Excerpt #1 from my book THE DEFENDERS

Hey! This was part of a book that I’m working on. . Don’t worry, the story is COMPLETELY Christian!!!! And also, don’t kill me, sequel coming soon. 🙂
 

 

          Kellie
listened to her younger brother Shane’s voice coming over the intercom. She
stilled her irritation. When they had hit the right wing on a meteor in one of
Saturn’s rings, they had sprung a fuel leak, and now Shane was out there in the
pod, Astro, to see if they could fix
it. How come he gets to do everything?
He’s younger than I am!

            “I think I can fix it. Let me anchor the
Astro onto the front of the Infinity,”
he was saying.

            “Do your
best,” Brett, their older foster brother and captain of the spacecraft, said.
“and get back in here as soon as possible.”

            Turning off
the intercom for a second, he turned to Kellie. “What happened between you
guys? Something’s been eating both of you.”

            She sighed.
“Oh, I don’t know. Another fight, I guess. He’s just so immature sometimes! I’m
beginning to wonder if I’ll ever understand him.”

            Brett
laughed. “I understand. But he loves you. He just has different ways of
expressing it. I know you love him, too. You should tell him sometime.”

            “I’ll think
about it,” Kellie grinned. “It’s just kind of awkward, you know?”

            “Yes, I
know. I still think you should tell him more often though. Who knows, tomorrow
you might not get another chance.”

            “Yeah,”
Kellie smirked. “Shane will probably blow up the Astro one of these days. Then where will we be?”

            Laughing
again, Brett continued to type on the computer in front of him. “Kellie, do I
need to make this an order?” he asked impishly, even though he was twenty-three
years old – AND the captain.

            “No, sir!”
Kellie smiled. “I’ll tell him when he gets back in. Just, we’ve been fighting
so much more recently, and not just the normal fights. They’re getting more and
more severe. I kind of feel like we’re drifting apart,” she finished softly.

            “Well, it’s
never too late to mend things up!” Brett grinned, his courtly face and slight
goatee combining to make a dashing image. Turning back on the intercom, he
leaned forwards. “Hey Shane, Kellie has something she wants to –”

            “Stop that!”
Kellie giggled, lunging for the microphone.

            “Impact with Titan,” the automated voice
came from the computer.

            Kellie and
Brett ceased their struggle over the microphone instantly, and Brett’s
expression turned worried and intent. “What? Kellie, verify that.”

            Flying back
to her seat, she typed rapidly on her keyboard. “Brett, ‘Molly’ is right! We’re
headed straight for Saturn’s moon!” she cried out in horror.

            Brett
snapped back to the intercom. Doubtless Shane had heard what was going on. “You
need to start your escape path now, lieutenant!”
he ordered, his face pale. Kellie dug her fingers into the sides of her seat,
her stomach knotting in fear.

            “There’s no time, Brett. I need to get out
of the way so that you all aren’t killed.”
His voice came seriously.

            “Shane, no!” Kellie exclaimed, tears forming in
her eyes.

            “You can’t
do that!” Brett gasped. “Disconnecting will…”

            “Yes I can, captain. I’m not going to risk
your lives to save mine. God called us all out here, and if something happens
to me… it’ll be for Him. I won’t let you die.”

            “Impact with Titan unless object is removed
from front. Remove Astro. Repeat. Remove Astro.”
The computer voice said.

            “Shane!”
Kellie choked, tears running down her face.

            “I love you, Kellie. It’s going to be okay.”

            The ship was now flying at
breakneck speed, out of control. The Astro
slowly started drifting away from the Infinity,
going at the same extreme speed.

            “Shane,
wait! I wanted to tell you something!” Kellie yelled desperately.

            “Disconnection. All intercom signals
disconnected. Deflecting from Titan. Astro disconnected.”
The computer said
in response.

            And in a
bright flash, the Astro disconnected
and went hurling off into space, light enveloping it, carrying it further and
further away from the ship.

            Strapped
into her seat, Kellie closed her eyes, the most empty, desperate, terrified
feeling filling her bones. Her mind sent her a flashback of the nightmare she’d
had of losing him. But now it was becoming terrifyingly real.

No! Her mind
was screaming as her heart slowly tore itself in two. What would happen to him?
There was no way he would survive this! Her last interaction with him crossed
her mind. The argument, the fight, walking away coldly.

Brett sat the same way, a tear
track down his pale, drawn face, which suddenly looked older. He had failed as
captain of the Infinity. He had lost
his friend, his brother, his trusted lieutenant. And it was all his fault. “Oh,
God, what did I do wrong?” the young man pleaded, his strong, slender, manly
figure shuddering with sobs being held in.

Leaning her head back, Kellie
trembled, tears still streaming down her face. He couldn’t go now! It wasn’t
fair. And she couldn’t even take it in. This couldn’t be happening to her.

The Infinity flashed safely by Titan, but Kellie felt no joy. It was a
long evening of waiting tensely at the intercom and trying to make contact with
the Astro. But both of them knew that
they would never be able to.

Falling onto her bed in her
bunkroom aboard the ship, Kellie once more burst into tears. “Why didn’t I tell him?!” she screamed
to herself. “Why was I so stupid? This can’t be happening! God, why did this happen?” she buried her
face in her pillow and sobbed bitterly until she fell asleep, dreaming again
and again of those terrible moments.

