Lightning has struck twice
A second person has this haircut.
Now I don’t know this lady and I’m sure she is a fine upstanding member of society. Becuase of this, I have blurred out all of the faces in the picture.
I know everyone plays to a different beat. I get it.
I get it.
I also get humor is a part of life and if we can’t laugh at ourselves and the idiots around us then it just gets all monotonous and stuffy.
This was a nice twenty-minute break (blurring out faces and transferring over the photo from my camera) from my working on my StarBabe story.
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.”
Yesterday I had really productive day writing. It was well over 3,000 words. My fingers were on fire. Of course, it also helped that I had some extra time on my hands. I had an interview with another agency and honestly didn’t feel like going. Hey, time is time and I will take it where ever I can 🙂
I’m currently still working on my ‘Assassin Borg chick story’ for lack of a better name. The funny things is she’s only been in the first two parts and I’ve been farting around with other characters since then. I’ll get back to her but since her character is technically ‘on ice’ for the moment I have to play this out through the other character’s eyes.
I’ll write more soon.
Total writing time was about 2 hours take. Yeah I zoned out here and there but I’m a watcher, I watch people, it’s what I do. I’ve got my headphones on playing my techno/classical music with my fingers dancing at my laptop. Who’s a happy boy?
I am 🙂
I got the following 1500 ish words in over these past two hours which is close to my average. I need to pack up and go stop by some big box store and pick up some of those 12 gallon totes. The wife, as usual, has yet another project she is starting and it’s up to me to try and get it done. I swear she has issues.
But then again… so do I…
So… getting back to talking about me.
The following excerpt is from my latest story idea which admittedly is yet another story spark. I know I know, just finish something you already you lame ass. I do finish stories. I just can’t ever get them edited because people suck. I can’t find the time to focus on anything for longer than twenty-minute spans at work or home because I keep getting interrupted by stupid people. I know that sounds harsh but have you ever tried reading a book (okay that may be a stretch for some people, I’ll give you that) but you keep getting interrupted and re-reading the same paragraph over and over? Well, that is how it is with me and editing. I need to be left the flip alone.
I don’t get that (the “time” and not the “idea of getting time.” Okay, begrudgingly, maybe both).
Anyway, so what I have below is first draft cleaned. That means I barfed it out and then did some spell/grammar checking but didn’t reread it or fill in my **(get back to gaps). Yeah, I use (or rather plan on using) the “**” as search and replace points for when I hope to find the time to patching my drafts up.
This excerpt takes place in a future reality post my SplinteredSol story line where humanity has found a new home out amongst the stars. We are talking 100,000 years and a long way away from earth kinda stuff.
Sooo…. it’s not so much of a new project but more of research/development of the expanded universe I wish to explore. I’m about 10,000 words in so far.
I posted the very first chapter of this latest story idea just a few days ago with the slave girl. It’s kind of grown past that point since then.
Derrick stood alone under the focused light in the middle of what he felt like was the interrogation chamber. He faced out into the darkness. He had to remind himself to swallow as his throat was dry from both the lights and from everything he had said. He was nervous but not afraid. He had faced much worse in the weeks after the **_Xzenga incident.
Then, unlike now, when it was all over he had been a free man. This was entirely different.
The lights in the chamber rose to a shadowed level and the voice of Admiral Martz said, “We’re preparing your ship now.” He cleared his throat, “What you are doing, regardless of the outcome, makes you a hero.”
Derrick remained motionless aside from giving a slow but short nod.
Major Hanover walked out towards him, “I will bring you to your ship. Follow me.” She then turned and started leading him towards the exit.
Derrick asked, “Who is my pilot?”
Major Hanover’s pace stumbled as her face turned towards Derrick, “Pilot?”
He could see the confusion in her eyes, “I’ve never received any kind of shuttle craft training.”
Her pace slowed as her upper torso tried to middle itself between her forward advancement and her face. “You completed basic training at the academy?”
