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I had been briefed, I reviewed the analysis and I had the necessary tools. But nothing prepares you better than live experience.

I reminded myself of this as the station burned around me and secondary explosions pushed my ship off of landing alignment.

The station groaned around me, like a great beast that had been struck a mortal blow.  I knew it would recover, in time all things do.  But time was not my ally right now.  Explosions pushed debris into my path.  I carefully dodged them, setting down on the assigned pad.

Funny how in a crisis we have to cling to what scraps of order we can find.  Clamps secured and my ramp lowered I hastily descended to meet with the technician coordinating evacuations.

“I’ve got room for 96 and not a person more!” I bellowed, trying to be heard over the roar of alarms and fires raging out of control.  The tech nodded, started waving at another tech and together we ushered them into my waiting ship.

All passengers aboard I carefully threaded a path through the tumbling debris and out of the station.  Heat sinks trailing behind me as I struggled to escape without melting a critical system or overloading thruster control.

The FTL hop from damaged station to rescue ship was less than 2 minutes.  Awaiting rescue teams helped disembark the passengers while I had technicians reload the heat sink magazine.  It was only 11am and the day was already looking long.