Friday, July 1, 2016

"Lethal mists swirled about the cracked mouth of the volcano."

Cryoclastic flows poured blue-white ooze down the frozen mountain that glowered in the distance. Lethal mists swirled about the cracked mouth of the volcano. More shattered funnels spewed frigid clouds from vents in their sides further along the horizon. The frozen world quivered about the plain of buckled ice. Six ships clawed into the icy surface, huddling below the protective lip of an impact crater. Jump jets whined in an eagerness to escape the brutal permafrost that clung to Triton’s crust.

Crews paced quickly between the crafts, carting large canisters and bulky machinery. A few tracked rovers hauled ominous metal tubes. The blue and grey of the devices blended into the shadows of the sill. Even in their heavy, thick pressure suits, the men shivered. Yet, their voices over the comms remained steady and focused. A man stood at the center of the camp, holding a hard crystal slate which overlaid their location with a vision of the current project and finished product. Three timers clicked down, each telling him an important deadline.

Ensign Holborne pressed his direct band comm unit. “Fix those positions. Chiefs, ensure the azimuths and elevations are on track before loading the packages.”

“Affirmative,” came repeatedly after a series of bleeps.

The ensign glanced toward the perpetual midnight above, glimpsing the sapphire jewel that dominated the night sky. The cult’s fleet sailed somewhere near the planet, racing to meet the mysterious Admiral. Perhaps fire would mingle with the ice, spitting steam and shards into the thin sky. Or, the long, quiet night would remain on this Rim moon. Ensign Holborne knew the preparations had to continue nevertheless. Scratching his cheek against the raised fleece collar of his “outer” wear, he stretched his chilled joints and pressed across the crackling ground. The last clock blinked in glaring red symbols toward zero. Death may be in the balance above the moon, but the grave certainly waited for any man who lingered too long in the violent cold of its surface.

Static roared in his ears. “Tallies on the horizon!”

The words sent an electric warmth through his body. The ensign keyed his mic as he greenlit the geometric lines as they rapidly transitioned from gold to emerald. Their endpoints glistened like jewels in the sky. Twelve marks. He glanced at the launchers to his left and right. Nearby midshipmen tossed metal spikes into the cannons. Twenty plumes burst into crystallized explosions as the payloads hurtled through the frozen air. They redoubled their efforts, hurtling another volley as fast as their frigid muscles could move. Another twenty followed, paralleled by two more flocks over adjacent crater lips. Ensign noted the latecomers as the last of the crawlers to turn green on his plate The ensign smiled as his wintry gaze followed the rounds bending over broken ice and stone toward the horizon. The newborn stars above the frigid rim burst and sprinkled diamonds of burning steel onto the skyline.

Ragnarok Rising this is Triton’s Veil. The Admiral sends his greetings.”

His grin deepened when only static and stardust responded. Artwork Source: "Triton" (c)/by Justinas Vitkus
Story and Characters: (c)/by Corey Blankenship

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #CoreyBlankenship, #AdmiralBrisbane, #scifi, #action, #adventure, #artillery, #Triton, #Neptune, #Deepspace


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