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...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 1 - A routine descent (Passage 5 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
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
(Stay tuned for further chapters)
"Let's go Mentor, we've only got an hour to get everything we need ready for the next 3 weeks. The supplies are in the clearance hold with the load, but we’ve got to get them secure. The passengers will be here shortly and they’ll need briefing. Let's start with your travel lockers. We'll bring them through the nose door and to make light work of it, we'll use the vertical conveyor in the forward ladder shaft," Annee shared as she got up from the table.
"Show the way, and I am not afraid of hard work," replied Mentor as he followed her to the airlock door that lead back to the passenger accommodation.
"Don't worry, I have plenty of hard work in mind to satisfy that need."
"By the look of you, I am pretty sure you can satisfy my needs, bring it on, Annee," Mentor replied in a provocative tone.
Annee laughed briefly saying, “you’d be so lucky, old timer”, and smiled cheekily back at him and the others as she disappeared through the door.
Mentor laughed loudly as he headed into the corridor....
"Right, let me welcome you all and I hope this is the start of something real,” Dukk said as he sat down.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us and on top of that we don't know each other. And, some of you are new to this game. So, let me start with a few non negotiables. Number one, no heroes. Your own safety comes first. As they say, attend to your own air supply first before helping others with theirs. Second, everyone has the obligation to challenge things that you don't understand or that don’t look right. If I, or anyone else, overlooks something or makes a poor decision out there, we all may die. So we all must be prepared to be challenged. And we must all challenge. And, finally, we leave no one behind, no matter the designation, privilege or whatever. Clear?"
Nods and smiles all round.
“Great. So, on this rig we operate in pairs, or buddies. You’ll cover the same areas of responsibility. You’ll be on watch together. You’ll eat at the same time. You’ll sleep at ...
The convergence of two key events gave rise to this space. The first being frustration over the madness of the world and the cliff we are all charging towards. The second being the realisation that time was getting on and I’d better get the stuff out of my head before it was too late. So, I created this community on Locals.com. My plan is to experiment with this format as an alternative to the traditional book publishing path. My plan is to publish stories as they evolve, probably a chapter at a time. The first piece of writing that will unfold here is a story that I am calling Uplift, Double Take. This piece explores life 200 odd years from now, based on the trajectory of the current madness.
Your financial support would be greatly appreciated, but not needed to read the book.
This is because, I am publishing the book one passage at a time via normal posts within my Locals community.
You simply need to join the community and you’ll get book passages delivered directly to you as ...