And yes, I'm trying to write a Sci-fi short story for a Christmas anthology (for charity).
Here's the beginning. What d'ya think?
“Ho ho ho!”
The vibrations moved through the ship as the Drive kicked in, sending the plastic dancing Santa I’d stuck to the side of the Communication panel into a frenzy. I sat, strapped in my seat, waiting for the stabilizers to take over. Time ticked on, my eyeballs were coming lose.
“Sands! Where are those stabilizers?” I screamed over to the co-pilot. Thiesmanne, our pilot, was down in the bay, secured in the loading cabin, watching the consignment. Myself and the others were here in Ulysses’ command centre, being shaken to death.
“Keep your hair on! They’ll be on in a second!” Sands flashed across the propulsion settings, flicking switches, pushing flashing lights.
“That’s all I’ll have left if this keeps on much…!” retorted Brink, the Science officer, being cut short by the quietness and smoothness of the stabilisers working. “That’s better.” He went to undo his belt but Sands held up her palm.
“Not until this light goes out.” There was a ‘bing’ as the offending icon disappeared. “Okay, you’re fine now.”
Sighs of relief filled the centre as we unbuckled and checked to see if we were all in one piece. A-okay. The dancing Santa slowed to a halt, his little bell giving one last ring, leaving nothing more to disturb the peace of the crew, now engrossed in their work panels. As Communications officer, I had nothing to do until we reached our destination Ayos IV the next day. The Comm from the loading bay started to flash, so I opened a channel.
“Thiesmanne, are you okay?”
“Of course, Dayne. The consignment is secure. I’m coming back up now.”
“Copy that.” I turned in my seat to find Sands literally hovering over me dressed only in her standard jumpsuit, making her weightless. “Sands! Warn people when you do that!”
I sat there, waiting, saying nothing. She finally tutted and begrudgingly put her boots back on, setting her firmly back on the deck.
“He’s coming back up. Everything’s A-okay.”
“Good. Tell him to bring up some ration packs, I’m dying for a snack.” She gave her control panel a glance and went over to the Restroom at the back of the centre. Like myself, she was only needed later. Thankfully. Out of the whole crew, of which there were twelve, she was the hardest to get along with. Most of the others were quiet, nice, hard-working professionals in their own specialised fields, but her? A complete contrast to Thiesmanne her superior.
By the time he’d appeared back in the command centre, she was fast asleep and many of the others had settled back for a few winks.
“Well, Dayne, looks like we’ll be home for Christmas,” said Thiesmanne, taking his seat. He looked over the display panel and nodded. I slapped the dancing Santa.
“Ho ho ho!”
“Yes. You know, after all these centuries of growth, exploration, first contact, you’d have thought Christmas would be a thing of the past.”
“It is. But tradition is tradition, Thiesmanne. The colony on Ayos IV are expecting a tree, and a tree is what they’ll get.”
He shook his head, noticing Sands snoring away in the Restroom.
“Some people, eh?”
“Oh, Sands? Tell me, how the hell did she get to be your co-pilot? She’s a disaster.”
“Oh, that’s easy. We were in the same squadron in the War. We made it through together.”
“Was she help or hindrance?”
We laughed. The War had been short but brutal. I’d been assigned on one of three Destroyer class ships brought into service, though after the initial skirmishes they were mostly redundant, our enemy the Krogans moving over to guerrilla tactics early on. Fighter squadrons like Thiesmanne, and apparently Sands, took the brunt of the action. Many good people lost their lives.
“I’ll tell you a story,” smiled Thiesmanne. “When we started the Academy, she and…” The lights went out and we were thrown from our seats. Sirens and screams filled the air. Emergency backup power turned on, leaving us mainly in the dark but essential systems switched back on. Sands was up and out before we made it back up on our feet.
“What the hell was that?” shouted Sands, running over to the Drive panel.