"Wait, they went straight to attacking us? Have we negotiated with them?"
"Yes, Anton's Alexa told me on the speaker that she hasn't been successful in establishing contact!" Naomi cried. The girl lifted her glasses and wiped away her tears. She must have been terrified when the ship lost power.
"How are they attacking us? Heat ray?" Emma asked while thinking about something. A nod from Naomi gave her a clue about what she should do.
"You take Andrei, go to the med bay." Emma pushed Andrei to Naomi. "I'm going to go to the tool storage to fetch a dark matter gas tank. The ventilation system is offline, the doc will suffocate."
Naomi nodded her head. Naomi picked Andrei up in a princess carry, then ran down the dark hallway. Thankfully, Andrei was too light-headed to notice this. A 1m55 girl carrying a 2-meter man was a sight to behold.
"Many of the systems on this ship are managed by quantum computers. Fortunately, the artificial gravity is isolated and runs on dark matter energy. I would hate to be floating around at a time like this."
Emma thought, averting her eyes from their silhouette and ran in a different direction.
"Doctor Emily! Are you in there?" Naomi pressed her face onto the laminated glass. Andrei was sitting in the hallway, breathing heavily. It seemed that he was exhausted due to the blood loss.
Instead of an answer, a pair of alien hands pressed onto the glass from the other side in response, which startled the girl.
"Please wait a bit, Officer Emma is coming!" Naomi shouted. She knew the doctor couldn't hear her, since the med bay is air-tight and soundproof. However, the act of shouting in this circumstance somehow calmed her down a bit.
She could feel that it was getting hotter.
As a graduating pilot, Naomi understood how heat dispersion had always been a problem for spacecrafts. After all, there is no air in space, there is nowhere for heat to go except a tiny amount of heat radiation. This reason was also why one of the most common weapons to be used in space battles was a simple concentrated infrared ray. Accurate, deadly, effective. And gruesome.
Emma arrived, cutting off her thought process. A cart was stopped behind Naomi. 3 cylindrical air tanks were on it. Emma told Naomi to open the med bay door while breathing heavily.
Naomi pulled the manual lever to release the airlock. Reddish air poured out from inside. A tall, fierce-looking alien emerged.
It took one of the tanks on the cart, strapped on its back and put the breather on its face. "Thank you." The non-human doctor said in a hoarse voice.
"I'm going to leave Andrei here with you to rest. He banged his head again, this time more serious. He lost a bit of blood, I'm going to heal him now."
Emma took out a device from the tool belt around her waist that looked like a bent TV remote. She inserted a green chip into the rectangular hole on the device. A green, pulsing light appeared, ran along the stark white device, indicating that it was ready to use.
All the while, Naomi undid the bandage around Andrei's head. The wound had stopped bleeding thanks to Emma's skilled first aid, but it still had the appearance of a ghastly deep cut wound.
Emma pointed the dark energy manipulator at Andrei's head. A few seconds later, the wound had completely disappeared, only some clotted blood remained.
"Naomi, you go back to the bridge to see if they need help." Emma commanded. "I'm going to the engineering bay." She then looked at the ceiling and shouted to the air. "Alexa, I'm going to perform manual heat rod release. How long do we have?"
A robotic female voice answered her from the speaker on the wall.
"Answer, hull temperature is rising at the rate of 100 degrees per minute. Estimated insulation failure in: T minus 15 minutes. Estimated life loss in: T minus 18 minutes."
"That's not enough time. Naomi, scratch that, you are coming with me!" Emma said, jumping onto the cart after rolling the remaining gas tanks out of it. "Push me!"
The petite girl with a bob cut put her hands on the cart. The girl's body slightly lowered, her eyes closed. There was a quiet whirring noise for a second.
As Naomi opened her eyes, she exploded into an inhuman, rocket-like speed. The two girls and the cart seemingly disappeared from their original location. Only the chitauri psychology doctor, the human engineer, and echoes of Emma's utterly horrified shriek remained in the dark corridor.
"How's the negotiation? Any luck?" Emma asked the ceiling after pushing the last heat rod out of the ship. Transferring heat from the hull into heat rods and push them out into space would be the usual practice for emergency heat dumping. Emma was buying time for the bridge to figure out a solution for the predicament.
Emma gulped. An unmodified Alexa wouldn't prank people.
"Alexa?" Emma asked again in a shaky voice, while slowly taking out her neural cable. Naomi also understood the situation. She watched as Emma plugged her Alexa into a control panel.
Not long after, Emma fell on the ground, disconnecting the cable from the control panel.
Naomi collapsed on her knees as she watched Emma mumbling with her eyes widened. The look of horror on Emma's face told her everything.
Emma sprung up, grabbing Naomi shoulders as she spoke hastily.
"W-we have to get out of here. The bridge was breached. The enemy somehow concentrated their laser and punched a hole through the ship. A torpedo is heading here. It will be here in five minutes and obliterate us!"
"I'm going to go back and get the doctor and Andrei. They don't know anything. I can't inform them from here, the PA system is destroyed. You get into the escape pod." Emma tried to get up, to no avail. She turned to the ceiling.
"I, chief engineer Emma Rodriguez of the Motive, hereby grant intern student Naomi White permission to abandon ship."
Tears kept pouring out of her eyes.
"This is stupid. There is no ship recording, no control system, no bridge, no captain Jack, pilot Anton, pilot Wang… everybody I have been working with and come to love in the past 10 years is here no longer."
Nobody noticed anything until the ceiling started melting. At that point, it was too late. Once decompression happens, the automatic airlock would drop immediately. Air in the bridge was sucked away. Everybody suffocated to death.
The direct heat from the concentrated ray melted every control in the bridge afterward.
"But this…this is not the time for that." Emma stood up. However, a hand held her back.
"I'm going, you should leave first, Officer Emma."
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