Voices of the Void, part 4

You can get the ebook for Voices of the Void right now for $0.99 on Amazon – free with kindle unlimited – or get the paperback (ebook always free with a physical purchase). Read part 1 | Read part 2 | Read part 3 He watched the lift car approach, hanging from a steel rail, arriving much sooner than Andrew anticipated. Had it really come so far in just a few minutes? He worked against an urge to check his computer, which he knew was not functioning properly, to confirm the time.  The car moved past the windows and arrived at the steel double doors. After…

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Voices of the Void, part 3

You can get the ebook for Voices of the Void right now on Amazon – free with kindle unlimited – or get the paperback (ebook always free with a physical purchase) Read part 1 | Read part 2 He turned away from the hall and ran back toward the elevators. As he did, the screaming finally stopped. The vision of the dead, forgotten child, seared into his retinas, burned into his memory forever, suddenly waned and began to disappear. By the time he reached the lift, the images had nearly evaporated, becoming a dream after waking, or a half-memory of a blurry photograph. He…

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Interstellar Dragonships while singing Styx; Skeleton Feet

My dream: After travelling abroad, my wife and I decided to move to another planet. We packed the house (the literal house, not just our things) into a decently-sized star freighter. It was blocky, but roomy and agile in the atmosphere above earth. That star freighter was taken inside a dock near the “foot” of an immensely large star ship, with a robotic dragon head containing many ion cannons. It was a battle-ready craft, probably a kilometer long. It was colored red and green. The dragonship curled itself into a ball and attached itself to an exponentially larger ship, so…

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Deep Time: Drawn from the Water, part 7

“He’s breathing,” Anders said. “Quick, Tully, give me an O2 read.” Tully pointed her datapad at the pod. “Eighteen percent, but dropping rapidly.” “Are we doing this?” Randall removed from his side pouch a portable life support system with an oxygen tank and mask. “He’s alive, so yes,” Anders said. He shined his light on the control panel, brushed his gloves over some ancient buttons, and found a long rotary handle. He pulled it out and began turning it. Gas escaped from the seal of the stasis pod, rushing out in a hiss that sounded loud even in the EV…

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Deep Time: Drawn from the Water, part 6

“Relax,” Anders said. “It was just that panel bouncing off of something.” “I’m going to go check it out,” Randall said. “Negative,” Anders shot back. “No separation. We all go or we all stay. That’s an order.” “Let’s go,” Tully said. “Let’s get out of here.” “Not yet,” Anders said. “Let’s see if we can get this panel online” Tully stared out into the dark fog for a long moment, and then nodded. “Right.” The terminal sprang to life, and white letters flitted over black screens. “Looks like it’s going to boot awhile, LT,” Randall said. “Let’s see what that…

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Deep Time: Drawn from the Water, part 5

The door fell inward, floating and tumbling for a few seconds before crashing into a corroded beam of steel, pitted and rusted, then ricocheting off of a dead terminal. The darkness was total inside the derelict craft, and only the light streaming in from the transport provided any illumination. Anders, Tully, and Randall turned on the lights attached to the top of their environmental suits. Dust filled the beams in strange patterns amid the zero-g environment. Tully cautiously pushed her head past the airlock and looked down one direction, then the other of the interior, which took the shape of…

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Deep Time: Drawn from the Water, part 4

“Anders? Report.” It was Macbeth. A nearby screen lit up with the old man’s face. He was frowning. “Tully’s working on life signs. I’m attempting to create a virtual uplink and hopefully extract some data.” “Where is it from?” Anders paused a moment, intent on his screen. “Not sure just yet.” “Like hell you aren’t,” Macbeth said. His signature popped up on Ander’s terminal screen. “This data could be invaluable. We haven’t dared to examine Earth in millennia.” “When you get it, I want it put into physical isolation, not just virtual isolation. Don’t attempt to run any software you…

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Deep Time: Drawn from the Water, part 3

“Sensors are aligned for a sweep,” Vanessa said. “I can drop our own sensor burst probe now. We should be able to map the dorsal side of the probe, and then pick up our readings a few million miles on the other side of it.” Anders scratched his chin. “That doesn’t give us the options the old man wanted.” “Of destroying it?” Vanessa said. “I can drop an armed probe capable of that, if you wish.” “He’s looking for an excuse to drop speed and sweep in real time,” Tully said. “Maybe,” Anders said. “If we speed on past it…

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Deep Time: Drawn from the Water, part 2

Anders stepped onto the bridge. He noticed the empty captain’s console and chair (though he knew his father rarely sat when he was running the ship) and looked around briefly. He noticed the patriarch leaning over the chair at Tully’s messy station, his eyes flitting over a green-lit display. “Sir.” Malcolm turned and raised an eyebrow to Anders. “On time, as usual.” Anders nodded, then relaxed. “What’s the dig, sir?” “Couple of data pulses over the last few hours,” Tully answered. She nodded to Macbeth without taking her eyes off the screen. “Gramps thinks it might be from Earth. Maybe…

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Deep Time: Drawn From the Water, part 1

Stars filled Malcom Macbeth’s vision, bright colors shifting and blurring, artifacts of the divergent passage of time as they cruised near the speed of light. He wasn’t just watching space go by; he was watching time go by, the galaxy beyond the ship hurtling forward in normal time while things onboard passed infinitely slow by comparison. His eyes fixed on one star to the left of the ship, a supergiant with far too much cosmic radiation to risk a close approach. It had been slowly shifting from blue to white as they ceased to close with it, and Malcolm knew…

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