There was a bright light. First, it emerged as spark of a fire from one of the computer consoles near the navigators, but the flames grew so quickly that the crew did not react in time. The explosion came, mightier than the ones that riddled the ship before, killing those near to it – burning the ensigns to a crisp, and basking the bridge-area in a blinding whiteness. Megan, though not fatally wounded by the explosion, was kept in her chair by another force.
The biotic blinked several times, trying to focus her eyesight through the blurriness. She was met with a wrecked bridge; lesser fires set a flame and the interior-plating coming apart in every direction she looked. A few of the computer consoles disappeared, leaving more debris and loose wires going up in sparks. Megan heard the sounds of alarms pulsing through the bridge, as well as the groans and coughs of those still alive.
She tried to take in a quivering breath, but an agonizing pain ripped through her abdomen. It was as if someone ran a sword through her, and left it there. Sadly, it seemed to be so. Megan looked down to her injury and what caused it: some of the flying debris from the blinding explosion impaled itself into her torso. Thankfully, as Megan realized through her hazy thoughts, the piece of steel didn’t run her through – literally, but what it hit, Megan had no idea. She was biotic, not a doctor.
Megan managed to move her right hand out from under her, and wiggled the other out of some metal. She took three shallows breaths, mustering up much needed courage and clarity. “Okay, Megan…” she uttered before she gripped the shard. She nearly bit her tongue once the metal was out, the pain intensified and blood began to pour from the wound. She quickly cut the bottom of her shirt and wrapped the cloth around her waist tightly despite the tremors of agony that passed through her body.
“Oh God…” She tried look around again, her major injury tended to for the time being. There was smoke coming into the bridge at slow pace (thankfully) and the coughing sounds increased. “People are still alive…” she thought, and tried to stand up.
More pain shot to her ankle and knee, making it unbearable to keep her weight on both feet. Megan almost toppled backwards before she steadied herself against some metal slates that had fallen from the ceiling. She couldn’t walk all too well – that much was now obvious – but Megan managed to limp herself away from the chair.
Among the off-distant noises of injured men and women, there was the scuffle and movement of ensigns and crew attempting to take back the control of their situation.
“You!” she called from the wreckage. One of the ensigns, a young man with red hair, rushed to her side. “Ma’am, are you alright?”
“Hardly.” Megan leaned against the solider, managing to lurch herself and the man to one of the un-vacant pilot seats. Looming over the pilot, she mumbled out through her pain “Where the hell is Grey…”and came up short.
The captain’s body was limp against a computer console, his eyes shut. Megan’s eyes widened, fearing the worst. He wasn’t breathing, as far as she could tell. “Oh God, check his vitals…” she ordered. The ensign behind her, nodded grimly, and kneeled before Greyfields. Blood stained his uniform and his arm was crushed under metals and wires. It was too late for him, as Megan learned when the ensign shook his head slowly. The biotic for a moment stayed still, trying to understand what just happened. The battle was still going on, and Perugia was hanging on by a thread. If they got hit again….Megan licked her lips, her mind playing the image of the ship going down over and over again.
When she spoke, her voice was hoarse and her tone grim. “Can we take another hit?”
The pilot looked up at her, unspoken until now. “No…I…no, ma’am,” he breathed out, his eyes full of fear and his body pulsing with adrenaline.
“Great,” she dryly muttered. Greyfields was….gone and Perugia might be among the dead by the time the battle was over. Question is…who’ll be on the winning side when this was indeed over?
She looked at the monitors, the bright light in the darkening room almost blinding her once again. The Alliance and the Turian Fleet were on the verge of winning, but that dreadnought could make all the difference.
When the comns clicked on and the sound of her old turian comrade echoed into the bridge, Megan didn’t know what to think. He wasn’t dead; he was still in the battle.
"Nihlus to the fleet, focus all fire on that ship. We are overcharging our weapons to pierce its armor," he said, his tone still the same as always spare for the hidden note of worry. For a moment, Megan’s thoughts went blank. Was this the only choice?
…It was, Megan realized. They couldn’t wait any longer, but this…She didn’t want this. No one did.
The biotic leaned forward once again; hand over the comn-links. She was stepping out of line by doing this, but it didn’t matter to her or anyone else on Perugia. After the battle was over, she would come to realize that her last words to Sanus were, “We almost have them. All ships close and fire torpedoes” and she would remember the rush of the ship as it – and others – moved in for one final assault. One final attack.
Perugia fired the last of its torpedoes, followed by the surge of power from the other ships – both human and turian. It was the Nihlus’ play now, and Sanus’ last.
Megan could do nothing but close her eyes as the ship made its final strike worthwhile. And just like that, in a blink of an eye or an intake of breath, Sanus and the Nihlus were gone, taking that damned dreadnought to hell.
“…And that’s it Hackett. The full story, from start to finish. Greyfields died. Sanus and his father’s namesake too.”
And she was alive.
Bruised and in stitches, but alive. Not that she felt like it. Every since she passed out and woken to the bright beams of the med-bay, she felt nothing at all, but Megan told herself it was the morphine doing its trick. Although moving was a terrible idea (the doctor made that clear to her), Hackett wanted his report, the Council wanted to quell the media storm before it came, and Megan certainly didn’t want stay under those bright lights.
“Thank you, Kane…” The Admiral said, his hologram in front of the biotic, “The battle is over now, with much lost. What has occurred should have been avoidable but is irreversible as death always is. Without this alliance and union of courage between the humans and the turians, this victory wouldn’t have been achievable.”
The words Hackett spoke didn’t help Megan’s raging thoughts one bit. She looked up at the Admiral, a frown twisting upon her face. “Victory?” she spat, “It hardly felt like one. It still doesn’t Hackett!”
The older man started calmly at her, his stature still and stoic as was the expression upon his scarred face. He said, “Many have died, Sergeant. I understand what you’re feeling.” And just then, Megan wanted to curse and to step out of line once again, but her pride stopped her before doing so. The Admiral had seen much more than she hoped too – after all in the beginning of all this, Megan was meant to teach and ready willing recruits to become biotic powerhouses on the field. Her role was indirectly pointed towards the heat of battle, although she avoided it until her reassignment. Then the madness came: Batarians, lies, and more batarians. She wasn’t cut out for it, Megan came to understand, but she did her duty. As did Sanus; as did every single solider who lost their life during their strike on the dreadnought and before that.
With one deep intake of breath, Megan’s grip on the table she leaned on loosened and her fury towards the man was suppressed, if only for now. “And…” she began, slowly and carefully, “What happens now? With the batarians and the turians?”
Hackett (or really, his hologram) stood silent for a moment. Whether he was looking for the right words to say or was considering if he should answer Megan or not, the biotic had no idea. She just stood there, waiting.
He broke his silence. “Now, Sergeant Kane, you lie down and get yourself patched up. You did what you were ordered to do and more…” Megan thought of the moment she, momentarily, took control of the Perugia. She kept her eyes on the hologram though; she needed to hear the end of this. “And you’ll wait for what happens. You’ve played your part, Sergeant. Be proud. That is all. Hackett out.
It was the last time she’d see Hackett (or at least, she hoped). And all she cared about was getting some much needed rest. Frankly, the med-bay sounded rather tempting right now.