Serving as captain isn't the cushy job she thought it would be.
"Captain, the enemy has taken up a retreating formation," a brown-haired lieutenant barked out from where he stood hovered over the map of the battlefield to the right of the main console in the bridge.
"It's about time," Armada said under her breath as she watched several of the retreating ships on the Provence//'s main display. "Lieutenant Lors," she looked over to the soldier who'd addressed her only seconds ago, "I want half of this fleet orbiting the satellite and the other half setting up a defensive formation on the side from which Taydr is retreating. If they decide to come back for more, I want us ready."
"Yes Captain!" Lors quickly replied and got to work issuing the orders.
"Captain, the enemy has just fired something!" another soldier shouted out from behind Armada. She turned to face him but before she could say anything the ship's power cut out. Within a few seconds dim green lights flickered on and the most important of the ship's functions regained power.
"What the hell was that?" Armada questioned as she ran over to the officer who had informed her that the enemy had fired a weapon.
"An electromagnetic pulse," he replied. "It's knocked out main power but we're already running on secondary sources."
"Divert as much as power as you can to defenses," Armada ordered, "and try to get a reading on the other ships in our fleet and the satellite itself. If anyone's left online, tell them to prepare to return fire."
"Yes Captain," the officer replied before he and the few soldiers at his station got to work.
The Provence suddenly began to tremble, and all of those standing in the bridge fell toward the starboard side of the ship. Before Armada could demand answers from her crew, an officer monitor the ship's status shouted out the report. "One of the engines on deck level two has exploded," he clung to the console with the data display before him as the ship rocked yet again.
"We're being fired upon!" another soldier shouted out.
"Eight ships that were out of the EMP's blast radius are moving into an offensive formation, Captain," Lieutenant Lors spoke once more.
"Have them return fire, Lieutenant," Armada ordered before heading to the nearest exit from the bridge.
"Captain!" Lors tried to protest her depature but quickly returned to his duties. It hadn't taken long for him to realize in the past two weeks that his new captain had a tendency to deviate from protocols and do things that seemed downright... unlikely. He set about his task and ordered the unaffected ships to return fire.
Armada sprinted through the inner halls of the ship, headed directly for the second level below the main deck where she hoped to find one engine fire under control. She didn't fly because it would have brought too much attention to herself. As far as any of her crew knew she was just as normal as the rest of them, save the fact that she refused to wear the Cevan uniform. In the end she settled on wearing her own armor with a white Cevan officer's jacket on top to appease her lieutenant who had a strong dislike for her disregard of the rules.
Armada finally came into view of the fire just as the door to those engines was shut tight. "Captain!" one of the crewmen spoke in shock and surprise at her presence.
"We sealed off the fire and we're going to open the bay to let the fire kill itself," another soldier spoke up. "We were trying to keep the other engines from catching fire."
Before Armada could speak another explosion rang out, and instantly she realized the engine closest to the door had exploded. The sound was almost deafening, and the metal door they had just shut was blown completely off of the hinges, taking out a soldier in the process as it shot across the room. The flying debris barely missed Armada, but she felt her back slam against the wall behind her, and unlike the others who immediately were sucked forward by the vacuum after the explosion, she stayed where she was against the wall.
In a few seconds of shouting that followed the explosion, someone managed to close off the exposed area of the engine room, bringing the room they were standing in to a state of normalcy. Armada's sensitive hearing had taken a beating after the explosion, and she struggled to understand what her crew was talking about when she opened her eyes. Then the pain in her left shoulder hit, and she quickly realized why they were staring.
"Captain," one of the crewmen approached her but stopped when her right hand shot up and grabbed the two-inch-in-diameter metal pole that had impaled her chest just to the right of her left shoulder socket. Since the object had pierced all the way through her body and into the metal wall behind her, pinning her in place, Armada knew she had to pull it out then and there. With her grip settled on the pole at the point of impact, Armada gritted her teeth and pulled, yanking the metal piping out of her chest and tossing it to the ground. The metal object bounced a few times, a noise that seemed deafening in the silence in the room.
One of the soldiers rushed over to help her as her right hand immediately went up to cover the wound. "No," Armada immediately barked out, stopping him in his tracks. "I'll go upstairs to the infirmary; someone needs to inform Lieutenant Lors that he is in charge until I return to the bridge."
"I'm on it, Captain," an engineer saluted and rushed off toward the bridge.
"Captain, I'll assist you to the infirmary," the soldier who had first approached her spoke.
"I was impaled through the shoulder," her darkened gaze settled on his. "My legs still work fine." She turned and walked out, her right hand still putting pressure on the wound to slow the bleeding. She wasn't very successful, as her white jacket was already completely stained on the left side on both front and back, and blood dripped from her wound, leaving a trail as she walked.
As soon as she left, the soldiers and crewmen in the area immediately fell into step to begin repairs-it didn't take a genius to know that Lieutenant Captain Lors would tell them to start repairing the damage.
"Captain!" the soldier saluted as he entered the infirmary, his captain's bandages visible through the hole torn in her armor where debris from the second engine explosion had impaled her only forty minutes ago.
She looked up to him and nodded, acknowledging his presence. "Lieutenant Lors sent me with his status report." He paused and when she stared at him unblinking for a few seconds, he continued. "The EMP knocked out all of our long-distance communications, at least until we can return the affected ships in the fleet to full power, so we've lost contact with Ceva. At least, the affected ships have-the entire fifty-ninth, forty-seventh, and all of the twenty-seventh save eight ships. We're working on repairs but they won't come easy, especially since the workers on the resource satellite all evacuated prior to the battle."
He stopped talking, and after a moment Armada realized he was waiting on a response from her. She lifted her right arm and held it out to the soldier, revealing that she had removed her right forearm guard and rolled up the black armor underneath for the needle stuck in her arm. "Once I'm done with this blood transfusion, I'll be back on the bridge. Ten, fifteen minutes at the most."
He got the hint. "Yes Captain!" he saluted for turning on his heel and heading out, back to the bridge. Armada winced after he left; her hearing was still somewhat impaired, her head felt like it was underwater, and the pain in and around her left shoulder was bad. A large portion of her muscle had been shredded, and as such it was impossible to move any portion of her left arm without a lot of pain shooting through her chest. It was okay, though; she only had to give orders, she wasn't expected to fight in this condition. A good thing too, as she suspected the injury was going to be stubborn and take a good two months to fully heal.
The attending doctor at the infirmary entered the room again, and as he checked on the transfusion Armada's thoughts briefly wandered to her comrades. She wondered how they were doing in their new posts since she hadn't seen them in nearly two months.