She started when her mother reached over and felt her forehead.
“Danica, you’re running a fever,” she announced.
“I’ll be all right, Mom,” she replied, “I just need some rest.” Her mother’s concern overwhelmed her. Forrorrois caught her hand and squeezed it lightly. Her mother squeezed back as she tried not to look so worried, but she barely succeeded. Forrorrois had missed her unconditional love while she had suffered at the hands at the Utahar. Even with the Dramudam, affection like this was reserved at best...except from Trager…and even then it was rare. She pushed the memory of the Dramudam subcommander from her fevered thoughts and rested her head against her mother’s shoulder. Sleep had almost taken her when the computer screamed in her mind and forced her to sit up.
‘There is a guided missile approaching your craft. Impact in fifteen vincafol.’
Forrorrois stiffened. Twenty-seven seconds!
“Danica, what’s wrong?” her mother asked, but she was cut off when the helicopter suddenly began evasive maneuvers.
‘Computer, lock onto missile and destroy it,’ she subvocalized, almost speaking the alien words aloud.
‘Unable to do so without lowering EM warping shield.’
‘Can the shields take a direct hit without lowering the EM warping shield?”
‘Yes, if power is diverted to the impacted shields.’
‘Divert power to impact shields and take position up between the missile and my transport immediately,’ she subvocalized.
‘Position attained and shields strengthened,’ it replied.
Forrorrois flinched as the sky exploded just behind the tail of the helicopter rocking everyone on board.
“Sweet Jesus!” her father exclaimed. “What just happened?”
Jennings looked pale when he leaned forward. “Someone shot a surface-to-air missile at us, but somehow it exploded just before it reached us.”
“Somehow? Missiles don’t somehow explode just before they reach their target!” her father retorted.
‘Computer, status report!’ Forrorrois subvocalized to her ship.
‘Missile destroyed,’ it announced, ‘shield strength reduced to 78 percent.’
Forrorrois leaned her head back and heaved a sigh of relief. It was short-lived.
‘Another missile has been launched from the surface,’ the computer announced.
‘Maintain defensive posture and redirect power from life support to strengthen impact shields,’ she ordered.
“Tower, we’re all right,” Jennings replied touching his headset. “We’re reporting a surface-to-air attack and are deviating from our flight path. Repeat: we are deviating from our flight path. Begin evasive maneuvers! A second missile has been launched,” Jennings yelled at the pilot.
Forrorrois watched as Jennings turned back to face them.
“Hang on!” he cried out.
Her mother grabbed her tightly and began to pray. Forrorrois looked up at her father. His face was pale as he stared out the window. She could see the missile following them even though the pilot forced the helicopter into a steep dive.
Forrorrois looked back at her mother and took her hands in hers. “We’re going to be all right, Mom,” she called out above the roar of the straining blades. Suddenly, the helicopter rocked from the explosion behind its tail.
“Dear Lord, protect us!” her mother gasped, tightening her grip on Forrorrois’ hand.
‘Computer, status!’ she subvocalized.
Suzanne Y. Snow was born in Upstate New York and holds a BS in Physics and a MS in Secondary Education: Physics & Mathematics. She has worked extensively in both the engineering and educational fields and strives to inspire young women to pursue careers in the technical fields. Enjoying a challenge, Suzanne accepted a winter-over position at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, as a winter-over during the 1990-91 season. During that time, she worked as a science technician performing experiments for a variety of NSF funded programs in the area of upper atmospheric physics. It was there that she began to formulate the Forrorrois series. She has been a practitioner of Judo and is presently studying Iaido. Currently, she is working on her third story in the Forrorrois series.