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the End of the Big K

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the End of the Big K





"There is no way I’m wearing that!"


The comm crackled, "Come on Bobby, you have to. There's too much damage. Most of the ship is open to vacuum."


"I can't. I've got claustrophobia. I'll go nuts in there."


"Look- you've got to do it. Containment is breaking down on the #3 Fusion plant. We lose that and this wreck will become a mini supernova. You've got to get out of there."


Bobby looked at the big suit of powered armor. It sat in a service bay like a sleeping monster. The suits were designed to be intimidating and the eight foot dark gray monster was just that.


He said, "OK. What do I have to do?"


The voice over the comm changed, "OK Bobby, I'm going to talk you through this. You see the command console?"


Bobby found the terminal built at the side of the service bay. He hit the spacebar and a login screen came up. He said, "I've found it. There's a login prompt on the screen."


"Use login FltMar35, pass word is jarhead!"


Bobby typed in the login and spoke, "Fleet Marine 35, password jarhead!"


The screen immediately came up: Alliance Marines, Authorized personnel only. Power Armor Mark VIII, diagnostic utility.


Bobby said, "I'm in. I've got a menu: Ready 100%, diagnostics, configuration, systems, expendables, ammunition and file."


The voice said, "Good. pick the file menu and pick the saved configuration file  rescue. That'll configure the armor for you."


Bobby picked file labeled rescue and the computer responded with a prompt: Configure armor for rescue y/n?


He chose yes and an hourglass appeared on the screen. Loading rescue configuration. Please wait.


While the computer configured the suit, he looked around. The battered ship was slowly bleeding to death.Red warning lights were blinking and he could hear a fire alarm somewhere through the hull. There was an explosion somewhere in the distance that transmitted a jolt through the hull.


The voice on the comm said, "You need to get in and run the eject routine Bobby. Some ammo just cooked off on the flight deck and blew out a big chunk of the hull. Big K has had it. She's coming apart at the seams!"


The computer routine finished running and the armor's chest plate opened up. Bobby grabbed the bar just above the suit and dropped into suit saying, "I can't believe I'm doing this." 


Immediately the suit came to life. He suppressed a sudden flare of panic as the suit  began to close around him. 


Inside the suit, it automatically adjusted to fit his body and a voice came on inside his helmet, "CORA Computer Oral Response Automata online. Suit configuration rescue. Should I begin eject sequence?"


Bobby said, "Initiate eject sequence. Once outside set thrusters to get clear of the ship."


Another explosion wracked the ship. Through his helmet, he could see the bulkhead deform and see the indications that the compartment was decompressing.


Suddenly he felt what must have been at least five gravities of acceleration as the suit was fired like a bullet through its ejection tube. As soon as he was outside, the suits thrusters kicked in and sent him on a trajectory well away from the stricken carrier. 


Someone was screaming, "Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!"


It took a moment for him to realize that it was him.


Bobby said, "Cora- adjust camera view, I want to see the carrier."


Cora said, "Camera view adjusted. Rescue beacon initiated."


The view changed to the carrier rapidly receding in the distance. There was a small constellation of search and rescue  shuttles orbiting a safe distance from the stricken ship busy picking up survival pods.


The long, stately shape of the A.S.Kaga was marred by large holes from the enemy missile strikes. Parts of the ship were glowing a dull red color. There were geysers of water and air escaping the hull as explosions and internal fires destroyed the ship that had been his home in the fleet for the last year and a half.


Suddenly the Big-K vanished in a white flash as the fusion bottles let go. All that was left of the big majestic ship was a white hot nebulae of debris and gas slowly spreading out into the big dark.

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