MoboReader> Sci-fi > Bypass Gemini

   Chapter 23 No.23

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5489

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02


His helmet had absorbed more than one potential concussion, and the clear visor was a spider web of cracks. Before he removed it, though, he had the presence of mind to check the environmental readout on his forearm. The gravity was 0.6-G, the pressure was 0.9 atmospheres, and the atmospheric gas mixture was a little high on the methane and carbon dioxide, but breathable. Good enough.

A half-second before he removed the helmet, he heard the familiar scream of ailing machinery. An instant later, the out of control wreck of his ship came crashing to the ground a mile away. It skipped and skimmed toward him along the loose slope like a stone on a stream. Each time it touched down, a cascade of stones was slung aside. The old girl managed to get aloft one last time before the final active engine disconnected entirely, slicing into the sky like a javelin and dropping the rest of Betsy down into a cartwheel. Rocky ground crunched beneath the wrecked ship as its roll took it directly at Lex. He spat a series of curses and gathered enough of his wits to make a mad lunge aside. The ship's momentum finally gave out, creaking it lazily up into a nose-stand before pivoting and rocking to a rest on its belly.

When the dust settled, Betsy had managed to come within five feet of turning her former pilot into a leaky bag of broken bones and flattened organs.

Between the pain and the amount of rattling his brain had done, Lex decided it would be prudent to sit still for a few minutes. He propped himself up against the wreck of a ship and let the specifics of his surroundings seep in.

First off, it was cold. Very cold. Nothin

bite, and the sort of industrial stench that lingered around factories, but it didn't help much.

What his eyes were telling him he saw didn't agree with what his admittedly mistreated brain suggested was likely. Finally, it was close enough that it couldn't be denied. It was a school bus, one of the earlier hover models that couldn't get more than a few feet off of the ground. It pulled up to him, came to a stop, and settled down onto rubber supports.

"Uh. . . I must have hit my head much harder than I thought, " he muttered.

The thing had seen better days. A faded yellow paint job bore black letters that read "Ruane Girls Academy." One headlight was completely missing, and the second looked like it had been replaced with one from a much larger vehicle. A flashing red stop sign flipped out from the side and the doors creaked open. A few seconds later, the PA system crackled to life with a familiar voice.

"On the off chance that there is something alive at the crash site, I suggest you climb inside, " said the same voice that had been cursing at him before the crash.

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