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A Tangled Ball of Yarn - Ep3
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daveb63
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Eagle in Flight

A Tangled Ball of Yarn - Ep4
eagle_in_flight.doc
Keywords male 687900, female 566876, dog 90756, rat 11773, scifi 1739, golden eagle 465, goshawk 9
Eagle In Flight


Edwards AFB (Space Command section) BOQ

A high pitched beeping sounded in a darkened bedroom. It was shortly joined by the sound of muffled cursing from underneath the bed covers. A feathered arm emerged from the tangled sheets and the hand at the end of it slammed down with precision on the alarm clock.

The beeping didn't stop.

Shaking her head to force herself fullly awake, Ty leaned over, wrapping the covers around her body to preserve her modesty, then activated her bedside console. This time the beeping stopped. The screen lit to show the duty officer at his desk.

"Sorry to wake you, Major, but we've got a stand-by alert from Highpoint.They need you to prep for possible departure within three hours."

"Prep for departure within three to Highpoint. Understood. I'll be over at lifesystems in 30."

"Got it, Major. They are staging your gear now. Out." The screen blanked, returning the room to darkness.

"Console. Lights, thirty percent." smoothly the lights in the room ramped up to the desired level, bright enough to see clearly, dim enough that freshly awakened eyes wouldn't find it unpleasant. Grumbling under her breath, Ty crawled out of bed, flipped the switch on the coffee machine as she walked past it then headed to the bathroom. Once there, she cranked the shower to the almost scalding temperature that was all that made her find a liquid shower tolerable and then attended to other needs while the water warmed up.

A few minutes later the golden eagle was standing in the dryer, fluffing her feathers in the airflow and grumbling again.

"Goddamn lowest bidder apartments.. You'd think they'd at least have thought that there's a lot of avians in this particular line of work and that perhaps we weren't all ducks and geese! These feathers were not evolved to be washed like that, idiots! I've fucking flown missions to take utrasonic 'shower' modules to half a dozen stations but will they let me have one in my own quarters? Goddamn Air Farce.. "

Finally dry, she headed back to her bedroom, grabbed the thermal coffee mug from under the brewer and pulled a coverall from her closet. Not bothering with underwear that she wouldn't be wearing for more than a few minutes anyway, she pulled it on and sealed it, then sank down on the edge of the bed taking a slug of coffee. Staring into the mirror at her reflection, clothed in a plain blue coverall with a "McMahon" name tape across her left breast, she sighed.

"Tell me again why I put up with this shit?" Her reflection didn't reply, but she knew the answer anyway. She was a command-rated astronaut and she loved to fly.

As Ty stepped out of her quarters she shivered. It was in the low thirties, unseasonably cold for  early October and there was a wind whipping across the dry lake bed that stung exposed skin with particles of dust and salt. she broke into a brisk jog, heading for the life systems building. With any luck the exercise would keep her warm.

---------------------

"Major McMahon, you're going to want to hustle Ma'am. They are prepping a screamer and you need to be ready for briefing in about 20 minutes."

"Thanks, Sarge. Which bay is my gear staged in?"

"Same as always for you, Altair. Bay sixteen." Ty grinned at the automatic use of her callsign. The pilot instructor on her first orbital flight in control had spotted the constellation Aquilia in front of them as they went black-sky and had decided on the spot that the eagle sitting in the other seat should have a callsign reflecting the brightest star in that constellation.

Ty hurried into the bay and saw all her gear laid out. She shed her coverall and started the process of gearing up for a flight. Telemetry skinsuit first. The flexible garment was inflated by a stream of air making it easy to step into and wrap around herself. Once all her limbs were within it, she pushed the button on the wall console that collapsed the suit around her, conforming to her body.

"Monitors check"

"We got them, Major. Good to finish suiting up. Although your heart rate is a little elevated. We can put that down to irritation at being rousted out of bed at this ungodly hour."

"You got that right. Clear to continue?"

"Roger."

Ty stepped over to the rack that held her flight suit and fitted it arond her body. She hated the next step but did it anyway.

 "Flight suit ready."

"Interface is online. Stand by for cath."

Ty winced, but managed not to curse out loud as the catheters extended from her flight suit and invaded her body. She knew it was necessary but  hated the sensation.

"Flight suit shows green."

"Going for disconnect check" She punched a toggle on her wrist-mounted control panel and the connectors between the flight suit and the wall fell away.

