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   Chapter 40 No.40

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 6374

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02


"Approximately thirty-one hours remaining."

"No, no, no. I can't wait that long, " Lex said. "The sooner I get rid of this package, the better."

"Relax. Ma, remind me, what are we remapping toward?"

"In order to maintain our status as a licensed salvage and recycling facility, we are required to comply with the Intersystem Transport Accord's Guidelines for Navigable Debris Fields. Under current accord regulations, we must identify voids in the debris that are a minimum measurement of the ship's maximum dimension, plus five hundred percent, and a minimum duration of fifteen seconds. Those are the outside requirements for autopilot navigation."

"Are you kidding me? I could fly this building through a hole that big, " Lex snapped.

"Yeah, he could, " said Karter, nodding.

The pilot eyed his host suspiciously.

"Why do you believe me?"

"Because the flight computer of your ship was partially intact. I pulled the telemetry from the last few minutes of your flight. It was good stuff. Savant stuff. I think we can assume you'll make it through a hole that an autopilot couldn't. Ma! Make that fifteen percent instead of five hundred, and minimum duration of, say, three hundred milliseconds."

"That's more like it, " Lex said with a grin.

"Exit windows fitting those specifications can, at this point in the processing of the data, be reliably identified to occur approximately once every seventeen minutes, " she said.

"Great. Ma, grant pilot privileges and show him the door, " Karter said. He then turned and headed back toward the entrance, snagging Solby as he went. "When I'm done with your ship, I'll let you know. Bring that thing back in one piece or I'm charging you."

"Wait! If I'm going to be using this, I'll need a way to turn the transponder off!"

"It doesn't have a transponder. Just grab one from the bucket, " he said, gesturing vaguely at a crate by

ll, he was into clear space. Now all he had to do was get rid of the case before anything else could happen.

Chapter 11

The DAR--or whatever Karter had made it into--was quite a vessel. In terms of raw speed, it was a hair faster than Betsy. In terms of maneuverability and creature comforts, the DAR left Betsy in the dust. Lex had always considered a heated leather massage seat to be a ridiculous waste of money. His lower back was now urging him to reconsider. It was just as well, because the time lost on the trash heap, coupled with the renewed sense of urgency to be rid of the package, meant that there wouldn't be many more stops. The spicy sawdust bars that were supposed to be keeping him alive right now had mercifully been destroyed in his crash, so he stopped to dump some chips on a replacement. The best value this time came in the form of tubes of protein/vitamin fortified peanut butter. He wisely picked up more than the usual complement of water, as well. Once he was stocked up, he began a series of marathon sprints that would have made a legitimate courier go on strike. It was mind-numbing, exhausting, and left him looking and smelling like a vagrant, but in just under the six-day deadline, he was watching his destination pull into view.

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