A Battle in Open Space

This is a story I wrote long ago, when I was thirteen or so. I’ve rewritten it and changed some things around…

The alarm was blaring throughout the halls and chambers. Red lights blinked on and off everywhere. The crew were scurrying to and fro, each man trying to reach his station. Nikita Termock made his way toward the bridge with a calm yet determined stride. As crewmen ran past him, they raised their hands to their heads in salute. He turned a few corners and approached the entrance. A series of lasers passed over his face as he stood near the security panel. After the scan was complete, he pushed a button and the hatch opened. As he stepped through it, a robotic voice sounded off on the announcement system – “Commander on the bridge.”

The officers and crewmen halted for a moment to salute their commander, then returned to their duties. The First Lieutenant walked over to Nikita. “Sir, we are under attack. It appears to be the pirates we’ve been hunting.” He proceeded to give a detailed report of the situation. While he listened, Nikita looked at different panels and screens on the central command console.

Nikita had been promoted to the rank of Commander one month ago. He was granted a small fleet and assigned to the fourth quadrant of Sector Eight. As soon as he assumed command, he began hunting down and arresting pirate crews, which had been running rampant in the quadrant. He never expected, however, that the problem was this severe. He thought that he would only have to deal with a few isolated pirate bands. Instead, he found himself dealing with an entire fleet.

The pirates’ corvettes surrounded Nikita’s fleet and threw a barrage of artillery fire at all the ships, while a swarm of their fighter craft moved in on the center. They focused on Nikita’s flagship. Before the fleet could scramble their own fighters to intercept, the swarm reached The Nebula and put heavy pressure on the bridge. The shields were holding, but they wouldn’t be able to hold much longer. The ship’s automatic defense system fired a storm of lasers and missiles, but there were simply too many enemy fighters for it to fend off.

Nikita looked out the windows at a blaze of lasers. A number of flame-less explosions rocked the ship. What remained of destroyed enemy fighters floated about the battle-zone. Some fighters ended up crashing into them and adding to the wreckage. From the windows of the bridge, one couldn’t see the bodies, but felt an acute sense of carnage. When the fleet finally deployed their fighters, some of the heat on the flagship abated. Nikita was able to redirect his focus from survival to retaliation.

Nikita knew that they would be able to repel the attack. But he also knew that regardless of the outcome, many of his men would give their lives this day. A cold bead of sweat ran down his neck. His fists were clenched, and so was his jaw when he wasn’t giving orders. He barely blinked, and barely moved.

The battle raged on in open space as a silent symphony of death and destruction. Laser beams danced across the ships in a flurry of colors. Flames erupted inside ships and then instantly dissolved as the hulls burst open and all the pressurized air dissipated. Inside the ships, it was loud and chaotic. The radio waves were filled with constant communications. Alarms screamed and men shouted. In the midst of this all, Nikita Termock stood on the command deck of The Nebula with strict determination.

As the fight turned in his favor, Nikita wiped the sweat from his neck and turned to his officers. “Alright boys. It’s time to take the fight to them!” A cheer went up from among the officers and crewmen. Then, suddenly, it all dissolved before Nikita’s eyes.

“Still daydreaming about being an astronaut?” His brother jeered at him with a mocking tone.

The bridge of The Nebula, the battle raging out in space, the ringing of the alarm and the voices of his crew all faded away. Nikita found himself in the living room, sitting on the couch with a blank stare. He didn’t bother to look up at his brother standing over him. “Something like that,” he responded coolly. Then he stood up and walked away, returning once again to his battle in open space…

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