Derrick nodded, “Yes but I came down with a **Bono’s disease and missed those two weeks. I was supposed to make up my flight training at the end of my advanced training program but never got did because of… because of what happened.”
She came to a halt. “Fuck.” Her eyebrows lowered as she said in a weaker tone, “You aren’t messing with me, right?”
He gave a quick nod. “I wouldn’t do that, especially in a situation like this.”
Her eyes went wide again as she looked up and away. “We need to find you a shuttle pilot and quickly.”
“I know of one.”
Her eyes went wide as her jaw went slack, “Oh god no. Not the dingleberry.”
“He built his own craft and competes in the belt races with it.”
Her face contorted some, “The ‘belt races’?”
Nodding, “Yeah, he’s quite good too. Last year he came in at third place.”
“I am going to have to run this by command.”
“I get it, but do we have the time?”
She shook her head and brought up her left forearm. “Connect me to Admiral Martz.”
Three seconds later a holographic image of the Admiral beamed up from her forearm device. “Yes, Major?” She explained the situation as succinctly as possible to him. Derrick could see the bewilderment on the Admiral’s face even on the small five-centimeter projection of his head. “Just take him to the shuttle and I will meet you there.”
“Understood.” Major Hanover lowered her wrist and the communication link ended. She headed off at a quickened pace. “Come on.”
She didn’t have to say it twice.
When they got to the roof parking Derrick saw a bunch of staff personal moving gear and boxes in and out of a zippies pizza delivery shuttle. His pace slowed as he contemplated if that would be his ship or not. His next thought was if that was his, and had pizzas on it, then why did he submit his gut to the abomination from the mess hall just a few hours ago. His stomach gurgled as it had apparently been thinking the same thing. He resumed his pace and caught up, “Is that my ship?”
“They specified a non-military vessel.”
“So what’s everyone doing?”
“Upgrading a number of the components.”
Derrick said sarcastically, “So you are making it military grade?”
She turned her head towards him again, “We’re upgrading critical systems like life support. You do want to survive this ordeal don’t you?” She looked ahead again.
“Yeah… I guess that’s okay.”
“We want your cargo to survive getting back to us.”
As they approached the side entrance to the craft the various staff personal made room for the two of them. Derrick had to admit but a part of him had hoped to find a hot and ready zippy pizza just sitting there but failed to find one. The crew had already stripped the cargo area bare to swap out the various components. The two of them squeezed through to the small cockpit area and Major Hanover got herself into the co-pilots seat. She pointed for Derrick to sit in the pilots along and he did. “Okay show me what you know.”
He extended his arms out and grabbed the flight stick. “The flying part I kinda know. It’s all the startup and shutdown stuff without causing a meltdown is what has me concerned.”
She nodded, “Again in the interest of preserving your cargo, I would agree that is a valid concern.” She took off her forearm pad and handed it over to him saying, “Slip this on and record everything I do.”
Derrick slipped it on and started fumbling through the interface.
Her eyes went wide as she reached over and grabbed his arm, “You don’t know how to work one of these either?”
He gave her a toothy grin. “I don’t own an iFapp. I’ve always thought they were neat and all-“
She shook his wrist and brought it closer to her face which caused Derrick to go quiet. She pressed a button on the device and said, “Clooney?”
The device answered back in a suave male voice, “Yes Heather?”
“Put yourself in full audio mode and add the user whose arm you are on as having full access rights.”
“Understood. Does this user have a name they wish to be called?”
Derrick answered, “Derrick.” Then a wild idea popped into his head, “Captain Derrick Star Ranger.”
The Major’s eyes went wide again as her head shook some, “Why do I get the feeling this is a bad idea.”
Clooney responded cooly, “Do you require medical attention or would you rather I just play your favorite soothing music.”
She snapped back, “No, and no.” She then pushed Derrick’s arm away and said, “Now turn on holographic recording mode and recording everything going on until I say ‘cut’, understood?”
