[We were attacked during hyperspace navigation. The nature of the attack is unknown. In the first place, the ship isn’t supposed to be in a perceivable physical form when traveling through hyperspace. I can’t imagine how the attack got through in these circumstances.]
“Is it the Bugs?!”[No, that’s impossible. The Bugs do not possess the level of technology to pull off such a thing.
In any case, the ship has suffered critical damage from that attack. We’ve been warped out of hyperspace and navigation is currently impossible.
And that’s not all. We were attacked from four different coordinates. Furthermore, the bridge, engine section, first and second cryo-sleep bays, communication room, gravity control room, and hangar have all been destroyed.]
I was stunned speechless. What Iris was saying was unimaginable. It’s been more than a hundred years since a Galaxy-Class Battleship has suffered losses as grave as these.
Both cryo-sleep bays were destroyed?! Then what about the rest of the crew? What of my unit?
“Are there any survivors!?”[Other than you, there were no survivors. Second Lieutenant Augirio just breathed his last in the mess hall some moments prior.]
Even though they were in the middle of hyperspace navigation, about fifty of the 1200 crew members should have been awake. Does this mean all of them were dead?
“That can’t be! So the ship captain, first mate, commander and everyone in my platoon are…”[Yes. The crewmembers who were in sections not directly hit by the attacks were almost instantly killed during the ensuing impact after the forced warp-out due to the failure of the gravity controls.
Since the cleanroom is the most vital part of the ship, it’s equipped with an independent gravity dampening module. So the shock was mitigated and Lieutenant managed to survive.]
I see. It’s only because I was inside this room that I didn’t get injuries worse than these… If I was outside, I would’ve been smashed straight into the walls with tremendous momentum. I crawled out of the maintenance shaft.[There’s another thing to report. Although there’s still sometime before impact, this ship is currently falling towards a nearby planet.]
“Ah! But that’s just…”
In this vast universe, the probability of us coming out of hyperspace and randomly arriving right above a planet was supposed to be virtually next to nil.[The engine block has completely lost all functions. The only way to stop our descent would be dismantling the ship and jettisoning the unnecessary parts.]
I noticed Iris had begun speaking in a more polite manner.
“Then, shouldn’t we do just that?”[In order to do that, a first-grade emergency situation needs to be declared, and it has to come through direct order from the acting captain.]
“But the captain’s now…”[Citing Article 12, paragraph 3 of the Imperial Military Codex, I hereby recognize First Lieutenant Alan Corinth as the acting captain of this ship.]
“Are you serious!?”
The captain of a Galaxy-Class battleship needs to be at least of the rank of Commodore. A First Lieutenant in the army shouldn’t have any qualifications whatsoever to assume captaincy.
But even so, I’m the only one who remained alive. Guess it’s something inevitable. It’s just a formality done in order to issue orders.[In order to proceed with the promotion, you need to undergo senior officer’s education, as stipulated in the regulations.]
On the surface, senior officer’s education is done in order for aspiring senior officers to learn the code of conduct expected of them, but the actual purpose was brainwashing in order to prevent them from taking actions contrary to the regulations stated in the military Codex. This isn’t formally recognized by the armed forces, but everyone in the military knows this is the case. It was a policy implemented as a result of a harshly learned lesson in ancient times when a world with billions of people living in it was destroyed by a single madman.
Even though it was called ‘education’, what actually took place was brainwashing through the use of nanoms and biological patches directly targeting the mind. One usually loses consciousness due to the enormous amounts of information being directly fed into one’s brain during the process.
“We’re running out of time! …What should I do?”[Please take the biological patch from the console, place it on top of your forehead and sit in a comfortable position.]
A biological patch popped out from within the console. I attached it to my forehead, took a seat and leaned back. After a clicking sound came from the patch, I lost consciousness once more.[Captain…! -an Corinth! Captain Corinth!]
I woke up from Iris’ calls.[Thank goodness! I don’t know what I’d have done if you didn’t wake up.]
I felt a sense of Deja Vu.
“Just how long have I been unconscious?”[About 30 minutes. And Captain, you don’t need to use polite speech with me.]
“…Got it. Alright then, let’s get started. I’m now the acting captain of this vessel. Please acknowledge.”[Acknowledged. The subject is no longer under the influence of drugs due to biological patching, and is of a normal mental state.]
“By the powers vested in me as a commanding officer, I hereby declare a first-grade emergency. Furthermore, I order the battleship Iris Conrad to take all necessary measures in order to preserve the fighting strength of this ship and the Navy’s honor. That is your Captain’s orders. This takes maximum priority above anything else.”
It was my first time issuing such cool sounding commands like those. No, it’s my first time hearing them as well. Things really are different after taking senior officers ‘education’.
