An Appetizer

            Atom strolled through the hatch to the One Way Ticket, rubbing the crusty snow from his face. “Let’s get properly settled,” he called out as the others started to wander away. “We don’t know how long we’ll be here, but I don’t want the weather to kick anything loose.”

            He froze.

            The grenade bounced. Metal tinked against metal as the small sphere hopped along a haphazard path across the hold floor like a fleeing kangaroo rat.

            Atom felt the breath suck out of the room in a collective spasm as all eyes tracked the erratic journey of the fast-moving grenade. In an instant too brief for reaction, he tried to anticipate the detonation point and figure an escape route for any of the crew.

            Wide eyes.

            Bouncing metal sounded almost like tinkling glass.

            As the rudimentary AI guided the grenade to the point of maximum damage, Atom leaned in front of Margo. He scowled at the artificial, sporadic hopping that made bouncers so deadly.

            The grenade slowed.

            The crew tensed.

            Leaning back from the center of the room, they held their breaths as the grenade paused, mid-hop, to scan the hold. The grenade tracked movement, keying in on the panic its metallic clinking tended to inspire. The crew, however, remained frozen. As if seated at a Russian roulette table, they hung on a razor’s edge, waiting for the next bounce. Or not…

            The grenade dropped, bouncing with greater force against the plasteel matting of the floor and leaping chest high in the air.

            Atom slapped Margo to the ground, just as the shockwave slammed into him.

* * *

Whet your appetite. Trinity is almost ready to head to the publisher. Drop a line in the comments to ask any questions about my books or the writing process and I’ll do my best to answer them in my next posting.

In the meantime, keep on reading, keep on searching for the new, and keep on flying the black.

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