Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hidden from scans

Here’s another excerpt from my current science fiction manuscript, Alpha Shift. Captain Akajima is the captain of engineering, and he’s suspicious of a shuttle that’s docked with their ship. Captain Dana is captain of the Marines on board.

Captain Akajima forced himself to stay seated. If anything did go sideways, he would need as much energy as possible to deal with it. And hovering over the shoulders of his watch standers would not make their reports more accurate.

The comforting smell of burnt lubricant was gone. He loosened his collar to stay relaxed for— 

A watch stander turned to him. “Captain, a part of the shuttle is opaque to our scans.”

“You’ve double-checked it?” Akajima rose from his chair without haste and stepped down to that station.

“Yes sir. No matter what wavelength we use at what angle, it stays dark.”

Akajima stared at the cylindrical shape on the monitor as if he were staring down a bull about to charge. “That’s a life pod.”

“Yes sir.”

He signaled Captain Dana to join him. In the time it took her to stride over, a pulse started beating in his neck. “Any reason for a life pod to be opaque to our scans like that?”

She bent over like a hawk spying a rabbit. “No. A life pod needs to be open for scans, so anyone inside can be rescued.”

“Does it seem modified at that end?”

“I can’t say.”

Sweat formed on the watch stander’s brow. “Sir, it is consistent with the end of a boarding ram.”


Misha Gericke said...

That looks pretty ominous. You're good at creating and maintaining tension. :-)

Mina Burrows said...

Okay, I'm intrigued. I want to know what it is too. Well done.

Mark Murata said...

Thank you, Misha and Mina. Writing in a spare manner is good for tension.


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