And then, as quickly as they had started, the reverse thrusters cut off and the ECS Gilgamesh was perfectly, peacefully still. For an instant.
No sooner than Geoffrey could perceive the silence, it was shattered by a menagerie of panicked shrieks rising from the depths of the biosphere. In seconds the ship had exploded into pandemonium.
Above the din, three tones sounded once more and the captain’s voice filled the air: “Please excuse the sudden change in course. A debris field in our path has forced us to initiate the hyperjump ahead of schedule. Ecosystem stability sweeps will commence upon arrival in the Vogt system. Stand by for hyperjump in sixty seconds.”
Geoffrey swore and jumped to his feet. This little excursion would have have to wait; he had one minute to get back to Deck 20 before he was missed. Wiping the spittle from his mouth, he slammed the armory door shut, swiped Harvey’s keycard to lock it, tucked the card safely away in his shirt pocket and prayed the Sector D elevator would be empty.