Cyberdrome Deleted Scenes
Part #4 - Maya returning to the Snohomish
The first scene in Chapter One of Cyberdrome ends with Maya on her way back up to the Survey Vessel "Snohomish" after having a conversation with Dr. Mathew Grey on the Planet. Originally this was a lengthy chapter and followed Maya up to the Snohomish where her conversation with Dr. Grey took place in her office. To get the readers into the heart of the story more quickly, a great deal was cut from this chapter. Below is part of what was removed.
As the aircraft quickly gained altitude, leaving both the child and the planet behind, Maya leaned back in her chair, closed her eyes, and whispered under her breath, “Neither are you, pal. Neither are you.”
The Dragon continued to rise until they were several thousand meters in the air. Then it began moving forward as the thrust from the twin engines transferred from the lifting vents to the rear exhaust ports. Soon, they were screaming along towards the Yakama, floating high in the atmosphere several hundred kilometers to the South.
An hour later, she felt the Dragon's engines change pitch as they switched back into vertical lift. She looked up from her datapad to the forward window image and saw the S.V. Yakama floating motionless like a large balloon, a few hundred meters ahead.
The Yakama, like all the other Survey Vessels, served as a base of operations for the study of Cyberdrome's planetary simulations. It was saucer-shaped and housed nearly five hundred scientist and crew. Its topside hangar held several dozen Dragons and twice as many Rovers, yet, despite all of this capacity, the designers had only included a single landing pad.
They explained that it was because of the downward thrust of air along the outer rim of the saucer, caused by the ship's fusion-powered electromagnetic drive, that made it impossible to maneuver an aircraft anywhere near it. Landings and takeoffs were thus limited to the top center of the saucer.
There were times when she missed putting on interface headgear and simply blinking into existence inside a simulation. That, however, was impossible inside Cyberdrome, where time itself was passing much faster than normal. She knew that she was partly responsible for making this radical form of fast-interface possible, so who was she to complain?
A few minutes later, the pilot announced that the Yakima had cleared them for landing. Maya felt the ship lunge forward as the Dragon headed for the pad. They climbed high over the saucer and then descend vertically to the landing pad.
They touched down rather softly, considering the combined weight of the Rover and Dragon. Rosa must be flying, she thought with a grin. That girl had finesse. As soon as the Dragon touched the surface, Maya felt the floor tilt backwards as the lower fuselage dropped down. The Rover's driver quickly powered up the motors of the four independent wheels and backed out of the aircraft. As soon as they were clear, he turned and drove into one of the two nearby hangars.
They parked in one of the open slots along the outer wall. Maya heard the hiss of air as a docking ring attached itself to the side door. She and the others then stepped through the door and into the busy Mission Preparation Room.
Dozens of people were crisscrossing the room, carrying duffle bags and containers of various sizes. The synchronized bustle reminded her of a swarm of ants collecting food. Some of the people were loading equipment, while others, like her, were trying to unload theirs.
She grabbed her bag and plunged into the throng, somehow reaching one of the unloading stations without colliding with anyone. After dropping off her stuff and signing out, she headed for the exit.
The hallway was pleasantly quiet and devoid of people. As Maya headed in the direction of the elevators, she felt a strange tingling sensation all over her body. She looked at her arm and saw a series of holes beginning to appear on her sleeve. She looked down and realized that her entire uniform was dissolving off her body.
For one panicked second she thought she'd been exposed to some sort of acid, but then sheepishly realized that her Omnisuit was merely running low on power. Like many of the high-tech items developed in Cyberdrome, Omnisuits were far too expensive to produce commercially in the real world; therefore, no one outside the company even knew the technology existed. They also used a lot of power, and had to be recharged every 24 hours or so. She pressed the backup power tab on her armband, which restored her clothing, and headed back down the hall.
After a minute, she realized that she was going in the wrong direction and cursed to herself for getting lost again. Even though the inside of the Yakama was almost an exact copy of the Nevada-based Cyberdrome Research Facility she had been working in for the past six months, it never ceased to confuse her. A few turns later, she found the correct hallway and headed towards her office.
Ten minutes later, Maya sat alone at her desk. With her Omnisuit fully recharged, she was now able to change it into something more suitable for a meeting with her boss. What is he doing in here?
She glanced up and saw her boss standing in her office doorway. "Come in, Dr. Grey," she said. "What's up? I thought you were on the Snohomish this week...