Action Stations!“All hands! Man your battle stations! I repeat! All hands! Man your battle stations!”
The alert claxon was loud enough to wake the dead, a harsh electronic blare accompanied by the lights in the crew quarters flashing a manic beat for 10 seconds as crewmen and women tumbled from their bunks. In the fleet you didn’t sleep naked or in your underwear, you slept in your undersuit, a thermal layer that could keep you warm and kept you cool, it stopped at the elbows, knees and neck and was hard wearing and lightweight.
The uniforms were one or two-piece zip up affairs, joining at the waist and covering everything but the head and hands. Last to go on was the boots that snapped into place once a little sensor told them the heel and toes were in place.
A good spacer could be out of their bunk and dressed in 30 – 45 seconds and the crew of the SLS Dmitrii Donskoi were getting there.
As the rotating grav sections slowed their r
Stop and searchHalf-way through late watch was always the worst, with three quarters of the crew asleep or off duty (and therefore asleep) the ‘midnight’ shift was dull, tedious and boring but still there was a hubbub of conversation and muttered commands into headsets on the bridge of the SLS Thunder on the Mountain. A thousand clicks out the dropship Trade Wind was patrolling, little thruster bursts making her ‘zig-zag’ as her electronic eyes searched space, and a thousand clicks beyond her the paired fighters of VF-194 the ‘Ghost Riders’ were out patrolling, having drawn the short straw for this watch.
This was what the recruitment posters didn’t mention, or show you. They always showed a McKenna; backlit by the stars, or an Atlas with its arms raised, firing at a distant target. Recruitment vids showed action, adventure and fun with a multi-cultural mix bag of Star League personnel enjoying adventure trai