02/22/21 Snippet, GHOSTS ON AN ALIEN WIND.

There might be a book in here.


Landing was not anticlimactic: it was a perfectly good climax to what had been a fun half hour of sheer neurochemical overload, thank you very much. This time I actually landed, but I still had the hatch opening as the hauler touched down. The medical staff unloaded the stretchers with almost blinding speed, too. One of them even had time to check on me; I thought about waving her off, but then I remembered she probably had access to painkillers. I felt I could use one. Or two. Was there a sampler?

Okay, all of that was a lie. Not what happened, but how I was reacting to it. When the doc checked me out she was happy to give me something that made me drift a little, probably because she didn’t want me freaking out when I heard about the two people that had died. I didn’t tell her that I already knew. It gets weirdly quiet in the hauler when it powers down — something about the hull; people are looking into it — and when I was on that ballistic arc all I could hear was the faintest sounds of whistling as the hauler caught what atmosphere was outside.

Well, that and the fuzz. The fuzz that spiked suddenly louder, twice, as we reached the top of the arc and began to descend. I don’t know how it is on other worlds, but on 118-G-002 the fuzz definitely isn’t made up of voices. Ask any pilot, and we’ll all agree. Immediately, and without hesitation. And the voices that aren’t there absolutely don’t ever sound like they’re coming from what was once a human throat. And that means that I didn’t hear anything human in those two spikes, right? Right. Just so long as we all understand it. Or at least… get past it; but that’s what the sedative was for.

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