Out of the Chocolate Box (58)

The viewer showed a mass of black-brown lumps. The stench like rotting fish stung my nostrils.
I sniffed. ‘Can you smell that?’
‘What?’
‘That smell.’
‘What smell?’ The Commander remained unaffected by any smell.
‘The rotting fish smell.’ I put a handkerchief up to my nose and mouth. My eyes streamed. I gagged. ‘Sure the Storm hasn’t cracked…’

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Out of the Chocolate Box (57)

‘It’s the pollution. I must warn you about this planet. The laws on this planet are, that there are no laws. Every man does as he sees fit, to quote the Bible. When I read about Sodom and Gomorrah, I think of this planet,’ the Commander added. ‘Remember your spiritual armour, you will need it. And don’t forget your guardian angels, too. And whatever you do, stick by me, don’t go wandering off on your own—it’s a demonic jungle out there.’

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Out of the Chocolate Box (56)

Driver picked her crowded teeth with the end of a paper clip.
We sat at the bridge of the “Storm”, a small craft, but we did nothing, and the computer did everything: Navigation, piloting, maintenance—you name it, the machine did it, even serving tea and coffee.
‘I suppose a hundred years has passed back there,’ I said.
‘Oh, no my dear, nothing like that! Time doesn’t pass that quickly.’ Driver corrected. ‘Only a few months really.’

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Out of the Chocolate Box (54)

‘You have one more chance to redeem yourself, Ensign Mueller,’ Driver took a deep breath and made a tent shape with her hands and fingers. ‘You will be heading for Boris’ hideout; his planet. Over the past few days, we’ve been able to track Boris’ movements. It’s a distance, many light years from here, close to the galactic hub near a black hole. This mission is extremely dangerous. You’ll sever all ties with family, friends and shipmates. Although for you the time will seem only a few weeks, because of the time distortion near the epicenter of the Milky Way, for the rest of us, time will pass into years, maybe decades.

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Out of the Chocolate Box (53)

A weedy male with a salad bowl haircut and a face that would make alien abduction stories believable, stepped up beside them. I assumed he was the newest addition to the LSS. Great! Another little upstart! Just what I need!
‘This is Bruce.’ Liesel barely moved her lips. She mumbled something I could not catch, then said, ‘He’s taking your place…Sorry things didn’t work out.’

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Out of the Chocolate Box (52)

‘Yes, I get it. I didn’t want to hurt you.’ Günter leaned closer and gently brushed his hand across my cheek. I clasped his hand in mine. Usually at this point of the relationship, I return the hand to its owner and proceed to give the owner a lecture based on the ground rules of too much physical familiarity breeds regret and that based on my Christian principals… However, in the case of Günter, and I guess Fox back in Strahan, my principals had taken a hike, and my presence of mind had joined them. I regretted what happened in Strahan.

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