LETTERS FROM ISCANDAR

"Titan"

Part One

By: Edward Hawkinsc


"Captain!" screamed the first officer.

"Hang on!" echoed another voice.

The bridge filled with light and the small starship shuddered. Twisting violently in the vacuum of space. The general consensus was, that at any moment, the bridge was going to decompress and everyone would be dead. Final thoughts raced through the adrenaline filled minds of the crew.

Gamilas laser fire splashed all over the eYukikazef, gapping holes swelled with bursting explosions, and from within the bridge, a loud muffled eboomf could be felt shaking the ship.

"Captain Kodai!" Blurted the fear filled first officer. "The main engine just exploded c Wefre adrift!"

Gamilas cruisers broke from their attack and like a swarm began to swarm Earths last battle cruiser.

Kodai, his face smudged with ash and the splattering of a fellow crewman, looked hastily out the main port. We whispered softly "Okitac"

Kodai turned back to his remaining crew and commanded; "What do we have left!?"

The pilot officer motioned at the controls and reported; "We have minimal thruster control c Partial dorsal fin guidance c Not much more!"

A variety of voices blurted out towards Kodai.

"Battery power only, ten to twelve minutes maximum!"

"Forward gun batteries dead!"

"Missile tubes empty!"

Kodai could see from the instruments that much of his ship was dead, most of the hull had been breached and even if the battery power held out, there was practically no oxygen left.

Kodai stepped back and slumped into his command chair "Gentlemen c Itfs only a matter of time c Itfs been a pleasure serving with you. " Regret filled Kodaifs eyes. His loyal crew, realizing their fate, stood solidly at attention, saluting their Captain.

Kodai returned the salute, accepting his crew admiration. Though Kodai slowly lowered his arm and gasped. Out the main portal, drifting before the broken Yukikaze lay the small moon of Titan.

Kodai could actually feel the pull of gravity. His remaining crew could see a dash of hope on the Captains face, and peered out the portal to see the ever growing planet. Instinct engulfed the crew, all could see the potential of making it to the surface.

"Captain!" yelped the first officer. "Titan approaching! "He continued with excitement.

Kodai scanned the immediate space around him, looking for Gamilas ships.. He could see the battle continuing with Okita off to the distance. He bit his lip in regret, wishing he was with him, but also glad that there wasnft additional distractions.

"Pilot officer Shinku!" Kodai raced to the main control station. The pilot officer, whofs life has been Yukikaze since she was built, also knew his Captain instincts. With blurring speed, Shinku raced over the command controls and positioned the Yukikaze for the best landing he could arrange.

"I think thatfs the best I can do Captain." Shinku reported.

Kodai could see the angle of decent was still rather extreme, but there was a chance and he was not one to give up.

The little starship began to buckle as it entered Titanfs atmosphere, small pieces began to break away. Gapping holes from Gamilas laser fire grew with the increased friction against the hull.

Kodai gritted his teeth; "Just a little bit further c "

The ice covered surface approached fast, filling all the view ports. With no instruments it was difficult to make out just how far from the surface they were, all they could see was the ewhite icef that was Titan,

"Can you bring the nose up any further?" Kodai squeezed out to his pilot. Though it was too late. Yukikaze skimmed across an ice peek and bounced across the frozen ice plain. Crew members were tossed about inside the tiny cabin, Kodai was flung against the command console, the Yukikaze, slid endlessly across the frozen ice field. The crew could hear every tear and rip of the hull as their starship was grinding itself into the surface of Titan.

Just as suddenly as the crash began, Yukikaze came to finally rest.

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- End Part One

- Edward Hawkins - 1987

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