Friday, October 9, 2009

Nebo Station Part 6

“With less than half the self-destruct charges working, we can’t count on anywhere near a full self destruct. The best we can hope for is that the Durement Nebo will break up into pieces, and with all those life pods out there we’re likely to kill more of our own people with debris from the ship caused by that kind of uncontrolled explosion.”

The bridge engineering officer’s report was succinct and to the point.

“Ok people, it looks like the self destruct charges aren’t an option at this point, but I don’t want to just leave the ship here for the enemy to salvage either, give me another option to consider!”

When the captain demands something you give it to him, even if what he is demanding seems impossible, so we threw out options from the top of our very tired heads and nothing seemed workable until I hit on an idea.

“What if we set the auto-pilot to jump the ship out of here?” I asked and could tell from the looks I got that the bridge crew thought I had finally snapped under the stress. “I know the ship can’t actually jump out of here.” I replied to the looks I was getting. “The hyperspace engines are probably shot even if the real space engines could reach jump speed. But if I set the realspace engines to over-max on the current course, override what’s left of the safeties and set the hyperspace engines to engage in fifteen minutes there’s only two possibilities that I can think of. One the hyperspace engines fail and without the safety lockouts they feedback and explode in a small nova, taking the ship with them. Two, the hyperspace engines work if only for a microsecond and the ship makes a semi random if very very short hyperspace jump. Still, that should be enough to make it hard for the enemy to find at the very least.”

The bridge engineering officer agreed with my assessment and the captain liked the plan well enough so that was what we did. With the captains key and some quick jury rigging we turned off the few safety systems that were still working, setup the blind jump in the autopilot, the captain recorded the last log entry and we pulled the backup log recording, pushed the engines back up past redline, and took the bridge life pod.

We spent the next twenty minutes watching the ship recede and waiting for it to blow up. When the explosion never came we concluded that against all logic the jump had been a success, and then spent the next several days waiting to be rescued.

After the Nebo ‘disappeared’ as it were, the battle pretty much ended. Our five remaining capital ships jumped out soon after that and jumped back in a few hours later after the enemy ships had collected their life pods and left. Then what was left of our squadron jumped for regional headquarters where ships and crew would be re-assigned into new squadrons.

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