Ever have a dream where you’re walking through some place and everyone is dead?
Neither have I, but there is a scene of just such a think in my fourth Chapter. The Yascurra, a small shuttle carrier, is close to a nuclear weapon that detonates. The radiation is brutal, killing much of the crew where they stand, the rest suffer terrible radiation sickness before death….
Are there any survivors? You’ll have to read my book to find out. Here is the first part of the chapter.
Seto informed the captains of the fleet the jump neared termination. “All fleet ships, acknowledge receipt.”
“Schein, jump termination in less than ten.”
“EF2358 acknowledges receipt.”
“Amalli, drop before ten.”
Seto waited a moment. “Yascurra, acknowledge drop to realspace.”
“Yascurra, Stennis, over.”
“Hinden is standing by with two shuttles if you need boarding parties for the Yascurra, Stennis.”
“Captain Dayson has a shuttle ready to go here, Hinden, but I’ll pass along your offer to the Captain.” Seto looked questioningly at Sarah.
Sarah “Have them stand by, Lieutenant. We will send our men in first, then get help if it’s needed. We don’t know the conditions over there.”
“Hinden, Stennis. Have your shuttle standing by, but first boarding will be one shuttle only, from the Stennis.”
“Hinden acknowledges. Marines standing by.”
Seto turned to Sarah in frustration. “The fleet is ready for drop to realspace, Captain, except, of course, the Yascurra.”
“It’s OK, Lieutenant, you’ve done what you can. Check to make sure you’re secure in your station.”
“For us all, Hanali.”
“Maybe the nuke destroyed their communication equipment.”
“Let’s hope, Lieutenant. But they were close to the bomb. We will do what we can. Speaking of which, Mr. Gilbert, we do have a shuttle ready to go? I want men on board that ship right away.”
“I have four marines on board our command shuttle, Captain. The pilot will dock toward the rear of the hangar deck. The marines will let us know as soon as they can.”
Sarah listened to Corriea fend off an incoming call from medical. The main view screen displayed the face of Commander Thea Jennis, the Chief Medical Officer of Seventh Fleet.
“…I just want you to be aware that we have much better shielding than some of the escorts. They almost certainly suffered horrible radiation exposure when the bomb detonated. Extensive burns, sickness, incapacitation… it’s even possible the Yascurra crew is dead.”
Maybe she’s just trying to prepare me. Either way, debate is pointless. It’s time for facts. “Doctor, we’ll know soon enough. Get to your acceleration couch for the drop to realspace. Quickly. That’s an order.”