Topic: A Good Start  (Read 14313 times)

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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2012, 01:41:54 am »
21:15 Zulu

"You shouldn't have contacted me, Captain.  You know he'll be suspicious."

Sam glared right back at her NSC contact, "Then you're just going to have to give me something that will justify the encryption we're using."

The man on her screen sat back in his chair, "We'll see about that.  Let's make this quick though shall we?"

She nodded, "Let's.  Where did he get the 32s from?"

He sighed, "By 32s, I'm assuming you are referring to the Rail Guns?"

She let her irritation creep into her voice, "Yes, and the 16s."

He leaned forward with a smile, "They bought the 16s.  The 32s were... a gift.  From Major Christopher.  In exchange for them, he promised that he would field test them, and forward all the information, as well as modifications that he made to them, back to Major Christopher.  Given the reports that he gave to Major Christopher, the decision saved us more money than the guns cost."

She smiled her first genuine smile of the day, "Good.  Other business.  Khan wants to send a supply ship here.  He's agreed to receive it."

He stood up and reached into a filing cabinet just out of her view, "We were going to send you instructions regarding that as the arrival time drew closer, but since you've asked now..."  He sat back down at the desk with a manilla folder in his hands.  As he opened the file, she noted the markings of the CIA on it. "Allow it to arrive, unless it's a direct threat to the station and it's neutrality, which we doubt, but that possibility is always there.  Do not interfere with its operations in anyway, but."  He raised a cautionary finger, "We need to you to determine the technological level of the Persian Space Industry.  Examine it every way you can without dismantling it.  We need you to be careful, so use discretion, we can't have anything look out of the ordinary when his ship returns."

She nodded, "Assuming its capable of returning.  I could also arrange for there to be an 'accident'."

He stopped her before she could elaborate, "No.  It's too risky.  While Khan has made us suspicious of his motives as of late, we have no desire to provoke a conflict.  He's brought stability to a region that hasn't known it in a century."

She shook her head, "While destabilizing all of Europe."

He laughed, "That didn't take much effort.  In fact, he may have helped Europe more than he hurt it."  He waved off her next question by moving to another topic, "While we're on the topic of personality, I must commend you.  We weren't expecting to get much in the way of acting out of you."

If only I was acting... She thought to herself as he continued on, "By your account, he was very sympathetic to you.  Do you think he may be attracted to you?"

She was taken aback for a moment, but recovered quick enough that either he didn't notice, or didn't care that he caught her off guard, "It's possible."

He leaned forward, carefully studying her face for her response to his next question, "Are you attracted to him?"

She responded instantly, "I guess so."

"Hmmph." He sat back in his chair and contemplated the answer she just gave him.  "If you're comfortable with it, attempt to cultivate a relationship with him.  It's optional, nothing will be held against you if you don't.  It would be... beneficial for him, if you did though."

She nodded, "Is there a timetable?"

He shook his head, "Not as yet.  And there likely won't be for a while yet.  We're waiting on Major Christopher here, and who knows how long Trailblazer will take to come to fruition."

She glanced to the clock she put off to her right, it was rapidly closing on zero.  When it reached zero, it became more likely that this covert communication would be discovered, "I'm running out of time, what are the current plans with China?"

He frowned, "Need to know only."

She scowled back at him, "Liao can't be trusted."

He shook his head, "Neither, frankly, can Jintao."

She narrowed her eyes, "I've got sixty seconds."

He smiled at her, "Then you've got enough time to receive this encrypted document.  Share it with him and his Engineer.  I'm sure between the two of you, you might just get it working."  His smile turned into a chuckle, "And of course, if you get it working, you need to send it on to Major Christopher."

She glanced at the corner of the screen and confirmed that the download was commencing, "What is it?"

He refused to answer, "Good night Captain.  I hope you find your evenings... enjoyable."  The screen went dark, a notification appeared in the corner informing her that the download was complete.

"Spies..."  She muttered to herself as she began decoding the file that she just received.  It was a simple process, she had the cypher key installed on a portable flash drive that she plugged into the computer only for this type of work.  As the file morphed itself into something that she could read, she pondered her next move.  Surveillance showed that James was back in Ops, after spending a few hours around the gun emplacement on the Command Section.  "He just doesn't like sleep."  She looked back to her computer, the conversion was nearing completion, "What is it that he told me?"  She eyed her dresser drawer, when she thought to its contents she smiled, "As interesting an idea..."  The computer beeped at her to tell her that the document was done.  She removed the flash drive and turned the screen towards the dresser as she rose to her feet and walked to it.  Once she got to the dresser, she turned her attention back to the computer as she blindly rummaged through it.  She was scanning the technical document that filled the screen when she found the leather case for her flash drive.  She mentally marked her place as she turned her full attention to slipping the flash drive into its case, and back into it's hiding place in the crotch of one of her 'panties'.  She looked back to the screen as her fingers began their hunt for their next target.  It only took her a few more lines before she realized just what she was looking at.  Ironically, at the same time, her fingers came across the cold metallic object that she was looking for.  She pulled the handcuffs out of the drawer and broke into a grin, "An enjoyable evening indeed."
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2012, 11:33:00 am »
Okay, that last bit was definitely mysterious. :) When the NSC guy was on and they said Liao can't be trusted and all the behind James' back activities I thought that super-smart Sam Carter and her peeps were also Augments.

