14 June, 2011

[SFAP] Chapter 5:2

This is the second section of the fifth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.

“Have you heard the news?” asked Jane
“No” replied Laurence, “I’ve been here with you”
“They’ve picked up an SOS signal, we’re diverting to go and help them”
“What?”
“Yeah some sort of accident with their engines.”
“But that doesn’t make sense, how were we anywhere near them, even if we were both going to Saturn we’d be on different orbits at different velocities.”
“Apparently we are, but not too much of a difference.”
“But we’ll never have enough propellant.”
“They’re draining all but emergency quantities of water from the ring, millions of gallons in there and the reduced mass will mean we need less deltaV. Besides they’re bound to have some water on board their ship.”
“Depends on their engines and what the accident was. Doesn’t it bother you that there has never been a successful rescue in interplanetary space for a reason. Physical proximity doesn’t matter we should be at vastly different vectors.”
“Well yes, but this is almost perfect, we can go down in the history books. They were in the coast phase of their flight and we were still accelerating so coincidence has worked for us. Come on good news has to happen occasionally.”
“Do we know who they are?”
“Some sort of supply ship from the asteroids. Not much information on their registry.” Replied Jane “I’ve not been able to get any more information”
Laurence grabbed his pad “humm, about 10 hours to a rendezvous, surprisingly quick.”
“Oh, by the way I’ve been meaning to pick a bone with you.”
“Yes?”
“I found myself accosted in the corridor by a certain individual earlier”
“What? Tom?”
“No, but you are on the right track and I’ll just say this once, if you try that again I’ll make sure you regret it”
“What?”
“You know full well.”

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