The battle swung in favour of the System. The Service military achieved considerable success both driving back much of the Voracious fleet and, of more permanent importance, destroying many of their vessels completely. Several vessels were taken as prizes and for intelligence purposes. But several Voracious vessels did through the imperfect lines of defence protecting System space. Then, rather than press on into Service space, the Voracious vessels used their positions behind the lines to run a mock, attacking logistic services supporting the Service fleet: the service vessels, docking and repair facilities and nearby space stations. All the while Service tried to catch these Voracious vessels and destroy them. But frequently, Voracious military ships were fast and manoeuvrable and it was difficult to maintain contact with them. Often these Voracious ships could cause considerable damage before they, themselves, were annihilated.
So it was that when The Protector finally achieved its allotted station at the back of the zone of hostilities, it immediately found itself joining a battle between a fast and agile Voracious warship and two Service vessels which were attempting to catch and destroy it. Functionary rushed to stand on the Bridge, to observe the skirmish and fulfil his role in battle. At such times, the potential functions of Functionary were to ensure both internal security and, perhaps more importantly, to co-ordinate any emergency response to damage and loss of life-support systems or to the invasion of the ship by hostile forces. But at that moment, the crew was concentrated upon the external danger and there was no hint disobedience to which the security section needed to respond. Similarly, there appeared to be no imminent threat of the ship being invaded. Therefore, Functionary could give all his attention to activity on the Bridge and to the events displayed on the main screen.
<Toc | Previous Page | Next