"Showing batteries fully charged, emergency O2 reserve full. Both good for about five minutes once you seal your helmet.We've delivered your main EPU to the crew prepping your screamer. It will be ready whenever you are."

"Then I'm heading for briefing." She grabbed her helmet off the rack and stalked out of the bay.

-----------------------------------

Mission briefing

"Ty I'm sorry for this but Tony has come down with some crud right before he was due to command a mission to the L2 observatory. Janet was the backup pilot for that run but we had to reassign her to an emergency run to lunar alpha yesterday evening. That leaves us with no command pilots available at Highpoint for this mission. Everyone still available is orbital rated only so since you're in the box for stand-by one this week, you're up. You will pilot a screamer to highpoint  and take over the command pilots slot on the mision. Your screamer is on the ramp. "

"Got it, Sir. Standard Highpoint approach?"

"Mission data is in your PDA. Highpoint is currently low-traffic so you're cleared for a shortest duration flight profile to approach the station. Go grab some stick time, Major. See you in a couple of months."

-------------------------

Walking around the sleek craft on the ramp, Ty's mood was considerably improved. She loved to fly. She was current on several terrestrial and orbital craft but the SCRAM-R light courier was definitely one of her favorites. It didn't have a lot of capacity, but then with Highpoint established, nobody flew heavy-lift missions to orbit any more. The graceful craft, affectionately dubbed the "screamer" by its pilots, looked like it belonged tearing through the sky at mach6 or above. It looked fast even sitting still. As a matter of fact, it did belong at high speeds. Even the pilots that loved it most ferventely, of which Major Tyler McMahon was definitely one, would admit that below mach1 it handled like a barge. They would almost always then point out that the usual screamer flight profile had it subsonic for only a few minutes just after the wheels left the ground or just before landing.

Climbing the ladder into the cockpit she ran a quick diagnostic on her EPU, fitted into the back of her seat. The Environment and Power Unit, to give it its full title, contained her suits main oxygen and power supplies. While fitted to the seat, it was continually replenished from the screamer. If she had to go EVA it would come with her, attached to her suit, and give her about three hours endurance. Strapping into it, she brought the screamers systems live. She settled her helmet on her head, reached up and sealed it. That activated her helmets HUD, currently showing, as usual, a breakdown of the screamers small cargo manifest, weight and fuel load numbers and a flight profile summary. She scanned it and frowned, reaching down with her beak to tap one of the in-helmet icons.

"Cargo control, Altair in screamer three two alpha."

"Altair, Cargo. Go ahead."

"What the hell is a 'treasure chest' and why is it in my hold?"

"Special delivery for L2, Major. It's going with you all the way. Couldn't send it up by a climber, there's perishable and time sensitive stuff in there. Looks just like a EC-328 cargo pod to me, but when some guy with stars on his collar tells me to log it as a treasure chest and grins at me like that, I don't argue too hard."

"Fair enough, Cargo. Manifest accepted. Altair out." Next icon slected was base operations.

"Ground ops, Altair in three two alpha. I am manifest accepted, fully loaded and ready for staging."

"Altair, Ops. Your tow is arriving on the ramp now. Estimate twelve minutes until you're pointed at the sky."

"I see him, Ops. Controls neutralized, engines safed. Clear to hook up and drag my feathered butt over to the runway."

-------------------------

"Tow has cleared the safety zone, Altair."

"Roger, Ops. Be advised my vehicle is hot."

"Acknowledge vehicle hot, Altair. Your safety zone is red until you leave or tell us otherwise."

Another quick peck at an in-helmet icon. "Spacecraft control, Altair in screamer three two alpha. Staged, hot and ready for departure to Highpoint."

"Altair, Control. Please hold, your orbital path shows clear of conflict for the next ninety minutes and our colleagues on the other side of the field need to get some of your lower flying cousins on the ground first."

"Roger. Holding." Ty finished off the process of preparing the screamer to take off by toggling the computer into flight mode. Two seconds later she heard a soft contralto in her headset.

"Systems nominal, ready for departure."

-----------------------------

Astronauts are, in some respects, no different from twentyfirst century airline passengers. It was only ten minutes that Ty had to hold before receiving her clearance, but it felt a lot longer. Ty drew a huge sigh of relief, wriggled her shoulders to loosen up her arms and moved her throttle through the first gate.