Good job with the meshing of your "real" world with our fictional one. Keep it coming.
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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2012, 07:00:02 pm »
23 January 2014
07:09 Zulu

A low pitched intermittent buzzing sound brought him back to the world of wakefulness.  It was a slow trip to be sure, at first he had no idea as to why his hands were above his head.  When he attempted to pull a hand down to his face to clear the sleep from his eyes, he met a solid, cold resistance.  He tried to pull his hand down again, and met the same cold object.  As awareness returned to him, he also noted that something was applying pressure to his chest and abdominal areas.  As he cracked his eyes open, the events of last night came crashing back to him.  Sam had burst into Ops around 21:45 last night and ordered him to get some sleep.  When he had refused she grabbed him by his uniform shirt and dragged him into the Elevator.  She had all the leverage as her magnetic boots were on, and his were, as they usually are unless he was doing his exercises, off.  Still, he had managed to slip out of her grasp by wriggling out of his shirt, but before he could push away from her she grabbed him by the waist of his pants and dared him to try to squirm his way out of that hold.  Once in the elevator, she held him away from every surface of the lift and told him that he was going to bed whether he liked it or not.  After the elevator deposited them on the Promenade sub-level, which was where all of their temporary quarters were, she held him horizontal to the floor and carried him down the hallway.  He knew that he could have probably gotten out of the hold she had him in, but he WAS tired, and had no desire to hurt her, which is probably what it would have taken to do so, so he had allowed her to carry him to his door.

When the door had opened up, she carried him through it and shoved him down into his bed.  Fully expecting that that was the end of it, he had relaxed and started to chuckle, he had opened his mouth to make a suggestive retort to the way she had man-handled him, when she straddled his chest and forced his hands up over his head.  Before he could have reacted she had pulled a pair of handcuffs out of her back pocket and secured his hands to the wall.  He was still recovering from the shock, when she pulled his pants off of him and used one of the bed's restraining strap to tie his legs down.  Despite his protestation she tossed his clothes against the wall and began to take her own off and throw them at the same place.  She shushed him, but said nothing else as she climbed on top of him, pulled the bed covers over their bodies, and then tied them together with the remaining two restraining straps.  After she nestled his head underneath the base of her neck, she had told him that she wasn't letting him up until 9:30, so he'd better just relax and go to sleep.

Her throat was what his eyes were fixated on now, the buzzing sound was barely audible over the sound of her breathing.  The low light conditions that filled the room, by design to simulate a pale moonlight, accentuated the curves of her body as he looked up and then down, trying to determine how best to proceed.  He wet his lips and tried the first choice, "Sam?"  He spoke softly, and was not surprised at the lack of reaction, he cleared his throat and tried louder, "Sam?!"  Still nothing.  He weighed his options, and decided that the next step was to make contact with a part of her body.  He gave a thought about her chin but realized that it was going to be out of reach with the way she was positioned.  He lowered his head and planted his lips on the top of her left breast.  As he made contact, he realized that, despite their positioning, it was the first move either one of them had made to stimulate the other.  She had begun to stir, and he started to pull his lips from her breast when he felt her hands move in behind his head.  She shifted his head towards her cleavage and forced him to motorboat her.  Thankful that she was at least awake, he obliged her.  When she pulled his head back, she was staring down at him with a content grin on her face.

"It's not oh-nine-thirty yet."

He stared back at her, "Do you hear that buzzing sound?"

Her grin turned to a smile, "Yes..."

He raised his eyebrows, "That's a Proximity Alarm."

Her grin vanished, "You had a Proximity Alarm set up in your Quarters?"

He managed a weak smile as he tried to shrug, but was thwarted by the handcuffs.  She reached behind her and began to unfasten the restraining straps.  He had no choice but to lay there patiently as she pulled the bed covers off of them.  As she reached up to the wall to unlock the handcuffs, she made sure that her belly was rubbing against his face, so he felt compelled to kiss it.  She laughed as he did, and just before he finished freeing his hands, she shot a comment down to him, "If you only knew what I had planned for you at 9:30."

Once his hands were free he quickly wrapped his arms around the small of her back, "Maybe it will be a false alarm and I can still find out."

She brought her face down to his face, pressing her forehead against his, and delivering a short peck on his lips, "You'd let me do it?"

He returned the kiss as he brought his right hand down to her buttocks, "You've got me too wound up to not be curious now."

She got up off of him and let him unfasten the strap on his legs, while she pushed herself over to the clothes sticker.  The Clothes Sticker was a one meter by one meter Velcro-like substance that was designed to hold a few articles of clothing that needed to be removed temporarily, like for a shower or to do a quick change.  James used it a lot to simply put his uniform on there when he would be ready for bed.  It's main use was to keep the loose articles of clothing from simply floating around the room, much as the restraining straps on the bed were to keep him from tossing himself out of bed, if his sleep were to get fitful.  One thing that was good about being in microgravity, was that it didn't take much effort to dress and undress.  By the time he had finished untying himself she was pulling her uniform pants on.  Before he could get over there she threw his underwear at his face, by the time he was pulling up his pants she had already fastened her shirt and was putting on her magnetic boots.  James elected to skip his shirt and went straight for his boots, which elicited a groan from Sam, "That is SO not fair."

He grinned at her as he activated his boots, "Nothing is stopping you from leaving your shirt off."

She shook her head and placed her hands over her boobs, "Without gravity or support, these things bounce around so much it hurts."

He strode towards the now open door and went out into the corridor with her, "I never thought of that."

The two of them were silent over the thirty second elevator ride to Ops.  When the elevator door opened up Ammanda was already at her station in Ops.  She shot them a confused look when they entered at the same time, and then blushed when she saw that James wasn't wearing a shirt.  James stopped for a moment when he noticed her reaction, and then smiled meekly at her, "Sorry, I was just getting into the shower.  But since you're here already, what do we have?"

She smiled at them as if she wasn't convinced, but began her report anyways, "We have an asteroid incoming.  It's the size of New York City.  Initial computer models indicate a 95% probability that the asteroid will enter our perimeter, with a 40% probability of a collision."

