Fires sputtered, the warmth drawing those that time and again survived hardships and refused still to yield to them, somewhere a cough broke the silence.
It had been some time since the outer atmosphere had mostly burned off, and with it the orks. None the less the people huddled around the braziers and hearths of the great hall, now finally allowing the medical crew to do their jobs.
All in all it had been a bad day for Sir Bron, he had lost many of his younger fellows to their own stupidity and bravado. He also had been forced (at least that was how he saw the matter) to act in a way that risked him being nominated for promotion, something he most decidedly did not want. As such he walked between the many small fires and groups of survivors with his head bent, ensuring at once he could see any small persons he was about to trample, and thus avoid trampling them, as well as giving him an excuse not to meet any of his peers gazes.
What he did not know was how others would interpret his walking, the direction he walked in, the angle of his helm, or how he seemed to nod every now and than, as if he approved of something. A motion he himself had not even noticed yet.
The common folk sat as close to their fires as they dared when the giant passed, and watched in amazement as he nodded to them so gently.
Respectfully they remained silent, until he was quite well out of ear shot, and still they kept to whispering at best. “He cares you see, he walks amongst us as he were worried, he nods when we be well, he steps round the wee ones, and the injured, not over but round ye see, he be a kind soul I ken it.” Old aunt Farthis whispered hoarsely to her townsmen, all the way from Briarsend they had walked to the castle, by far the furthest trip of any of the remaining survivors. The words of the old woman carried some weight because of it, as many considered her wise. “Them smaller ones, with the fancy white cloths, they be treating the injured, having poultices and such like, because the one told them to, I have seen one of them treating wee Bill from Angledown, the lad cried but I could see the medicine working.” Her niece chimed in conspiratorially, and after that the group was silent as they carefully kept their fire going, marveling at the majesty of their giant.
Meanwhile across the ship, Sir Ingles, ever one to stay positive, believed himself to be having a great day. After all the engine bay was done on schedule, he had minimal losses, and he survived standing far too close to a running ship engine while it was firing at nearly full force, and lived to tell the tale. He was absolutely convinced nothing could sour his mood.
For all his conviction, he had not counted on one thing. The call.
It happened right as he regained consciousness, one moment the infinite abyss was holding him,and the next he heard the shouting voice of Sir Ton, trying to compensate a poor signal by being loud. He himself of course was in no state to respond, which, he could not help but think, contributed to the day being great, after all, any excuse not to be yelled at is a good excuse. So when Dame Spriggot decided to put the call on the engine room comm system so everyone could hear he sort of knew his great day would really turn out to be a different sort of day entirely, namely a not so great day. “ut…gines….eat, Cut….ngines! ” Dame Spriggot stared across the room at the massive inlet manifolds, the heat regulators and the recently repaired engine room, and replied “I’m afraid I can’t do that Sir.” The line died, and the comm system started cycling through all available frequencies.
That was the first time even self deprecating humor and sarcasm failed, and Sir Ingles could do little but sit there.
“Sir we are once again out of range.” It didn’t matter, not really. The plan had been just another one of his hair brained ideas, still it was something the men could do, follow a ship, try to hail it, a reason not to despair. For a moment he closed his eyes, so tired of looking at the blinking lights, forward, left, left, reverse, right, right.
With a jolt Sir Ton Leapt up and over the guard rail, the pattern was familiar, he recognised it, even if he could not recall what it meant he did Know how it would play out, in general lines at least. He brusquely walked up to the screen displaying the Camelot’s position, and tapped where he thought the pattern would take her, a second later and the light blinked on beneath his hand. The crew gasped as this happened four more times, before he bellowed out a set of coordinates. “And prepare to dock during fly by!” with that he ran of the bridge, leaving the entirety of the bridge crew confused, but frantic as they attempted to carry out his order.