+ Apotheosis (part 1)
Okay, summer break means it’s time for the final edit on this baby. Believe it or not, I originally intended this project to be a comic. 132,000 words later… hells no. Juathuur epic aside, I don’t actually have a death wish. Also, I suck at drawing spaceships. Anyway, this is my science fiction novel, and when my art blog goes silent its generally because I’m stuck in the nightmarish cycle of revisions. So bear with me for posting pieces once in a while. Gotta keep myself motivated.
An infection warning pulsed a shrill, staccato alarm.
Sifar jerked in his seat, heavy boots clunking in the cramped cockpit footwell. He checked his entrance vectors, then clicked his tongue.
“Firewalls, my ass.” This is why he hated shuttles. Security holes the size of golf balls. But Miki swore she scrubbed the rental clean before he decoupled. What joker would try to backdoor him in the middle of a descent?
Hoarse, dry air rattled through his breather. Quarantine procedures sent a frenzy of subroutines spilling across his neuronet. The cluttered mental display clogged his thoughts. Synched to the shuttle, the juggled systems dragged weights on his processors like wild kites. Fighting for focus, he visualized a spiraled square, then a waving pattern of dots, a visual mnemonic to access his net’s submenus.
A targeted scan lit up corrupted sectors, scattered about the guidance system like mouse turds in a gutter pipe. But no fix on the code that had chewed it’s way through. Crap. A messy one. If it spread to his net, it’d take days to dig out.
He could feel distortion already; a stutter of force feedback from the telemetry.
Couldn’t risk a distress call. If Nox got wind of his intentions, there’d be hell to pay. But he had to try something, fast.