"Control, Altair. Lighting the fires." Thirty seconds later, the screamer was ready to roll. Smoothly Ty slid the throttles up to the second gate, through it and into afterburner. The variable-mode engines spewed tails of fire, bright shock-diamonds showing in the afterburner plumes. The computer tripped the brakes as soon as the engines built to takeoff thrust and the screamer lived up to its sobriquet, the gel-filled g-seat wrapping itself around Ty like a lover as 4 g's of acceleration pushed her back into it. She was already pulling gently back on the sidestick in her right hand when the computers voice prompted her...

"Rotate"

As the screamer pulled free of the earth into its proper element, Ty reached for a switch. As soon as the computer detected no weight on the wheels and a positive rate of climb, they were retracted automatically, but Ty threw the manual switch to do so anyway. 90 seconds after the landing gear thudded into its wells a sonic boom echoed over the chilly desert below. Ty flipped the cover off the switch on her throttle controls and slid it one notch to the left. The computer handled the sequencing.. shut down afterburner, decouple the compressor on the jets, reconfigure the intake to ramjet mode, boost fuel flow..  half a second after pressing the button, the third gate on the throttle unlocked and Ty pushed it forward, accelerating the screamer to mach4 and steering for her next waypoint.

"Altair has transition one. Closing on origin point for insertion climb."

"Clear of conflict, Altair. You are go for black sky."

"Roger. Flight plan as briefed, single orbit to rendezvous. Transition from air-breathing to pure rocket mode under computer control, altitude priority. Throttling up for origin now."

---------------------------

Highpoint was now clearly visible. The station at the geostationary point on the beanstalk was clearly built for function rather than beauty, but Ty loved it every time she saw it. This was Earths port from which ships left to explore the universe. The green lines in her HUD were precisely overlaying the red ones and she brought up her comm systems again.

"Highpoint, Altair. On guidance, approaching at zero point seven four. Standing by for interlock."

"Roger Altair. Interlock in three, two, one, mark." Ty checked the row of six green lights that had illuminated on her console and took her hands off the controls, reaching one finger to flip a switch.

"Local slaved to remote. Don't crack my shell bringing me in, Highpoint."

"Docking in nine minutes, Altair. Highpoint out."

---------------------

"There is no way I'm authorizing that. I'm the command pilot, I sign off on the manifest before I take that puppy out of orbit!"

"I'm sorry, Major, I can't pull a pod from staging for an inspection on your say-so."

"Fine. List it as-is. Overwrite with my previous manifest. List the fucking thing as a treasure chest already. Just make sure that pod is loaded last so I can jettison it first "

“That's a given. Everything else is already loaded.”

“Ok, then manifest accepted, I guess.”

-------------

“Supply mission two three seven one four. Highpoint to L2. Major McMahon commanding, callsign Altair. Begin mission log.” The computers voice answered her immediately.

“Mission log created. Awaiting first entry.”

“Begin recording. Heavy transport 'Cassius' is at Highpoint depzrture dock, personnel accounted for, all cargo stowed and secured. Departure for L2 station in twenty three minutes. Pilot in command is Major McMahon, mission specialist is Captain Tanner, engineer is Master Sergeant Cole. That is the entire crew roster for this mission. In addition to resupplying L2 station, this mission will serve as Captain Tanner's qualification flight for command pilot rating. Accordingly, he is granted temporary command of the Cassius and full access to computer command functions. Estimated mission duration is eight weeks. End recording.” Ty stretched and pulled herself out of the left seat in front of the command station. “Over to you, Nutkin. Don't tourque a docking clamp pulling her out.”

The diminutive grey squirrel settled himself in the recently vacated seat and squirmed a bit as it adjusted to his settings  from those of the much larger golden eagle. He grinned over at Ty as he strapped himself in. “You outrank me, Altair, so my response to that remark would be entirely inappropriate and a violation of military discipline.”

“Fuck you too, Charlie.” Both furs laughed as they proceeded with preparing their craft for departure. They'd flown together before and were both enthusiastic supporters of the unofficial principle that “military discipline” extended no further than geostationary orbit except in a crisis. When a small crew had to spend months at a time in close proximity to each other, as every mission beyond lunar orbit entailed, astonauts tended to be mostly informal. Deep space was not an environment where a martinet would survive very long. Docked at Highpoint, though, they were on the edge. Some folks said that while attached to Highpoint, they were still in the “Mickey Zone”, others were of the opinion that since the departure dock was outboard of the COG of the station, they were already beyond geostationary and could cut up as much as they liked.

