Showdown With Hyperspace
Pish squeezed my hand. "It'll be okay, Simon."
I squeezed back and tried to chuckle with nonchalant confidence. Instead I coughed. "Of course it will, Pish. I'm sure it's...perfectly safe. Isn't that so, Jeremiah?"
"Sir," he said.
Descended from the Annapurna Hyperspace Gate Hotel, we stood in a row of three at the end of a long arcade whose terminus was a two-storey bank of little round doors flanked by helpful robots in hotel colours. Neat queues of travellers ranged themselves before the ports. Every few moments a group were led through one of the doors. None emerged.
Announcements echoed off the tiles. "Passengers bound for Nsomeka are asked to check in at gate eight. Gate eight, please, for all passengers bound for Nsomeka Star, including Maja, Mahuea, and all Ninurtan destinations."
"Well boys," I declared jauntily, "that's us."
We had crossed the final barriers: we were standing before the gates, tickets in hand. We moved across the arcade too briskly. I felt I could sense the weight of the great dish above us, yawning at the sky. A cold sweat broke out on my back. What if I should step inside, and awake erased again?
It's finally happened: the free version of this science-fiction novel has been taken offline in order to make room for the hard-cover printed edition from Ephemera Bound Publishing, on sale in stores and online beginning Valentine's Day, 2008.
I regret any disappointment. I kept the free version available as long as I could. Please be sure to check out the new edition! See Cheeseburger Brown.com for more information and updates.
P.S. You can read more of my free fiction via my weblog or in the complete story achives.