Monday, July 6, 2009

Nebo Station - Part 5

Right after I realized we were going to loose the ship, the captain gave me an order.

"Pilot, do whatever you have to do to break away from this battle to give us some space to launch the escape pods safely. You have forty minutes before we launch the first pod. I am going to be organizing the evacuation of the ship. I'll order engineering to keep the engines running as long as they can at the expense of every other ship system, even life support if they have to. Just get us to a safe distance from this battle to launch the pods!"

Then the captain was gone to oversee the evacuation and I was spinning the ship, as much as it is possible to spin something that big, to avoid another attack, and looking for a vector with a somewhat clear path to some open space. A few minutes later I heard the order go out for a phased abandon ship. Non-essential crew would head for the life pods first, then any fighter pilots who made it back in time, then the weapons crews would fire every missile they could back at the enemy and set the ships guns on auto, with orders to shoot at anything that did not read as a life pod. Then the damage control crews, engineering, crews, and lastly when everyone else was off the captain would set the ship to self destruct and the bridge crew would be the last to leave the ship.

That was the plan. Nothing in war ever seems to go according to plan. We took a three more solid hits right about then and we lost engines for a couple of minutes and were holed to atmosphere on several decks. However, I found that piece of open space the captain wanted, and the remaining capital ships in the armada covered our retreat as I pushed what was left of our engines past their max to get us some distance. After the damage control crews along with everyone else who could help, rescued all the people they could from the holed decks, most of the rest of the evacuation went according to plan. Right up to the point where the captain set the ship to self destruct and the computer reported that at some point in the battle the control lines to the over half of the ships self destruct charges had been severed. It probably happened during that last attack when the ship was holed, but right then we had a problem.

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