Lights flashed, flickered and faded before tired eyes; and pain flushed through aching, battered and broken bones.
Voices moved frantically around her, sometimes slow, sometimes fast - almost always punctuated by methodical beeps and tones.
White light, orange lines, distant figures and fatigue.
A figure always seemed to be at her left, distant enough for politeness's sake - but close enough to warrant some attention from them, the lone figure of comfort.
Her legs, why couldn't she feel her legs?
The darkness came again, medicated rest . . . so sweet and artificial, she sank back into the emptiness between the waking world and that filled with dreams.
"INBOUND IMMORTAL BATTLESHIP!" A voice to her left relaid from his station, one of a dozen ensigns whom relaid readings from holopanels and screens and then relaid bridge commands through centcom back through the ship.
She looked up and saw the beast ahead of her - the Immortals had cut off the ground forces that had made landfall on the barren iceworld below, and had then set about decimating the two fleets attempting to re-converge.
A voice high above her - that of Lord Shadowscythe himself issued another set of orders from the command deck above, he and the other Admirals above had the advantage of not needing to see through the frontal screens, detached from the battle by holograms and fleet tactics.
In front of her she saw the gaping maw of a massive black and gunmetal gray beast, covered in insignia and weapon hardpoints, dishing out purple plasma blasts and arcs of yellow Ionic lightning across the fleet.
She looked from one screen to another, voices around her that never stopped talking - taking information she had and relaying it into her own holotablet when another set of orders came down from the deck above.
"Target has been sighted" one voice relayed.
"Gunnery control request Anti-matter projectors weapons free" another asked.
She looked down to her tablet, and back up again. No point in holding back the biggest toys in a battle like this.
"Permission granted, all ships - Anti-matter grade weaponry is now weapons free" she replied.
More voices spoke up - and the Mantorok along with another Monarch class battleship opened fire with thier deadliest weapons, one of the few in the universe without any means of defence.
Anti-matter projectors opened fire without restraint - and the beastly Immortal ship was disected in 5 places - simply sliding apart
in the void before violently exploding.
"Ma'am - casualty reports coming in from the fleet, main assault wings taking heavy damage!" Another voice yelled above the others.
"Anti-matter weapons are having an affect! But Immortal vessels have started using thier black hole missiles!"
"Main drop force is recieving a 45% casualty rate"
"Alpha-Kilo group has been drestroyed!"
"The Solaris has recieved heavy damage!"
"Battleship All Under Heaven has been destroyed"
A caciphony of voices continued - the battle had started a sucsess, and had then turned to a rapidly descending failure - but they only needed one good break and the battle could be theres again.
Then the last voice broke above the rest.
"Lord Shadowscythe! We are picking multiple Hyperspace exit jumps forming behind the fleet! Thier energy readings and formation suggests a Britannian Battlefleet with multiple Dreadnaught class vessels!" A younger bridge hand had managed to yell above the others, and not to her - but to the Admiralty staff themselves.
Her blood froze cold.
Hundreds of white blips formed at the egdes of her eyeline through the glass main screen - accompanied by directional and velocity lines - and then the hulking gray forms of Britannian ships followed them a split second later.
She turned, and looked up to the deck above one last time
"Holy shit . . . " Lord Shadowscythe said out loud, with fear across his face "Maidens of Scythia have mercy on our souls."
White light filled her vision, gravity failed and she was thrown like a rag doll across the deck - towards the stairwell, legs first between solid titanium struts.
Flesh peeled like tissue paper, bones shattered into dust - nerve endings screamed in agony as she saw one man impaled on his feet by a support railing that had been force upwards at blinding speed through the floor above, another screamed his way through a slow and agonising death as his console closed around his legs as another support beam faultered - he screamed as the console, floor and seat closed around him like an iron jaw, his rip cage shattered, his arms severed and held on by meer skin along - and his skull popped like a baloon.
The lights failed, gravity never came back online, the entire section plunged into the blood red depths of hell and suffering.
Darkness came, darkness went.
A voice, a lone - scared an distant voice called out "Is anyone alive in here?!"
"Stay calm, I'm on my way to you!"
She saw a shadow float down, black upon black upon red - a lone drip of kindness in a universe filled with hate and war.
"Its okay, I need you to focus on the sound of my voice" He started, his voice was rough and broken "I will get you out of here"
She tried to look through the haze, but couldn't make out any features - she knew the gesture he was trying to achieve - but surely even he, whoever he was - knew the ship was dead, she was dead, even he was dead.
But it never hurt to die with another, anything was better than dieing alone.
The darkness continued for a while longer, long enough to give into fate.
They where going to die, together - in a desolate sysetm on the edge of now-
The light was bright, white - and welcome.
Was this what death felt like?
If it was, why was everyone screaming, and why was the welcome voice demanding help.
Assyrian? Medical ship? Emperor?
Move aside, help is on the way?
Answers without questions, then the medication came.
Her eyes opened once again, clearer than they where before - the room was white, a medical bay with Assyrian insignia and orange lines across the borders of each wall, it was filled with medical devices and a paled glass door stood at the far end of the room.
She had been saved, by Assyrians? The upstarts certainly had the tech, teleporters and advanced medicines - two technologies the Scythians lagged behind in, but for what reason? they weren't even in the battle where they?
Then the door opened - a medical technition of Assyirian heritage . . . followed by, Lord Shadowscythe himself.
"Awake at last?" He began.
"Where am I?" She asked.
"The Assyrian medical ship Pharmakon, under care with most of our forces from the battle, don't worry - we're in good hands" He replied, somewhat befuddled himself.
She stuttered over her words a little, unsure of what to do or say next, as Lord Shadowscythe moved to a seat just beside her and sat down.
"I suggest you take things slowly Ensign, there are going to be a few shocks to your sysetem by the time this day is through"
(Yep, a flashback - go figure - I liked writing that battle!