17. The Three Zees

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Tori tossed her duffle bag on the new mattress and laid her books on the table. Her new home, the Dependent Class Vessel(DCV), The Three Zees. It’d been a long journey in just a few months and now she was in training to be a pilot for Captain Toes aboard the DCV atmospheric scooper. This ship was bare-bone and could not exist without a “mother ship”. She had to carry stores since, unlike the Alice Marie, she had no agricultural section. The Three Zees was for working…period. She was designed to dive into the atmosphere of a planetary body and scoop up large volumes of gases which were than processed into usable products. Currently they were processing “life support gases” for the Alice Marie; sort of a test run of the ships gas processing systems.

 

Tori looked around her naked room, the scuffed-up white walls, the dirty floors, dim light. This was home now. From a vaporized colony to life as a transit passenger, and after being reunited with her mother and aunt, this, a crew member on the Alice Marie. Total staff on The Three Zees was ten people. Tori’s best friend , Cindi, some equipment techs (on rotation), her mother (lead pilot/captain), and her aunt. They were attached by tether and towlines to the Alice Marie. Travel between ships was by space walk with a safety line clipped onto the tether line. Cindi had issues with the space walk thing…there’s no gravity or ground reference, just you in a space suit drifting through space. She barfed, then barfed again because she barfed. In her suit. The mess blocked her vision and she landed rather hard in the air lock of the The Three Zees. This is a typical 1st-timer’s trip but it gets easier.

 

Tori stepped into the corridor. Heavy cables lay on the floor which were to be attached to a cable tray in the ceiling when time permitted. She could feel the vibrations of the equipment and hear the chatter of technicians going about their work. This place was dirty and smelled like…jocks…eww!!!

Ok, Tori, you and Cindi go down to the  equipment bay and get with your aunt Lori. She needs help with the racks and such,” Tori’s mother, Zoey, was supervising a clean-up crew and rushed on down the corridor towards the bridge. The girls made their way to the equipment room, chattering about girl stuff as they went.

 

BOOM!!!!

A massive explosion roared through the ship, ripping it from its’ towlines. It was sent hurtling through the darkness and emptiness of space. The small crew suddenly found themselves on a mission of survival.

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