New Excerpt from SPACEBABE
The following is first draft quality so don’t go complaining. SUCK IT!
The ensign looked at the data for a third time. He had a gut feeling he knew what he was looking at but couldn’t prove it.
He stood up from his console.
Others around him glanced up at him as they noticed he wasn’t leaving his post to head to head towards the facilities as one normally does after standing up. A few eyes near him lingered as one asked, “You got something Euger?”
He brought his right hand up and raked it through his hair. “I’m… I’m not sure.”
Steppy scooted out of her chair and went over to stand next to Euger, “Show me what you have?”
He pointed at his right most terminal and said, “You see this?”
She nodded as she puts her arms down upon the edges of his desk and put her weight upon them so she could focus better on all of his screens.
He continued, “That’s the feed coming off of the University of Gulga Balstar astronometrics monitor.”
“It sits in orbit around the star and is constantly monitoring its health.”
Her voice had a tinge of boredom, “Go on…”
“Well, it picked up an anomalous signal.”
“Well, what was it?”
“It’s not so much what it was as when it was.”
“You are losing me Euger.”
Major Hanover’s voice addressed them from a few steps behind, “Did you find something?”
Both Euger and Steppy jumped. The Major waited in silence as Euger began mumbling in an attempt to collect his thoughts better. Steppy didn’t appear to want to step in as she still hadn’t grasped the situation.
The Major brows slanted downward, “Spit it out already.”
Euger then pointed to and explained the readings from the University satellite feed. The Major didn’t seem as she was a moment ago as she asked, “So what do you think you found?”
Euger sat back down in his chair and accidentally rammed into Steppy. The Major reached out and caught Steppy by the forearm as she tried to keep Steppy upright. Euger said in a distracted voice, “Sorry.” He then began slapping away on his workstation bringing up various files and feeds. “I’m going to assume you both know your basics when it comes to particle physics?”
The Major said bluntly, “Assume nothing. Talk to me like I’m an idiot.”
Euger started to turn his chair around so he could gauge the look on her face as he wasn’t sure of her sincerity. The Major extended both arms out and locked them onto the back of Euger’s chair back and prevented him from spinning it further. “It’s just a phrase. Yes, I know some. Now get to your point.”
Euger let that swirl around in his head for a few seconds and then spoke as he pointed at one of his center displays. “This is the battle of Horchata V.”
“Okay? We won that battle but it cost us, cost us dearly. Get to your point.”
He extended a finger out, “I want you to look over in this corner of the screen.” Both the women did so. “Now I’m going to fast forward the video to this point in time.”
All eyes were on the screen.
Euger then jumped a bit as there was a small flash of light on the display. “Did you see that?” His head turned back towards the others, “Did you see that?”
Steppy said, “It looked like a flash of a decaying TerryLASTname** particle.”
He then started typing in his terminal again and then another of his screens showed a bell curve on it. “Yes. Now it’s a very large decay according to what we would typically expect.”
Steppy said, “Okay….”
Euger started typing away again and the screen showing the battle changed to another one, “The battle of Ender.” He pointed to another corner of the display. “Look over here.”
They watched that corner as the main feed showed the now deceased battlestation going about its activities just before the arrival of the Saether fleet. There, right where Euger pointed to, the screen showed another momentary flash.
The Major said, “Another particle decay?”
Euger nodded, “It happened thirty minutes before the Saether fleet arrived.”
She leaned in and spoke in a softened tone, “Are you telling me these things are larger bursts are Saether in origin?”
He looked towards her and gave a hesitant nod, “I can’t say for certain yet but I found another one in the background during the salvaging of Saethar cruiser last month.”
Euger started working on his keyboard again and soon they were watching the video feed from one of their own battle drones. Euger pointed to a part of the screen and scrolled through the time scale until he got to that point.
There on the screen was another flash of high particle decay.
The Major asked in her lowered voice, “How long have you been working on this?”
He met her gaze and said, “I found not one but four in the University satellite feed information.”