Space War (pt. 3)
missiles streaking two hundred and fifty thousand kilometers to the port side of the Ambivalent.
“Anderon, how many salvos have been launched?” asked Reddick as he stepped onto the bridge, barely stifling a yawn. Yeoman Sanderson stood by the electrolift doors holding a steaming mug of coffee for the Captain. Reddick took the drink with a nod of thanks and made his way over to his command chair.
“Fourteen, Sir.” Anderon replied. “Engagement has lasted for just over thirty six hours now.”
“I've looked over everything,” M'Gambe said, fixing Miller with a knowing stare. “Very thoroughly. There isn't an inch of those engines that I haven't paid...very close attention to. They should be humming along all day, feeling good.”
“Okaay. Thanks M'Gambe, that's good work.”
“Yes it was.”
“Miller, any word from our friends out there?”
Miller sat staring at M'Gambe, her finger absently caressing her work station. Reddick could see the red Incoming Message light on her console blinking.
“Miller?” Reddick repeated. He raised his voice.“Lieutenant Miller?
“Oh! Yes, Captain,” Miller jumped, her face turning crimson. “We received a communique package an hour ago, I waited until you arrived before opening it.”
“Very well, pop it open and put it up on screen.”
“Sir,” said a deep voice off to the Reddick's right. Stepping out from behind his shadowed corner, Chief Security Officer Dorn loomed over the captain. “We should inspect the message for possible malware before opening it. If it is infected our entire computer system could be compro...”
“'Blah, blah, malware!'” Reddick whined, flapping his hand open and closed like a nagging mouth. ' "'Blah, blah compromised!' That's you, Debbie Downer. The Philoxians are, like, cat-people or something. They shit in boxes. I'm serious. Entire decks of their ships are litter boxes. I doubt they're going to be writing sophisticated virus programs.”
“Sir, it will only take five minutes.”
“Miller! Open it!”
Miller had walked over to M'Gambe's station and was currently whispering something into his ear. M'Gambe seemed to like what he was hearing.
“Damn, baby,” he purred. “You are one kinky little...”
“Sorry, Captain,” Miller hopped back over to her station and punched a sequence of buttons.
Immediately the lights on the bridge went dark and the familiar thrumming of the engines ground down to nothing. Reddick felt his stomach lurch and watched as his coffee began to float out of its cup. The artificial gravity had cut out. Dorn floated past him, his massive arms crossed and a look of disappointment on his scarred face.
“That would be the malware,” he said flatly.
Reddick watched as his bridge crew struggled to remain at their stations while the ship’s various alarms began to blare all at once.