Saturday, March 22, 2014

What happened to my Asteroid? Section 50:

Tim helped Sam finish sealing up her suit and ran the enviro-pack systems check.  “You sure you want to set the cables?” he looked a little worried “I’d be glad to do it.”

“I’ll take it.” She smiled. “You’re the better pilot and you’ll be able to keep the shuttle closer so we’ll get this done quicker.”

“Alright, just don’t take any chances.” He blew her a kiss through their helmets since they were both fully suited up now for safety reasons.

The radio lit up “Shuttle 2, Albatross station.” Commander Dickerson’s voice rang out.

Tim checked his comm link and activated the radio “Go ahead Albatross.”

“I need a status report, I’m showing you should be on station now.”

“We are on station over the first anchor.” He checked the probe status. “Sam is about to set out to hook up the first cable.  The last two anchors will be set by the probe in 10 and 15 minutes respectively.  We should be able to start towing in 30 to 40 minutes, maybe sooner.”

“Why is Sam hooking up the cables?” The commander sounded concerned.

“She wanted to do it.” He looked over and saw Sam closing the airlock door and activating it. “She doesn’t like flying these things close to asteroids.”  He verified the airlock was operating properly. “And she likes surfing the hull when moving between the anchors.” He chuckled.

“I nearly forgot she was a rigger on her first tours out here.”  The commander chuckled herself.  “I’ll bet she’s gonna’ love skimming that thing.”

“I’m planning to give her the best ride I can.”  He saw the outer airlock hatch open indicator light up and activated the observation camera on the display just as Sam was exiting the hatch.  “Sam is leaving the airlock right now so I’m going to get busy now.   I’ll report back when we are hooked up and start towing.”

“Acknowledged Shuttle 2, we’ll talk to you when you start towing.”

Tim turned his attention to the control console and fed out the tow cable for Sam to take to the anchor point.

Sam closed the airlock and activated her EVA pack.  She navigated over to the end of the tow cable, attached a line to it and headed for the anchor.  Tim had the shuttle positioned a little less than a kilometer away and she could see her target without having to have it illuminated.

“You could have got us a lot closer.” She jibbed Tim.

“I wanted to be careful on the first run.” He was only mildly annoyed “I’ll move within 300 meters by the time you head back.”

“You can do better than that.” She scanned around the area.  The asteroid was over two kilometers in diameter and over twenty kilometers long so, as close as they were, it created its own horizons. “This thing is smooth as a bowling ball, make it 100 meters.”

“100 meters it is.”  He knew she just wanted the thrill of standing on the hull that close to the asteroid as the ship maneuvered to the next anchor, but he was willing to indulge her.

Sam wasted no time getting to the anchor, locked the cable to it with all of the speed and competency of the master rigger she was, and launched herself back toward the shuttle.  She navigated herself to the front of the shuttle.  She set her magnetic boots right behind the observation port of the cockpit on the asteroid side, leaned forward so she could look in at Tim and waved to him.  “Hit it baby!” she exclaimed.

Tim activated the thrusters and punched up “Born To Be Wild” through the radio for her.

Sam straightened up as the ship lurched forward and she shouted into the radio on the broadcast channel “YEEEEEEHHHAAAAAAAWWWWW!!!” with a huge grin on her face.
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