Ascension II: Discovery

The wormhole within a wormhole appeared above the tender’s jury-rigged manifold, and Ishikawa regretted his impulsive nature. Arcs of blue energy sprang from it to the vortex of distorted space that enclosed them. The jumpgate tender plunged into the new wormhole, just as the old one burst. They had a fleeting glimpse of the Finite State Machine falling toward Jupiter’s dueling storm belts; then they were on their way—somewhere.

“There’s an object ahead,” Shwartz reported. “Very irregular, like a small asteroid.”

“What’s an asteroid doing in hyperspace?” Ishikawa wondered. “Is it some kind of ship?”

“It’s not artificial. But there are structures on it.”

“We can’t avoid it. We can’t orbit it, either, in this twisted space. I’m instantiating a 5-minute stasis field, this is going to be rough.”

Steep valleys surrounded by fang-like crags rushed at them. “Is that a cathed …” Pitcher began. Then they were on the ground.

The three men crawled out of the wreckage and looked around.

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