For all of her young life, Jenetta Carver had dreamed
of cruising between the stars in a powerful spaceship,
but nothing in her visions of a bright future even
remotely resembled the perilous situation she now faced.
Lt. Sabella, her face slightly flushed from physical exertion, returned from her task of readying the ship’s weapons and crossed the bridge to stand by the left arm of Jenetta’s command chair. “What’s the plan, Captain?” she asked. Though an anxious look swathed her face, there was unmistakable resoluteness in her voice.
Jenetta breathed in deeply and then released it before answering in a voice lowered so that it only carried to her XO. “We’re going to have to slash and burn,” she replied.
“Slash and burn?” Gloria questioned, equally sotto voce.
“We don’t yet know what we’re facing, so we can’t prepare anything tactically sophisticated. We certainly won’t be able to arrange for a convenient artificial mountain as cover this time, and it’s a given that whatever Raider ships we’re about to face are considerably better armed than we are. So— surprise will perforce serve as our main weapon. I intend to slash our way in with as much speed as practicable, dump our envelope, and then burn down any enemy ships that we encounter before they can do the same to us.”
“That’s it?” Gloria asked, wide-eyed. “That’s your whole plan? Shoot them before they shoot us?”