Warp Riders – Chapter 8

The Navigatrix found camp life surprisingly nice. She’d spent most of her life in flight; two or three more days and this would be the longest she’d been terrestrial since a brief stint in her teens.

She loved watching the sunset as they woke up, seeing the green rays turn blue and slide below the horizon; feeling the warmth of the planet glow on her back as the lake rushed in to high tide. There was faunal noise here, random and textural and sometimes quite annoying.

The wind was incredible, pushed around predictably by the solar cycle, but always a little surprising as it pulled at her hair and tunic like a living thing. So different from the forced air of any ship she’d been on. Sometimes if she turned her head just right, it hummed to her.

But none of it drowned out the silence she felt outside the Orb.

The crash had happened when she was out, arguing with the Captain about the computer; no one had been on the bridge at all, and they ended up doing the landing from the emergency controls in the back of the ship instead of trying to rush through all the tunnels and ladders.

And it was good they did, because the bridge took a serious hit upon impact, crumpling from the side in such a way that the sealed doors folded into locked origami steel structures. The Captain’s attempts to get into it while things were still hot had nearly taken her arm off.

So the Orb was, for the moment, locked up, away from the Navigatrix, and she felt like she’d lost a limb – or maybe more accurately, a sense.

Now time was all around her and she couldn’t feel it, couldn’t see it, couldn’t hear it at all, and oh, how she missed it.

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