by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
Fireball XL5, the pride of the World Space Patrol, has been left critically damaged by an encounter with a hyper-velocity space storm!
XL5 was on routine patrol duty on the outer edges of Sector 25 when the navigation computer went haywire, detecting a ferocious space storm bearing down on the craft. Wasting no time, Colonel Steve Zodiac and Robert the Robot set an evasive course to avoid the main body of the storm. Unfortunately, the incredible speed of the storm left little time to move out of its path and Fireball was struck hard.
The hull plating was badly damaged and torn away completely on some of the ships more vulnerable sections. The nutomic hyperdrive reactor was instantly shut down to prevent a catastrophic overload, leaving the ships engines useless and internal systems on minimum reserve battery power. Fireball began to drift aimlessly through the sector, with no way to correct its course.
The navigation bay took a beating too, with the astrascope, spacemascope and other instruments rendered virtually useless. Professor Matthew Matic was on duty at the time and suffered severe injuries as Fireball rocked to and fro at the storms mercy. Doctor Venus, herself sustaining superficial injuries, was able to get him to sickbay quickly and stabilize him, but his condition is thought to be serious.
Colonel Zodiac escaped with a gash on the head and a few cracked ribs, soon tended to by Doctor Venus, but co-pilot Robert’s circuits were overloaded by the storms magnetic gravaflux waves and he remains inoperable. Zoonie the Lazoon proved to be the most resilient of the crew, partly due to the Lazoon’s acquired resistance to spacial phenomena in his native solar system.
As the mighty craft spiraled slowly through the void, Zodiac and Venus assessed the damage and made small repairs wherever possible, but the majority of the problems they faced were outside their ability to resolve without external assistance. Ship to base communications were cut at the moment of impact and repairing two-way communication was out of the question.
As a result, Space City was unable to raise XL5 for several hours after the disaster, but fortunately Colonel Zodiac was able to improvise a distress beacon to contact WSP command on Earth. Fireball XL9 and Space Rescue 1 are currently en route to XL5’s approximate position to begin a repair and recovery operation. It is understood that International Rescue have been informed of the situation and are standing by to assist if required.