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   Chapter 18 No.18

LARC Transmissions - An Anki Legacies Science Fantasy Anthology for Young Adults By S Shane Thomas Characters: 5547

Updated: 2018-01-25 12:02

Nearing the corridor, Leila paused before the last turn, suddenly unwilling to face her crush again, after she had revealed her true self. Long minutes passed. She figured that if Larry had bothered to take the same route, he would have moved on by now. She rounded the corner, and gasped.

Larry stood by the lift holding a bouquet of flowers. He grinned when he saw her.

Bright Eyes

Dr. Erin Jeffries pulled her thick mane of strawberry blonde hair into a pony tail. The geneticist loved missions that included a trip to a planet's surface, and this one would be especially pleasant since Bright Eyes would be there with her.

Of all the modifications she had made to the humans who colonized a handful of worlds on their path away from Earth, Bright Eyes became her pet project, someone special, who would continue with the starship indefinitely. She also thought of him as a younger brother.

After a ride in the transit tubes, Dr. Jeffries entered the bridge, gave her orders to the staff, and quietly crept over to the stooped figure of a teen boy. The youth stared intently through one of a dozen view ports spread through the bridge and the geneticist tickled her quarry into a startled leap from his seat.

"Jeez Doc, how come you always sneak up on me when I'm looking for things?"

"Simple, when you've got the biggest prettiest eyes on the ship, you are usually looking for things. Besides, I like to keep you on your toes." She gave the youth a playful squeeze. "How would you like to come along on a field trip?"

"Go down to the planet? I thought VB891 is uninhabited."

"Drone readings report microscopic life. That's why I need

ssed. Pings continued to wrack the hull. Both explorers feared another large impact.

"I can get us home, " he winked one giant eye and gave Dr. Jeffries a lopsided grin.

"Have you ever piloted before?"

"Sure, those simulators are the best, but this will be different. The scanner is fried, I'll have to kill the cabin lights and the display panel, and then bring it in on visual alone."

Silence gripped the cabin for a full minute. "You're the best person for the job, " she said with a forced smile.

They cut the lights none too soon. The shuttle drifted toward impact with an asteroid the size of a diner. Bright Eyes deftly maneuvered the craft out of harm's way, not even an inch to spare. The boy swore he heard a scratching sound as they passed the icy rock.

Five hours later, Bright Eyes breathed a sigh of relief. A tug had been dispatched from the starship and latched onto the damaged craft. Their shuttle's pilot had suffered a concussion and would spend a night in the ship's hospital. Their microscopic samples remained in the airtight transport unit, no worse for the wear.

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