A slight tremble could be felt as the Dinatha’s reactors spun up.
“Bazzer, you are not wasting any time,” Annee said on the crew comms.
“It was Luna. Very eager. The moment the panels were enabled again, she launched the power up sequence. Got to love that level of enthusiasm. Reminds me of another apprentice I once knew. Oh, wait, he is still around and recently got promoted. I must have done a good job back then hey cap”, Bazzer replied laughing.
“Yes, Bazzer. I put all my success down to your tutelage. Now stop messing about down there and let me know when we are hot and ready to launch,” Dukk replied and laughed.
Bazzer chuckled before muting the comms.
Moments later the rig in front of them jumped into life and disappeared down the maglev track.
Dukk, Marr, Annee and Mentor all watched in silence as the rig disappeared into the distance.
The silence lasted for a few more minutes before it was broken by Bazzer.
“The reactors are hot. The burners are priming. The coolers are running well. All systems are green. We are on our way up,” Bazzer.
“Excellent, Bazzer. Marr, you can request launch permission as per the protocol we discussed,” Dukk requested to his co-pilot.
“Oh, yes, of course. Let me see,” Marr replied.
She flicked through some panels on her console. Located the script and then activated the comms.
“Air traffic control, this is the Dinatha. Outbound from Utopiam. Requesting launch permission,” Marr could be heard saying on the crew comms.
“Marr, if you flick the auto isolate switch you can chat away to air traffic control without us all eavesdropping,” Annee offered.
“Oh, cool. Nice. Thank you. Umm, okay. I see that here,” Marr said before her voice abruptly cut off.
Dukk was watching her and enjoying it. Marr could be now seen speaking. But with helmets on nothing was being shared.
Then she turned to Dukk and started mouthing something.
“You’ve isolated us now too,” Dukk said on the comms.
Marr adjusted the controls.
“Right, sorry. I was just saying that they received the request. We are waiting on the rig that just launched. We are good once it reaches the turning point, ” she now shared with everyone.
“Perfect,” Dukk replied happily.
Two minutes later Bazzer and Luna entered the cockpit and got strapped in.
“Did we miss anything?” Luna asked when they were settled.
“Just the start of some good pub stories, that’s all,” Annee laughed.
“Like?” Luna replied.
“We have the all clear. Launch permission granted, captain,” Marr announced quite formally, doing her best to stay on top of it while under scrutiny. Dukk smiled.
“Status update please, Bazzer,” Dukk said bringing everyone back to focus.
“All systems are still green. We are good to go.”
“Passengers are settled. And things are quiet on the external channels. Just the usual chatter.”
“Mentor, do you want to give that update,” Annee said looking across at Mentor.
“Certainly. Vitals are all stable. All g-lines are showing as functioning. Med feeds all calibrated to individuals needs,” Mentor replied to the group.
“Anything else anyone?”
No one replied.
“Excellent. We are good for launch. Engaging the launch auto pilot. Marr, will you request maglev activation. Hold on everyone,” Dukk said into the crew comms.
Marr could be seen speaking again.
Waiting was a big part of the haulier life. It was the first real test of their ability to do that together. The silence didn’t last.
“’I get knocked down. But I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down’,” was blurted out by Luna.
“The mute button would be a good idea, Luna. I gather there might be a few nerves at this point and your singing is lovely and all, but it would be better to keep this group channel clear if that was okay. You can simply mute yourself if you want to continue singing,” Dukk said empathetically into the crew comms.
“Woops. Sorry,” was the reply.
Moments later, the rig launched forward and started to accelerate down the track.
The thrusters could be heard powering up as the speed increased.
After roughly 90 seconds the rig shot out over the ocean.
Forty seconds later the nose came up and the hard burn was initiated.
The crew were pushed back into their seats as the rig blasted its way towards lower orbit.
The g-juice insured Dukk and his crew were comfortable but conscious and alert as the g-forces came into play.
On the other hand, the dosage for passengers was slightly higher. They simply drifted off as the rig raced into ever thinning air. Had they been awake they would have seen glimpses of the stunning and mouth opening view of the curvature of the Earth as it met space.
Marr and Luna were awake and experiencing it for the first time. It was a sight they would never forget. Like those before them, they would be ever thankful for the experience of it.
(to be continued...in the next chapter)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 10 - Launch (Passage 5 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
If you are looking to catch-up by reading entire chapters, find them on ThinkSpot.
Passages will appear here in Locals first, but I can’t put the entire chapter here because of post size limitations. So, I am publishing the chapters via ThinkSpot. You don’t need an account to read the chapters. Just follow the link and scroll down.
Chapter 1 - A routine descent
Chapter 2 - Perspective
Chapter 3 - Grounding
Chapter 4 - Cause and effect
Chapter 5 - The first meeting
Chapter 6 - Staying goodbye
Chapter 7- Instability
Chapter 8 - Orientation
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch15 (Passage 5/5)
“Hi,” came Luna’s voice as she bounced into the suit locker.
Dukk turned around.
“Are you alright? You are all flushed?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was practicing some yoga in zero-G. I lost track of time. Quite challenging and not what I expected.” Luna replied.
“Yoga?” Marr mouthed silently at Luna from behind Dukk.
Luna smiled cheekily.
Marr held her hands up and looked away as if to say ‘I don't want to know’.
Dukk laughed. He’d been an apprentice too once. He knew what was on his mind the first time he was in zero-g. And, he could tell an intentional lie.
“Are you sure you want to try this now? I can go alone and you can get back to your ‘yoga’?” Dukk asked in gest emphasising the last word.
“Nope, I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Thirty five minutes later, Luna stood at the port outer doorway. She was in awe.
Dukk and Luna had completed the same process Bazzer and Marr had done earlier. Marr, with ...
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