Chapter 22 Mended and Broken

The seventh replacement plate for the inlet manifold seemed to fit just right, and with it the job was done, that was to say, the job on this part of the fifth starboard forward propulsion unit. Just twenty more to go and the Camelot’s main thrusters would, at the least, not be a leaky sieve anymore. “I sometimes forget that we still have a veritable mountain of menial labour left to do, but moments like this make the day worthwhile even while knowing that.” Sir Ingles fifth grand mechanic of the order of the road had spoken with a jovial tone to his voice as he wiped the sweat from his brow. “Come now my friends, do not fret, we shall have this beauty flying free again within the year!”His fellow Knights smirked, and nodded, before moving to the next chamber. Immediately they regretted it, in parts of the chamber a force field was all that kept the void of space at bay, pieces of the enormous manifolds had just plain fallen off, and generators were sparking just to maintain atmosphere, the nearby atmos-organ wheezing and hacking. “Helmets and mag locks friends! We walk the thin line here! Let us fix the wall first, atmos next! Step to!” His voice was less jovial, but maintained a slight upbeat note to it. “I would like to say let’s skip this part today sir, but I think we all know it would likely  break overnight.” Dame Miriam Spriggot, lesser mechanic and Sir Ingles first overseer chuckled as she made the remark, and most of the others joined her as they snapped their helmets and safety lines in place, magnetic anchor cables to the most secure bulkheads, magnetic hand grips kept ready for the areas they would work in. Overal the mood was good in spite of the severity of the situation.

Until the generator finally died. The doorway sealed itself with a loud clang as the air pressure dropped and the precious atmosphere in the engine chamber got vented into the void, security lines snapped tight, toolboxes were grasped and handclamps strained under the sudden tension, then there was silence, no more tugging or sucking, within a moment the pressure was gone. Headsets blared into life as the comm channels went live, one by one they sounded of according to rank, beginning with the lowest ranking, working their way up the chain of command. four knights were unaccounted for. “It would seem most of us made it, however I can’t be certain the four missing knights have been sucked out Sir.” the statement puzzled Sir Ingles. “you mean to say we might have a few that took unauthorised leave?” His voice was harsh now, angry yet concerned. “No sir, merely that they may be on the supply run, Truth is I lost my clipboard just now so I can’t be certain.” Involuntarily the knights started chuckling. “Void be damned! I lost my wrench,” soon followed, as the mechanics and engineers started checking their own gear. “Sir Ingles. The door seems jammed, did something happen?” Sir Janosh, one out of four Knights unaccounted for  requested. “Sir Janosh, how many Knights are with you?” Relief was obvious in his voice, as was hope.  “We are four total Sir, Berkin, Krim, and Daman as well as myself.” All four were accounted for. “We are void locked, hence we require resupply via the outer hull, prioritize hull plates please, as well as structural support beams,and if you find three wrenches and a clipboard  floating around out there please recover those too.” the last part was added with a chuckle. Thus the order of the road continued as they always did, repairing the ship and making it ready.
Somewhere halfway through the day there was a request for aid from Sir Ton, the acting Commander aboard the Camelot, and Dame Krim was elected to go as she was the only senior officer who was not locked in a void bare room, Similarly chirurgeon  Tyelin of the order of the serpent was sent for, the latter specifically by name. All this happened without Knight Commander Damodred being alerted or even informed, as he had been rather obvious in offering his friend a position of command and removing himself from the equation.
And although his reasons seemed clear, he had not actually given them any.

Mordred smiled, the sun was low, the shadows deep, and the filthy horde surrounding the Camelot’s walled fortress was facing away from him. Nonetheless he moved with caution, his black plate armour seemingly absorbing the light rather than reflecting it as he moved slowly closer to the horde. Today would be a good day, his steps were muffled and his breathing was light. Gwenn34 displayed the field before him in infrared overlay on his heads up display, allowing him to grasp the scope of enemy movements, none were approaching, or even facing him, as such he almost felt bad about it when he sheathed Merlin in the first foe he could grasp. Almost. In fact he was rather happy he could flex and move freely again, as such he rejoiced in the act of killing the varying monsters before him, tall hulking brutes, some with too many arms, others with tails and still others seemed to have too many mouthes and teeth in places they did not belong. He could not find a single child, but barely paid any heed to it, as throughout the night he carved a bloody swath through the Ork lines in utter silence, the discipline of quiet killing allowing his mind to relax, as it slipped into rythmes and patterns ingrained by decades of training with his brethren. By the time dawn broke the orks noticed the murder that had been inflicted upon them, single hits single kills one and all, the alarms raised and the remaining orks started milling about trying to find the killer, not realizing he stood before them, challenging them as he stood between them and the hole through which the few human orks had fallen, had Sir Ton been at the wall at that time he would have laughed and cheered him on, now it were the order of the lance and the order of the shield that cried out in surprise as the bloodied figure became revealed by the mornings first light, armour adorned with cruel barbs, seeming to drink in the sun’s early light, ragged red cloak clasped across one shoulder bearing the mark of the order of the sword, Merlin glistening with the murk that was half coagulated ork blood. that morning both sides saw the true terror of war as the ork horde charged their murderer and died trying to kill him, and it was exactly as Sir Ton had thought, like throwing live mice into a running blender, bloody loud and utterly pointless.

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