Ace and the Dancer take a space-suited Jim and the Contraption out to position about 1km from the ominous bulk of the Mark X Battlestation. Jim is pushed out the airlock on the Contraption, and nudges it into position, while the Dancer backs off to a safe distance.
< begin suspenseful theme music>Jim hits the big red button and activates the "gravity mirror" on the front of the bike, and a mostly-invisible sort of thing shimmers into place. It keeps wavering and tilting in and out and looking very insubstantial to be the sole protection between Jim and the battlestation.
Note to our home viewers:At the direction of Sophia and Maury, Jim aligns the gravity mirror as exactly as possible. Any misalignment at this phase, however small, may cause - well, nobody else can understand Sophia when she gets that technical, but phrases like "nuclear hypercompression" and "gravitic torque distortion" are tossed about.
Ships and People have different stats. Hippocrates' 30 hit points are in fact quite a lot more mass and damageability than Jim's 30 hit points. Consequently, Hippocrates' blasters (and other ship weapons) do a lot more actual damage than People Blasters. Hitting People with Ship Weapons can often reduce them quite quickly to small smears on the pavement. Not to mention the battlestation has better weapons than Hippocrates. Are you nervous yet?
Maury activates the tractor beam, first in "grab" mode. The 200-kiloton gravitics, powered by the full output of the battlestation's fusion reactor, engage and focus on the Plucky Young Scout and his Gravity Mirror. The tractor beam, generally used for docking, now focuses all its energy down to such a tiny target. The mirror is aligned, but if Maury has made a miscalculation, or adjusted the tractor beam at all incorrectly, then it will take more than a life raft to save Jim.
The tractor beam spears out - and the mirror holds!
<triumphant crescendo>Jim carefully maneuvers as directed, as data is gathered at various angles and speeds, all the while keeping the gravity mirror carefully between himself and the crushing might of the battlestation.
Next, Maury shifts the tractor from docking to pressor - as our listeners may recall, it was this which swatted Dyvor, and hundreds of ships before his, out of the sky, dooming the hopes and dreams of generations.
Again, Jim maneuvers, and the fragile soap-bubble shimmer of the gravity mirror still holds. It is this, as well as his own skill and Maury's deft hand on the HBX controls, which prevents him from being launched at several hundred G towards Vircus.
The tractor beam is powered down again, and the Dancer heads back in to pick Jim up. As he waits, drifting in space, one of the wires of the gravity mirror suddenly flares red, then white, then vanishes. The rest of the wires of the mirror quiver and leap, and the frail net tears itself apart from the stress. The shimmering effect is entirely dissipated, and Jim thanks the Hegemon that it was able to hold out this long.