Sam went down into the pit, while James moved around behind Ammanda along the upper tank towards Tactical.  As he passed her, he asked the next obvious question, "How much time do we have?"

"Eight days."

He settled into his station and found a text message waiting for him from the Pit, Aren't you glad I put my shirt on now?.  "Alright, lets run through our options."  He responded to her text, Yes.  And I'm wishing I had taken the extra ten seconds to put my shirt on too.

Sam responded first with a smile, "You can always shoot it."

Ammanda shook her head, "And risk turning one large rock into several slightly smaller rocks."

Sam turned her attention to her with an incredulous stare, "I know.  I was just ribbing him for spending so much time on those guns yesterday."

James couldn't help but smile as he shook his head, "Shooting may be an option, for the smaller rocks it's carrying with it.  But yes, something else needs to be done about the larger mass."

Ammanda nodded, "It's moving at point-oh-five.  If the freighter was here we could just push it out of the way."

Sam brought up the system diagram, "The freighter could get here in time to do it."

James paused to consider what that would do to their schedule, "Could we do it with just the two Launch Craft?"

Sam and Ammanda both shrugged, Ammanda answered, "I don't know if there's enough power with just the two Launch Craft to do it.  But if we were to try it with the Launch Craft, it would have to be tomorrow at the latest.  Any later and the amount of deviation from its present trajectory needed is certainly too much for the Launch Craft to handle."

James nodded, "Well, lets try it with the Launch Craft first.  Prep both of them, Sam and I will take them out.  If we can't move it enough, the Freighter can be up here in time to finish it."
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2012, 02:45:13 am »
It's a good story, with believable chars. Well done sir!
Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 02:56:55 am »
And my inner geek is going: Horray for boobies!
Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2012, 03:46:15 pm »
Quote
She shifted his head towards her cleavage and forced him to motorboat her.
"Forced". Riiiight. :D

Interesting bit about null-gravity breasts, though I'm not sure if the acceleration or braking would be sufficient to cause... inconvenience. ;)

When the asteroid was mentioned, along with its smaller outliers, I got an flash of the biggie from 'Armageddon'. Though, it looks like you're trying the The Paradise Syndrome approach first.

Keep it coming.
Come visit me at:  www.Starbase23.net

The Senior Service rocks! Rule, Britannia!

The Doctor: "Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink."
Mickey: "Wot's that?"
The Doctor: "No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say 'Magic Door'."
- Doctor Who: The Woman in the Fireplace (S02E04)

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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2012, 10:04:14 pm »
15:40 Zulu

Despite knowing the modifications made to the Launch Craft for the mission, James was still surprised when he opened the hatch to the Craft he was going to pilot.  The cargo was taking up almost all of the passenger bay, leaving him barely a half meter to squeeze his frame through.  Every Walker had been pulled inside with the approaching asteroid, and everyone who should have been out, or on standby had been swarming over the two Launch Craft for the last eight hours.  Sam had gone over the modifications to the Rail Guns, not so much a modification as a change in Ammunition.  She had melted down a couple hundred rounds of bullets, and made them into a type of plasma.  The Rail Gun could then fire the plasma instead of a solid bullet, helping to ensure that anything the Rail Guns shot disintegrated rather than shattered.  James had gone over the quirks with the targeting and tracking system that he had discovered with his test firings, including the unfortunate tendency to pull the shot slightly to the right.  By the time the two of them had gone through the details, he felt confident that Ammanda and Roger Simmons, Sam's assistant, could handle anything that the asteroid tried to throw at the station.

After James pulled his body through the hatch, he reached behind him and flashed a thumbs up, indicating that one of the Walkers could close the hatch behind him.  The cargo that was in his bay was two bits.  The first was an extended fuel pod.  The weight of the fuel pod prohibited the Craft from reaching orbit, had it been installed on the ground, but it essentially doubled his range.  Or in this case, allowed him to fire full thrusters for several minutes while having the second part of his cargo attached to the asteroid.  That second part was a harpoon, a pair of long Metallic composite cables with the option of a self-propelled drill, or a magnetic clamp, depending on what kind of surface that they chose to fire at.  He opened up his personal cargo space and found nine 'meals in a pouch', along with a few sanitary items, and a change of clothing.  The mission was supposed to last two days, but brought provisions for three if something unexpected came up.

His inventory check complete, James settled into the pilot seat to start his pre-flight check.  Despite being the only one in the shuttle, he made it a habit to talk himself through the check, he found it made sure he didn't forget something.

"Life Support, Check."  Getting the most important item out of the way first, he then checked the engine status board,  "Attitude Thrusters, Check.  Fuel Tank, Check.  Extended Fuel Tank, Check. Engine, Check."  James then turned to his support board.  "Navigational Computer, Check.  Communications, Check.  Magnetic Field Generator, Check."  Finally he turned to the main board, "Flight Controls.... Check."  He reached back to the support board and toggled open his communications, "Launch Craft 1.  All Systems Check."

Simmons' deep voice came back over the communications channel, "You beat Commander Carter... well you beat her by about six seconds.  Commander Willard is making her way to a briefing on Damage Control jobs with her staff, so it's just me up here at the moment, sir."

James nodded as he strapped himself into the seat, "You'll do just fine Mr. Simmons.  If you'd just be so kind as to open the Launch Bay Doors and give us our departure vector, we'll get this party started."

He saw the doors begin to open in front of him before Roger's voice filled the cockpit.  "Doors Opening.  Launch Craft One.  Your departure vector is one-one-nine stroke two-seven.  Launch window in five... four..."  He prepared himself for acceleration, "Three... two... one... Launch!"

