Traversal: Knock Knock

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

Harking looked at the RO, who shook his head. No additional radar contact.

He cycled through his displays for a moment longer, assimilating the data they contained and attempting to assess their current situation. His concern was that a blockade waited ahead for them or, more likely, an ambush. He knew from experience that ghosts weren’t something you could just dismiss, especially not for a little courier vessel like his.

Harking minimized the holograph to a space just above his left arm.

“Alright. RO, active sweep, if you please. One ping, omnidirectional. Let’s see who’s out there.”

“Aye, sir,” came the reply.

Adjusting his display, the RO called up the search program and toggled a switch that fired off a burst of low-frequency radio waves, wincing inwardly as he did so. If they hadn’t been on anyone’s radar before, they almost certainly were now.

The sweep revealed nothing, which wasn’t surprising. What came back instead was surprising, though — and it left him momentarily speechless.

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  1. Avatar HSAR

    Didn’t get a notification for this one – seems emails are on the blink.

    I’m not sure about that last sentence. Aren’t they the same thing?

  2. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Not really. I’ll update that line in a bit to make what I meant a little more clear.

  3. Avatar HSAR

    What are you using RO for? I assumed “radio operator” or similar, but it strikes me that it could be anything.

  4. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Radar Operator. I defined it back in “Ghost” but it passed kinda quick, so it probably just slipped under the radar.

    (See what I did there?) ;-)

  5. Avatar HSAR

    Ah – I thought so, but they could have been separate characters.

    (And no, I think it passed below my detection threshold) ;)

  6. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    And yup, the sequel email notifications definitely seem to be on the fritz. I didn’t see that you’d written a follow-up.

  7. Avatar 32 ^2

    Sorry for the multiple posts, my vision has a hard time reading black on white.
    Your punctuation is excellent, and not overused, making for a nice read , my eye’s ride the waves easily.

    One thing, a pet peeve. I love that you use the sparingly. But your line, “Aye, sir,” came the reply, might be changed to his. You have already identified who the is in your first sentence i.e. male, so it might be relevant, to identify or not to identify. Or, did you mean to write, Harking looked at the RO, shaking his head ?, that would clear it up too.

  8. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Harking looked at the RO, shaking his head wouldn’t work, because that indicates it was Harking who shook his head. It wasn’t. It was the RO communicating, nonverbally, that there was nothing to report.

    I think this may be the first time I’ve ever seen someone get pedantic over the use of the word ‘the’. In this case, it was not a grammatical mis-step, but rather a specific stylistic choice (and one, I might add, that sees fairly common and regular use in literature).

  9. Avatar Pyropunk 51 (PPP LoA)

    I hope i have to taken to many liberties with my sequel

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