“Understood. Recording now.”
The Major took in a deep breath and began pointing at the various console controls and explaining what they do. She then walked him through the steps required to bring the ship up to full power and the steps necessary to power it back down again without causing it to go critical. She then gave her cut command and fell back into the copilot’s seat and took in a deep breath of air.
“That was pretty thorough” came the voice of Gerard from behind them in the holding area. They both turned towards him as he said to the major, “You covered everything except the part of handling a shielding reset.”
Her eyes went wide but Gerard pushed his way into the cabin and motioned for her to get out of the seat. “But that is why I’m here.” He performed a head swivel with a toothy grin, “A real pilot.”
She didn’t relinquish her seat and Gerard said, “Don’t worry I got it covered. I will make sure we record that part too en route should something catastrophic happen to me, you know, saving the Coalition and all.” That seemed to settle her as she started to get out of the seat. She hadn’t been out more than a half second before Gerard wiggled into it saying, “It’s all nice and warm.”
The Major turned around and faced Derrick, “Please record anything I might have missed. And for the hope of the entire Coalition, I hope you find yourself in need of using the recordings.”
Gerard laughed, “Ouch.”
She then turned and left the cockpit area.
Gerard reached out and picked up the headset and placed it over his ears and Derrick did the same. The background noise was diminished significantly by the radio silence coming from the line.
Gerard then pushed a button and said, “This is Captain Awesomesause testing the comms line on the **(CoalitionDefenseForce)CDF/USS Expendable Express Hot Delivery.”
Admiral Martz’s voice responded, “Have we made a mistake putting you on that shuttle?”
Gerard pushed the mute button on and faced Derrick, “Grouchy bastard.”
Derrick pushed the button to speak, “No sir. Rest assured he and I will retrieve the cargo and bring it back without incident sir.”
Gerard pushed mute on again, “Sir? Man, they really manchurianed you didn’t they.”
Derrick faced Gerard, “I know you think this is all fun and games but we’re dealing that could save billions of lives and help end the war.”
Gerard’s face went solemn, “I know. That’s why I’m here man. I’m here for you.” A grin broke out on his face as he pointed out past the cockpit towards the back side of Major Hanover walking away, “And for that.”
Derrick shook his head, “You can’t let do that.”
“Let your emotions get the better of you.”
Gerard laughed once, “Says the man who slept with his spy instructor.”
Derrick felt a twist in his gut. He didn’t have a chance to answer as Gerard reached out and started flipping buttons and bringing the engines online. Behind him, he heard the remaining crew still on board scrambling to finish and get off.
Gerard lifted the shuttle off a few inches from the roofs landing platform.
Thirty seconds later, with the personnel now out of the holding area, their craft started ascending up and into the night sky.
Over the past week or more I’ve been working on a story during my commute to work and back. It’s a draft 1.5 which means I wrote the thing and then went over it with a spell/grammar checker but haven’t debugged it for funny sounding sentences and continuity errors. Either way, here it is…
Chikara reached up and pulled away the bloodied restraining collar from around her neck. It struck the metal of the flight deck causing an echo to reverberate down its long length.
She was free.
Free from exploitation.
Free from experimentation.
Free from manipulation.
Free from enslavement.
Free to die of her own accord
She was free.
She was free to be afraid.
She wasn’t sure how long it would last at least for now she could do with her life as she now chose.
Chikara closed her eyes and took in a deep breath of the blood scented air. She took it, felt her chest expand with a sense of power, and held onto it. She wanted to relish this moment for it had come at such great cost.
She could still hear the screams of those that had died alongside her.
She was the lucky one.
She exhaled and opened her eyes. Down amongst the bodies of the Saethar were the mangled bodies of those that had bought her her freedom.
