Daily Prompt: Resist

Nu Book 1 – The Esss Advance

Artistic representation showing the Trojan asteroid Hektor and its tiny moon. Credit: H. Marchis & F. Marchis

Note: AMC stands for Asteroid Mining Company and AMC Scorpion is the first of a new class of mining assay ship with added defensive capabilities.

From Chapter 33 – Scorpion Encounter

As the crew was winding up the analysis of the three drilling sites and preparing to depart for their last target, Julie picked up the signature of an inbound ship drifting toward them from the direction of their last claim.

“We have visitors approaching stealthily from the sunward direction,” she announced to everyone on the bridge.

“Well, that’s never a good sign,” Sted replied. “That usually indicates foul intentions. Bundy, I want you prepared for immediate missile defense. Bill, spin the laser capacitor back up. I want it at full charge in the next three minutes. Once that’s done, I need both of you to get into your vacuum suits while monitoring your consoles.”

With that, Sted switched to the all-ship channel. “All hands prepare for enemy engagement. This is not a drill.”

As soon as Sted donned his vacuum suit, he strapped himself into the command chair and turned to Julie. “Give me the latest on your contact.”

“Contact is at fifty kilometers and drifting toward us at one hundred kilometers per hour. I can’t get a good visual because of the sun, so I cannot identify the vessel’s class. They are, however, already in missile range for the type that destroyed the AMC Pride.

“Okay, Julie. Prepare to come about. I want the prow facing the visitors as I hail them.”

“Bill, I need the main laser trained on their ship and dialed up to its highest setting. Be prepared to fire on my order.”

With that, Sted switched to the universal hailing frequency. As soon as Julie had the Scorpion facing their enemy, he activated the microphone in his helmet. “This is AMC Scorpion. Please identify yourself immediately.”

Five seconds after the transmission, Bundy Meacham looked up. “We have two inbound missiles. I am engaging laser defenses.” He paused for a moment. “We have two direct hits on the missiles and both have been destroyed.”

“Fire the main laser,” Sted to Bill Overton. “I want multiple holes in that ship immediately!”

With that, Bill sent three fifteen-second pulses through the drilling laser with only two seconds between each pulse. He began analysis of the laser hits immediately, but the sun made any confirmation difficult. “I can’t get a reading on the result of the drilling bursts,” Bill said. “I know we hit them hard, but the sun is masking any readings.”

“Julie, spin up the engines to half power and move us away from the asteroid to get a better angle for Bill’s analysis. Bill, prepare for another three pulses if necessary.”

Once again, Sted hailed the enemy ship. “This is the AMC Scorpion. This is your last chance to identify yourself. Please advise if you have casualties or need assistance.”

AMC Scorpion, this is Powell Madigan aboard the Falcon. We have sustained significant damage and multiple casualties. We surrender and request immediate assistance. I repeat. We surrender and request immediate assistance.”

“Standby, Falcon.” Sted turned to Bill. “Can you get any better readings?”

“We definitely breached the hull, sir,” Bill replied. “I detect a significant plume of atmosphere streaming out of the ship.”

Falcon, this is AMC Scorpion. We will be coming around and approaching from the stern of your ship. Any sign of resistance, and we will put more holes in your hull than you can count. Please let me know the number of personnel aboard and the number of casualties. We are only a mining assay ship and do not have the facilities to afford any relief. We can, however, contact our closest mining platform for assistance. They will contact the Space Navy to schedule a rescue mission. That assistance will be at least a week getting here. Monitor the emergency channel for updates on the rescue party.”

AMC Scorpion, this is the Falcon. We have a crew of fifteen. We have seven dead from decompression when you ripped open our crew quarters. The remaining eight crew members should be able to survive at least three weeks on our remaining air, water, and food supplies.”

Falcon, this is AMC Scorpion. We are now one kilometer to your stern. We have recorded all of your transmissions and will send these along with our request for assistance. We will advise the rescue party of your current state. Scorpion out.”

Sted turned to Julie. “Please contact the mining platform. Send along the contact recordings along with the coordinates of this asteroid and the condition of the Falcon. We also want to register our claim immediately. That asteroid is our biggest find to date. The platform may want to follow the Navy back here to begin their mining operations.”

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