Cnsev tormalinas lost, p.7

CNSEV Tormalinas, Lost, page 7

 

CNSEV Tormalinas, Lost
 


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  Chapter 6

  Dark Space

  When they pulled themselves into the damaged docking bay 37, housing the battered and smoking Tormalinas, they had to work to get through and past more floating, wriggling bugs and dead bodies until they reached the Tormalinas’ loading bays.

  “The Tormalinas cannot reach 25 spans before the detonation,” Marleen said.

  “There is another way to go farther than that,” Amy said, reaching for the portal displacement pads. “We have the mechanic’ suits. We can initiate a dark space jump and time it for 30 minute cycles.”

  “That has never been done before,” Marleen said.

  “There’s no better time than now to try it unless you want to stay here and watch the show. Program that displacement pad for 30 minute cycles and I’ll get this one set.”

  Marleen did as she was told.

  “3:00 minute cycles and counting.”

  “Okay when we jump, we need to remain displaced for 30 minute cycles before returning. Activate now,” Amy said.

  “Wait,” Marleen shouted as she pulled herself forward out of the loading bay and into the smoldering ship.

  “2:00 minute cycles and counting.”

  “What the bleep,” Amy shouted. “What the bleep. What the bleep.”

  She looked at the controls for the displacement pads and tapped the touchpad to activate a jump.

  “Activate now,” she said. Nothing happened. “Activate now,” she said again. Again, nothing happened.

  “1:00 minute cycle to implosion of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Launch and Extraction Station CNSSS 15 and counting. 59, 58, 57, 56, 55…”

  Marleen catapulted herself back into the bay holding a small box.

  “Bleep Lieutenant, that wasn’t protocol at all,” Amy said.

  “Activate now,” Marleen said.

  They then embraced and held on to each other tight. Amy closed her eyes and held her breath. It was just something she had always done since learning to portal jump. To her, making a portal jump always felt like walking into a cold shower.

  The last things Marleen saw before closing her eyes were bugs, dead bodies, the damaged space station, the crippled Tormalinas, all floating in space around her, and Major Amy Porter, face to face, helmet to helmet. Amy looks peaceful. She looks as if she’s asleep.

  Marleen felt a splash of energy and then she tasted copper in her mouth. She opened her eyes now. She still held on tight to Amy. She saw Amy and nothing else, there were no stars behind and surrounding them. There was nothing, just two portal navigators in dark space.

  “Marleen, I want you to know it was never personal, the way I felt about you,” Amy said.

  “I know Major. I know.”

  “It’s just that they train us to not trust anyone. It’s our training.”

  “I know Major. They train us to survive.”

  “Do you think it was selfish that I didn’t hesitate to destroy the space station, but I wanted to live, so I was willing to risk a portal jump like this to survive?”

  Marleen hesitated and then said, “I don’t know if it was selfish, since the academy trains portal navigators to survive.”

  Amy asked, “Do you think it was selfish of me that I brought you here because I know someone will have to remain here in dark space to operate the displacement pad here in order for me to get back?”

  Marleen hesitated again and then replied, “It is no more selfish than strategic and no more strategic than selfish of me to let you save us, knowing you would not be saved. Ma’am, you are infected and these new displacement pads do not require someone to activate them from both sides of the portal.”

  Amy released her grasp on Marleen and pushed away. Marleen held on tight.

  “When did I become contaminated?”

  “When you ordered your helmet released, Colonel Keeghan countermanded your order and ordered sedation, but not before you broke your seal. You were unconscious when a number of bugs got into your suit. Colonel Keeghan initiated his last man up tests on you instead of Corporal Munn. It was your intent to do so in order to spare Corporal Munn, wasn’t it?”

  “Yes. That was my intent.” Amy let out a groan. “I can feel it moving inside me. It’s moving up into my brain. I don’t want to die like this. Release my helmet.”

  Nothing happened. Amy slapped at her wrist touchpad. “Release my helmet,” she said again.

  “Releasing your helmet requires a command authorization and I do not concur, Ma’am.”

  “What?”

  Amy shoved harder to push away from Marleen. Marleen held on tighter and said, “I intend to bring you back within your displacement suit. The Commonwealth will have its samples of this lifeform.”

  Amy yelled, “You are not in command Lieutenant. I order you to confirm my order to release my helmet.”

  “Ma’am, by your own acknowledgment of infection by a lethal lifeform, command protocols transfer to me. I am in full command now. That is confirmed. You are now a contaminated sample, property of the Commonwealth. This isn’t personal Major. It’s protocol.”