A klaxon went off in the distance, this brought her back to this moment in time. Some system on the ship had failed. She didn’t know anything about starships, she only knew what the Saethar had placed into her cortex. Still, her mind started scrolling through its memory banks looking for something that might prove useful. Her mind eye scrolled over her various personality profiles knowing these would be of little use. Her most recent profile, a Kelsey Bender, had all the skills of being a spy. It’s cover was that of being a diplomat from the remote colony world of Giligania, a world covered in water. This personality profile had all the skills necessary skills to infiltrate and negotiate. It knew less than nothing when it came to starships or even basic engineering. For her immediate situation, it seemed like a waste of skills.
Still, she had to give some thanks to the profile for it had been its combat training that had allowed her to survive the revolt. The shuttle that had been carrying her along with her fellow infiltrators had just landed on the Saethar light stealth carrier, which wasn’t part of a direct fleet so much as it was being used by a special espionage unit to collect information on the Coalition Worlds. As the various Saethars were preparing the encapsulation modules for the members of her team there was a brief moment when five of the twelve agents had all been simultaneously not been armed with their restraining collars. That was when one of her fallen comrades chose to make his move. The result had been bloody but that is to be expected when explosives implanted into agents brains are triggered to go off. The Saethar in charge of detonating the remotes had been the first target of the impromptu revolt.
Chikara scrolled to her second profile, a computer hacker who by day was an investment banker. She switched profiles as she walked towards the computer terminal alongside the bulkhead. Her vision faded as she lost consciousness momentarily. A fraction of a second later she regained her footing and stood before the terminal.
She viewed the screens and but resisted interfacing with them out of fear of drawing attention to herself. She was able to discern that the alarm was a from a failed component in the ships drive system. She knew this was not the first time for this part to fail. In fact, even through all the time she had spent in isolation, she had experienced it failing twice before. The Saethar had spent countless hours trying to determine why this ships coupler system failed on a regular basis. That was part of the reason this vessel had been taken out of regular fleet service and reassigned to this program. It would have taken a crew experienced with this issue a few hours to get the parts swapped out from the surplus they now kept off to one side of the flight deck. She glanced over towards the stack and saw that it was indeed smaller than the last time she had laid eyes upon it. She guessed that it would take her a week if not longer to try and effect the repairs all on her own.
The terminal flashed a new display message and another klaxon went off. This one was different. This one she had only heard once prior. This one told her that the electronics detection scanners had picked up an unidentified ship approaching them.
She felt the coldness of death touch her for the second time in less than a hundred heartbeats. The coalition had somehow found them. They had tracked the shuttle she and the others had taken back here.
She glanced down the length of the flight deck, past the carnage, towards the other various smaller fighter and shuttle craft. She knew that if the arriving threat was of any credible size, the Saethar wouldn’t have the means of fighting back. This vessel, even though it was a carrier, had a new purpose. Because of this it no longer had the same resources at its disposal as a true combat would have. The bridge crew, aside from attempting an escape had the drive not been down, would have no other choice but to cause the engines to go critical and incinerate the ship and everything on board it to prevent the coalition from learning more of the program.
Without thinking further, Chikara raced down towards the mangled bodies and began grabbing whatever supplies she could carry. She shoved handfuls of vials and cocktails into her pockets and even into the thin spaces between her garments and skin.
The flight decks lights went out and the red tinted emergency combat lights came on in their place. She located a toppled over the cart and righted as she came close to losing her footing thanks to the pooled blood.
She started throwing more gear on the cart, doing her best to catalog what she still needed. Her cart now full, she pushed it towards what she hoped was a readied and fueled shuttle craft. She got halfway towards the shuttle when her mind went into shock at her having forgotten to grab one of the program asserters. She gave a strong push on her cart so as to keep it moving towards the shuttle and then doubled back towards the corpses. Her first thought was to get her own asserter but then realized she couldn’t see it amongst the chaos. She spotted another one much closer. Fearing the ships imminent self-destruction, grabbed this one instead. She had no idea the personalities programs this one would contain but knew in her gut that there had to be something useful in its matrix.