The Engines on the Launch Craft fired at full power, assisted by magnetic launch rail.  James was shoved back into the seat as the Launch Craft rocketed into space.  He heard Roger saying something over the radio, but couldn't make it out over the noise that the vibrations of the engines were making.  Finally as the rattling came to a stop and the booster finished firing, Roger began to come in clearer, "...Launches successful.  You are both on course, ETA is twelve point three hours.  Repeat, Launches successful.  You are both on course, ETA is twelve point three hours."

James unfastened his upper straps, but left the lap belt in place and responded, "Acknowledged."

Sam's voice came over the radio a second later, "Shuttle two, Acknowledging."

His navigational computer beeped at him, he looked at it and read the display out loud, "I have our turnover point in Nine point one-five hours."

Sam responded, "Turnover point confirmed."

"That's what I have back here too."  Roger came back, "Looks like you two are going to have some time on your hands."

James smiled, "We've got that taken care of Roger, Captain out."  He switched over to the private channel between the two Launch Craft, they had it scrambled and encoded, just in case. "Well Sam, you, me and the stars."

"And about a hundred meters of hard vacuum between the two of us."

James shrugged, "Didn't say it was perfect.  Anyways, Sleep Cycle?"

"Definitely.  Set your Oxygen levels to twelve percent.  And don't forget to set the computer to automatically restore in seven hours..."

James smiled, "Or I'll never wake up... I got it."  He took a couple of deep breaths after he made the changes to his life-support system.  "I never liked the idea of forcing sleep by lowering oxygen levels..."

She laughed, "You don't seem to like the idea of sleep, period."

"You only live so many days, why spend a third of it sleeping?"

"So you can live a few more days."

"I understand that."  He took another deep breath, "I'll get more sleep when we're done here.  Right now though, there's too much to do and not enough time in the day to do it."

"They'll always be something that needs to be done.  If you go at it like that, you'll never be done."  There was a pause, but he knew she wasn't done, "I guess I'll just have to make sure you get sleep every night."

"By handcuffing me to my bed every night?"

She laughed again, "Oh I have other ways of keeping you from fighting back."  He felt himself getting groggy as she continued, "Think about that while you're sleeping now."

He was getting short of breath, "I'm trying... not... to..."

She yawned, "But it's not... working... is it?"

"Good... Night.... Sam..."

"Sweet... Dreams..."  A long pause filled the radio, and then she almost mumbled out the last word, "James......"

He had opened his mouth to say something else, but passed over before he could vocalize it.
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2012, 02:44:24 pm »
Isn't lowering the oxygen levels bad for your brain? Not just death, but also permanent dmg? Anyways, nice little chapter and definitely nice lady ;)

Like the little details about the guns and such, they add more flavour.
Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2012, 10:15:35 pm »
12% is not that much lower than the levels you'd find in particularly dirty or dense cities like Beijing, or New York City.  In some places in those cities O2 levels drop to around 15%.  You can still live as low as 10%, but not for very long.  I would figure that seven hours @ 12% wouldn't hurt either of them.  More to come real quick.  And apologies it took so long to put this up.  Been busy again.  I'll get to reading the other updates tomorrow or Tuesday.
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2012, 12:21:28 am »
23:42 Zulu

James slowly regained consciousness, as he did, he wondered when the computer was going to rouse him, and actually began to panic when he thought for a moment that it failed to do so.  His first instinct was to check the system clock, he read it back twice to make sure it was registering in his brain correctly.  Then he relaxed, the computer was set to wake him in three minutes, he just came out of it early.  He searched his field of vision through the canopy window, searching for the Asteroid that was supposed to be in front of them, but to no avail.  It still showed on his LIDAR screen, and the telemetry feed from both the Station and the drone that was circling it, but at the moment it was too far away to get a visual on.  He unstrapped himself from the chair and pulled himself back to the supply locker.  Carefully pulling it open, he pulled out two tubes.  He twisted one to activate the heating element inside it.  He kicked the locker shut and used the force to propel himself back up into the pilot area.  Once he re-seated himself, he activated the heating element in the other tube, and placed the first tube into a device that would pull the contents of that tube into his coffee mug.  He missed the smell of the coffee, the completely sealed mug prevented any fragrance from escaping, and he had been since they were on the station, but the bitter taste of the warm liquid entering his mouth brought another level of alertness to him.  At that same moment the computer alerted him that it was time to wake up.  He could have turned it off, but he used it to gauge when Sam would be waking, he resisted the temptation to call her now, and instead decided to let her wake up at her own pace.

It didn't take long, "James?"  Her voice came over their private channel.

He smiled as he took another drink of coffee, "Good Morning, Beautiful."

His response seemed to catch her off guard as she hesitated before responding herself, "How long have you been awake?"

He looked to the system clock, "About five minutes."

"What did we miss?"

He brought up the list of messages that were waiting for him on the communications station, all were text messages, "Not much.  The drone's given us a good look at the Asteroid's topography, as well as a couple of places we could use as anchor points.  I have a message from Ammanda regarding the vector we need to pull it at, and how far off course we need to divert it.  A rather angry message from Micheal saying that we're being too careless, and that he can be in position to divert the Asteroid in two days.  Also a message from both US and Chinese Missile Commands, offering their services in hitting the Asteroid with a couple of ICBMs."

"Nothing from Russia?"

He scanned the list again, "Oddly enough, no."  He opened the second pouch and sucked the contents of the pouch out of the tube.  "I would so much rather Micheal keep loading the Cargo, because I am tired of eating out of pouches.  I want some real food again."

"How is what we're going to have any more real than what you're eating right now?"

He finished the pouch and put the tube in the refuse, "It's going to be a hell of a lot more real."

"It's still going to be the same stuff, just not put into a blender set to annihilate."

"And that's the point."

"So what's the mission parameters? I haven't had a chance to open it up yet, I'm getting my breakfast down."

