Running. Just running. He had been running all his life and to be honest he wasn’t bad. His natural stamina helped him escape muggers and bullies during his childhood days because let’s just say, being an orphan you don’t get many friends other than the other orphans and unfortunately for him every one at his orphanage was either a little 5 year old or a bunch of lowlife hackers who spend their weekends punching binary codes into shabby old computers. So he was running, it gave him time to think, he would often go for a jog around the ship once or twice whilst off duty gazing out to the horizon as he dodges the various ropes and life rafts that scatter the deck. But this time he couldn’t think, all that was on his mind was not to stop because if he did, even for a second, he’d be caught by the blast of an enemy sonic shell piercing the hull and spewing debris and sparking wires across the foredeck. An explosion a few yards in front of him caused the deck to collapse to the lower levels, sending splintering wood in all directions. He covered he eyes to protect his face and cried out as pieces of wood pierced the skin on his arm and forced him to the ground. Obviously he wasn’t going to get to the bridge this way, he stood up to think, pricking the shards out of his bleeding flesh and yelping like a dog. An ear-piercing boom shook the ship throwing people to the ground, a crate of ammunition broke free of its bonds and fell upon him. He shoved it away and ran to the port side of the ship as the deafaning cackle of the bullets exploding in the crates rang in his ears. He lifted up the lid of an access hatch on the deck and jumped in. He pulled it closed as he slid down the ladder within to the deck below. At the bottom was a corridor that led to the main bridge stairwell, he sped along the hallway reaching no obsticles on his way. Well nearly no obsticles, about half way down a sonic torpedo from a surfaced submarine, hit a sonic wave containment chamber on the engine deck, 6 decks below the hallway. The pressure lauched him forward, landing at the foot of the stairwell. He pulled him self up to the bridge deck and using a pipe to help him walk, entered the bridge and sat at his station. He picked up a headset from the desk and fitted it onto his head. An enemy ship slid along side and began firing, splitting the starboard hull through the middle and allowing salty, green water to flow in. The lights on the bridge flickered twice and then went blank – the engine went quiet. The bridge was silent apart from the gloomy sound of metal screeching below like a broken record. A warning notice flickered across his screen –STRUCTURAL INTEGRETY FAILURE– he conjured a solemn face and looked up at the captain.  A blue fountain pen began to roll down the main console spewing ink all over the screens. Another warning sign appeared on the screen –STABILISATION FAILURE, EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY –at this a siren sounded and the boat deck began to fill with officers, pulling ropes and heaving boats into the water. People fled from the main control structure and the air was filled with the stench of damp sweat from the nervous sailors. Suddenly a large foghorn boomed and a Royal Navy Super Battlecruiser came between the two ships. Officers stood watching it as if it were a miracle, it began launching ultrasonic torpedoes at the enemy ship and within seconds it was beneath the waves of the Atlantic. The console beeped and the main viewing screen came back to life. The words ‘incoming communication’ flashed in red on the screen and he punched ‘open channel’ into his console keyboard. Immediately Admiral Haddock’s face appeared on the screen with a wide smile stretching from ear to ear.

‘Well done captain’ he said, grinning his crooked teeth.

‘You have aided the destruction of one of the most powerful ships in the Argentinian navy. They no longer pose a threat to our nation.’

‘Thank you sir, but we are on a peaceful mission to the Antarctic National Containment Facility; we weren’t prepared for a battle.’ The captain straightened his uniform and stood, arms behind back, to attention.

‘Too modest captain pike, either way you stalled them long enough for us to get your message’

‘But sir, I didn’t send any message, they blew our com tower’

‘Ah, that’s where I come in sir, I installed an emergency communication array in my quarters. I sent the message at the first sign of trouble’ he said with a hint of pride in his voice.

'Well done' he said dismissively ' we have more serious matters to attend to, Admiral keets has called an emergency conference at British Naval Command in England, every level 1 captain must attend it.'

'What is the emergency?' The captain asked

'Highly confidential, I shall explain it all in your ready room in 15 minutes.'

At this the screen returned to its usual display and the crewmen started whispering to each other about what the conference is about. The captain turned and walked to his ready room to the right of the bridge, as he entered through the shiny silver door he called to him to have the repair crews begin work on fixing the ship and then shut the door. He gave the order and then sat at his station staring at the flashing lights and buttons that cover the surface of his desk, the crewmen working at the navigations desk in front of him were still filling each other with frantic ideas of what awaits them in England. He leant forward to listen in on their converstion but not so far so that they'd spot him.

'I heard that the Spanish have mobilised and are planning to invade America!'

'Well I heard they were going to invade Australia!'

'Noooo! The Spanish would get wiped out by the Australasians!'

'Yeah but they'd never beat the Americans!

The two crewmen contiued there conversation like two school girls in a playground, it was obvious he'd get no answers from them. Maybe he'd just have to wait untill they made port, but something deep inside him made him feel as if the journey would be longer then expected.

The End

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