Ambulance Ship by James White

By James White

Ambulance Ship
184pp. The medics have been in worse hazard than the sufferers they have been making an attempt so difficult to save...Keywords: technological know-how Fiction

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Sample text

Right, check her pitch and roll,” ordered the Captain. “But gently. The hull will be weakened, and we don’t want to pull it apart. They might not be wearing suits . . He left the sentence hanging as Dodds leaned stiffly over his console. All of the astrogator’s attention was concentrated in his fingertips as he focused the immaterial cone-shaped fields of the pressor and tractor beams on the hull of the damaged ship, bringing it slowly and gently to rest with respect to the Rhabwar. Seen at rest, the Tenelphi’s bow and stern were still obscured by a fog of escaping air, but amidships the vessel seemed to have retained its structural integrity.

He opened his visor to speak to the Doctor without tying up the suit frequency and asked Conway if he had been forward to the damaged area of the wreck. Without unsealing his visor Conway shook his head. As Conway moved towards the communication well, Haslam, a piece of folded paper between his teeth to leave both hands free for climbing, came briefly into sight as he pulled himself in the direction of Control. Conway waited until the man had passed, then he stepped into the gravity-free well and began pulling himself aft towards the Casualty Deck.

The repeater screen showed a small area of the derelict’s ravaged outer hull. There was a black, jagged-edged opening leading into the depths of the ship, and beside it a section of buckled plating on which there was a large, brownish yellow smear. “It looks like grease, sir,” said Dodds. ” Fletcher ignored Dodds’ reply-it had been a rhetorical question anyway. ‘Chen, we shall be closing with the derelict to one hundred meters. Haslam, stand by the pressors in case I miscalculate and blunder into that thing.

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