93. Boom! Ding dong and all that…

The explosion echoed through the ship and, for a while, I thought we were sinking.  I jumped around and clapped my hands, and generally made a fool of myself. It was over – the game would end. Finally! La, la, la.

I celebrated by stuffing myself with my entire chocolate and soda reserve, and then threw my weapons all round my room. I even looked out my most intact dress – the one that still had a sleeve – but my wave of exultation slowly dissipated when I realised the ship hadn’t, in fact, sunk.

It may have been wounded, but not mortally so.

My mood darkened. Where was that explosion? A quick review of the deck plan, and a proper think about what I’d heard, and I had a pretty good idea.


But hey, perhaps the game is at an end after all?

Weary from my injuries, I made my way to sickbay. After a while, a smoke haze filled the corridors, and when I got closer still, I could see a gaping hole in the wall, where the large window used to be. Glass crackled on the ground as I stepped through it. With a handkerchief delicately pressed to my mouth, I pushed through what remained of the double doors and into sickbay itself.

The nurse was still attending her station – good for her.

To her right, I could see sparking cables, black scorch, and shattered fittings. I stepped around the mangled remains of a wheelchair, and into the usually out-of-bounds recovery area. Here and there, a bed was still merrily burning.  In the worst hit area, in the very epicentre of the explosion, I saw what remained of Bailey.

Good riddance.

It’s over.  The game is over.

That was certainly worth a smile.

I’d won.  I’d beaten him, I’d beaten them all.

I had beaten the ship.

But then, as I turned to leave, I spotted a fragment of red paper amongst the rubble. What wasthat? I wondered.

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