“Ty, you know as well as I do that I'd be more interested in Dimitry than your feathered ass. Sadly, he doesnt swing that way which is just as well because Paul would kill me if I fooled around on a mission.”

“How's Paul doing, by the way? I heard he was up for chief medical officer, Highpoint?”

“He got it. He gets the promotion and the change in title first of the month.”

“Beers are on me when we get back!”

“Unless you flunk me, then he's gonna be after your hide.”

“Charlie, you've been qualified for months. It's not your fault that you had to wait this long to get your official check ride and first flight in command.”

“Speaking of which, I show ready to release with departure burn in seven minutes. After the docking clamps release, Major, please position us for transit insertion.”

“Aye Aye, Captain.”

“We're Air Force, not Navy, but I'll let that slide while we're in these seats.”

“Like I said earlier. Fuck you too, Charlie.” Heavy transport Cassius moved to its departure orbit without a hitch.

-----------------------

Three days into the run, Ty was monitoring flight deck systems when an alarm screamed, followed by a deafening cacophony of bangs echoing through the transport. The ship shuddered and sparks danced across the flight deck consoles as the lights went out.

“Fuck!”

Ty followed the initial exclamation with a steady stream of profanity as she grabbed her helmet from the hook on the seat, slammed it into place so fast that the seal ring left a scratch on her beak and locked it down. By the time she had it sealed, the red emergency lights were on. They provided the only illumination on the flight deck. Every console appeared to be dead. Turning her head to look over her shoulder she saw the heavy emergency bulkhead was closed, sealing off the flight deck from the rest of the craft. A trio of indicators glowed solid red next to it, indicating that beyond it lay hard vacuum. She glanced out the viewport and the rapid drift of stars across her field of view confirmed what her inner ear was telling her. The ship was tumbling violently and from time to time a couple of pieces of debris were visible. Fortunately, however, the flight deck appeared to be still attached to the rest of the ship. She toggled her suit comms onto the emergency band.

“Charlie, Dimitry? You guys alive back there?”

“We're here, Major. Captain Tanner was thrown against a locker and has a broken wrist, we are otherwise uninjured. As soon as I have him safely strapped in I'm going to see about the power situation.”

“Suit and helmet discipline is in force throughout the spacecraft until further notice, people.”

“Unable to comply, Major. We have access to the emergency suits in the locker here and on the lifeboat but that is all. Our full suits are in the locker by the airlock and the frame ten bulkhead is showing vacuum forward.”

“Have an emergency suit and a life-ball within reach at all times then.” Neither one was an ideal solution. Emergency suits had nowhere near the capabilities of a custom fitted full suit. Minimal comms and power. Life-balls had longer lasting air supplies but even less comms.

“I'm fully suited since I was under flight deck rules. My EPU will sustain me three hours, so you got two to get the power back on. After that I'm going to have to think about getting myself out of here. Priority one, power and life systems. Priority two, some flight control would be nice. Until we can stop this damn tumble there's no way we can keep a high-gain lock on anything so we're incommunicado.”

“Hang in there, Major. I'm on it.”

---------------------------------

It took forty minutes before the emergency lights snapped off, being replaced by normal flight deck illumination. About half the consoles reset and started coming back online, the rest remained dark. A swift check of flight deck life systems showed power and air available, so Ty plugged her EPU back in and unsealed her helmet.

“Nice work, guys. Looks like I'll possibly have attitude control back as soon as everything resets up here.”

“Might want to be careful there, Major. I've got a remote camera looking over the boom right now and there's a lot of structural damage. Can you access the feed from camera three?”

“Yeah, I have feeds. No camera control but I can see the images. Looks like we got nailed by a rock. We're not going to patch that anytime soon. You guys can EVA out of the lifeboat lock but you got no full suits. Main boom airlock is part of that hole. Can you get a camera angle that looks into it more directly?”

“Sure can, Major, but I'm pretty certain you're not going to like it.”

She didn't. The tangled mess offered no gap large enough to get out through.

“Looks like I'm isolated up here for the duration. The emergency locker here has enough ration packs to last, the flight decks life support is independent of the rest of the craft. I won't be comfortable but I'll make it.