I should note that I was just reading off the words Iris displayed on the virtual window provided by the nanom interface like a teleprompter.
The commands issued by the captain and senior officers back then really were cool! As expected of senior officers, but I’m sure as heck they also read off prompts.[Aye, sir. Your orders have been received.]
“Alright. Now we can start repairs on the ship.”[I’m sorry if this sounds abrupt, but the Captain should really head to the emergency pod now without delay.]
“Huh!? What are you talking about?”[The connection with the life support section has been cut off and integrity outside of this cleanroom has been compromised. We’re now rapidly losing oxygen.]
Just as she said, it does kinda feel stuffy and hard to breathe in here.
“But even if you tell me to escape, is the atmosphere on that planet even breathable?”[According to the optical spectrum analysis, there is a 93% chance of the atmosphere being breathable for humans.]
“What’s up with the remaining 7%?”[Potentially harmful gasses, unknown viruses, and parasites.]
“Even so, an escape pod… How about using a landing craft?”[The passageway to the hangar has been blocked off. Moreover, almost all landing crafts have either been lost or destroyed.]
Ah, then I wouldn’t be able to go back to the ship after I escape.[You’ll only die due to lack of oxygen if you stay here. It would be better if you escape to the planet and then find a way to return after the ship is successfully repaired. And the probability of successful reconstruction after changing the trajectory of the ship is currently 54%.]
What!? I didn’t think the probability would be that low
“I understand…… What about food and weapons?”[Unfortunately, there’s only whatever’s available inside the escape pod.]
I activated my nanoms and checked out the supplies inside the escape pod. I was taken aback when I read what was displayed on the virtual window.
M151 Pulse Rifle
A18P Laser Gun
Electromagnetic Blade Knife
Forty-two packs of emergency rations
28 liters of water
One bottle of rare metals (100 tablets)
To be honest, for a soldier like myself these weapons were quite unsatisfactory. Their firepower left much to be desired. And there’s nowhere near enough food and water. But even if I say all that, there’s no way I’d find any better options here…
“Is there anything else I can bring with me?”[Why not bring one of the processor modules you just replaced with you, Captain? They’re made of rare metals.]
Now that she mentioned it, that’s right. I’d have to break them down first before I could consume them, but I think I’ll manage somehow. Rare metals are the raw materials for nanoms. It may be possible to procure them locally, but I don’t want to go through the trouble of searching for them. Nanoms are lifelines for soldiers like me. As long as you had rare metals on hand, you’d be just fine.
The boarding area for the escape pods was directly next to the entrance of this room. Ah, I’m truly grateful to the guy who thought about equipping this room with its own escape pod. I asked Iris to open the escape pod hatch and loaded the processor module inside. The escape pod could house five people and thus had five seats. The interior was quite large.
That’s right! I also need uniforms. It’s an underdeveloped planet after all. You can never have too much to wear.
Right now I was wearing work overalls for working inside the cleanroom. I loaded the uniform I changed out of before I started work inside this place.
Are there any other things… Nope.
Come to think of it, this was inside the computer mainframe. There’s no way daily necessities would be in a place like this.
“I’m all set.”[Then please get on the pod.]
I obediently boarded the pod, sat on one of the seats and fixed my seatbelt.[Well then, may good fortune follow you, Captain.]
“Yeah. You too, Miss Conrad.”
The escape pod was then ejected towards the planet.
Intelligent lifeforms resembling large insects, and various types have been confirmed.
The most common type looks like a cockroach walking upright on its hind legs.
It’s covered in body hair and a hard outer shell. This should be enough to disgust most humans, but on top of these, it’s also extremely filthy and covered with fleshy outgrowths and parasites inside and outside its body.
It’s quite brutal and sports a much higher combat ability compared to humans. Engaging it in close quarters combat was an exercise in futility.
But during the past thousand years of war, humanity has worked hard to bridge the gap, and presently, it’s now possible for Galactic Navy soldiers to match them in hand to hand combat.
The Bugs also possess technology which gives them hyperspace navigation capabilities, but the Empire is slightly ahead on that front.
The most fearsome thing about the Bugs is their sheer numbers. Colonized planets targeted by Bugs will be swarmed by seemingly endless numbers of Bug fleets. According to studies done by experts, the ratio of humans to Bugs is about 1 to 6.
However, there doesn’t seem to be any specialized reproduction facilities inside the Bug colonies that have been captured and investigated, and the total number of colonies seem to be on par with those of humanity.
Due to this, the theory that there is some sort of large-scale breeding facility in the Bugs homeworld was prevalent, and discovering and destroying it may bring this endless war to a close.