“We have reached the moon, sir,” the pilot’s voice crackled over the radio. “Nuclear torpedo ready to launch. Destination distance, five miles.”
The general’s face was a neutral mask. His hawkish eyes were sharp, and his lips were set into a firm line. “Launch.”
A loud whooshing filled the audio. A second later, the torpedo appeared on screen, flying out into the depths of space. It burst into light, then the screens fizzled and went black.
“What happened?” the general demanded. “Get me eyes on them, stat!”
Mary’s fingers flew over her keyboard so fast they almost blurred. One of the nearby probes located the ship, and she pulled an image up on the high-tech screens in front of her. One showed the moon, vast and cold and empty. Next to it, suspended in space, was the spacecraft. It was completely dark.
“I’ve found them,” she informed the others, “but the force of the explosion has pushed them on a collision course toward the moon. I estimate that they have about two hours before they crash.”
The general looked down at Mary. “Then, Doctor, it sounds like you have two hours to save their lives. I suggest you get on with it.”