“Just as well, Major, because life support down here is in the red. Primary and secondary scrubbers both gone. In a couple of hours we are going to be living in the lifeboat.”

“This a direct order. Get in the lifeboat and launch it.”

“What about you, Major?”

“Somebody has to stick with this godforsaken pile of crap and deal with the insertion burn at L2. Without it we'll plow right through the array and possibly even nail the habitat. From here the lifeboat has enough delta-v to get to Lunar orbit rendezvous. Leave it more than another day and you have to stick around for almost the whole trip and head for L2. With the scrubbers out down there, you'll be pushing the lifeboats resources doing that. Besides, if the flight deck breaks off in maneuvering then you can come and get me if you're already launched.”

-------------------------

Surveying the status indicators for the maneuvering thrusters, Ty grumbled softly under her breath. The aft thruster clusters showed green, the forward ones however, while operational, were low on fuel. The transfer line from the main tanks to the thrusters local reserve had been severed by the meteorite. The large red “NULL POSITION” warning on the nav console was expected. Since the craft had been tumbling since the nav computer reset it hadn't been able to get a stable fix.

“Ok, let's see if we can fix that.”

Staring out the viewport, she watched the angle at which the stars wheeled past. Glancing down to the readouts from her gyros, she set her hand on the thruster controls. With a delicate touch, one axis at a time, she slowed the tumble. As the craft approached stability, the nav systems slowly recovered.

“Lifeboat one, Altair. Looks like the Cassius' computer wasn't as fried as we feared. Position fix positive, attitude maintenance is online. Computer is restoring regular flight attitude now. You're clear to burn for departure. See you back on Highpoint.”

“Altair, Nutkin. Good luck, Major”

“Get back safe and you pass your checkride, Charlie.”

As the lifeboat pulled away, the comm system pinged at her. With the craft stabilized it had been able to realign.

--------------------------------

“L2 Control, this is heavy transport Cassius. We have suffered an in flight emergency. Respond please.”

“Cassius, this is L2 control. State emergency”

“Rock strike. Flight deck isolated by damage but intact, main crew compartment life support red. Pilot remains on flight deck, other crew have departed in the lifeboat. I've partial nav systems but the main computer is out. I'm down to shuttle-era instrumentation and flight control here.”

“Wait one, Cassius.”

“Cassius, L2. Is your beacon operational?”

“Negative, L2.”

“Ok, we can work around that when you get a little closer. At this time L2 operations is reserving channel three seven for you. There will always be somebody listening for you there and we'll contact you on that channel if we need anything.”

Ty pushed a couple of buttons. “L2, Altair, in command Cassius. Comm check on channel three seven.”

“Altair, Slingshot in L2 command. Five by five.”

The richness of the voice over the comm channel startled Ty. There was a resonance to it she wasn't used to hearing over the narrow bandwidth used by regular communications.

“Well, Slingshot, this bird is going to grab a snack and try and sack out while I still have the leisure to do so.”

“Take your time, Altair. We have a couple of days before we can start feeding you nav updates and you're still eight from L2 approach range. The docs are asking if you can redirect your suit telemetry to this channel before you take a nap. They want to be able to monitor you in case something happens while you're asleep.”

“The flight deck telemetry relay is somewhat crispy, Slingshot, with the nearest spare the wrong side of the damage zone. I'll see if I can lash something together but no promises.”

------------------------------

Over the next two days, Ty worked on what repairs she could. It was a shorter list than she'd hoped it would be, too many of the failures were simply due to the flight deck controls being cut off from the systems they were supposed to handle.  She spent a lot of time on the comm system, chatting to L2, quite frequently to Slingshot.

“Hey, Slingshot. How come you're the one babysitting me so often?”

“What makes you think it's babysitting?”

“Ah, come on. They assigned me a dedicated channel to keep me from going stir crazy now that this is a solo ride. That much was obvious. Seems I get the same individual more often than not when you'd think they would rotate it out by shifts.”

“Maybe the shrinks decided that some level of consistency would be helpful, or maybe I just like the sound of your voice. Take your pick.”

“I'd bet on option one.”

“You'd bet wrong. I can talk to you while doing my regular work here and I don't mind. You make charming conversation and if my being here helps any, that's a bonus isn't it?”

“Slingshot are you flirting with me on an official channel?”

“If I was, I'd be asking you to call me Adam instead of by my callsign.”