James pulled up Ammanda's message, "We need to divert the Asteroid's course by three degrees minimum, but no further than twelve degrees."

"Why the range?"

He looked at the message more closely, "Three degrees is the minimum needed to push it out of the way of the station.  Anymore than twelve degrees..."  He paused as he scanned the message again, "It looks like we'll be pushing it in the direction of Earth.  Any more than twelve degrees and we risk damage to Earth Orbiting Satellites, and even the potential of an impact."

"So we're looking to thread it between Earth and Luna?"

"Dozens of Asteroids a year pass through that range, just most aren't any bigger than a Smart Car."

"What about capturing it?"

James nodded, "Ammanda did mention the capture scenario.  We need to push it twenty-five degrees in the other direction.  A capture orbit with Earth is impossible at this time."

"Then not likely at all."

"Nope."  The computer beeped at him, "Braking Maneuver to begin in five minutes."

"You ready for some fancy flying?"

He smiled, "I only hope I'm capable of following your lead."

"Looks like there's a couple of holes in the dust cloud surrounding the Asteroid."

"Yeah.  Fortunately for us there is a slight gravitational pull coming from the Asteroid, it's not much, but it does give us about two-hundred and fifty meters to work with between the lowest part of the cloud and the surface of the Asteroid.  Otherwise, we'd have to land the shuttles."

"Breaking Maneuver in four minutes."

"Looks like there's a good sized Iron deposit in grid 27-C.  The Magnetic Clamp should be able to get a solid lock on that."

"Alright.  Do we both try to grab the same area?  Or do we look for somewhere else?"

"We'd be more effective if we tried some place else."

"Mmmhmm... What about 44-D?"

"Looks like a Nickel deposit.  Not an ideal size, but it will work."

"I'll take 44-D, I'm a better pilot."

James shook his head, "You'll get no argument from me on either count.  I've already sent the data on to Ammanda, she'll run a couple of simulations to see just how much thrust we're going to have to give it."

"We've got enough fuel reserves for a twenty minute burn at full power."

"I know, I'd rather not use it all.  The tanks back on the station are almost empty."

"Micheal will be back soon enough to refill them."

"Two minutes.  And yeah, but we're supposed to be stockpiling the stuff, not burning through it as fast as we get it."

Silence filled the cockpit as both of them fired their maneuvering thrusters to flip their craft's orientation.  When they finished their flip, the Moon and Earth filled their view.  It was quite a beautiful sight, they were far enough away that they couldn't make out the station, and both the Earth and Moon were much smaller than they were used to.  "Another record book for the two of us right?"

James smiled, until that moment, he didn't realize just how far out they really were.  "Four point Six Million Kilometers.   I'd say that's a record.  If you look out ahead of us though, You get an idea of just how narrow our window is."

"You also get an idea of just how screwed you are if you're off by even a half a degree on your course corrections."

"And why do you think I insisted on Math Scores so much higher than what the Department of Education was willing to accept?"

"Thirty Seconds."

James strapped himself into the seat and finished his coffee. "Thruster Check.  Green."

"Green."

He took a deep breath, "Here we go..."
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2012, 12:43:13 am »
24 January 2014
03:31 Zulu

"Braking Maneuver complete.  RV to the Asteroid is now, Negative four point six kilometers per second.  ETA to dust cloud, thirty-two minutes."

"Confirmed over here.  We're going to need another breaking thrust in about two minutes to make the passage through the dust cloud easier."

James chuckled a bit as he thought over their next maneuver, "You know what's funny, we're actually now heading back towards the station."

"We're just moving towards it slower than the Asteroid is."

"Everything in space is relative to each other.  If you tried to deal with absolutes you'd go crazy."

"Please stop."

"Oh, Right.  Sorry."  James looked through the messages that arrived during their deceleration burn.  "Every simulation so far has shown that we can pull it far enough off course.  It will take anywhere from eight minutes to fifteen minutes at full burn."

"Is it really going to be that easy?"

"I doubt it."

"So do I."

"Twenty Eight Minutes."

She laughed, "This half hour is going to drag on forever isn't it?"

"I'm game for anything to pass the time."

"So let's talk."

James sighed, "Lets.  Our behavior the last couple of days has been anything but professional, and I'm pretty sure Ammanda knows what we did last night."

"She thinks she knows what we did.  The sad part is, that we didn't."

"Not that anyone will believe that.  'Yeah we slept together, no we didn't have sex.'"

"Personally, I don't think there's a problem with us being involved.  I'm not staying up here.  You know as well as I do that the Air Force will recall me as soon as Shaun needs me."

"mmhmm... So what does that make this?  A one year stand?"

"James... I'll be back.  Just like Ashley, I'll be back.  If everything goes as planned, the ship Shaun is building will be stationed at your station.  We'll see each other on a regular basis."

"If it goes as planned, he'll be building it at the station."

"Exactly.  Can you imagine how much smoother that will go if you and I are involved."

"As long as we don't have a huge break-up fight."

"Well, there's always that possibility.  But somehow, I feel like you and I aren't going to have that kind of fight.  Even if we don't feel like taking it all the way, I don't believe we'd ruin it to the point where we can't work together."

"I hope not."

"Don't hope.  Let's just make sure of it.  If we resolve now, that whatever happens, we end this amicably, then we will.  The hope is for us not having to end it at all."

"So... what do we do about the scuttlebutt?"

"I'd kiss you right now if I could.  Let it fly... who cares.  Rumors of a sexual encounter between the two of us will help morale, in the short-term.  People love to gossip, even if they claim they don't.  It will give them something to talk about, even if it is embarrassing for us.  Personally, I'd love to hear where the rumor mill says we did the deed, and how."

"Why's that?"

"Maybe we'd catch wind of an interesting place to actually do it.  One that we didn't think of."

