Evans scrambled out of the gunpit. He turned back around and helped Rosetta out. The Captain pointed back, “RESCUE STATION! QUICK, THEN BACK TO THE INDIE!”
The boat pitched and Evans rolled to the side. Rosetta grabbed Evans’ shoulder with one hand and with the other grabbed a cleat. She swore something under her breath and helped him up. Keeping a firm grip on his shoulder, she walked him the rest of the way, “I THROW! YOU GRAB!”
She gestured up to the front, the torpedo boat slammed into reverse. The boat slowed and pulled alongside a few soldiers in the water. Rosetta tossed a life ring to one. The soldiers all linked arms and Evans started hauling the line. Rosetta grabbed on behind and helped haul. The first soldier reached up, and Evans knelt down.
The soldier grabbed Evans’ hand. Evans leaned back and dragged the soldier partway out the water until he could make his way out. Evans then switched to the next soldier waiting to be hauled up while Rosetta helped up the third. She waved forward once the soldier got hold. The torpedo boat then slammed forward again. Rosetta led the way to the hatch, helping one of the soldiers while Evans helped along the other two.
There was a whizz that swept past Evans and the soldier on Evans’ left slumped down. He pushed the soldier on his right forward and knelt to the one who was bleeding out on the deck. The puddle of blood on his uniform kept growing. Stomach wound probably. Shit. Evans yanked the knife out of his belt, slipped it under his uniform and cut upwards. There was a large piece of metal sticking out of the soldiers belly. Fuck.
The torpedo boat shook violently as it hit the side of the Indefatigable.
The Indefatigable was the pride of the Ethslin navy. It was the first of Ethslin’s new line of dreadnaughts, commissioned four years before the war began. It had ten thirty centimeter guns, six torpedo tubes, and thirty of eight centimeter guns, like the one on the torpedo boat. It was also bristling with machine guns, capable of sweeping every centimeter of water surrounding the ship. The eight hundred officers and sailors assigned to the ship were the very best and most well connected in the Navy.
For these reasons, it was selected to lead the assault on the Vledscan Coast.