“There's more reasons than flirting to be on a first name basis. Heck, I'd say that I'm likely to go the next week with you being the bulk of my social interactions is probably grounds enough on its own.”

“So you wouldn't mind me calling you 'Tyler' instead of 'Altair' or Major'?”

“Ty. My friends call me Ty.”

------------------------------

“Ty, I've got two pieces of good news for you.”

“That will be a nice addition to the day.”

“Darkside station reports retrieving the lifeboat. Captain Tanner and Sergeant Cole are fine.”

“Good to hear, Adam. Thank you. What's the other piece of news?”

“A little more personally relevant. We turned one of the scopes in the array to try and pick you up optically. We've been tracking you for a few hours now and we have enough data to calculate a course correction for you. They'll have it to you in a few minutes.”

“So as long as the diagnostics didn't lie to  me and the main engines don't blow I should be one step closer to docking at L2.”

“It would be a shame if the engines did blow and I never found out what you look like”

“Oh, bullshit Adam. You've got my entire file right there. Of course you know what I look like.”

“Just a summary, actually, and no pictures. Would you like me to ask for one?”

“Allow me to keep my feminine aura of mystery a little longer.”

“Deal. After the course correction, Ty, you'll have to tell me more about your mysterious self that isn't in the files.”

“Only if turnabout is fair play.”

“That's fair. Going to hand you off to control now, for the course correction data.”

Ty smiled to herself and then her eyes snapped wide open. “Sonofabitch,” she announced to the empty flight deck, without transmitting. “The guy is flirting with me!” Left unsaid, even to an otherwise deserted spacecraft was the followup thought. “...and I'm flirting back.”

-----------------------------------------

“Adam, I need to talk to control. I'd like to discuss the numbers for my final insertion burn.”

"What's up, Ty? You've still got almost two days before you need that set up.”

“I know. Call me paranoid but I'd like to have them programmed well in advance just in case anything happens.”

“Ok. They'll be on in a moment to relay the latest calculation. Remember we're still tracking you optically since you don't have a beacon so we're refining the numbers all the time.”

“So long as any errors are on the conservative side. Don't want to get this far and still plow the Cassius right through the array.”

-------------------------

“Andy, you there?”

“Sure am, Ty. What's on your mind?”

“You know you were talking about what I look like a few days ago?”

“I do, Ty. I still haven't given in to temptation and requested a picture. You keep your aura of mystery still.”

“Maybe you should, Adam. Because if you don't you're probably not going to see me at my best.”

“Ty, you're starting to worry me. What's going on?”

“That last maintenance burn stressed the boom a bit. Secondary O2 storage vented. I'm running the scrubbers at max and I've dropped the partial pressure on the flight deck, but in about 20 hours I'm going to be down to what's in my EPU and the emergency supplies.”

“That could be enough, Ty.”

“Could be doesn't cut it out here, Adam. I'm not giving up and I'll do everything I can to make it stretch but the way I see the numbers I'm going to come up a little short at the end of the trip.”

“Don't you dare give up, Ty. I was looking forward to not being the only raptor on the station for a while.”

“Wait, you're a... “

“Goshawk, Ty. I'm a goshawk.”

“When it starts running out, Adam... stay with me?”

“I'll be here, Ty. I'll always be here. I knew something was wrong when you were so insistent on failsafing that final burn.”

“Guess my aura of mystery didn't work too good on that.”

“You're not alone, Ty. Hang in there and keep on doing what you know how to do.”

-----------------------------------

“Ty? Still with me, Ty?”

“Barely. EPU shows about 10 minutes left and that's running it so low that I'm almost fading here.”

“I need you to keep it together for five more minutes. Five more minutes, that's all. Can you do that for me, Ty? Can you stay with me that long?”

“For you? Yeah I can do that. Such a shame.”

“What do you mean, Ty? What's a shame?”

“Just... I never....... got.. to.. see.....”

“Got to see what, Ty? Talk to me. Just a few more minutes. Talk to me.”

“If you are as handsome... as your voice sounds... “

“Ty? Ty! TY!!!”

--------------------------------------

“Ty. Wake up, Ty.”

“uhhhhn.. Adam, it's not going to work. I'm not going to make it.”

“You already did, Ty. You made it. You're in the L2 infirmary.”

“Adam?”

“Told you I'd always be here, didn't I?”

“How the fuck?”

