Ensign Mort squealed and nearly dropped the device. Meanwhile, the Impulsive announced 45 seconds to self-destruct.
“Cancel self-destruct,” Jeb cried. “Authorization Jebediah Wisconsin Tiberius, N0-K1ll-I.”
“No can do,” the Impulsive replied. “It’s tied to that damn clock.”
“Fix it, bullpen!” Jeb ordered. “Get creative! Doall?”
“Patch is uploading,” Doall said. The shiny lines and small objects moving quickly toward the star showed Enigo had begun their barrage without waiting for his command. Good. The other ships were also pounding the star with everything they had.
“Patch complete and accepted. It’s rebooting…”
“Fifteen seconds…” Pulsie added.
From the bullpen, the voices of the second string bridge crew were growing frantic as they called out directions and suggestions. The assistant chief engineer rose to assist, but Jeb held up a hand and he sat back down. He had to trust all his crew to solve problems; if the second-stringers weren’t up to the task, they would not be on the bridge.
Of course, if Jeb was wrong, in 10 seconds, no one would be.
“Captain, the Inconceivable is moving toward us naturally now,” Cruz reported.
Meanwhile, Ensign Mort yanked the hands off the clock and threw them on opposite sides of the bridge.
“Nice out-of-the box thinking,” Pulsie said. “Too bad it didn’t work. Five…”
“Physics is returning to normal. The black hole is closing,” Doall said.
“Shoot it!” LaFuentes shouted from his console. Several others were also shouting ideas while Ensign Mort started to quake with panic.
Ensign Mort shrieked with frustration and slammed her hand on the button.
“Self-destruct de-activated,” the Impulsive said. “And to think, just a day ago, I was concerned about scorching on my hull. Kind of puts things into perspective, don’t it?”