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Friday, March 26

Grace Under Pressure: Prologue

30,000 FEET BENEATH THE PACIFIC OCEAN—The agents were in hot pursuit of Cho Chu-Tsao's smaller mini-sub, the Joey. It was difficult to tell if they were actually overtaking her in the Wallaby, though, as the pings they got back from her homing beacon were erratic.

There was a hideous wrenching noise and then the power flickered. The Wallaby swerved to starboard.

"What was that?" asked Hammer.

"We lost the starboard impeller!" shouted Guppy, struggling with the controls.

"Can you tell me where the problem is?" asked Jim-Bean. "If so I can probably take a look."

Caprice brought up a map of the Wallaby. It really did look like the Millennium Falcon. A starboard section blinked red. "There."

Jim-Bean grunted. "I think I'm close enough…" He took a few steps towards the back of the bridge. "Yep, I can see it."

His eyes glazed. "Looks like…looks like there's something stuck in the impeller. Muck and debris fouled up the blades. The grill at the front of the impeller tube has been smashed in."

"The muck must have closed over the grill completely. That'll cause the impeller to create a vacuum that pulls the loose corner of the grill inwards," said Caprice.

"Do something fast!" shouted Guppy. "We're spinning in circles here!" more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:27 AM


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