For the descent, Larinette took the seat next to Dukk. She had her sandy blond hair tied back, thus he could take in fully her fine features and light blue eyes. It felt odd, but nice to have his companion at the controls with him for this maiden descent. It was odd because usually he or Rachelle sat there as the other was at the helm.
As 2nd, Larinette’s role was to monitor the thrust and pitch controls. Annee sat at the console behind her and was tasked with monitoring other traffic and handling communications. Bazzer sat in the back of the cockpit monitoring the reactors and other rig systems. Dukk would keep an eye on the Nav, autopilot and oversee everything else, ready to step in if something didn’t feel or sound right.
Whilst all automated, systems weren’t infallible, and this rig was old. Knowing what was happening just before something breaks, helped reduce the chances of overreacting and making it worse.
“Dukk, make it a good one,” it was Rachelle on the comms.
“Will do, Captain,” Dukk replied.
“I don’t want anything getting in the way of my celebration this evening,” Rachelle added.
“Where are we going, Shell?” said Bazzer joining in the comms.
“Not the Auld Dubliner again, I hope,” piped Annee.
“Cheek of you! You suggested it for old time’s sake!,” Rachelle retorted.
Annee chuckled to herself at her console.
“Well at least no-one will get lost again, hey Bazzer,” Larinette joked.
“So, who’s buying the drinks, you or Dukk,” Annee added.
“Don’t look at me, every EU I have is committed to putting the captain happily into retirement,” Dukk replied.
“You buy the first round, and the rest is on me, how’s that Dukk?” Rachelle said.
“Deal! Now time to focus or no-one will be doing any celebrating later,” Dukk concluded.
The comms went quiet.
With everything in place, Dukk engaged the descent sequence on the autopilot. This started with the port bow thruster pivoting the rig 180 degrees.
The rig shook and groaned. Even Dukk felt his stomach turn. The necessary maneuver and the resulting g-force push the g-suits to their limits. Being familiar with the feeling didn’t make it any less unpleasant. He was just glad as always, he wasn’t sitting in the back with the passengers.
Next the main engines gave a quick burst. This slowed the rig so it would drop out of orbit. Another burst of the bow thrusters brought the rig back 180 degrees again.
Now a final burst of both tail and bow thrusters pointed the nose into the 40-degree angle required for re-entry.
The re-entry alerts sounded just before the colour of their view changed to bright red. Then a thunderous noise engulfed them as they entered the atmosphere. They were now committed and at the mercy of their preparation.
It was a moment Dukk loved and hated equally. It was terrifying but also comforting. For a short time, there was nothing further he could do but wait. Things were just as they were and will be as they will be.
Soon the view and the sounds changed. They were in the atmosphere.
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 1 - A routine descent (Passage 5 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
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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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