This is the first section of the fourteenth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
Malka strapped herself in as the final alarm finished sounding then waited for the inevitable pounding from the launch. The first one was always the worst she told herself. Of course this would work. It had to work. If it didn’t work she wouldn’t last long. She felt a shudder as the craft broke free of its underwater restraints and felt oddly light and seasick as it bobbed on its way to the surface. The whole ship lurched as the Oppenheimer broke the surface from its submarine hiding and rose above the waves. Seeing daylight for the first time since she was sunk all those years ago. Would this work, would the salt water have damaged the shock absorbers? Her maintenance crews insisted they would be fine. Any second now she would know. The pusher plate was just still submerged, only seconds left. She looked out at the display showing their support platform. In a few seconds time that would be nothing but flying debris. What a waste she thought. But better than launching from land though.
Half way through her next thought her every organ shifted inside her. They were off.