Alternate orbits (Ace double) by A. Bertram Chandler

By A. Bertram Chandler

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Grimes stood into Tallisport. With his naked eye he could now see the Main Leads, two white towers, nicely in line. He told the Harbor Quartermaster to steer for them, to keep them right ahead. Yes, and there was the breakwater to port, with its red beacon ... The red beacon was abeam now, and Sonya Winneck was sweeping into the harbor in fine style. ” suggested the Third Officer. “Mphm. Thank you, Mr. Viccini. ” The rhythmic thudding of the diesel generators was unchanged, but there was a subtle diminution of vibration as the propeller revolutions decreased.

She screamed. ” “No time now to tell you. ” Grimes went to the telephone, rang down to the engine-room. “Manual control, your end, Mr. Jones,” he ordered. “Keep her on full astern until I order otherwise. And send Miss Hales up to the bridge. ” Thankfully, Wilcox and Denham released their painful grip on the bridge control lever. On the console the revolution indicator still showed maximum stern power. Ahead, the distance between the two ships was fast diminishing. From the VHF transceiver came a frightened voice, “What’s happening, Sonya Winneck?

Grimes joined him. When his eyes became accustomed to the semi- darkness he could see that the wind was broad on the star— board bow; he could see, too, that with each gust It was veering, working gradually around from southeast to south. Southern Hemisphere, he thought. Clockwise circulation, and the low barometer on my left hand ... Now that he had something to work on he might as well avoid the center with its confused, heavy seas. “Bring her round to starboard easily,” he told the Second Officer.

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