Captain Calhoun unlocked the door to Lab 4, slowly opened it and floated through.
“Captain on Deck.” Samantha stated almost bored while studying the hologram showing the transport approaching the asteroid.
The captain closed the door behind himself. “Carry on.” He was almost bored with that himself “Where is that transport?”
“Almost on top of the asteroid, she just started up the main engine but I don’t get it.” Kim looked up from her console and was genuinely confused. “She is about to hit that thing at a very high velocity.”
“Pay attention to her trajectory.” The Captain focused on the hologram. “I think I know what she is going to try. It is extremely risky but it just might work.”
“How do you know that?” Tim didn’t even look up from his console.
“I’ll show you shortly, just track everything that is happening.”
The four watched as the transport slightly changed trajectory from a straight on course to the asteroid to a slight angle and then started a slow helical path around the long axis of the asteroid. The path was very close to the surface as the craft rotated slightly to direct the primary thruster toward the surface and the engine increased in power.
Chunks of ice were thrown off the surface forming a spiral trench as the tiny ship traversed the length of the body. Unnoticed by almost everyone is that the asteroid was starting to wobble from the thrust exerted on its surface until the transport was just over half way down the length of it.
“Commander,” Sam almost shouted “The asteroid is oscillating, and it is gaining in intensity.”
The commander pushed the button for the comm channel to the transport “Gwen, watch it! The asteroid is oscillating and you are awfully close.”
“I got it. Just a couple more…” she hesitated for a very long moment “Oh Shit!”
The transport impacted the surface of the asteroid throwing a huge plume of ice into space. The tiny craft broke into several pieces that ricocheted off in several directions amid the cloud of ice.
“Gwen!” all four of the officers shouted in unison.
The captain went in to full command mode “Track that plume! Find out where every piece of that ship goes! And find Captain Stewart!” He then muttered under his breath “or whatever is left of her.”
“Aye Sir.” The three other officers barked out.
The commander punched the intercom “T-Ops, Lab 4. Inform the other transports about the oscillation the asteroid is in, I’m patching in the info now.” She checked another chart “And tell them their first priority is to locate Captain Stewart. I want all sensors searching for her.”
“Acknowledged, Lab 4.” The response sounded confident.
The captain was studying the hologram intensely “Tim, focus on the trench and get the images patched onto this hologram as quickly as you can. Give me a rough look first and you can refine it as you get better scans. Sam, keep tracking that ship in all of its pieces. Gwen is smart enough she was probably in a self-contained suit so if she survived the force of the impact she is probably alive. Kim, keep on top of the other transports and coordinate the rescue.”
“Aye Sir!” echoed through the compartment.
Beginning of Story