She slid to a stop and reached out to grab the device as her legs worked on getting her back towards the shuttlecraft. The programming part of her profile tried assessing the odds at her even getting to the shuttle. Her odds and even getting out of the hanger alive. Her odds and escaping the ship without someone discovering her flight and triggering her implant to go off. Her odds and not getting destroyed by the Coalition forces. And worst of all, her odds of living past the next few weeks with the limited supplies she had been able to collect.
She caught up to her cart, which now rested up along the outside of the shuttle craft. Her aim had been true and the cart hadn’t veered off course due to some defective wheel. She thanked creation for small miracles.
She punched in the sequence and the shuttles side door slid open. She pushed her cart up and inside the craft and scrambled towards the pilot’s seat. She had seen the various Saethar agents fly these shuttles several dozen times and, if luck was still with her, would be able to get this ship up and going. She pushed, pulled, twisted, flipped, pulled some more, yanked, flipped other things, and started to get lost in the bewilderment of it all.
Her craft started to ascend.
She let out a scream of joy in such as way as to startle herself.
So far so good. Now all she needed was about three more miracles and she might survive long enough to take up a religion in praise of her luck.
She grabbed both hands onto the throttle and pulled back. The crafts nose dipped and started towards the launching the electric screen at the end of the long bay.
She watched as the carrier jolted underneath her shuttlecraft. Her shuttle slammed up against the roof of the bay and scrapped as she fought to keep control and get out alive.
Another jolt rocked the carrier as she caught sight of something exploding through the side of the launch bay. It slammed to a stop and that was when she caught sight of the black length of fibrous cable extending out from the end of the harpoon. She now knew exactly what the coalition’s goal was which gave her a renewed sense of hope that she had a chance in escaping all this alive. The coalition learned from their prior mishpas when attempting to capture Saethar ships. Their new tactic had been to send in several specialized stealth tugs at once. These would slam hooks into an enemy vessel from multiple directions in an attempt at ripping the target apart. This way, should the Saethars manage to get their drive core to go critical, they would at least have some sections of a ship in which to study. This, of course, meant that the various harpooning vessels didn’t get caught in the impending blast. The guided weapons had an impressive range.
Chikara managed to peel her craft off of the roof of the landing bay. She tried once more to pick up speed again as she headed towards the still sealed heavy launch bay doors.
She closed in towards the doors and noticed how they weren’t opening. She realized that they would require some sort of clearance and she didn’t have any such thing. She slowed her craft back down and reached out towards the keypad before her craft. She pounding away at it hoping to find some way of getting the doors to open. After her third attempt, the video screen in the cockpit flickered to life.
There staring back at her was Saethar regent sGolritha. sGolritha’s eye’s lenses flickered open and shut in what was an obvious sign of bewilderment in their species. sGolritha asked, “What is going on? Where is your handler?”
Chikara said back instinctively, “They’re wounded and have directed me to fly the sensitive cargo out and escape. We need to perform as jump and prevent the Coalition from securing these assets.”
sGolritha’s eyes tried looking beyond the limited view of Chikara in the pilot’s chair. “There is no need, we are preparing to sterilize everything.”
Chikara blurted out. “The information one of the other agents recovered from the last mission is critical to the war effort and needs to get back to command. It is vital to our war efforts.”
sGolritha asked, “What information?”
A voice somewhere else on the bridge said, “She’s lying. I have the video feed of the bay up. She is trying to escape.”
sGolritha’s eyes narrowed. “I would trigger your cortical implant and kill you right now but don’t want to waste the effort seeing how this ship is about to go critical.”
Chikara reached out and slapped the console which terminated the video link in a curse of frustration.
This was it.
She couldn’t get out of the hanger bay.
She was going to die.
She felt the carrier shudder as the harpoon and cable from the Coalition tug ship went taunt. The carrier continued to shake as she assumed the other lines were also getting pulled. She watched as the long length of bay began to twist upon itself.
The hope in her had not died, at least not yet.