He said nothing, but turned his attention to the communications board.

"You got quiet all of a sudden.  Am I making you uncomfortable?"

"No."

"Talking is a two way street, if you don't start talking, we don't accomplish anything."

"I'm going over the last packet Ammanda sent.  This simulation says that we failed..."
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2012, 01:54:02 pm »
Some good interpersonal relationship scenes there, with some solid but jargon-free tech as the action plot.

Good, solid work.

I am interested to confirm if Sam just invented plasma torpedoes, though. :)

Keep it coming.
Come visit me at:  www.Starbase23.net

The Senior Service rocks! Rule, Britannia!

The Doctor: "Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink."
Mickey: "Wot's that?"
The Doctor: "No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say 'Magic Door'."
- Doctor Who: The Woman in the Fireplace (S02E04)

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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2012, 08:20:29 pm »
I wish I could keep it coming.  At the moment my computer has decided to come down with a very nasty virus.  Nothing is lost as of yet, but certain elements of the computer have ceased responding, and like a cancer it is spreading itself to other systems.  It started about three weeks ago, with what I thought were random shutdowns related to heat issues.  I first noticed a problem when my picture thumbnails got corrupted.  In the last 48 hours, I've lost sound, and now the ability to perform any kind of windows maintenance.  I can still perform AV and Malware scans, because I use non-MS products to conduct those scans, but they have all come back negative, leading me to believe that they may also have been corrupted.  It would figure that the worst of it (to date) would manifest itself coincidentally at the same time that SFC:CE would be released...  I'll be back... don't know when, but I will be back.
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2012, 10:50:34 am »
You have my sympathies. My newish Win7 desktop went that way a few weeks before I moved. I could still get in on safe mode with networking for a while so I stupidly let that continue instead of investigating any further than using AVG anti-virus scans. I couldn't use any graphics-heavy stuff like any games at all, Blender, Photoshop, Milkshape, etc. but I could still browse and I used my laptop to reinstall the games on. :D

Three weeks later: Boom. I tried partial recovery from my Recovery disks so I'd not lose all the fresh data on my HD, but alas, three of them did nothing.

I had to crack the case and connect my HD to my laptop and transfer the precious  files from there to my external USB HD. Once I had scoured the HD and made sure I'd saved as much as I could, I did a full recovery, wiping all data, and that worked.

I'm about back up to speed now. Good luck with your own issues.
Come visit me at:  www.Starbase23.net

The Senior Service rocks! Rule, Britannia!

The Doctor: "Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink."
Mickey: "Wot's that?"
The Doctor: "No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say 'Magic Door'."
- Doctor Who: The Woman in the Fireplace (S02E04)

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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2012, 12:29:42 am »
yay!  I'm back!  Sort of.  One (at least) bad memory stick, and a complete reinstall of windows later.  I am back in action.  Now to spend the rest of the week reinstalling all of my programs, get my files back from my external, and hope I didn't lose anything vital.  Be back to do more later in the week.  Thanks for the well wishes Andy!
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2012, 02:47:58 pm »
04:02 Zulu

The shuttles finished their braking maneuver and turned their noses back to the asteroid.  A white mist surrounded the rock that was still several dozen kilometers away.  While they both knew what that mist really was, from here it gave the impression that there was an atmosphere on the asteroid.  They had both cut their relative velocities to the asteroid to 10 meters per second.  At that speed, they would be able to maneuver through the cloud of smaller particles that gave the rock a sort of protective layer, while still being able to use their RCS thrusters to come to a relative stop when they reached their destinations.

"It's kind of beautiful."

James smiled in agreement with Sam's statement.  It was beautiful, the way the sunlight reflected off of the dust cloud, and even the larger rocks, some no bigger than his fist, some as large as Volkswagons, glistened in the light.  "It's also very deadly, Dear.  Be careful."

"You do the same."  She paused for a moment as if considering saying something else, but came back on the radio with her plan of action, "I've got what looks to be a nice tunnel at one-five, mark, three-four-nine, It'll get me half way there before I have to do much maneuvering."

James nodded as he checked his own navigation system, "I've got a decent one myself at three-one-six, mark, one-seven.  I'll have to skirt that rock to avoid a nasty traffic jam, but after that it looks like I've got a clear shot to my target."

"Let's do this."

With that she fired her aft thrusters to give her a little push in the direction she wanted to go.  James oriented his craft to his target, and triggered his thrusters.  At this point they were both on their own, James had his computer keep an eye on Sam's craft, but he couldn't spare any attention from his course, and neither could she.  He alternated his attention between the canopy window in front of him, and his navigational radar screen beneath it, while he did that, he mentally noted that upon the craft's first refit, the radar screen needed to be overlaid on the canopy window.  Whether it was his imagination or reality, he heard the craft enter the dust/ice cloud.  The radar alerted him to a large object in his path, his first obstacle was a shard of ice about the size of a small child.  He triggered his port thruster for a half a second, waited a couple of heartbeats as the ice shard flew by him, then triggered his starboard thruster for three-quarters of a second to bring him back on his original course.

Up next, was an odd shaped rock, a little smaller than a commuter bus.  It was coming in high, and was spinning, a one second burst from his dorsal thruster cleared it well above him, then a one second burst from his starboard thruster was necessary to avoid the office building that was now in his way.  A stabilizing thrust from both his ventral and port thrusters lined him up with his first way-point.  He took the moment's reprieve to reach over and dial down the temperature a degree.

