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   Chapter 39 No.39

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5149

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

"Dumbass, " Karter muttered, as he stepped over Lex and into the building.

Solby hopped down and investigated the fallen guest as he hauled himself to his feet again. Lex gathered his things and ended up with the creature hitching a ride on his own shoulder as he trudged inside.

"Karter, I'm pretty sure you screwed up somewhere along the line while you were making this thing. I don't remember reading anything about skunks or foxes hanging out on people's shoulders, " Lex griped.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Maybe your designer creature came out better than mine. How did you deal with the nucleotide sequencing fidelity issue when you were creating yours? Oh, that's right, I'm the only one here playing god. So quit being an armchair engineer. Man, I hate people. Lights!"

The inside of the building was pitch-black, save for a small pool of light near the entrance. At his command, the vast, echoing thump of breakers engaging filled the air, and lights flickered on, revealing an interior completely unlike that of the lab. There were no walls, no ceilings, and no real floors. The whole of the place was hollow. Metal grill catwalks spiraled up and down the walls, leading to dozens, if not hundreds, of identical docking bays. Most bore a ship, though the conditions ranged from stripped-down framework to immaculate showpiece.

The docking bays continued several stories up to the roof, at least ten floors downward, and ran half of the length of the building. The other half was filled with a mix of larger docks, benchmarking and

he NVS MacDonald! This was my first ship! The Demeter 83i, I set the track record on Meedle Speed Loop in one of these. That's the Cantrell body I built Betsy on. This Mobius Armistice was--"

"I don't need a life story. Pick one."

Lex jogged along the line until he stopped at a sleek, distinctive ship. In a way, it looked the way Betsy would have if she'd been designed by scientists and engineers instead of necessity and availability. A classy, smooth fuselage, aerodynamic even though it didn't need to be, with lines that flowed like silk into a bank of purpose-built engines. More powerful than it needed to be, more streamlined than it needed to be, and bristling with weapon mounts. It was a DAR.

"The prick who shot me down was piloting one of these. It'll be nice to see what he was working with."

"You have selected the Delta Astro-Recon, Type D, " Ma proclaimed.

Automated lifts returned the other ships to their slots.

"All right, Ma. Where do we stand with the debris remapping?" Karter asked.

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