The gravity on the ship failed as she shuttle bobbled against the roof.
Half a second later she watched as the entire length of the launch bay split itself open like an over ripened fruit.
She got herself situated again and grabbed a hold of the controls. Her mind reeled to find the thrusters again as her eyes scanned darted back and forth across the console before her.
Had she glanced up, she would have caught sight of the now free floating support cross member section floating towards her crafts cockpit. Having found and placed her hand upon the thruster control yoke, she looked up a fraction of a second the beam was to spear her ship. Her hand yanked back upon the thruster and her craft started zipping backward. It wasn’t quick enough as the metal scraped across her viewport. The stress of the intersection caused the protective enclosure to crackle like a sheet of ice before an ice breaker. The momentum of the debris, added to her crafts increasing backward thrusting, was enough to cause her shuttle to bounce off.
Her backward momentum was halted by her crafts impact deeper into the section of the carriers shuttle bay behind her. The craft tumbled once more due to the impact. She then re-orientated her awareness of where her ship was and where it needed to be to not get sandwiched between the two massive chunks.
She pushed forward on the thruster arm with everything she had and yanked on the flight stick. Her shuttle twisted in a semi circle and spun down towards the gap that was the blackness of space.
She cleared the impact zone as she heard more debris rattle against the backside of her craft. The result of inertia throwing out smaller parts from the impacting of the larger two hull sections.
She allowed herself a heavy exhale. That was when she noticed that she felt a breeze whipping past her face and out through the cracked windshield before her. She pushed down on the throttle arm knowing she needed to put as much distance between her and the expected explosion of the Saethar carrier. She was thrown back into her seat under the force of the acceleration. She now had a choice to make. Slow her crafts escape velocity and risk getting fried in a detonation of the carriers engine core. Or slow her craft down enough so that she could find a means of patching the cockpit so she didn’t die of asphyxiation.
She felt a chuckle of humility rising up from deep within her gut.
She was free to die by her own decisions.
She swallowed hard upon her dark anxiety and twisted sense of fate. She strained to push herself out of her chair and tried to get out without causing herself further harm.
Fate was not done playing with her.
She cleared her way out of the chair she felt her shuttle get rippled and tossed about. The shockwaves of the carriers explosion caused the entirety of space around her to become white and pure as the portal beyond death. She lost her grip and fell back towards the rear of the shuttle craft. She landed against the back wall as she blacked out to the sounds of her bones cracking and snapping.
Chikara awoke to pain.
She was cold.
She could taste the blood within her mouth as she struggled to open her eyes. She tried lifting her head off of the bulkhead but found the side of her face was stuck due to the blood that had dried her face to it.
As she continued regaining consciousness she started moving her limbs and the pain shooting through her told her that wasn’t a wise thing to do.
Through the pain no longer being blocked by her being passed out, she tried collecting her thoughts as to what had happened to bring her to hear and now. She feared her handler would find some fault and she would be punished.
That thought didn’t last long as her mind recalled the carnage amongst her and her brethren that had helped facilitate her escape.
She closed her eyes again realizing the cost of it all and wondered if she had ended up postponing the inevitable. She felt another spasm of pain as she took in too deep of a draw of air. Was she deluding herself into thinking it was all worth it.
She had recalled the explosion and her tumbling out of the seat and hurtling back towards the rear of the shuttle. Her mind pieced together that the emergency breach doors had activated which separated the hold area from the cockpit. She pondered how far she had gone and it was then she realized that the shuttle’s engines were no longer engaged. She knew then that she had been out for quite some time, either that or they had taken more damage than she had realized during the event and had broken down. Either way, it meant she didn’t have a means of controlling the craft and had only a limited amount of resources from which to survive.
She was tired.
She allowed her eyes to close again and remained still.
She exhaled and hoped she could drift off once more.
She got her wish.
Hello again peoples,
While pulling up the MSN.com website I ran across an article which struck me as being very poignant.
