Excerpt: Atlantis Lost

I’ve gotten off to a slow start this month, but I still feel I can reach my writing goals for the summer. Anyhow, here is the opening scene from my novel, “Atlantis Lost”. Keep in mind, this is still just a first draft, and it will be edited later.

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Captain Peter Strang looked out the viewport as his shuttle came around Saturn from night to day. Below the shuttle, the rings glistened in the rising sun.

The shuttle pilot looked over at Captain Strang with a gleam in his eyes. At a node from the captain, he pushed the controls forward, diving into the midst of the rings. Both men laughed as the pilot deftly wove among the chunks of ice and rock.

“Titan Shuttle!”, the voice blared out of the comm system, “What in blazes do you think you’re doing?”

Red faced, the pilot keyed the comm button. “Sorry, Titan Base… just putting the ship through her paces.” He pulled back on the stick, bringing the ship up out of Saturn’s rings.

“Titan Shuttle, you are clear for approach on docking bay 94.”

“Roger that. Nav is locked on.”

He looked over at Captain Strang. “So, this is it, you’re getting command of your own starship today.”

“Yes I am. It shouldn’t be too much different than commanding a fighter squadron, except that more people are depending on me.”

The shuttle flew on, past shipyards where several ships were being repaired or constructed. They flew past one ship, so new that it didn’t even have a name. Captain Strang turned to the pilot. “So, do you think that will be my new ship?”

“I don’t know sir, I’m just a fighter pilot pressed into shuttle duty until the conflict starts.”

Captain Strang gazed out the viewport again. They were approaching the fleet’s main base orbiting the moon of Titan. Two battered old ships sat moored to the docking arms of the station, almost hidden in the shadow. He couldn’t see the names, but he recognized the profiles. The Atlantis and the Lemuria, the first two space battleships built by Fleet Command. “Those two ships out there, the Atlantis and Lemuria, those have got to be close to being mothballed, aren’t they.”

“I would think so. They’ve served fleet well, but they have to be at least a hundred years old. I think the Atlantis fired the first shot in the war.”

The comm beeped. “Titan Shuttle, we have you for final approach.” The shuttle shook slightly as the station’s tractor beams took hold of it, guiding it slowly into the docking bay.

“We’re here sir. Good luck on your first command.”

“Thank you. It looks like they’re waiting for me.” Pete Strang picked up his bags and walked off the shuttle, crossing the floor to the waiting shuttle cart.