Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 15

Time to step out and take a look...   ------   Chapter 15. "No, Maddox, Tav, no one but me and the Sergeant gets armed." "But Xaaaaaander –" "No but Xander, Maddox. You don't even know how to handle a gun yet, and I don't think that Tav or Francisco do either." The other boys glared at him and Campbell, but finally the glares turned to pouts. "Well… okay. You're right." "Good listening, kids," Campbell said. "Guns are not toys. We've got several from the cargo, so if and when I think you boys are ready, all [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 14

They had just landed.... but were they safe yet?   -----   Chapter 14.      Tavana let out a whoop and for a few moments everyone was cheering except for the Sergeant, who was just grinning from ear to ear and leaning back in his seat with obvious relief. Finally the noise died down and the Sergeant stood up. "Whoo. Feels real funny standing now, but also seems my medical nanos didn't let me get too weak. Still, everybody be a little careful moving around 'til you get used to walking again." He looked around the [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 13

They'd found a planet...   ----- Chapter 13.      "Listen up, people. We are about to attempt a landing on a planet no one has ever landed on before. That means we're going in cold, no survey, no beacons, nothing. With the way we lost most of our instruments, we can't even do much of a once-over from orbit, basically just get a glimpse of the land that's not cloud-covered and pick the best-looking landing spots." The huge curve of Emerald cut across the forward port, softened by the presence of atmosphere, white and green and [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 12

  They had one more roll of the dice to throw...   ------   Chapter 12      Tavana gazed at the brilliant disc of the star – filtered, of course – that was the center of their hopes. "Program concluded, Sergeant. We made it; I think we must be, um, what, something like a hundred eighty million kilometers from the star right now. What now?" "Now we have to look for a planet we can land on," Campbell said easily. Tavana knew he was putting up a front, mostly for Maddox and Francisco. There was no guarantee of a [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 11

It's when you're sleeping that questions occur...   -----   Chapter 11.      "Sergeant?" Xander whispered. He saw the eyes snap open, look around, registering where the Sergeant was, the person speaking to him, the fact that everything else seemed normal, in the time it took a normal person to blink. He's always ready for everything. "Sorry to wake you, sir," he said. Campbell sat up slowly. "I figure you must have something you want to say that the others shouldn't hear. If I agree with you, then there's no [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 10

Our adventurers had finally fixed the stardrive...   ------   Chapter 10.      Samuel Campbell went into the cargo hold once he was sure that Tavana and Maddox were securing themselves. He still felt shaky inside; the relief that – once more – the suspension procedure had worked warred with his worry that Pearce still might not make it. It wasn't a good place for his head to be in, but he accepted that it would take a bit to drive the personal turmoil out. These ain't the best circumstances for keeping my distance, [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 9

Well, they'd retrieved Lieutenant Haley...     -----     Chapter 9.   "Do you think we have enough, sir?" Sergeant Campbell didn't answer at once; Tavana could see he was still carefully transferring the contents of injector after injector into a treatment pack. Finally he looked up and Tavana was startled to see the lines on the Sergeant's face; they seemed far more pronounced now than they'd been when they were first marooned. "I wish to God I knew, son. To be dead honest with you… if it were just me [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 8

They were doing repairs...   -----   Chapter 8. Xander watched the installation of the precious coil in his VRD, one of the gloved hands gripping the coil and the other tightening part of a not-quite visible fixture.   "There, that's got it!" the Sergeant said. "Check the connectivity, would you?"   "Connection shows good, sir!" Tavana answered from the pilot's seat. "We just had the Trapdoor status light go green!"   "Well, now, that's a relief and a half."   A tiny glint in [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 7

They had repairs to do...   -----     Chapter 7. Campbell activated the shaped pad inside his suit; the sweat on his forehead and eyebrows was quickly wiped away. "All right, Tavana. I'm out." He stood on the dimly-visible hull of LS-88, the innumerable stars of the galaxy sprinkled across the utter darkness like frozen sparks embedded in obsidian. Low down and towards the rear of the landing shuttle, he could see the enigmatic nearby star – one he was pretty sure was less than a light-year off – gleaming [ Continue reading... ]

Castaway Odyssey: Chapter 6

Well, they had power, but they were still stranded in the vast dark...   ------   Chapter 6. Xander blinked himself awake and stretched, letting the tensing of his muscles start the blood pumping. The interior of LS-88 was quiet except for the faint hum of various pieces of equipment and the murmur of the environmental systems. It should also have been pretty dark, but there was a glow from the pilot's seat. Probably what woke me up. He glanced around. To his surprise, not only were Francisco and Maddox asleep, but the [ Continue reading... ]