Whiteout

"Fuck!" Came the curse as the ship nosed up and the throttle was shoved forward. Of course, he forgot that he no longer had to slam the throttle to make it go forward or back. The unexpected speed surprised even Holiday as he veered off from the near-collision. He circled back around, running a scan even as he realized he could not do everything at once. He had to focus on them not crunching into ice and rock but he had to find that port or at least a place to land. The wind was being one hell of a devil to fight.

"Boss, Ezra, someone... Run an active radar," he said. "And don't bitch at me that the scopes are dead, just find me a patch. We should be close to one or two. "

Ezra was already on it. "Got your back, babe."

It wasn't easy but with a few adjustments she was able to pick up the landing beacon for the refinery. She relayed the new heading to Emerson while still maintaining a close eye on the scope so she could keep him up to date on any hazards.

Ezra frowned. "I'm not picking up any other signals. No radio traffic, nothing..."

Hammond walked into the cockpit and took a seat at the other console, strapping himself into the seat before looking at the other screens. "Not even heat signatures..." He said. "This is looking stranger and stranger."

"Got the beacon locked in." Ezra said as she looked to Emerson. "Should be smooth sailing to the landing pad."

Smooth sailing, my ass, Emerson thought as he brought the ship over the landing pad. "Damn, this crosswind," he muttered, trying to keep her steady. The Type-A swayed as the thrusters fired to brake and lower the craft. He almost crunched them once as the wind picked up harder than ever. But he still managed to get them down.

Too heavily.

The others may not have felt it, but he did. The starboard landing strut crunched over the non-stop gentle landing with a minute crunch any pilot with his weight in water would feel. The ship shook once when it got the ground. The crew were met with silence before...

"Son of a..." Emerson went, getting up. "Can't one thing work without something breaking?"

"What happened," Ezra asked as she unbuckled her belts.

"Landed a bit hard, I may have broke a strut. Won't know until I see myself."

The group suited up for cold weather, Emerson himself sliding his personal MagSec 4 in its low holster. He looked over the crates and chose a combat shotgun. Where his required the slide to be pumped, this one was semi-automatic. He slid the magazine of shells in and took four more as backup. When the group was ready, he hit the landing ramp and walked down into the white.

Since no one was manning the pad controls, they still were up above the main refinery. The wind blasted at them like a knife cutting through the snow, flinging white powder up and past their faces. Emerson managed to fit an earpiece into his ear before tightening the cords of his coat's hood.

"Find the pad release, should be a manual here," he called.

Ezra swept her rifle around as she cleared the pad. "Stay with me," she said to Sebastian. Squinting behind goggles, she barely made out the control column and Emerson's shadowy form making for the landing struts. She carefully made her way to the controls and flipped the switches on. When the lights went green, she pulled the lever. The pad gave a loud sound of clamps disengaging and the pad began its descent down.

Into the elevator well they went, doors closing overhead to cut off the outside. Holiday pulled his hood down and looked up to the second strut on the starboard side. The plating had buckled and the looked like it needed replaced. The gear was still clear though, which he found good enough.

"Just another thing to fix when we get back," he said. The pad descended the last few metres and clamped into place in the loading bay. No ships were here, which was odd considering everything. No one greeted them. It was silent as the grave here. "So, where to?" Emerson asked quietly.

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