Applying Percussive Maintainance

I’d actually written this earlier in the month, bit it fit the prompt so well: Write about your character’s most terrifying experience so far.

**

Gretchen growled softly as the ship suddenly slowed to impulse speed.  Somewhere, there was a chirp and she heard the captain’s voice.  “Commander Neary, we’re going to be in worse trouble if we go at this snail’s pace and they catch us.”

“I know that,” she grumbled.  Then, she hit the comm button and said, “I’m doing the best I can, Captain.”  Grabbing her wrench, she released the button and struck the engine housing with all her might.  “Run, you piece of shit,” she snapped.  There was a hum as the starlight engines kicked back in and Gretchen nearly fell over when the ship lurched up to starlight speed once again.

Tossing the wrench to one side, Gretchen heaved a sigh of relief.  They weren’t out of the woods yet, but at least they wouldn’t get caught because the damn ship was creeping along at impulse speed.

 

On the bridge, Kit gave Calleigh a tight smile.  “So,” he said, “we both know those pirates aren’t going to leave us alone just because we’re cruising along at maximum speed.  They’re ship is faster than Hannah.  Give me options, Commander Skyler.”

“We could come about and blast them to kingdom come,” Ken quipped.

Kit looked over at him and nodded.  “We could.  If we had more than two torpedoes left and a better chance at actually making a hit on them, that would be a better course of action than running.”

“What if we increased those odds?” Calleigh said, her eyes twinkling.

A frown touched Kit’s lips.  “Listening,” he said, nodding.

“Come about and run at them,” Calleigh said, grinning.  She shrugged and said, “We can’t miss, even with our weapons’ guidance system down, if we get close enough.”

“They’d certainly never expect it,” David said.  He didn’t sound pleased with the idea, but he wasn’t protesting it as insane either.  That was a good sign.

Kit nodded.  He pressed the comm button to hail the entire crew.  “All stations, prepare to come about on my mark,” he said.  He looked at George and added, “You know what we’re doing.  Lay in the course.”

“Aye, sir,” George said.  His fingers flew over the buttons and after a moment, he nodded.  “Course laid in, sir.  Ready on your mark.”

Kit took a steadying breath and then touched the comm button once again.  “Mark,” he said.  He bit his lip as the ship spun around and then flew back the way they had come.  He looked over at Ken.  “As near as you dare, Commander Holmes,” he said.

“Aye, sir,” Ken said, his brows furrowing.  He had his gaze locked on the screen that showed him the pursuing pirate ships.  Then, he keyed the torpedo button.  “Firing one,” he said.  He nodded.  “Direct hit on closer pirate ship.”  He hit the other button and said, “Firing two.”  His brows twitched when nothing happened.  He slapped the console and hit the button a second time.  This time, the second torpedo fired.

Their ship rocked with the percussive force of the second ship exploding.  Then, it fell quiet and Kit relaxed in his seat.  “All hands, assess damage in your areas.  Any wounded, go to sickbay.  Commander Neary, start repairing systems by priority.”

“That was insane,” David breathed.

Calleigh chuckled softly.  “There’s no denying that it worked, though,” she said.  She got to her feet and smiled at Kit.  “I’m going to check and make certain everyone got through our adventure in one piece.”

Kit heaved a sigh and nodded.  “I’ve got to message Starbright Station and let them know about the pirates in this sector,” he said.  As he got to his feet, he said, “Commander Holmes, you have the bridge.”

He vanished into his ready room and sank into the chair at the desk.  He glanced over at the photograph on the wall.  “That was just a bit scary,” he said, his voice soft.  Pirates, if they’d taken the ship, would have killed him and all the men on board.  The woman, like Calleigh and Gretchen… he didn’t even want to think about it.

“The devil’s own luck,” he said, still looking at the portrait.  “Isn’t that what you used to call it, Sarah?”  He heaved a sigh and reached into his desk to retrieve a bottle of whiskey.  He poured just a bit into a glass and raised it to the portrait.  “To luck,” he said.  Then, he tossed the drink back.  After he’d tucked the bottle and glass out of sight, he began composing a message to his superiors in the Confederation.

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