Reaching the first way-point, he fired his forward thruster to slow him down, while simultaneously using his port thruster to re-direct him to his second way-point.  Two objects were now in his path, one of them was in motion and would be clear by the time he reached it, the other was only peripherally in his way.  When he got there, a quick burst from his ventral thruster took him up and over it.  But apparently not completely, a thump reverberated through the cabin.  His damage indicator showed a yellow spot flashing on his belly before it turned back to a shade of green, indicating that the armor had been hit, but is still intact.  His reflexes told him to look for what hit him, but he had willed himself to stay focused on what was ahead.  He reached way-point two and fired his aft thruster to pick up some speed while using both his dorsal and starboard thruster to line himself up with the rock he had just named Central Park.

He named it such because that was the size of it.  One of the larger free floating rocks in the cloud, it was his intention to get as close as he could to it, and skirt it at nape to avoid what was the thickest part of the cloud he had to pass through.  He rolled his craft to orient it with the surface of Central Park, if there was any gas surrounding it, his wings would provide a little lift, making it much easier to fly at nape level.  The altimeter counted down the range, when he reached one-hundred meters he fired his ventral thruster in two short one-second bursts, and then fired it again in a two second burst upon reaching thirty meters.  It took him four seconds to pass over Central Park, and once he did he relaxed.  There was nothing between him and the surface of the Asteroid.  He fired his forward thruster in his final breaking maneuver, and settled in ninety-five meters over his target.  A patch of Iron about a quarter of a hectare in size.

"A shame we can't extract this, or capture the Asteroid.  There's enough raw materials here to finish building the station, and probably two more just like it."  He reached over to his comm system, and prepared a data burst.  Line of Sight between him and Sam, and even him and the station or the drone, was spotty.  All messages would have to be sent as data bursts, short half-second transmissions that would fire as soon as the computer recognized that it had LOS.  "In position, awaiting confirmation of your arrival Sam."

He glanced at his tactical display, everything immediately surrounding him was solid, but as you looked further away from him, the image crackled as it struggled to keep up with the ever shifting cloud that surrounded him, Sam's last known position was dimmed, indicating that it had been at least a minute since last contact.  Every so often a portion of the screen would solidify, due to direct contact being established with the drone, filling in what it saw of the area.  During those contacts, Sam's position would shift on his screen, still dimmed, as they weren't making contact at the same time.  He paid close attention to the topographical map that was being formulated from his sensors, looking for a good place to shoot his grappler at.  When he was satisfied that he found a spot, he feathered his thrusters to position himself over the spot, and also brought the range down to fifty meters.

Sam's indicator light flared to full intensity, and conveniently stayed bright as she settled in at her position.  "Well look what I found.  I don't have a scratch on my shuttle, but I see one on yours, James."

He flushed a little with embarrassment, "You do.  I'm not quite sure what hit me, but it wasn't particularly large."

"We ready for this?"

"I'm ready, you find a spot yet?"

"All set and ready to go."

"Firing Grappler."  James triggered the release of his grappler, the large magnetic dish flew through the empty space between him and the Asteroid, a small layer of dust exploded from the impact point.  The grappler mechanism then pulled the steel cable tight and tugged on the magnet to check on the connection.  "I've got a solid catch."

"Same here."

He smiled as he set his autopilot. "Time to let the computers do the work."
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2012, 09:49:37 am »
Very nice description of dodging through the approach to the main asteroid. Had the perfect images in my head for it, and I liked what I saw.

Glad to see you back up and running, Q.
Come visit me at:  www.Starbase23.net

The Senior Service rocks! Rule, Britannia!

The Doctor: "Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink."
Mickey: "Wot's that?"
The Doctor: "No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say 'Magic Door'."
- Doctor Who: The Woman in the Fireplace (S02E04)

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Offline Vipre

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2012, 12:25:33 pm »
Just got caught up. Cool story, looking forward to more. Really enjoy the weaving together of the different show/game references. Kane as genetically engineered human existing alongside Khan, possibly "The" Khan, was really great as was the whole "The 'So-and-so'" name conversation.

Regarding viruses in general, if you're not familiar with it check out Malwarebytes. Between it, TDSSKiller and ditching IE I've had almost no trouble on that front in years.

Also, is this story 1 of 3 with parts 1 and 2 being "It's All Relative" and "L1 Intermission"? I'd like to catch up from "the beginning" as well.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 05:12:52 pm by Vipre »
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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2012, 01:36:33 am »
Yes.  The first part of the story is "It's All Relative."  L1 Intermission was a bit of side story, I was having a little fun with the idea of making the whole thing a "Coast to Coast AM" radio show.  Since this would fit right in with that particular program.  I have more of the L1 Intermission story on my computer, it has not as yet been posted, although I do intend to revisit it at some point in the future.  If you or anyone else has "in character" questions to ask James, send me a message and I'll integrate your questions into the story.  I'll probably write another Coast to Coast AM episode for between parts 2 and 3.

And yes, I use MalwareBytes, not exclusively, but it is one of the programs I use in general.  It turns out that there was never a Virus on my computer in the first place.  I had one (maybe two) bad stick(s) of memory on my system, and it was corrupting any thing that loaded on to it, but the Windows Memory Management program wouldn't catch it unless a critical windows file was affected.  I've since pulled the offending sticks out, and while my system is noticeably slower, it's been running just fine since.  Unfortunately, I didn't catch the memory problem until AFTER I tried to reinstall Windows.  The Windows reinstall failed, and forced me to reformat the drive.  I was able to pull my documents off to a External Hard Drive, before the wipe, and losses have been minimal.  I don't think I've found every file that's been corrupted, and I doubt I ever will.  I'll only notice it once I try to open it.

Next Part of this story will be out some time tomorrow.
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)

Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: A Good Start
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2012, 03:35:54 pm »
He felt the power of the engine as it made his small craft vibrate.  If he was actually moving anywhere he'd be under the stress of two and a half gravities of acceleration.  But the Grappler held tight to the giant rock.  It was too early in the burn to determine if they were making any progress.  They had estimated the mass of the rock to be in excess of 1.5 x 107 tonnes, which was a lot of mass to move.  Fortunately though, they didn't have to move it so much as nudge it.

