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   Chapter 11 No.11

Beyond the End of the World, Lokians 1 By AaronDennis Characters: 5457

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

A voice over the speaker replied, "Acknowledged, Miss Day. This is Ralphie. You are clear to dock. Admiral Lay is ready to receive the Captain."

"You're all set, Cap. Go show 'em what you can do, " she said with a salute.

O'Hara saluted in return. He took the service elevator down to the loading zone. The ride down seemed faster than usual, like time was in quick mode. He attempted to gloss over any pertinent details, but suddenly, the service car opened. He found the space was desolate; most of the gear had been left on Eon.

At the personnel egress, he waited a few moments for the docking procedure. The red light over the door came on, and a buzzer rang out, indicating the doors were ready to be opened. Shortly thereafter, the airlock's door latch came open with a metallic clank.

The airlock was a tight room used to regulate pressure for personnel in standard clothing. That morning, both the captain and the admiral wore dress uniforms; gray slacks, gray shirt, black tie, and black, peaked cap bearing their respective insignias. O'Hara stepped forwards and opened the door, revealing Admiral Lay. Immediately, he saluted. The admiral returned it, and they shook hands.

Admiral Lay was an older man in his mid-to-late fifties. All his hair was white, and unless he was outdoors, his hat was tucked under his arm. His voice was powerful, but controlled, commanding, yet somehow calm, poised. The old man's presence shook the foundation of everyone around him. While O'Hara had never been frightened of the admiral, he was careful, respectful.

Fluorescent lights hummed monotonously, as he waited for the a

of alien life?

He shrugged it off as he reached for the handle, opened the door, and stepped beyond. The door automatically shut behind him before the pressure readjusted. Then, a light came on over the other door. Another long walk ensued, but there were no more thoughts, just orders.

Setting foot on the bridge, O'Hara clenched his jaw and gauged his crew. Judging by their unblinking stares, he knew they knew he was concerned. Everyone was. He walked over to a bridge officer and gave the order to round up the science crew and take the beacon to Presh's lab.

"Nickelson, Levine, Chadwick, plus a few other scientists and engineers need to leave for Presh. The rest remain aboard the Phoenix. Inform everyone to meet up in conference room B, " O'Hara ordered.

He was pensive. Four beacons were to be simultaneously recovered. It wasn't a difficult feat, but something gnawed at him nevertheless. Roberts broke his concentration while the bridge officer moved away to announce the orders through the intercom.

"Captain, we are refueled, restocked, and bound for Eon."

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