A Blog by the Author Michael Campling
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The next chapter of my latest sci-fi work in progress.
In case you missed it, part 1 is here, part 2 is here, part 3 is here, part 4 is here. I'm sharing the first parts of this story as I write it so you can follow along and ask questions or make comments, so please do comment below – I read every comment.
This story is set in the world of Colony B – you don't have to have read any of those stories, but it will help if you have because they do follow on from each other. If you're interested, there's a link below the story.
The truck banked into a steep turn, and in the co-pilot’s seat, Lyndsey took a steadying breath as her stomach lurched. Alec seemed intent on throwing the hover truck from side to side, barely slowing as he hunted out a route between the tall phase two symbiont structures, and Lyndsey’s patience was beginning to wear thin. They’d been traveling for hours, having set off from base camp early in the morning, but so far, there’d been no sign of the mysterious figure Kyrksen had spotted; only acres of symbiont, the bizarre angular forms glistening blue-green in the sunlight.
“How much farther, Alec?”
“Not long now. I think we’re almost at the same spot where Kyrksen picked up the image. I’ll check.” He reached for the intercom switch on the control panel, but Lyndsey beat him to it.
“I’ll do it. You have enough to be concentrating on.”
Alec nodded, his eyes never leaving the unchanging view from beyond the windshield, so Lyndsey opened a channel. “Kyrksen, are we on target? Do you see anything?”
Kyrksen’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Nothing yet, but we need to slow down. I need to run a full sweep with as many sensors as I can, and it takes time.”
“All right,” Alec said. “Make it snappy though. I don’t want to be out here for longer than absolutely necessary.”
Kyrksen’s only reply was a grunt before the channel went dead, and Alec exchanged a look with Lyndsey. “He has his uses,” Lyndsey said. “Would you have the patience to stare at the monitors for so many hours at a time? Could you have picked out a lone person in this jungle of symbiont?”
“We all have our jobs to do, Lyndsey. I just wish…”
“Kyrksen wouldn't be such an asshole all the time,” Lyndsey offered.
Alec flashed her a grin. “Something like that.” He opened HS mouth to say more, but the cockpit speaker hissed, Kyrksen’s voice crackling over the intercom: “There he is! Twenty degrees right. Turn. Turn!”
“I can’t see a damned thing,” Alec said, but he complied, sending the truck into a turn, banking hard to avoid a clump of symbiont.
Lyndsey gripped her seat’s armrests, leaning forward to peer out through the windshield. “Wait a second. I thought I saw…yes.” She pointed. “Jesus! He’s really moving.” And her heart leaped in her chest. Because there, dodging between the symbiont structures, a man was running, hell for leather, his head down and his arms pumping; running as if his life depended on it.
“I’ve got him,” Alec said. “Pursuing.” The truck surged forward, the dull, throbbing drone of its engines rising to fill the cabin. read more…