A thunderous explosion near Kurzweil One caused me to flick back momentarily. A red-orange fireball was expanding out from an ancient SSM battery, structure and panelling debris already radiating in shattered fragments. Shrapnel pinged off the suit.
And then I was back, stepping inside an overhead swing from the wrench and forcing Bates bodily back down the passenger compartment. He grabbed hold of a set of restraints, swinging us both into the wall, and drove a plated knee in my plated stomach with a grunt.
I simply drew my head back and headbutted him hard enough to briefly light up visor stress warnings. He fell, unconscious. I strapped him in and locked the restraints with a wordless thought to the shuttle.
“Ensign? How’s the casualty?”
En Carmen 3A42FF was administering first aid to En Gillian CCB329, whose suit had not been able to autoseal after decompression damage to the shuttle.
“Glad you could help, Lieutenant, but he needs proper medical attention. It’s bad.”