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Friday, May 12, 2017

F3 Preparations for Insanity

            Flynn looked at the main viewer. On the right was a table of ever-changing numbers, the readouts from the sails’ telltale sensors. The dark energy wind could be treacherous, sometimes spiking into gales, but today the telltales were fairly even.
            On the left side of the screen, Ann had a simulation that translated the numbers into virtual representation.
            “it’s not exactly accurate,” Flynn commented.
            Instead of the black void of space, it showed an idyllic beach, the wind rustling palm trees.
            “It’s close enough,” Ann said.
            “I think you’re trying to butter me up.” He looked back at her.
            She wore the tight jumpsuit that went under EVA suits. She grinned, “We’re doing this.”
            Flynn glanced back at the readout. He had been hoping for something closer to calm, maybe a nice swirling eddy next to some dark matter bars. No such luck. At thirteen knots it wasn’t exactly the fastest wind, but then again, Ann wouldn’t have the benefit of a hull and stabilizing sails.
            “You’re sure about the design of your . . . what did you call it?”
            “Windsurfing board. And yes. I’m comfortable with it.”
            “What does Hank say?”
            “Well, when I can get him to focus he says it’s fine, but most of the time he wanted to fiddle with something and I had to slap his hands away.”
            “Your tethers and umbilical are solid?” The tethers were standard lifelines, but the umbilical would connect her to the ship’s communication and sensors. Since they would be traveling at sail, faster than any radio signal, the only way to talk to her would be through the umbilical.”
            “Triple-checked. Kimball will be suited up in the airlock and Connor standing by.”
            “This is still insane, Ann.”
            “You don’t get to be the only one to pull off brilliant but insane ideas.”
            “I’m not sure about that first part.”
            “You will when it works.”
            Flynn gave a last look at the display, knowing that conditions were as good as they were going to get, and that Ann was going to make the attempt with or without his help, even if it killed her.
            “Go,” he said.

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