OOC: This is a repost of something I put up for a forum contest sponsored by T’Amber recruiting writers for a Ships of Eve event. While I was one of the writers accepted, the event never came to pass because T’Amber left Eve before it was kicked off. The story is not about Rhavas.
T’Amber gave the following challenge: Please give me a paragraph or two, using the following scenario: “Two corporations have been almost completely wiped out and only the commanders from each still survive. Although their people are gone, they will continue their battle at all costs.”
The sea of floating shrapnel and wreckage had gone dark, vacuum rapidly eating the guttering flames and lights of the many hulls gone unpowered. Nearly 100 kilometers apart, only two ships continued to give off signatures from their power cores. Both battleships lay motionless, torn nearly apart and without propulsive power.
Aboard the Tempest-class Gungnir, Wotan cursed silently at the wreckage of the fleet around him and the burning fires of the destroyed cities on his people’s lava planet far below. As his view refocused on the Raven-class Voluspa across the gap, he sent the command below: “Reload and fire.”
“I’m sorry sir. We’re out of ammunition.”
Njord knew he had little choice. No answer had come from the missile bank crews aboard the Voluspa. But the mission must be fulfilled. It had to end here. He exited his pod, dropped slimy, coughing and spitting onto the deck of the ship. Nearly naked, he turned and ran across the cold metal floor back through the ship, past the wreckage of ship systems, smashed and bloodied bodies, sealed bulkheads that were the only defense against being blown out into space.
He climbed to the first missile turret, pushing away a crewman’s body from the hatch door. A missile was ready to be loaded. He stepped into the controls of the loader and awkwardly attempted to activate it. The problem with being a capsuleer was that one never really had to manipulate things physically, and it was amazing how fast you lost your coordination without practice. The loader missed the rack, dropping the missile with a noisy clang to the deck floor.
“What do you mean we are out of ammunition?” Wotan’s voice on the intercom was deceptively quiet. The ship’s comm system was not designed to deliver emotion-contextual voice when on emergency backup as it was now. Thinking better of bawling out the crew, he evaluated his options. Where would he get more ammo?
Then it hit him.
He sent communication this time to the senior remaining crew officer. “My readouts indicate you’re focusing on the shields and armor repairs first.”
“Yes sir, that Raven is still alive out there. No disrespect intended sir, but I need to focus.”
“No,” came Wotan’s voice. “I need propulsion. Now. Drop whatever you need to drop but get me forward motion.”
Njord finally managed to lift the missile and load it in the launcher. It was times like these he realized the criticality of a good crew. As the only one left alive aboard, he could not aim and target from the capsule but also load.
He had to have at least one more missile to overwhelm the Gungnir‘s hull. He leapt down from the loader and ran for the corridor.
“We have propulsion sir,” came the report. Wotan re-engaged, smiling. The Voluspa was as good as destroyed. Wotan pulled alongside the shattered wreck of his subcommander’s ship. He scanned the cargo. No ammo. He steered Gungnir to the next wreck. It was only a matter of time.
Njord smiled as he climbed back to the pod deck. Two missiles should be enough. Enough to avenge the crew. To avenge Gullveig, the woman who Wotan had killed to start this war. And hopefully, to end it once and for all. Njord plugged in the leads, and began the pod-filling and connectivity sequence.
Pod docking complete. Online.
“For Gullveig. And for you, Wotan, you bastard,” he thought. The missiles launched.
“Guns are loaded, sir.”
Wotan needed no further encouragement. The hull of the damaged Tempest shook violently as six 800mm artillery shells hurtled through space.
Adrenaline rushed through Wotan as he saw the Raven’s hull shatter into useless pieces, its fire out.
The last thing he perceived was the pair of Fury cruise missiles as they smashed the hull of his ship like an egg.