The meteor hurled itself through the void, trailing coloured gases and showering the skies with whatever debris had followed in its wake. Gas clouds brightened and died as it passed. It dodged and swerved, weaving in and out of invisible objects before gaining a sudden kick of speed. It hurtled towards a lone ship, glancing her side and sending her reeling out of control before scything into the rocks of a nearby moon.
The prone ship span sharply downward, turning on an imaginary axis until she honed in on a planet not far from where she had suffered the terrible blow. She hit the landscape pretty hard, tearing into the side of a mountain before sliding to a halt on her roof.
The grey silence of the planet was punctuated with the creaks of the ship as it rocked gently on its roof. As the dust settled again, tiny pinpricks of light began to flicker into view in the distance.
The planet was awakening.
The new officer eyed herself critically in the mirror. The uniform fitted her almost perfectly. This gave Lodi a thin veneer of confidence as she stepped into the service lift. Sighing, she waved a hand over the command panel and winced as it whined into action. High above her head, tiny particles - virtually unseen - milled around before settling in a vaguely cloud-like formation.
The journey to Bay 17 seemed to take forever in this rickety lift. Finally it rattled to a halt and the doors wheezed open.
Bay 17 was a vast area, a kind of docking station-cum-intergalactic maintenance depot. Lodi had been there more often than she cared to remember, but today was different. She felt out of place with clean hands and a clean uniform.
She'd spent a lot of time at Bay 17 but could barely remember what the place looked like. She'd spent most of her time underneath a scouter vessel or pawing away at a near-dead computer terminal. It had been hard, grimy work with long hours and little time to catch a breath, let alone a meal; but right at this moment - for reasons she couldn't explain - she missed it terribly.
I've just finished part 11.
If you'd like to read any more, go to this part of Cyber Authors .