This is the third section of the eleventh chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
Laurence opened his eyes to a blurred scene. He couldn’t see much of the bridge, but what he could see was injured people and a lot of smoke. Some of the displays were working and as his eyes focused on them it became clear either the ship was a writeoff or there was at least massive damage to the sensor systems. Most likely the former.
“What idiot didn’t fit lifepods to this thing” cried a sub lieutenant.
“Because” replied Laurence pulling himself to his feet “Why carry what would have to be a fully independent ship aboard. It’d have to be able to survive months. The best way to save the people was to spend that weight on a more resilient ship. There is no situation on a spaceship where a lifepod is a good use of weight. Why am I even telling you this? Get out there and patch the holes in the hull.”
The captain pushed himself over clearly having just regained consciousness “We’re being boarded we need to assemble troops”
“That’ll do us no good to secure the ship if everyone suffocates.” Laurence thought for a second seeing the look on the Captian’s face “and yes I know it does no good to survive if everyone gets shot.”
“Come on we’ve got to get out of here, the detainment parties will head first for the bridge. You need to pretend to be a civilian, it’s your best chance to survive this. We don’t know what they’re doing here but if you can be the young graduate you’re supposed to be then you’ve got a chance. Sargent Bee, get over here and get this man back to his quarters.”
A burly marine pushed off from the other side of the room, and in one swift movement rebounded off the control panel next to Laurence using it as a push off for himself as he grabbed Laurence and they both barrelled out of the room
“Right” said the Captain “let’s lock this place down and prepare for a fight. switch to flechettes we don’t want to damage anything too badly in here and they’ll be bound to have armor on.”