their deadly energy.
7 The mechanical had no time to turn back. The beams took it full
broadside, and in moments it disappeared in a blinding flash.
8 Moments later The Lord's Vengeance plunged into that fireball and
several things happened at once. The shields around the number two star
drive gave out, and in an instant the engine vaporized, its crew never
knowing what happened. Electrical discharges of unbelievable
intensity jumped from one part of the ship to another. Panels exploded
everywhere. The shields by the number two system drive buckled. The
engine took a massive dose of radiation. Vital components instantly
melted, controls fused, and the engine began to go critical.
9 The force of the explosion knocked the ship out of orbit, its
planetary engines fighting against the horrible load, literally melted,
but they held together just long enough to protect the crew. The ship
emerged from the fireball heading for open space.
10 North's command deck was filled with smoke. He and the rest of his
Officers struggled to get on their breathers. As soon as he was getting
breathable air, North began screaming orders. "Somebody get the
emergency ventilators going! Status reports! What kind of condition are
we in? Where are we?"
11 In moments the loud hum of the emergency ventilators was heard, and
the smoke began to clear. The Helm Officer looked up from his
panel. "I don't believe it!" he announced, "I'm still functional! We're
heading out of system on one of the system engines. Planetary engines
and star drive are dead."
12 He looked over towards navigation and gave a shriek. The Navigation
Officer lay on the floor by the controls to the emergency ventilators.
His right arm and hand looked like something had been chewing on it, and