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The Silent Black Ocean (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 21 - The Silent Black Ocean[]

Adrift in the aftermath of the battle
Idrmach Star System
Chainelane Isles, Deep Periphery
September, 3165



(Breathing hard on the 5th day...)
In space, nobody can hear you gasping on carbon dioxide.  "You still with me, Gary?" she asked.  She had to ask, she couldn't feel her hands anymore.

"I remain." he wheezed.  "How are you doing?"

"Still alive." she answered, "Great view, huh?  You know..when I told dad I wanted to stargaze with a boy, I don't think I was imagining this."

"How old were you?" he asked.

"Five? Not sure. it was a long time ago.  I can't feel my fingers."

"I have you." he answered. Not reminding her that her right arm ended just below the elbow now-the suit's blowout protection had sealed the damage by cutting off the ruined remains of that hand with the emergency valve.

"Sorry about it going all ******, Gary..."

"You fought well, Christine, I am honored to have fought by your side."

"Would've been better if we'd made the getaway." she told him.

"We did." he told her, "Our ride, however..."

"Yah.  Good people lost." said Christine

Her vision grayed.

"Christine, stay awake!" he bumped helmet to hers. "Do not go to sleep!"

"I'm cold..."

"Do not leave me here!" he commanded her, and grappled her limp body to his. "Stay..."

A light played on them, from an NL-42 DropShuttle as it pulled in close.

Gary briefly wondered what would happen to them, in Cloud Cobra captivity.



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