Sunday, April 19, 2015

AIRBORNE- First Snippet

AIRBORNE- First Snippet
BOOK 2 of THE APOLLO ACADEMY
Please note that this text has yet to be edited. 

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After donning the full body simulator suit, Aurora slid the holographic lenses over her face and initiated the Fight For Life program. There were no rules. Aurora's only goal was not to crash and die. The computer would throw any and every emergency at her and shed have to cope somehow.
A second later, Aurora stood on the ramp of an airport surrounded by a multitude of aircraft. The virtual hangar was dark and dim as she thought about what she wanted to fly. Something to keep her mind occupied for sure.
The spacecraft lit neon green when she made her selection.
As she walked down the long entryway to the cockpit, a banner hanging from the ceiling caught her eye. It read, Get In, Sit Down, Shut Up, and Hold On; the sarcastic checklist every astronaut knew by heart.  She thought to herself yeah, thats no shit. 
The simulated door automatically opened for her as she approached and once through, she turned the door handle clockwise and listened for the distinct sound she knew so well. Clink, psssstttt, ahhhhhh.
As she climbed into the pilots seat she immediately started running the first two memory items on her real checklist and turned the battery master switch on, immediately followed by the avionics master switch.  The cockpit whirred to life and a series of cooling fans turned on followed by the familiar beeps of the various systems coming on line.  Step two down.  While she waited, she reached over her shoulders and then between her legs to connect the four-point harness. Just like Sky had taught her to.  Step three . . . done.
It was Step 4 she had the hardest time with . . . shut up.  After all, she had a checklist to run and might as well say it out loud so she could hear herself think. 
1)    Checklist item ………………………………………….. On.
2)    Checklist item ………………………………………….. Armed.
3)    Checklist item ………………………………………….. Engaged.
4)    Checklist item ………………………………………….. Complete.
5)    Checklist item ………………………………………….. On.
As the main engine ignited the simulator shook so violently that it felt just like the real thing.  Stars, she thought . . . I guess this is the hold on part.  She cleared the launch tower and felt the control surfaces of the aircraft give feedback in her control stick. Nosing the aircraft over, the g-forces from the acceleration eased off of her.  A welcome but temporary relief.
BOOM.  She didnt hear it but she felt the vibration in the wing spar as she accelerated through Mach one, the speed of sound.  The side of her mouth tilted upward in a grin of badassery. 
IGNITION BOOSTER CUTOFF.  She reached up and flicked both switches to the off position and waited for the shaking to stop.  Nothing.  Still shaking. She looked at the engine instrumentation crew alert system, or as pilots had dubbed it, the EICAS display.  She was right. The instruments indicated the ignition booster cut off had occurred. And the turbine inlet temperature was right where it should be without the ten thousand gallons of rocket fuel being dumped into them. 
Thats weird.  The shaking continued.  No caution lights, nothing . . . what kind of training failure could this be?  Then suddenly she heard a loud pop and everything went black.  There were no more screens, no more aircraft sounds, no more . . . the shaking continued.  It took her a few seconds to realize the simulator had completely shut down and she was back in the real world.
Aurora removed her glasses.
When the entire room seemed to move, she realized her entire body shook.
The vibrations felt too real.
This wasnt apart of her simulation.
The entire Titon Technologies building trembled.

ADD AIRBORNE TO GOODREADS! OCTOBER 2015
Haven't read THE APOLLO ACADEMY and want to? Find it here: http://amzn.com/B00S493CRC

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