“Tell me straight, skipper. What’s wrong?”
“We’re dead. That’s what’s wrong.”
“Even as we stand here, we’re dead men. That last bomb pumped us full of a whole soup of radiation. I’m surprised the hull hasn’t shattered from neutron embrittlement. But the gamma rays are what did us in.”
In the background, someone clutches his abdomen in sudden pain.
“Well, do something!”
“Detonate this warhead in the null-G section amidships.”
“I will be, unless you get on it. I’ve already notified engineering.”
The young lieutenant stands for a moment, petrified.
“Oh fine. Since understanding might make you more obedient. We spin end-over-end for gravity, and right now our plane of rotation is lined up with their vessel. They’re about 15 klicks away, so if we break in half at the right moment, we might get the tail end flung close enough to detonate our atomic drive right next to them before they notice.”
“But! We’ll all die!”
“We’re already dead. Now move it.”