Storm Front

Two tightly trimmed and exquisitely agile planes dropped like striking hawks out of the blackened and turbulent sky and landed on the access runway only a few yards from the doors of the main hanger at the Cresthaven airport. The place was well-known to them; pilots Louis Delacour and his daughter Michelle frequently landed here, but in much more pleasant weather than greeted them on Cataclysm’s day.
The shrieking winds, laden with coarse red dust, gritty ice and snow and a grab bag of whatever else, drove furiously across the open fields, airport runways and blasted into the buildings, depositing their load anywhere it would stick. Visibility was basically zero, and only extremely accomplished pilots could have managed to land at all in such a storm, or maintain control of their planes on the ground as they taxied to where they needed to go. Jake had given Louis the codes to open the hanger doors and when they were powered down and the retractable wings were drawn tight back, both machines motored swiftly into the dark looming space, their pilots grateful, when the doors closed behind them, to have dodged the tightening grip of Cataclysm.
Close to, the planes seemed almost toy like, but it wasn’t wise to think that way, because they were extremely strong and flexible, having been built specifically for outer space reconnaissance. They were sleek of line, beautiful to look at, as only finely crafted instruments can be, and their lack of size took nothing away from their durability and deadliness, as they were expected to hold their own in the bleak wastes of outer space, or on hostile environments such as Earth’s moon or the sizeable roving asteroids.

From Cataclysm’s Day: First Book of The Gatherers Trilogy.


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