"Everything's working as expected over here, Sam."

"I had a momentary slippage here, but it locked down quickly after that."

James sat back and waited for the drone to re-enter line of sight.

"I've made contact with the drone, we've already pulled the rock point-two-six degrees.

He looked at the chronometer that started as soon as the burn began, it read 01:23.  "That's a little more than I was expecting this early into the burn."

"You think it might be lighter than we estimated?"

He shrugged, "It would have to be pretty hollow to be that much lighter."

"Whoa."

James snapped to full attention, 'What?"

"Nothing, I just felt a bit of a tug, that's all."

"Did your Grappler slip again?"

"I don't think so.  I'm not sure.  Everything's fine again."

James opened his mouth to reply, but at the same time, he established contact with the Drone, "We're at point-seven degrees.  Just keep an eye on yourself."

"I've already gone back to manual control, If I slip and lose it, I've only got a couple of seconds to react before I smash into this rock in front of me."

He tensed, "I wish you had chosen a different vector."

"There was no way to avoid it, it's a big rock, it took up all my vectors."

"Then..."  He started.

She responded before he could finish his question, "I've got my avoid course already ready.  Relax, I've got two-point-three seconds, minimum, to begin making my turn."

"To begin?"

"Yes, to begin.  I've got eight seconds to impact.  And if I cut the engines the second I start speeding towards it... I've got all day then."

James relaxed, he knew she was lying to him, but somehow the lie made him feel better.

"Point-nine."

At three minutes, he noted.  They were almost a third of the way to the minimum deviation threshold, less than a sixth of the way into their burn.  The deviation would pick up slightly as they kept pulling.  If they did a full burn, they'd get a ten to twelve degree deviation.  Almost too much.  They were shooting for around a six to seven degree deviation.  "Let's see where we are at the eight minute mark, we may just want to cut the burn at ten."

"Well you didn't want to burn all of our fuel."

"Exactly.  If we're around three degrees at eight minutes, like I expect we will be, we'll cut it off at..." It was his turn to yelp as he bucked in his seat.

"You alright?"

He stared at the Grappler display, "Yeah, the Winch pulled in a meter of cable, must have reached a stress threshold and pulled it in to compensate."

"You think we're going to make it?"

"As long as the cables hold up, we'll make it."  He checked all his other instruments to be sure that everything was fine now, but noticed something odd when he looked over at Sam's position.  "Sam?"

"Yeah?"

"What are you using to base your range from the asteroid on?"

"The Plate, why?"

"Your distance from me is about five meters further than it was when we started this.  One of those meters is my shortening my cable, and another is your lengthening yours.  But three of those meters are unaccounted for."

"mmmhmmm...  Makes you wonder if the asteroid may be cracking under the stress."

"That could be a problem.  All the more reason to pull it as far as we need to and then stop."

"One-point-seven degrees.  We're over half way there."

James glanced back to his chronometer, "At only five and half minutes."  He looked out his canopy window, "I'm glad we didn't let the freighter do this.  While it's got more power, I don't know how Micheal would fit it in here."

"More than likely is that he'd have four shuttles doing the work that the two of us are doing.  But he could have also used the ship mounted rail-guns to clear a path for the shuttles."

"hmm...  Maybe that's something we need to consider.  Mounting some kind of weapon on our shuttles so that they can clear paths for themselves."

"I don't think you're going to be able to get a rail-gun big enough to do that on these shuttles."

James thought carefully for a moment, "How about a particle cannon?"

"Maybe.  But I thought that you switched to rail-guns because the particle cannons weren't effective?"

"The range wasn't effective, but on a shuttle, the range doesn't matter as much."

"Hmm... I'll add it to my growing list of miracles to perform."

"I don't think you have to do that, that's something that George has been wanting to do since we put the rail-guns on."  He stopped as he looked back to the sensor display, "Sam, you've pulled two more meters away from me."

"Yeah, I've just noticed it too.  Hold on."

While he waited for Sam to come back, He noticed that the drone had acquired LOS with him and spat him another data burst, they had now pulled the Asteroid two-point-three degrees.  Two more minutes of thrust would get the course correction they were looking for.

"I can't find the..."  She paused, "Wait.  LIDAR is indicating some buckling in the asteroid's surface surrounding the patch of Nickel that I'm attached to."

"Are you pulling the deposit of Nickel out of the rock?!"

"God I hope not!"

James ran a LIDAR scan of his section, "sh*t!  I'm getting the same buckling here!  Just not to the extent that you've got, yet."

"We're almost there, just another ninety seconds!

Would they make it?, he wondered.  He turned his external camera to look at the worst of the buckling, he could see the rock breaking up like an earthquake was tearing it open.  An audible alarm sounded, and he quickly snapped his head to the direction of it.  His range indicator to Sam's position started spiraling upwards.  She had broken her connection to the asteroid!

"I'm loose!  But OK.  I'm not going to be able to turn back around though.  You're on your own at thi...."  Her communication abruptly cut off as he lost contact with her.  His mind raced, did she crash, or just get something between them?  How much longer would he have to pull now that she wasn't pulling too?  Would he break loose before he moved it enough?  Did he have enough fuel to finish the pull now?

All too briefly he connected to the drone, two-point-five degrees.  He had to pull it a half a degree by himself, and he had only twelve minutes worth of fuel left to do it in.
"Your mighty GDI forces have been emasculated, and you yourself are a killer of children.  Now of course it's not true.  But the world only believes what the media tells them to believe.  And I tell the media what to believe, its really quite simple." - Kane (Joe Kucan) Command & Conquer Tiberium Dawn (1995)