"Six and seven are gone. Heat levels in eight and nine are rising to critical levels." One of the more level-headed crewmembers reported.
O'Mugyay just stared straight ahead at the fire-washed transmet viewscreen.
"Sir?" The crewman questioned. "Sir, if we don't shut all engines down we're going to risk going critical in eight and nine."
"Navigation, how long to impact?" Captain O'Mugyay ignored his crewman's urgings about engines eight and nine.
"We're through the atmosphere," the navigator replied uncertainly, "less than a minute to impact at current angle and velocity."
"Sir, eight and nine!" The crewman shouted.
"Shut them down!" Capatain O'Mugyay slammed his fist onto the ship's address system. "This is the captain. Brace for impact! We are going in hard!"
Tan cloud-flecked earth filled the transmet viewscreen as the barge went almost completely bow down. "Prepare to fire aft landing thrusters only, on my mark!" O'Mugyay could feel his gorge rising at the sight of the approaching ground.
"Sir, that will spin.."
"Mark!" O'Mugyay shouted, and the objecting crewman dutifully activated the landing thrusters.
Everything spun madly, this last call would be purely up to luck.
"FIRE THEM ALL!!!" O'Mugyay screamed over the tortured wails of the ship trying to tear itself apart.
For one brief instant before Positively 100% Never Crashes slammed spine-down into the Mexican desert O'Mugyay considered just how mad Maximillian would be that his vessel had crashed upside down.
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