The next morning, Kellie went into
Shane’s bunkroom. Pictures of soccer stars were tacked messily to the walls.
Sitting on the floor, she hugged one of his jackets, not caring if it smelled.
She usually complained about it. Now she couldn’t get enough of it. Shutting
her eyes, she saw an image of the last time she had seen him. She hadn’t known
that she would never see him again. He had turned and walked into the airlock
for the Astro, not looking back for a
second, because he thought he would be coming back in soon. Kellie had still
been irritated at him after one of their arguments and right then, she hadn’t
been sorry. But now, she would have given anything to see him again.

         The next two days were a nightmare
of wishing, hoping, praying, crying, and sleeping while being assaulted with
merciless nightmares. Each time, she woke up in a cold sweat, and cried until
daybreak. Kellie doubted that Brett had slept more than an hour or two each
night. He was extremely quiet during the daytime, and while trying to make
repairs, kept up the useless signal search. By now they knew that there was no
other conclusion to make but the worst.

            Sitting on
Shane’s bunk, Kellie hugged the jacket to herself. Feeling a hand on her
shoulder, she looked up. Brett met her tired eyes with his, and sat down,
drawing her to him in a silent hug. Throwing her arms around him, she broke
down again.

            After her
torrent of tears subsided, she looked up at him with a small smile. “Thanks,
captain,” she sighed, brushing a runaway strand of auburn hair from her face.
Another pang hit her as she remembered how playfully Shane had used Brett’s
title.

            He smiled
and hugged her again, stroking her back gently.

            A few hours
later, Kellie walked into the main control room, wincing when she saw Shane’s
empty seat. Walking up behind Brett, she looked over his shoulder. “What are
you doing?” she asked quietly.

            “Contacting
Base to ask them what our plan of action is now that the right wing is fixed,”
he replied, typing at light speed to get up the video transmit codes. The white
glow from the screen reflected off of his exhausted face.

            The
connection blinked on, and Priscilla’s pretty, professional face stared at them
intently over from the computer screen. “Any
sign yet, captain?”
she demanded hopefully in her British accent.

            “No,
Lieutenant Jennings. Not yet, but we are still searching.” Brett had to stop
before his voice cracked.

            “The ground crew and I have drawn up
everything we can. The chances of finding him are literally less than one in a
million.”

            Kellie lost
it. “Well, we’re not giving up!” she shouted. “I don’t care if –”

            “I wasn’t suggesting that. I’m just saying
that there is very little reason to believe that –”
Priscilla’s soft voice
went on.

            “I can’t do
this!” Kellie cried, rushing back out of the room and down the hall. Sobbing
again, she slumped against the wall, and then turned and hit it angrily with
the side of her fist, finally collapsing on the ground.

            After a few
minutes, she got up and walked into her bunkroom. Curling up on her bed, she
took her brother’s picture from the table and hugged it to her chest. Now she
understood what Brett had meant about expressing love. Why did Shane have to be
gone now? She hadn’t gotten to say it. Rolling over, she felt the pain grow
inside of her as she again thought that if she had been able to tell him that
she loved him, this wouldn’t have happened.

            Still not
fully taking it in, Kellie stared up at the glass in the ceiling, gazing at the
vast array of breathtaking stars. What if Shane wasn’t dead? How long would the
provisions in the Astro last? And how would they find him?

            Shaking her
head, she closed her eyes in despair. She knew she would never see him again.
 

The weird vibration beside her head
startled her, and she sat up quickly. It was her hyped up phone, which could
carry signals immediately from Earth to the Infinity.
Glancing at the caller ID, she smiled slightly and touched Answer.

            “Hey
Scottie,” Kellie said, twisting one of her curls around one finger.

            “I guess I
shouldn’t ask how you’re doing?” her friend’s voice came gently across the
line.

            “No point.
How would you be doing?”

            “All of us
here at base are probably feeling just about the same as you guys. Of course,
not quite, but pretty close. It was horrible when the captain signaled us after
it happened.” Scottlyn answered softly.

Kellie pictured her pretty face and
bright blue eyes framed with wind-swept, stylish blonde curls. “I wish you were
here with me. How’s Alex holding up?”

“You know how close they were. I
think it hit him really hard.”

Kellie was silent for a minute. She
could imagine the grief of Scottie’s older brother, the crew’s imaging
specialist. The two boys had instantly hit it off when they met. “It would.
They were almost inseparable.”

“I don’t know how to tell you
something you haven’t already heard,” Scottie continued, “so I guess I just
wanted to say… Well, I’m sorry. And I wanted to be here for you, even if we’re
thousands and thousands of miles apart. Don’t give up, Kellie. Shane might
still be okay.”

“I needed to hear your voice,
Scottlyn. Thanks.”

“Call me, okay?”

“I will. Bye,” Kellie sighed
shakily, staring at the phone’s screen even after it disconnected.

The night dragged on. Getting out
of bed after another nightmare, she walked the halls until she wandered into
her brother’s room again. Wrapping herself in his jacket, she whispered a
desperate prayer. “I’m sorry, God. I choose to trust your plans. Forgive me for
not recognizing the gift you gave me for what it was until now. Someday, please
let me tell Shane that I love him, too.”

Stay tuned for part 2!!! What happened to Shane?

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Excerpt #1 from my book THE DEFENDERS

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