Excerpt from chapter 1:
“Captain!” Third Engineer Os’ric Zor’ion’s panicked voice drew Rai’lyn attention to Engineering station. His face, bathed in flashing red light, looked pale. “A section of engineering has been breached. The bulkhead doors have been sealed.”
“Status!” Rai’lyn snapped out. Ship functions ran from the engineering deck. Life Support, weapons, scanners, and the ships engines made up the different sections. When a section was breached, it would seal itself off from the others and any crew in that area would be lost.
“FTL EmDrive is in that section, Sir,” The young Engineer’s voice quivered. “It’s still operating but at diminished capacity.” He looked at Rai’lyn, his eyes shining with fear. “We could lose it, Commander!”
The Ph’oenix was powered by a faster than light EmDrive, a large cone shaped device. By repeatedly bouncing microwaves back and forth inside the cone, it created a propellant-less thruster that moved spacecraft at extraordinary speeds. Life support and all ship functions would cease. But they would all be dead long before their air ran out. Losing the EmDrive would also leave the Ph’oenix dead in space making both the ship and her crew easy targets for their attackers.
Rai’lyn grimaced, “How long do we have, Zor’ion?” He passed his hands over his stinging eyes.
“If the drive continues to degrade at its current rate,” Zor’ion said without looking up from the console in front of him. “We have twenty minutes before complete failure.” He looked up at Tyr’ese, his face pale in the red glow of the bridge.
Rai’lyn cursed. He saw the fear in the young crewman’s face. This was his third mission in this sector but for the majority of his crew it was their first one. This sector of space was considered to be a safe mission for rookie crews. Dealing with the occasional rogue blackmarket trader or lost freighter gave them the opportunity to hone the skills they had learned in training. But this? This…most of his crew didn’t experience to deal with an attack like this.
“Divert as much power as you can to the forward defense field without impacting life support and the pulsars-” Elo’wen interrupted his command before he finished.
“Sir,” her voice was horse from the smoke drifting in the air. She cleared her r throat before speaking again. “Pulsers are offline. That last hit to Engineering took out all weapon controls.”
Rai’lyn spun to peer in shock at his First Officer. “All weapons?”