The Betrayal RW chapter 10 snippet
The time it took her to suit up gave Kate the ability to get her had back in the game. She had been beaten, there was nothing that could be done about that, but she was still alive! As long as that was the case, she mused, she wasn’t going to let the sacrifices made by her crew go to waste.
As she sealed her helmet she stood up from the bench she was sitting on. The tech behind her activated the air for her and she felt the cool air blow across her face. With a wave of her hand, she stepped through the damage control force field into the damaged areas of her ship.
The damaged to her beloved ship nearly made her cry. Passing through shattered compartments, she wondered how anyone had survived. All because of a seventeen-year-old doing his job, she thought in accusation of herself.
Damn, she thought in disgust. For as good as I am…we’re only alive to the actions of a kid.
She looked at the rent bulkheads and the bright glows of the arc welders as she passed by. Even with all the damage they had sustained, she was impressed with the efficiency Brooks’ teams were showing. If she ah to hazard a guess, they’d probably be ready for the long limp home in a couple of days.
Rounding a corner, she entered the blasted remains of the starboard crews quarters. Luckily for them, the people who bunked here were at the action stations, or things would’ve been a lot worse. As her eyes toned down their sensitivity due to the welders in use, she spotted the suited form of the Chief nearby giving directions.
“Come on, Susan!” Brooks shouted over the din on the com system. “Weld that patch again, damn it! We’ve got a two-day trip in h-space ahead of us, and I don’t want any of my patches falling off!”
“Chief,” Kate said. “How are the repairs coming?”
“Skipper,” she said without taking her eyes off the crews before her. “It’s nice to see you back on your feet.”
“Thank you, Chief,” Kate said. “Now a damage report?”
“It’s easier if I show you, Skipper,”
“Lead on, Chief,”
The two of them moved down the starboard side without a word. The further they got into the middle of the ship, where the vitals were, the worse the damage got. Oh My God, she thought as they came to halt in what used to be CIC.
Staring at what had been the nerve center of her ship, she couldn’t find it in her to speak. The entire compartment had been ripped open from the starboard side, right through into the main power relays that ran on its port side. Blackened hulks of computers and plots filled the room as Kate stepped into it. She ran her gloved hand over the melted chairs where her techs had died during their battle. Closing her eyes to the world around her, she said a silent prayer for the people who had died.
“As you can see, Kate,” Brooks said as she entered the compartment. “There’s no way we can repair CIC without a complete dock
“That’s okay, Chief,” Kate mumbled as she moved around the devastated compartment. “We’re in no shape to fight anyone anyway.”
“Kate,” Brooks said, her com now on their private channel. “It’s okay, you did the best you could do.”
“No it isn’t,” Kate told her. “I got beat; don’t you understand that? We’re alive only because a seventeen-year-old ejected himself and the forward reactor. Throw in a lucky jump…”
“Sometimes it’s what others do that make us successful, Kate,” Brooks said. “If it wasn’t for your crew, you wouldn’t be as good as you are and vice versa.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t always believe that,” Kate muttered as she turned her back to Brooks. “I’m the Captain! I’m supposed to bring them back home alive!”
“Will you get your ass off the damned pity party!” Brooks roared into the com. “This is serious and we need you!”
“Are you sure about that?” Kate asked her as she continued to stare at the charred and melted chairs.
“Goddamn it, Kate!” Brooks roared as she grabbed Kate by her suit and yanked her around to face her. “We’re deep in the ****, and you’re the only one who can get us out of it!”
Kate looked deep into the Chief’s eyes, the pain she was feeling starting to fade. These were the people who agreed to come along with her on this crusade, and she couldn’t let them down now. No, she reminded herself, there were lives lost that needed avenging and quitting wasn’t an option.
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