  Amy blinked to look at her readout and saw inside her eyes command had been transferred. “So I’m just going to wait here while you watch me die?” she asked.

  “We have 8.2 minute cycles before we can jump back to light space.”

  Amy closed her eyes, relaxed, and prayed. Marleen closed her eyes and prayed too.

  “So Lieutenant, what was so important you had to go back to get?”

  “I had to go back to get something important from my childhood.”

  Marleen opened the small red box by pressing a button on its front. She removed a small black velvet pouch and then removed a small figurine, a wire sculpture of an angel.

  “That does not calculate to be worth the risk to us both for you to go back and retrieve it,” Amy said.

  “It’s called a mojo, a token from my childhood, it guarantees optimal luck.”

  “I’ve never heard of such a thing,” Amy said. “So, tell me about your life as a child while this bleeping bug tunnels through my brain. Would you do that for me to help pass the time?”

  “Yes Ma’am. I can do that.

  I was born on Mars, not in the nice parts, in the mining district near New New Orleans.”

  Amy said, “New New Orleans… I always loved that city, such a wonderful and rich people, the food, the music, the sites, the sounds, all very bleeping optimal.”

  Marleen said, “I guess if you grow up there you just really wish you could be somewhere else, but I bet a lot of places are like that.

  When I was four years old. One of the primary educators suggested I take the Imagination Test. I made toys for my friends. Made them out of trash. I called them mojos. The educator called them beautiful. Other kids called me weird, but she called me whimsical. I scored a 169 on the I-m Test.”

  “169?” Amy exclaimed, now slurring her words. “That’s more than two standard deviations above optimal. Just like you, they tested me when I was four. I pretended to be in movies. I scored a 134 on the I-m-T. It’s funny how becoming a portal navigator strips us of our imagination, strips us of that whimsical spirit after time.”

  “We need to wait one more minute cycle,” Marleen said. “Is there something you want me to pass on to your loved ones?”

  “You know portal navigators can’t have loved ones.”

  “Sometimes we still do. I can pass on anything you want to anyone you want me to.”

  “I want you to pass on to this one young navigator I knew,” Amy said. “Her name was Lieutenant Marleen Huang,” she slurred each word with some coming out faster than they should and some coming out much slower as if affected by a time distortion.

  “Tell her, to love somebody. Tell her to find somebody in this universe worthy of pouring all her love into besides the Commonwealth. Tell her to love hard and deep and to give herself to someone who makes her sorry to say goodbye. Tell her portal navigators deserve love and real lives and deserve to
feel the pleasures of relationships.

  Tell her it’s the one thing I am so sorry I did not do. Tell her to live and live big once in a while. Once in a while, to let go and feel the special optimal joy of connecting to another person even if it is just for a moment. Tell her to drink too much Old Texas just once, just for fun and regrets, just for bleeps and giggles, just to bleep-off all the Commonwealth loyalists.

  Tell her we cannot ever calculate all there is to calculate. Will you tell her for me? Will you promise? Will you bleeping promise me you will tell her?”

  She shook Marleen in her grip.

  “Yes Ma’am. I will tell her. I promise,” Marleen said, tears welling in her eyes and she sobbed there inside her helmet, fogging it up.

  “Just one more thing Lieutenant.”

  “Yes Ma’am?” Marleen asked between gasps.

  “If you could grow hair, what color would you want it to be?”

  Marleen wondered if this question was the product of the Major’s now diminished brain functioning.

  She answered, “I’ve always fantasized about growing hair. Lately I’ve decided that if I could grow hair, I would like it to be cropped short and it would have to be turquoise.”

  “Oh, I knew it! That’s so optimally funny because I pictured you with turquoise hair.”

  Marleen said, “I could never make up my mind, but now, Ma’am, I would definitely choose turquoise, thank you.”

  “Long turquoise?” Amy asked.

  “No, I’m more partial to short hair,” Marleen replied.

  “I bet it would look optimally lovely on you.”

  “Major there is some chance your condition can be reversed,” Marleen said between sobs and gasps.

  Amy flinched inside her spacesuit. “That’s a kind thought,” she said, “but you and I both know there is no recovery from this. You be optimal, Lieutenant,” she said through clenched teeth.

  “Sedate the Major,” Marleen said. She watched as Amy’s body relaxed. “Now activate the displacement portal.”

