By A. Bertram Chandler
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Additional resources for Alternate orbits (Ace double)
She was too late—but perhaps this was as well. Had she got the lid open she would have been blinded. Still cursing softly, she grabbed a spanner from her belt. Her intention was obvious; she would unscrew the retaining nut holding the main supply lead firmly in its socket. But an invisible force yanked the tool out of her hand, threw it out of the open door. Grimes watched, helpless. Then he heard Sonya snarling, “Do something. ” She thrust something into his right hand. He looked down at it. It was the big fire ax from its rack in the chartroom.
It was Wilcox, the Chief Officer. ” “It’s an emergency, Mr. Wilcox. A Mayday call. Iron Warrior, broken down and drifting on to the Low Grenadines. ” “I’d better start getting things ready,” replied the Mate. Grimes went back into the chartroom, to the transceiver that had been switched on as soon as the auto-alarm had been actuated by the Mayday call. “Sonya Winneck to Ocean Control, Area Five,” he said. “Ocean Control to Sonya Winneck. I receive you. ” “I am now proceeding to the assistance of Iron Warrior.
Here, sir. Just twenty miles south of the Low Grenadines. ” “Not good,” said Grimes again. “Not good at all. —and that given by the disabled ship. One hundred and fifty nautical miles ... And Sonya Winneck would have to turn, putting the wind right aft. With her high superstructure this should mean a marked increase of speed ... Suppose she made twenty knots over the ground ... Twenty into one hundred and fifty ... Seven and a half hours ... He looked at the chartroom clock. Oh three thirty ...
Alternate orbits (Ace double) by A. Bertram Chandler