Friday, 25 April 2014

SFFSat 26-4-14 - Black Ice part 2

This is my snippet this week for SFFSat. SFFSat is a place where a number of authors post snippets from their written works, and give the opportunity for comments, support and encouragement. Please also explore the other blogs that are part of this set - you can find the information here. 


This is part two of the Anton deGama story, Black Ice. Anton's crawler is sliding towards a deep trench on Titan...



Anton abandoned his futile struggle with the controls, and turned to climb out of the cockpit. He estimated he had around two minutes before reaching the drop-off, but if the rate of slide increased faster... He paused fractionally, and twisted round briefly to punch in the crawler's autopilot. He scrambled back out of the cockpit, ignoring the blaze of red warning lights that blossomed across the displays.
The crawler's main hold was stacked with stencilled styro-crates and hardware. The rear of the hold was dominated by the new radio dish; in front of that were the carefully packaged replacement computer units and sensor arrays.
He was supposed to be tracking down and repairing a fault in an automated weather research station at the top of the range of hills. The job should have been a quick, straightforward task to bring in a bit of cash while he waited for his new single-ship to grow. Anton sighed, and eyed the components and the cases of tools briefly, looking vainly for something that might assist. If the worst came to it, there was a suit hooked on the rack behind the cockpit. He could bail out, try to get over the slide, and leave the crawler to fall. Anton suspected the suit's integrity would be pushed to the limit for him to walk back to Titan Groundstation, but it was a better chance than going into a trench.

As always, comments welcomed!
 

12 comments:

  1. As always, some great details through and through. How the simplest of jobs can turn so quickly! I liked how you casually tossed in the line about waiting for his new ship to grow - what a cool detail. Let's hope Anton doesn't have to lose more equipment - talk about from the frying pan into the fire.

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    1. Anton doesn't seem to have much luck!

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  2. Dang it! Why do the simplest jobs always turn sour? It's like somebody just wants to cause problems. :P Seriously, I'm getting stoked about this story already. Some great details along with the action.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words - I like to think the details make the story come alive.

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  3. Dragons and Triplanes? What a concept! My vote automatically goes to the dragons as the team to watch.

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    1. You definitely need to watch the dragons - nasty, vicious creatures. Sorrel, my eponymous pilot heroine, would say you should side with the triplane every time...

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  4. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't...when in doubt, go with the biggest chance to save your own hide. :)

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    1. Good tactic - usually the best answer!

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  5. You use some beautiful language here. I especially love the red warning lights blossoming across the board. I really admire your word choice in describing the cascading system failures. You create a great sense of being caught between Scylla and Charybdis in the midst of a hurricane. Just beautiful writing all around.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. I like your phrase about Scylla and Charybdis in the midst of a hurricane - I might steal it... ;-)

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  6. Your wording is always such a joy to read. Geeze, it's impressive! And as far as the content, I'm not sure how Anton has maintained so much calm. How often is he in near death crises? Gripping.

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    1. His calm is beginning to crack in the next installment... he isn't as cool as he might seem. Of course, if things go badly wrong, he's going to end up a great deal cooler...

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