The jump surged dropped at the same time as the thunder ceased
The internal comms chirped.
“Want to come forward?”
“Aye – heading up there now”
As the cockpit hatch slid open, Vin had to simply stop and stare. He hadn’t seen anything like it. The years of virtual cockpit flight hadn’t prepared him for the view.
The Lakon was in supercruise, albeit at low speed, with the sun off to one side. The brightness was attenuated by the cockpit screens and he could see the swirling mass of the sun’s surface.
“Thought you’d appreciate the view. Impressive, isn’t it?”
Pictures and the view from small portholes in his old cobra really couldn’t do the panorama justice.
Smith dialled in the throttle and pointed the ship toward the nearest station. The speed readout ticked higher and higher – they were travelling at 27c toward a superimposed hud circle labelled “Azeban City”.
To give Smith his credit, the supercruise journey was uneventful and smooth right down to 200km from the station when dropping out of cruise threw Vin against the side of the cockpit.
“What the blazes was that?” Vin tried to say. What came out of his mouth was distorted by his teeth chattering and tongue doing somersaults behind them.
“The new test supercruise engines have a fault on all ships – re-entry is a bit rocky.”
Vin headed back to his cabin, feeling more than a little queasy and hoping not to repaint the flight suit in green.
Strapping in to his seat, he could head the thrusters working overtime, keeping the Lakon from becoming a scorch mark against the edge of the station entrance.
He could hear the docking controller’s voice over the comms – at least that crazy Zelada lady hadn’t taken a new job at this station.
The grinding and graunching noises stopped and the Lakon clanged down into one of the larger bays.
“Safely down. Repair bill again, but they’re picking up the tab.”
Vin slipped Smith a few extra notes for the cockpit invitation, slung his holdall over his shoulder and keyed his details into the bay’s arrival computer.
Lifting gear headed for the rear of the Lakon to unload as he took the service lift out to the pilot’s cabins.