Sci-fi extract for your pleasure – or at least your comment:


‘Michelle, you’ve got incoming. Scorpion missile, fifty-five seconds.’ Menel’s voice was taut and Jax hoped he’d accounted for the time lag when he gave her the countdown. ‘Zainab’s working to give you control but it’ll be tight. Punch in the evasive manoeuvres now – second you get the bridge back you’ll be out of there.’

Michelle. He never called her that. Didn’t bode well. ‘Roger that. Commands plugged in. Just waiting on your end now.’ Waiting for someone else to get them safe. Hated waiting. Hated relying on others.

‘Thirty-eight seconds. Zainab’s nearly there. Hang on.’ He paused and Jax’s ears sucked at the silence, desperate for him to fill it. ‘Alright, sound the general alarm. Everyone to the emergency blisters.’

‘Dad, we’re in lockdown. I don’t think everyone has access to a blister.’

‘You do. Get in one now. There’s nothing else you can do until you have control. Eject now and then re-enter the ship after its dodged the Scorpion. Safe evac.’

‘We’ll be fine, Jax,’ Nathaniel broke in on the secure line. ‘Meera and I have emergency pods in the corridors. The others … their bunks will morph. It’ll give them eighteen hours.’

‘Dad, can you get someone here in eighteen standard? Three of us only have bunk-pods.’

‘Twenty seconds, Michelle. We’ve got people already on their way.’

‘That’s not what I asked,’ she began.

‘Get in the fucking blister now, Jax. That’s an order.’

Jax swore and slammed her fist onto the general alarm switch, unstrapped and pulled for the airlock on her right. Ten seconds. She cycled the lock and dragged herself in, wrenched it closed behind her. The blister was tiny, started filling with flowfoam as soon as she was in. It spread around her as she activated the lock, moulding into her. It was still moving, settling, when the proximity alarm wailed. Jax swore, swept her palm across the screen to activate everything. The ship juddered under the missile’s impact.

Jax’s helmet slammed into the wall, flowfoam parting beneath it and then readjusting, no time to settle into place and buffer her body from g-force. She grunted, lights flaring across her eyes, tongue thick and unresponsive. The blister hadn’t detached from the ship. The next explosion would vaporise her. She blinked hard, focused on the words, on moving her lips. ‘Emergency disengage. Emergency dis -’

The bridge blew.

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