Going to try do these in 500 words or less I think and use them to try a few new ideas and see if anything sticks. A bit like the room 101 stuff – they may be starts, or ends or middles. We shall see.
Gill clled to McCabe as he stood staring out into the inky blackness of space. “Captain, sub light inertia drives have gone off line due to a massive solar burst. Switching to impulse. We will breach real time barrier in 60 seconds.”
The deck shook as McCabe walked over to his chair and buckled in. After 6 years they were so close to being home, this was the last thing they needed. He punched the comms button on the arm of his chair and a siren blared out across the ship.
“All crew brace for real time barrier breach in 30 seconds.” He looked back at Gill. “Bring us out gently son.”
The Aspidistra lurched as she slowed, every atom of the ship and those within her stretched across the immeasurable expanses between the stars that powered the ship. McCabe held his hand up to his face and watched it dissolve into a million stars before his eyes and then reform as they smashed through into real time.
“System status ” he barked, the massive ship still shaking.
Jennan the second office scanned the battery of screens before him. “All systems online Sir, real time confirmed – Sol cycle 2245.”
“Gill, location please.”
McCabe waited before asking again.
“Gill, please confirm location.”
Gill turned slowly. “Captain – we’re about three weeks out from Earth on impulse drives sir, just short of Mars orbit.”
The look on his face told him there was more. He unbuckled his belt and strode over to where Gill sat behind a bank of screens.
“Spit it out lad what is it.” He said trying to interpret the data flooding across the displays in front of him.”
Gill knew that if not for McCabe none of them would be here, they all knew that. The war with the Va-a had taken it’s toll but he’d promised to bring them home and he was a man of his word.
“I’m sorry sir” he said “but were too late. She’s already gone.”