Among the Stars: Following Protocol

Robert Quick

Where the -@!# did my muse go?

Writer, dreamer, knight, shackled by entertainment . . . and people.

Darnell unclipped his laser torch and used the butt to tap on the door. He didn't hear anything. Pressing his helmet against it, he tried again. There was a hollow tonk tonk tonk but no answering sound.

He radioed Bach. “Been knocking and no answer, anything on your side?”

“That's a big ol' negative. Radio's quiet.”

“Proceeding with the universal key.”

“Yup, noted and logged.”

CYA out of the way, he double-checked his tether to make sure it wasn't snaking around him or bunching up into a knot. Trying to to untangle one hundred feet of steel cable was obnoxious and he was damned if he'd let Back reel him in like some kind of over-sized trout.

The silvery cord billowed out and away from him still connected to the ship. No kinks. Good. He grabbed one of the bars around the outside of the door and re-stabilized himself before pushing the head of the torch up against the middle of the door and igniting it with his thumb. Bright light flared and he held it against the metal and started cutting his way in.

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