“Target in sight,” Parker announced from the cockpit.
Lieutenant Jenkinson rose from the copilot’s seat and slipped his helmet on. “Time to go dark. Parker, get us out of sight.” He descended the steps to the passenger cabin where Alana, Carter, and Jhiral were suiting up.
The Bandwagon’s anchor sprang forth and grappled one of the larger pieces of wreckage orbiting Alt. Once its claws were buried deep in the battered hunk of metal, the line began to retract—dragging the dropship into the ring of debris.
Alana shot a glance through the forward viewscreen as she fastened the clasps on her own helmet. A hundred meters past the glass sat an old civilian freighter nearly twice the size of a Falcon dropship. Painted in bold letters on the vessel’s port side was the name Wrangler—barely legible amidst the scratches that marked its discolored hull.
“Someone’s gonna have to keep an eye on the old girl here.” Carter gave the bulkhead an affectionate pat. “Wouldn’t want anything to happen to her while we’re away.”
Jenkinson nodded in agreement, then jerked his chin toward Jhiral. “Alume,” he said, “stow your weapons. I’m gonna have to ask you to stay behind.”
“What?” The warrior paused as she holstered her carbine rifle. “Lieutenant, you can’t be serious. This isn’t fair! Have I not already proven my worth to you?”
“Okay, first of all, lose the attitude.” Jenkinson stabbed his index finger at her. “In the field, you speak to me as your commanding officer. Second, I’m not questioning your ability, sweet cheeks. I’ve assessed the path we have to take, and if I’m gonna be totally honest, you’re just too damn big to crawl through a maintenance shaft built for humans.”
Jhiral’s tail lashed in outrage, but she held her tongue. She knew better than to argue with him. “Yes, sir.” She shoved her carbine back into the weapons rack and stalked towards the cockpit to take Parker’s place. He quickly showed her around the terminal, then gave her a reassuring pat on the shoulder and joined the rest of the team.
Alana unwound a cord from one of the six spools mounted to the bulkhead. These safety lines would bind them to the dropship until they reached the freighter, ensuring that no one could drift too far. She hooked the clip onto her belt and gave it a tug to make sure it was secure.
“Everyone ready?” Jenkinson asked. When they gave the signal, he ordered them to form up at the rear and called out for Jhiral to open the door.
The adrenaline was already pumping through Alana’s veins when the passenger cabin began venting atmosphere. In all her years in the military, no mission had ever taken her on a spacewalk. The excitement of it, and the thought of what could go wrong, had her stomach doing somersaults.
Focus. She banished the gruesome possibilities from her mind and poised herself to jump.
Jenkinson raised his right hand. “On my mark . . .” He waited for the hatch to open fully, watching the light by the door. As soon as it turned green, he swiped his arm downward and the four of them leapt into the debris field.Boo
Title: The Calypsis Project II: Rebirth
Author: Brittany M. Willows
Genre: Science Fiction
The culmination of a thousand centuries of planning is at hand.
Though the key is gone, the war is not yet over.
Three years following the loss of Pioneer and its passengers, Alana Carmen and her teammates continue their fight against the Drocain Royal Empire. The Calypsis Project has been unveiled. The Nephera have retreated to the edge of space, and the Leh’kin have joined forces with the UNPD.
For once, humanity finds itself on an even playing field.
But with the return of old friends, tensions are running higher than ever.
When Echo Team embarks on a mission to reclaim a stolen freighter from rebel forces, they discover far more than they bargained for. Now they must fight the Nephera head on, or face certain annihilation.
Brittany M. Willows is a self-published author, gamer, and freelance digital artist living in rural Ontario, Canada. Her love of video games and the stories they told are what inspired her to write her own stories, and she has been building fictional universe ever since.
When she’s not writing about post-apocalyptic lands and robots and people gallivanting through the stars, she can be found hunched over a tablet drawing the very same things.
Amazon Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GLD94RK