Chapter 1 - Punch to the Gut

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The assemnbled scientists and engineers looked amongst each other.


One of them physically jumped at his tone as another spoke. “The honest answer is we don’t know. It was a standard transport, 35 of the 36 went fine. On the last…” The scientist’s voice cut off as her colleague picked it up.

“Sir, on the last there was a malfunction. We all know transportation isn’t foolproof. There is always a risk, usually one in tens of thousands. We’re lucky that it normally happens with cargo.”

“Act of God? A computer glitch? That’ll be a great excuse when I have to tell the family.” He clenched a fist, before releasing it. “I want full diagnostics. Every inch of code, am I understood?”

They all nodded.

“All right, get out.”

They didn’t have to be told twice to escape the Ready Room. Henry opened a desk drawer looking down at an unopened bottle. It’d been in there for years, usually as a reminder not to open it. Today, however, he wanted to more than ever. His focus was broken by the voice which chimed in.

“Captain, the Senior Staff has been assembled in the Conference Room, per your request.”

He slowly shut the drawer. “Thank you.”

He didn’t feel like being polite. He felt like ramming his fist through the hull. He stood and walked out of his office, holding his breath the entire way across the Bridge.