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Back In Black – Part 2

November 16, 2015

Anger. Anger and frustration raged in multi-synaptic circles as the capsuleer held, in a cooler more logical part of her brain, queued commands waiting for the ship link to restore. She always hardwired in an emergency warp maneuver to whichever ship she owned that triggered in event of catastrophic failure, and now she waited to unleash the recovery programs.

The loss of communication with the capsule should have flung the ship randomly through space, though there were a number of concerns the pilot had. She could not recall any scramming frigates in the area. She knew that damage control and the reactive armor hardener were operational and adjusting the defenses to repel more and more damage over time.

Running back through her cyber enhanced memories of ship and target status, the one thing she could not be sure of was if the armor repair systems had been engaged when the anomaly hit. All systems would down power automatically without control, but that process took time, potentially giving the ship a last few precious seconds of active defenses, and a final, singular repair cycle.

If, and only if, it had been active when the anomaly hit. The ship would have warped if it was not scrammed. The ship would have survived if the defenses remained active long enough. If she was moving at a velocity and vector to coast her away from danger.

If. If. If. A terrible word at the best of times. Worse, when you’re a cybernetically enhanced, post human, capable of discreet sensory input at the micro-second range. Worse still, when you’re also locked out of all command systems, and every instinct is screaming for you to act.

Finally, suddenly, information. The capsuleer absorbed a massive packet of backed up data, but immediately looked to the engineering systems. Power was life, all else, detail. The capacitor banks were nearly at full, but most importantly, there were more than three. Three bars were an indicator of direct power feed from her capsule only, a sign of ship and crew death.

Structural warnings had sounded, and the right rear nacelle showed significant damage, though mostly surface. The ship then was operational, and with the nanite repair arrays glowing with heat as they worked with capacity, tore back through space toward the Guristas.

She spared a moment to check on the crew. No injuries had been reported, but several were showing signs of stress and significantly elevated cortisol levels. For follow up later. Oleson, her chief engineer, bless him, had the same heart rate as before the anomaly hit.

Then she focused. Willpower, intent, every mental resource brought to bear. Had it been fueled by anger, murderous would have been a good description. The capsuleer had been spoiled by this ship, and by her standards had become lax. Sloppy. Inefficient.

Almost…. human.

No more. It had nearly cost her ship and crew. As the terrible efficiency of the commands became apparent, the joy it such a close survival dissipated, and a frisson of fear moved through the ship. The crew had never seen her like this, not even at her worst.

And a whisper traveled across the comm net:

War.

Two days later

The capsuleer stood in the manufactory enclave as they spooled up at her mental command. She waited as the hellish glow sputtered before roaring into full life. The power drain from ten of them would draw attention. What she was building would draw more.

She estimated no more than two minutes before a representative from the Sukuvestaa corporation would come running through the door. Already her comms unit was pinging urgent requests. She ignored them. They would want personal confirmation anyway.

As the ambient light traveled through up red spectra into orange, a priority override caused the door behind her to open.

She turned at the sound of a throat being cleared, and with inhuman precision turned and handed a data chip to the Sukuvestaa rep as she walked out the door.

Barely sparing him a glance she said “The order is confirmed”.

The rep called after her “But, but that’s a million units! A million units of Caldari Navy Anti-matter…!”

As she walked the short distance to the docking bay she considered the mans tone and concern.

A million units.

She did not think it too many….

H

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One Comment
  1. -K- permalink

    đŸ˜€

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