  Marleen watched as the darkness of space around them erupted with the blinding ambient light of light space. She reached over and dragged Amy’s body into the light as a black bug, bloody, and covered in slimy brain fluids, crawled across the inside of Amy’s faceshield.

  She said, “Cryo-preserve the Major’s body.”

  The portal closed behind them.

  Marleen now pressed the touchpad controls on the back of her wrist. “Readout, report.”

  The readout showed in her eyes CNSSS 15, Sigma Alpha Epsilon detonated under a golf-ten protocol, destroying all matter within 25 spans.

  “Readout. Show me the closest vessel.”

  The readout showed in her eyes CNSWV 89, a war vessel, the Toronto was on the way to the location. It would arrive 83.87 day cycles. Her readout showed she had 24.09 day cycles of life support in her suit.

  Marleen floated there in space with the Major’s motionless body surrounded by the abstract beauty of the stars. She pulled her arms inside her space suit and pulled out a small squeeze pouch from the pocket on her left thigh. She took a long deep drink from the pouch and then she imagined the universe as a room enclosing her with countless pinpoints of light, dazzling the black canvass before her.

  She imagined shapes and made up her own constellations. She had created 2049 different constellations of which she could name them all and point them out, mythical creatures, heroes, and objects. She made up stories about them all and played the stories out in her mind and using her wire figure angel. That had taken her just a few weeks. Her readout showed “2.69 day cycles of life remaining.”

  She placed her mojo figure back inside its black pouch and back inside its red box and said, “Revive me when the Toronto is one span away. Maintain emergency broadcast on all signals until I am revived.” Then she began to pray just like all navigators knew how to do. She closed her eyes, slowed her breathing, quieted her mind, and connected with the deepest fabrics of the universe across space and time.

  The End

  {Return to Table of Contents}

  About the Author

  Van Allen is a real person. I'm a former Captain in the US Marines. In my 21-year military career, I developed expertise in both combat training and criminal investigations. While in the Marines, I also completed a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

  Originally from Houston, Texas and currently residing in Frisco, Texas, I fancy myself a secret physics, statistics, and data nerd. I'm also known today for being a part-time tennis strategy and coaching genius…by my kids…sometimes.

  If you ever want to talk more about my writing projects, aliens, zombies and what’s real and what’s not, conspiracy theories, Psychology, business, or winning tennis tactics, or even who’s got the best margaritas in the DFW area, drop me a line.

  Follow me @GrProject43X on Twitter

  www.VanAllenFiction.com

  VanAllenFiction.com@aol.com

  Follow me on Facebook, search for “Van Allen Fiction”

  {Return to Table of Contents}

  Dedication

  I dedicate this short-short story to my one and only daughter, Ashleigh Jordynn Allen. She wrote a short-short story for me about alien bugs when she was about eight years old. She asked me to finish that story for her. I told her I would. This short-short story is only a tangent from her original idea. I’ll finish writing out the first full-length book in a series of books inspired by her original story later in 2017. I know I’ll at least have one book sale. If I get one positive review after that, I will call this a huge success.

  Thank you for reading this story. If you enjoyed it, please leave positive reviews with your favorite eBook retailers.

  ~Van Allen

  www.VanAllenFiction.com

  Email me at vanallenfiction@aol.com

  Follow me on Twitter @GrProject43X

  Look for me on Facebook @ Van Allen Fiction

  Please go to my website to see my other published works.

  And oh yeah, did I ask you to please leave positive reviews?

  {Return to Table of Contents}

  Previously Published Short Stories:

  Available for at your favorite book retailers.

  Sci-Fi

  I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat - Alien Conspiracy

  Zombie Apocalypse

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: The Rules

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: Hive Incident

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: Get It Right or Die

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: Weaponology and Guns

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: What’s Left of America

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: Make America Great Again

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: The Definitive Test

  Other Fiction

  BEAR (full length novel, horror, thriller)

  Non-Fiction

  Memoirs

  Jasper and Van

  The Old Man in the Hospital

  Non-Fiction (Business)

  Hire the Right People and Win Big

  Graduate Research on Improving Corporate Diversity

  Workplace Bullying: A Growing Epidemic

  Coming Soon:

  A Civil Rights Case Study

  Van’s First Bike

  Zombie Outbreak Survival: Fitness Training

  They’re Coming – Alien Invasion (full length novel 2017)

  Thanks again,

  ~Van Allen~

  {Return to Table of Contents}

 
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