“One of our utility craft here is a converted salvage tug. Since you were sealed in your suit we blew an entry port in the roof of your flight deck and vented it, hauled you out and stuffed you in a life-ball so we could crack your suit and get you some O2.”

“Did the burn.. “

“Totally on schedule, Ty. Right in the slot. We're unloading cargo now.”

Ty's eyes snapped open, and her breath caught as she looked at Adam for the first time. “Oh my. Now this was a view definitely worth surviving for.”

“You're kinda cute yourself, Major Tyler McMahon. Now what's the big deal about the cargo?”

“Whatever that thing was labeled as a fucking treasure chest.”

“That, Ty, was gifts from our dirtside families and the makings of our thanksgiving dinner. At which, I hope you're feeling well enough to be my guest tomorrow. You're the most popular lady on this station right now and I intend to shamelessly monopolize your company.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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by daveb63
First in pool
Last in pool
This was originally intended to be part of a writing challenge, but thanks to a hardware failure while it was still a WIP, it never got finished in time for the challenge. I finished it anyway.

Keywords
male 687,900, female 566,876, dog 90,756, rat 11,773, scifi 1,739, golden eagle 465, goshawk 9
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 5 years, 1 month ago
Rating: General

MD5 Hash for Page 1... Show Find Identical Posts [?]
Stats
56 views
4 favorites
13 comments

BBCode Tags Show [?]
 
kemosabe
5 years, 1 month ago
I liked it.  very much.
daveb63
5 years, 1 month ago
Thank you - that is all a storyteller can ask, that at least one listener appreciated the tale they heard :)
kemosabe
5 years, 1 month ago
I almost want to ask you to write more.  This genre, near-future space fiction, is terribly under-done, and you seem to have the mindset/bailiwick to be able to do it very well.  but you have a lot on your plate, so...
daveb63
5 years, 1 month ago
Have you ever read Chris Claremont's (yes, the guy that wrote the text for almost all of the Wolverine X-men canon) Sundowner trilogy? Titles are "First Flight" "Grounded" and "Sundowner" If you like near-future space with the added twist of first contact with a (mostly) feline race it should be right up your alley :) Not sure if any of them are still in print but a lot of second-hand bookstores have them (of course I could be just spoiled by having 'Uncle Hugo's' just down the road in Minneapolis)
kemosabe
5 years, 1 month ago
There are stores that sell books?  O.o
Neosate
5 years, 1 month ago
Really good story. Love the near future wist. and interesting use of treasure chest.

Only thing I noticed was during one scene you switched Andy for Adam and switched it back with no cover, such as a stress excuse.


Required Elements:
1. Ends at thanksgiving
2. Does take place mid fall ending on the holiday
3. Just about everything failed, god job covering that.
4. Interesting use of "Treasure Chest" full of turkeys
5. I can see that being an interesting way to fall fro someone. weeks of talking to one person. will get to you.
daveb63
5 years, 1 month ago
Yeah, the Andy/Adam switch was a goof. Brain moving faster than fingers again. When you let the fingers type on autopilot they sometimes don't maintain heading or altitude very well
Neosate
5 years, 1 month ago
I know what your mean.. i was looking for the point where he called her on it...
daveb63
5 years, 1 month ago
Nope, simple goof :) Made more likely by the fact that the guy I lifted the "calm resonant voice on the radio" from is named Andrew IRL. He and his GF were both emergency dispatchers when I knew them and he had this incredible rich tone to his voice. His GF used to gripe that he had it easier than anyone else because all he had to do was open his mouth and start talking to calm down the person on the other end of the phone. That's the voice I was hearing in my head when writing Adam's dialogue. I should have picked a name with a different first initial :P
Neosate
5 years, 1 month ago
I cant really say anything, I called Daisy Daily in one story. Can you find it?
daveb63
5 years, 1 month ago
I wouldn't dream of looking - if my eye skated over it the first time (and it did, because I've read every episode of Daisy's story and it didn't leap out at me) then the story was strong enough for me not to notice and going looking for nitpicks after the fact feels unfair.
daveb63
5 years, 1 month ago
So.. If I edit it.. do I correct the name or have him call her on it? Opinions welcome :)

ETA: Or, of course.. just not correct it and leave it out there?
Neosate
5 years, 1 month ago
I just leave them alone untill I go through to do mass re-edits. which I need to do to the cruise
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