Monday, January 28, 2013

Chapter 3: Spencer, Bartholomew Albert

Chapter 3
Dr. Bartholomew Albert Spencer

Day:  E-Day+3
Time:  0450 EST/ 0950 GMT
Location:  Georgia State University, Institute of Public Health, Basement C

The twists of metal turned slowly, pushing the pair of cream-filled sponge cakes towards the edge of the shelf.  Dr. Bartholomew Albert Spencer watched, his forehead pressed against the glass of the vending machine as he leaned into it, exhausted.  The hum of the fluorescent backlights filled the tight hallway of the lab area, joined by the low mechanical whir of the coil’s motor.

Then, moments before dropping into the space where he could retrieve it, the sponge cakes stopped and remained.  He sighed and rocked back slightly.  He fell forward again, his forehead impacting the glass with a resonating thud.  The confection remained on the small shelf, unattainable.

“You have got to be kidding me.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chapter 2: Ferrera, Felice

Chapter 2
Felice Ferrera, Survivor #9

Day:  E-Day +2
Time:  0350 hrs CST / 0950 hrs GMT
Location:  Aboard a KC-130 somewhere over Wisconsin

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chapter 1: Beaubien, Marie

Chapter 1
Gunnery Sergeant Marianne Beaubien, USMC
Day:  E-Day +2
Time:  0300 hrs CST / 0900 hrs GMT
Location:  An airfield outside Madison, Wisconsin.

She was cold.  Though the weather had been unseasonably warm for December, the temperatures at night still dropped into the forties, or “the singles” as she would have called them back home.  Marie wrapped the blanket around herself a little more and refused to open her eyes.   To save fuel, they had shut everything down, robbing her of the familiar hum of the engines. After their last close call the decision had been made to forgo putting the plane to bed which, while logical in the circumstances still left her uneasy. Curled up in bits of survival gear, her cheek against the troop bench of the KC-130J air transport, falling asleep had been hard enough the first time; she had no desire to hamper its return.

She turned her head away from the rough straps of the troop bench and took another long breath of the cold air.  The cargo ramp was opening, allowing the northern air to sweep up and down it at will.  She forced her eyes shut. Sleep should not be a challenge.  In the last two days she had totalled eight hours of rest, catching brief naps in between the mad dash to refuel after landing, and taking off again an hour or so later.

“Gunny.”  A firm hand shook her shoulder.  The shake was unnecessary.  Her eyes snapped open as a surge of anxious energy filled her with the evocation of her rank.

“Sir?”  The grim face of Maj. Thompson, the plane’s Aircraft Commander, stared back.  He was a serious man, a dyed-in-the-wool-Marine-for-life.  She respected him and all he had done for her over the last few years.  Even now, she knew that he understood what was going on enough to see the crew through this.

“Wheels up in twenty eight minutes.  We’ve got another storm coming.”