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2365USS Athene / Dead strangers

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  • Steve Goble
    Sep 18, 2004
      SD 16:0919.0215
      USS Athene

      Dr. Severn watched the telltale lights on his console wink out. Two of the Raptors engaging Retribution were gone -- and their pilots with them.

      The Vulcan physician was monitoring the pilots from his bridge station. He knew how hard their hearts were beating, how their nerves stood up to the stress, how their lungs struggled against the G-forces they endured as their tiny craft whipped through space.

      But there was nothing he could do for these two pilots. Their deaths had come too quickly. One moment they were gallant knights daring to battle a behemoth among the stars; the next, they were scattered, icy dust.

      That was the inherent nature of Raptor combat. The craft moved too swiftly, maneuvered too violently for Severn's Project Clay to be of any use to the pilots. He could monitor them through data sent from their craft, but he could never get a transporter lock on a pilot in time to salvage a life.

      Severn knew little about these pilots. He had avoided their company whenever he could. Those he had met had seemed brash to the point of vulgarity. They enjoyed the ship's lounge too fully, played too rough and seemed so cavalier toward shipmates.

      Now Severn knew why. They lived hard and fast, because that's how they were going to die.

      The Vulcan looked at the remaining telltales on his console. He did not know the names of these pilots; they were indentified only by unit designations.

      He turned toward Ensign Pellew, the flight officer who commanded these Raptor pilots. "Ensign Pellew, when this is over, I'd like to meet some of your pilots."

      Steve, aka Dr. Severn
      CMO, USS Athene

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