“Set thrusters to full power”
“Sir? There’s not enough fuel-”
“I said do it! That’s an order.”
The command room fell silent, as silent as space itself. The Lieutenant Miaga looked at Commander Frig. Commander Frig looked at Navigator Pezco. None of them moved.
“Aye sir,” said Commander Frig demurely. He touched his Tella device next to his ear to activate it. “Bridge to engine room, this is Commander Frig. Set thrusters to full power.”
A tinny sound emanated from everywhere and nowhere around the room, “Copy that Frig. You do know that at full power, we will run out of fuel before we get to Mars, right?”
“We know Lolla.” Commander Frig lowered his hand and turned to Miaga. “Lieutenant, get your men to battle stations. I want to be armed and ready in 15. Got it?”
“Aye sir.” With a nod, she turned and walked out the door.
“Nav, how are we looking?”
“We’re still 0.01483 light-years out.”
“And the USSF?”
“They’re gaining on us. Unless we execute evasive maneuvers they’ll be all over us in 30 minutes.”
“Captain Adrar, may I have a word with you?”
The two of them walked along the grey hallway in silence for some time until Commander Frig coughed and broke the silence. Captain Adrar walked tall, but wore the expression of someone attending a funeral.
“Sir, with all do respect, how in the world are we supposed to get back to Mars safely? Our fuel’s almost out. The USSR will be on us at any moment.”
Captain Adrar looked him straight in the eye. “You’re right, we’re not going to make it.” and with that he walked on.