Heavensent- Chapter 9, Part 13

Null saw the twin engined plane pass overhead, tracer dancing down either side of it. Then bombs exploded in the antennae above the bridge. He was sliced by a dozen splinters of wooden shrapnel and knocked off his feet.

The bombs from the second plane penetrated the roof of the bridge and the interior was gutted in a flash. All of the command and control crew were dead. Down in the engine room they could hear the explosions, they knew they were under attack, but no-one thought to check the steering and adjust their course. The Waltzer began to wander away from its targets, swinging into a long lazy turn toward the second of the convoy�s defenders.

Despite the loss of their wing leader, the Wasps continued their bombing runs, shattering the Waltzer�s decks. The big gun managed one final round, which flew high and wide. Then a bomb finally smashed through into the magazine. The fireball and shrapnel tore the next Wasp along to shreds and shattered the ship down to its keel.

Finally everyone in the engine room knew there was no hope for the ship. The last of the crew still alive, they headed for the deck, dodging fires and flooding compartments. There was one launch still intact. The last five of the crew clambered in, cut it loose and dropped the spans to the sea. They paddled away as the Waltzer snapped and the two sections sank rapidly.

There were groups of sailors from the sinking attack ship, clinging to makeshift rafts and bobbing in the swell. The battle was over for them and the crew of the Waltzer, so the law of the sea ruled that the sailors in the launch had to help those in the water.