The lights flickered, and then one computer system after another began to shut down. The engine of the anti-grav hover tank shut down and we slammed into the surface of the partially terraformed moon colony. Then the oxygen generators shut down and we REALLY knew we were in trouble. Back up supply would last thirty minutes and then advanced carbon dioxide scrubbers would give us two hours more for a crew of three. Even the emergency beacon was dead and had not transmitted a distress call. All we had was these damned yellow chemical glow sticks to provide light. We were definitely in trouble.
Michel, Franklin, and I (Sam) had launched from the cargo lander an hour ago and given our search area. Rebel activity was light in this area, so four anti-grav tanks were dropped onto this rocky and sand-covered moon to follow a search pattern. Our commanders thought 1000 square kms each is far away enough from each other to explore suspected places for rebels to hide out. We had to stop every few days to replenish our batteries for all of our systems except the main gun. The guys in charge were a paranoid bunch and refused to give us environmental or space certified suits for fear of desertion or defection to the rebels. The most important innovation installed in ALL Republic vehicles was a "KILL SWITCH" to prevent poorly equipped rebel forces from getting even one of these old clunkers we were currently trapped in.
I swear these tanks were close to twenty years old and predated the rebellion. Being the commander/gunner I had to think of what hit us and how to fix it quickly. Franklin the driver and I both saw a quick flash before everything went dark. It could have been an old electromagnetic pulse weapon from fifty years ago. I had Michel, the engineer, do a hard reset of all systems. Nothing, and five minutes wasted. Then, I remembered a rumor that some rebels may have mines or devices which triggered the "Kill Switch". Our leaders vehemently denied such a device was even possible; let alone scrubby colonists from the edges of the Republic could make one. That definitely had to be the answer if THEY denied it THAT MUCH!
Now came the real dilemma faced by all military commanders to let my troops die without knowing when or why or trust they will not freak out and murder us all. A real leader would not tell them anything and let them suffocate in this type of situation. Hell, I'm no real leader and I only got to be commander of this bucket due to having a University degree in Botany and scoring high in marksmanship. A lot of good a degree in plants is doing me when there's dust and rocks as far as the eye can see; as far as our sensors could tell. I didn't see anything to shoot at right now either.
So, I told them, "Guys, WE ARE SCREWED! We have two hours to live and no oxygen on this rock out there." pointing at the hatch.
I gotta give my guys credit. They did not freak out as much as I expected. Franklin had vid glasses with x-rated vids of and from his wife to remind him what is waiting at home so he would not stray or visit prostitutes. It relaxed him, so I left him alone and watched as Michel began to take apart the engine in hopes of converting or using parts to get the oxygen generators working or at least the distress transponder working. He rushed as I ordered him to do a four hour job in thirty minutes. The unfortunate result of rushing was a ton of engine dropping a meter onto and, crushing Michel's skull. At least he had a quick death and would not be suffocating to death like Franklin and I. I still refused to give up hope. There had to be a way to survive this!