I once talked to an old, scarred man who made a living as a war veteran on government pensions. He told me what it was like to be in space, unsupported, unprotected by the man-made survival aids that allowed us to colonize space so effectively. He said it was like stepping into the cold mind of a serial killer; it was cool, calculated and maliciously efficient, and you were helpless to the power of it all. In fact, he had said, you were more in awe of the auspicious fate you were about to befall.
He regreted not letting it take him then and there.
He was so very, very wrong.
It all happened so fast...the overheating of the systems of my ship; the sounds of gunfire and energy depreciations throughout the superstructure went from distant sputters on the outer shields to interior explosions that shook the supports. The crew of my vessel were blown to pieces, flung aside and ejected out of the holes in the hull; I watched them die over the cameras installed in the weapon and shield maintanence bays, their lifeless, dismembered corpses being filtered into the vastness. Lances of laser energy whipped across the hard armor plating again and again, crackling with fantastic beauty, burning it and lacerating it until eventually close range cannons could pierce into the hull. All of this happened as I managed all ten thousand systems on the ship, but even my cybernetic implants couldn't boost my cognitive abilities enough to stop the kind of damage I was receiving. The sockets at the base of my neck where all of my enhancemants were connected to my synapse would have been warm to the touch had I taken the precious time to feel them, and I could feel the pull of the connective cords to the console as I quickly swiveled my head from side to side, glancing at damage readouts and shield continuity. Via my plugs I could feel her cry; my ship was lazily drifting without engines operable after the first few hits, and the shrieks of the armor melting, the cracks of the pipes and the implosions from hull breaches all added together into a caucophony of screaming that translated to my mind as a sort of 'human-machine' link. I could feel my ship take slower and slower breaths, I could feel her dieing, slowly, as she was repeatedly beaten by the powerful weapons arrayed against her. It was a deep sorrow that filled me, one that reflected my feelings as a pilot; I hadn't wanted this...
When finally she was silenced, her screams finished, I looked around my workstation. I was allowed the briefest moment of trepidation as I gently patted the console and reconciled with her for all the pain. I watched the lights dim and felt the warmth of her heart die.
I was to, in short order, prove the old man with the story wrong.
i'll be posting random snippets of my stories, as variety is the spice of life. Enjoy.