Ascension: The Fly

In the bow, Davidovitch showed Reckall the forward rail gun. “Heat dissipation in space is a challenge,” he explained. “So we use the entire hull as a heat-sink.” Reckall nodded; but the sound of the bow-thrusters distracted him. Surely they had been firing for too long?

A nearby speaker crackled. “Captain to the bridge.”

“Excuse me.” Davidovitch left. Nobody had said Reckall couldn’t follow; so he did.

“We’re barely turning,” Lewison explained. “We’re burning a lot of fuel.”

“Thrusters off,” Davidovitch ordered. “Willians, take some men out and clear the hull. Reckall, go with them.”

From outside, the ship looked like a spun-sugar cone, thickly coated with a gauzy web-like mess. More was descending by the second, from the direction of the bow. It was too soft to cut, yet too tough to tear. They tried waving lengths of conduit through it. These too collected web-stuff; but, then, what to do with it?

His head-up display flashed; RED ALERT.

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