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Chapter 9

by Kim L. Smouter author list
in New Worlds: Creative Works > Augusta
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The escape pods were like a meteor shower descending upon Tygris III, as the small crafts entered the ionosphere of the planet. The imaginary shield that protected Tygris III from the elements yielded to the crafts as they continued their rapid descent. Neither the craft, nor the planet particularly wanted to share the same space, as the friction between the escape pods and the planet?s atmosphere caused flames to spew from the nose of the escape pod. The heat shields were working overtime to save the structural integrity of the craft that they were charged to protect.

?Is the prot?g??s escape pod holding out?!?? The Captain screamed, as the aft console of the pod exploded unleashing smoke into the compartment.

?Aye, I?ve got it on sensors, it?s doing A-OK,? The Executive Officer replied.

?Good, I don?t want it to have a rough landing,? The escape pod rocked hard, as hard ice particles smashed onto the hull, ?Report!?

?The hull integrity is down to 78%, we?re landing right in the middle of a god-damn ice storm!?

?They weren?t kidding when they said this was an ice planet,? The Captain commented, as the collision alarms sounded again.

?Trying to level our descent! We?re pitching too steep if we?re going to make a good landing.?

?Increasing power to the fore stabilizers! The heat shield is at 120% above maximum tolerance levels!?

?We?ve gotten a few degrees out of that power push! We might have to cut environmental systems to keep the heat shield going!?

?Trying to triangulate a landing field!?

The indicators were going crazy, as alarm upon alarm sounded to announce various electronic parts of the escape pod failing and deactivating. The escape pod was being bit by bit, brought back into the Stone Age. Only the shield and the hull seemed to be working, as the escape pod continued down on what looked like a free-fall across the atmosphere. She was not alone, around this escape pod, were dozens like them also free falling. Some of them survived, others had to watch as their heat shields gave way and the hull was thrown into bits and pieces.

?Sheist!? The Captain swore, as the port engine was hit by debris from one of the destroyed escape pods, ?We?re leaking fuel!?

?We?re not just leaking fuel, we?re loosing all of it and fast!? The Executive Officer looked at his reading, as he watched the first fuel tank?s numbers drop down rapidly, ?This thing won?t make it!?

?We have to make sure we?re in the lower atmosphere if we want to evacuate! We keep this pod flying or we die here, #1!?

?Affirmative!? The Executive Officer muttered, as he looked at his consoles, ?Diverting power from the engines to the heat shield! We can forget piloting this thing correctly?

?This is Escape Pod 23, we?re going down, I repeat, we are going down!? The Escape pod?s distress signal joined up with others as the escape pods created massive communications traffic, some were mentioning safe landings, and others were sending distress signals.

The Executive Officer looked over his console?s readouts to figure out whether or not it was safe to make the jump. The Captain had already moved back to grab the parachutes, as she tossed a small pack to the Executive Officer. Having secured the parachutes on them, the Captain nodded, and walked over to her console. As she attempted to open the back hatch, the systems failed.

?Damn it to hell! Computer systems have failed! See if you can boot the computer up!?

?I?m not getting a response from the computer.?

?We don?t have time for this!?

?Manual override, Captain??

?It will take too long, our only hope?s getting the computer booted up.?

article index
page 1 - current : Part 1
page 2 : Part 2
page 3 : Part 3
page 4 : Part 4

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