This article was originally posted as https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/5-sure-signs-that-you-work-in-a-toxic-office.html
It is titled “7 Sure Signs That Your Workplace Is Toxic“
Gee… I wonder. Let me go through the talking points and try to go over them.
1. All sticks and no carrots
Management focuses solely on what employees are doing wrong or correcting problems and rarely give positive feedback for what is going right. Or mostly carrots for the best performers, sticks for the rest.
– Yep, this fits our office. If I had a nickel for every time any of us were called “INSUBORDINATE.” The thing is I’m not the only one to feel this way. I just happen to be the most vocal about it. We have all discussed this at great length and all in agreement. We even have people from other units that have signed sworn statements 😛
2. The creeping bureaucracy
There are too many levels of approval and management to get things done and a singular focus on micromanaging employees.
– Oh yeah. Dwight has tried to implement us putting everything down on our calendars, which includes going to the bathroom. Every one of us has to run all decisions by her and can’t make any kind of judgement calls on our own. Even for situations where we have years worth of experience dealing with. She is constantly telling us “this is on fire, go deal with it” and then as soon as we are working on that she yells out, “Why are you not working on this other fire that I pulled you guys away from?”
3. The gigantic bottom line
Profits, beating the competition, and cost cutting is solely focused on without consideration of other bottom lines.
– I can’t you how often Dwight defends her actions by uttering “I am only looking out for the well being of the state tax payer.” She wastes more state time than anyone I have ever met before, and that includes the customer service employees at DMV smacking their gun and rolling their eyes at our woes. She goes out of her way to make it more difficult for us to do our jobs. She even went so far as to turn off my badge so I couldn’t get in work areas.
ROLLING EYES +1
4. Bullies rule the roost
Management bullies employees or tolerates bullying when it occurs among employees.
– Dwight is being protected. Not only have they doubled down on backing the stupid, they have even tripled down with bosses-bosses-boss getting in on the act. They are all a bunch of ostriches with their heads up each other’s butts kissing away.
YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP +1
5. Loss of the human touch
People are considered to be objects or expenses rather than assets, and there is little concern for their happiness or well-being. There’s also little evidence of leaders’ compassion and empathy for employees. As a result, you’ll encounter high levels of stress, turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.
– Let’s see. Out of a unit of 8 personal, we have three new people and of them, one has already found another position elsewhere. The other five, myself included, are all looking to transfer out. The other two new people are fearful of losing permanent status and don’t want to rock the boat. Over the past nine months, we have lost two people, aside from the third new person who was able to secure a position elsewhere, and both of these ended up taking temporary positions just to get away from Dwight.
HELLO! IS ANYBODY LISTENING? +1
6. Internal competition
Employees must compete internally, which is enforced by a performance assessment system that focuses on individual performance rather than team performance.
– Dwight has told each and every one of us we are not to work together as a unit and to allow our peers to fail in their duties should they ask or require help.
SERIOUSLY WHAT IS F-ING WRONG WITH HER? +1
7. Little or no concern for work-life balance.
People’s personal or family lives must be sacrificed for the job; overwork or workaholism is commonly evidenced by 50-hour-plus work weeks, little or no vacation time, and 24/7 availability for work communication. There is little or no commitment to making contributions to the community, worthy causes, or making the world a better place.
– Oh, I can’t tell you the issues I’ve had with this one. Here is but one single example out of the many. The train I ride had a malfunction last winter and I had to adjust my routine getting into work. Well, part of that fix was causing me to be late in picking up my kids after work. By leaving work 5 minutes earlier I was able to get on an earlier train and pick up the kids without having to suffer any late penalties. I offered to cut my lunch short by the difference and she refused. Well, I cut out anyway and she took that my RDO schedule because of it. I even have the emails asking her to help come to a mutual solution and she responded with “This is not my concern.” There is so much more but alas I don’t have the time to list them all.
FU U WITCH +1
GOT TOXIC WITCH?