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Chapter 9 - The Absolute Zero[]

LCN Fleet Base Buena
Buena Star System
Lyran Commonwealth
3159 CE

The colorless void howled. Don't let me fall I don't want to fall don't let me fall ah god it's forever-forever-forever

Sharon Ngo opened her eyes as the memory faded.  Transition quarters were nicer than she remembered, but it still took a moment to reorient herself.

"Mum?"  Lieutenant Commander Jimenez was at the open hatch.

"I'm awake."  never fall asleep again  She untangled from her sack, and crawled out.  "What's the alert?"

"Unknown bogie in-system. Jump signature but, no ship, mum."

"There's a ship, Commander." she said, "Bet on it."  Winter.  They're moving on us. thought Sharon. "Scramble alert squadrons and light up everything in deep radar range at maximum power, I want to know if someone's lost pocket change is out there."

"Aye, mum."

She followed him out into the main axis corridor of the station.  "Is it true what they say, mum? Did you really ride a jump on the hull?"
"That was years ago." she said, "I was...what, nineteen?  On a first tour, you do stupid shit sometimes.  My stupid shit was conning Commander Trak into letting me ride a jump on the hull."

"What did you see?" he asked.

it went on forever

"I don't remember. I remember the entry and the exit, the magnetic shock of the KF Field screws with your nervous system, that's why people get TDS." it's why TDS sufferers are such good nav officers  "We have regulations against dumb stunts like that, because it can kill you."  because it will do more than that.

"You survived."

"I was lucky enough to be 'inside' the field, up against the hull, and it could've left me all kinds of ****** up." Sharon said, "Where did you hear about that, anyway?" "People talk-especially Coasties." he said.

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