Chapter 6

Written by: Donna McTavish

Bret moved quickly through the empty ship to the flight deck where he knew Masterson would be waiting.  With one hell of an interesting story he thought.


His questions began before Masterson turned to face him.


“Woah. Slow down. Give me a minute.”


Something was wrong. Masterson seemed to have trouble speaking, sounding each word hesitantly as if he had just learned to speak. Bret searched his pocket for a fresh stick of gum and watched as Masterson slumped awkwardly into one of the padded seats that swiveled in front of the control panel. Tiny drops of sweat glistened on his wide forehead. Bret noticed that his palms were covered in tiny cuts and the tips of his fingers were shiny and black. A fresh incision ran in a vicious red line from the base of each thumb and disappeared under the frayed cuff of his suit.


“What happened to you? What’s going on?” Bret’s gut tightened into a panicked ball.


“There’s something funny going on, my boy.” Masterson sucked in his breath and slowly recounted his meeting with Jager. He grinned crookedly as he described being locked inside the white cube and how Sirias 3 had pulsed with life. “Must be going mad,” he muttered. He didn’t explain how he had escaped and made his way back to Galileo or how he had found himself on a beach staring into the eyes of a dark haired boy. Until he was sure that had been real, he decided that he wasn’t going to spook Bret any further. 


“So, what are we going to do?” Bret was almost begging now. “We’ve’ve got an oxygen problem. We’ll be out in less than 3 hours if we don’t do something.” He looked expectantly at his Commander. “There’s the MMU ….” he said quietly.


Masterson instantly snapped his head up. “No chance. We’re not leaving until we know what’s going on over there.” He nodded towards the docking portal. “We can’t leave them, my boy,” he added after a lengthy pause.


Bret shook his head. “I don’t know. What if ….”. He didn't want to  say what was on his mind. For the first time in his life Masterson was making him nervous. They had known each other since flight school, been drunk together more times than he could count and flown thousands of hours with only each other to talk to and not once had Masterson called him ‘my boy’.  There was only five years difference in their ages and the Masterson he knew would know better, just as he would never have disregarded common sense. But that was exactly what he was proposing. 


“Moonbase to Galileo. Bret, Masterson...” The radio broke into the tense silence. Bret reached eagerly for the receiver. Masterson was much quicker. He swiftly swept his arm across the control panel. The radio went dead.


He grabbed the arms of his chair and levered himself upright.  “I’m going back. And you really need to come with me, my boy.”


Wow, this story is so exciting, fast paced with many twists and turns. Great writing, Donna.
This is terrific Donna. It gathers up all the threads from previous chapters and inserts new twists that add to the tension. Loved it!