The Pillar - By a Slim Margin
Salis was in agony. Crumpled in his command chair, he pushed his fists into his temples, trying to squeeze the horrors out of his head. His teeth were clinched tight, his eyes shut hard.
Something was trying to invade him. It was trying to break him…and he was losing the fight.
And then a frantic thought hit him. Engines! We kept ‘em spooled. It took every measure of focus and strength he could muster to navigate his console. The engines were at 100%. Green bars. He saw the EXECUTE button pulsing through his tears.
A hot wave of pain shot through his body, sending him into a violent spasm.
Around him, the crew was writhing in anguish. Some were cupping their ears in a futile attempt to block the horrfic squeal. One, the young Ensign, seemed to be clawing at her own face, with a complete disregard to the pain.
He punched in a set of coordinates that would take them far away from here.
The Hammer vanished in an perfect, symmetrical explosion of light.