A calm voice came in over the headsets. “FC Reed, initiate sequence.”
No sound but the rising hum of the accelerators.
“FC Reed. Copy… Initiate sequence. Copy.”
The lack of response forced the crew members sharing the cramped quarters to break the focus they had with their monitors. All three looked simultaneously at Captain Reed. He stared at the blinking dashboard with no sign of impending action.
“Initiation failed. Launch Sequence Abort in 10… 9…”
Reed broke his stare and looked around. He met each of his colleagues eye to eye. He remembered how it began twenty years ago. Their faces were not pressing or anxious then, and they weren’t now. Then, they were all eager and glowing with the prospect of conquering the unknown. Now, each face held that look of adventure and excitement.
The feeling brought back a rush of youthful confidence. He snapped back to the controls and with a steady hand he checked and released the final safeguards.
“Launch in 3… 2… 1…”