All too soon the Firing Control Officer warned, "It's coming! Keep him
off our tubes, Helm!
2 Stern tube, commence firing! We might get lucky!"
3 From the stern of North's ship his single remaining beam tube began
to spit a steady stream of deadly energy that their attacker zigged and
zagged to avoid.
4 "In The Name of The Holy Ghost!" warned North, "Don't lose it!"
5 Several times the ship shook as the attacker's deadly beams were
turned away by its shields. One time the terrible whine on the command
deck was so bad it hurt North's ears.
6 "We can't take much more of this," warned Firing Control. "Our stern
shields are overheating."
7 "Helm, have we reached that recommended speed?"
8 "Coming up on it, sir, about five seconds. Five, four, three, two
9 "NOW!" screamed North, over the whine of another near miss. The eight
thrusters on the bottom of his ship suddenly fired to life. At the same
instant four mines dropped away and the ship's main engine hit full
reverse. Not a second later the top thrusters fired, and the engines
shifted their thrust back to forward, and from the bow of the ship the
three beam tubes sent out a storm of fire.
10 Ahead of them the bewildered machine rocked and shook as it took
several strikes. It turned away, fleeing back towards the ice fields.
Trying to recover from the pain that was shooting through the upper part
of his body, North screamed to Firing Control, "Did we hit him? Dammit,
did we hit him?"
11 "At least three good, solid, wide-beam hits," screamed the Firing
Control Officer. "He's moving off, but he's definitely got troubles.
He's leaking something. It could be positive fuel."
12 "Get us out of here, Helm!" North snapped. At the