Excerpt From New Harmony

“Scaring the passengers, Markoff?” Van Baum says as he floats in.

“Shouldn’t you be on the bridge?”

“Well, yes, but that’s no fun now is it?” Van Baum looks at the people in their seats then floats close to Alex.

“I sedated the Missus over there. She was very very scared.”

“I thought I explained things well enough.”

“Some people just don’t adjust to a post-stasis very well. Everything all in order?”

“I wouldn’t be calling for undocking if things weren’t.”

“Awesome. Congrats Markoff, this is your first full flight. Welcome to the crew.”

“Save if for when I’m back here.”

Van Baum smiles as he leaves the Pearl. “See you in half a day, buddy.” Once he is out he pulls the door closed. The automatic locking does the rest.

Markoff floats to the pilot seat again. He can feel the Pearl around him. The most powerful engine relative to its size is at his fingertips. It’s a strange form of power.

After clipping himself into his seat restraints, he brushes his hands over the flight sticks. It isn’t long now. Far below the atmosphere of Anaximenes glows, waiting to slow them down.

“This is Blackstar to Pearl B. You are on internal power.”

“I read you Blackstar. I am all clear for separation and descent.”

“Best of luck Markoff.”

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