused by… We had contained the engine fire, and were about to begin the process of repatriating you. Then you crashed into the ship.
“The engine is now on fire again.”
“Jinx, before we put out the engine fire again, I have one question. Have you learned anything from this experience?”
But Jinx had already disappeared. Captain said the ship was fine (well, on fire, but they had fixed it once without her, so presumably they didn’t need her help to fix it again), so that meant it was time to get back to work.
Jinx had an experiment planned. Very exciting. She’d come up with an amazing new Chomper design, you see, and it was time to test it.