Sadia Mirza could pinpoint the signal as coming from Heaven’s peak itself. Dr. Deforest figured that it was unlikely though since no one could survive a climb to the top.
“What if they had suits like we do?” Sadia added.
“I never considered that.” Deforest admitted.
“If I had suits the best place to put a beacon to reach Earth would be right at the very top.” Major Matt Stewart the mission commander concluded.
The shuttle pilot Alison Mundy chimed in. “We’re going to have to land you guys on the crest before the next snowdrift hits or we can forget it.”
“I’ve never seen a front this big.” Tatiana Duran added.
“If we are going to find that beacon we have to go now.” Matt said to the team. “Take us in Mundy.”
Matt looked at the crew that he had assembled in the cabin. “Mike, we need you to stay with the shuttle.”
“No way, I’m going with you guys.”
“Look, if we all go who is going to be left to rescue our asses if we get stuck up there?” Matt said. He didn’t want Mike to think he was being kept behind to lessen the risk of losing both brothers.
“Do it Mike.” His brother instructed him. “And since when did you decide to question a superior officer?”
“Yes sir.” Mike stood at attention.
“Forget all that.” Matt told him placing a hand on his shoulder. “But I do ask that you trust me on this one.”
“We’re going in, so get ready to depart!” Alison warned.
The best the shuttle could do was giving them real trouble stabilizing. It was easy to hurtle through space but creating lift while staying in one place at that altitude was another story. Alison sat tense in the cockpit seat, trying to keep a firm grip on the control stick. The shuttle rose and fell and rocked sideways in the air like a ship on the high seas.
Sadia stared at Matt who was leaning against the cargo bulkhead. He returned her look before she looked away. She had to admit to herself that she came along to keep an eye on Matt. She was worried about him, though the very thought seemed absurd at that moment.
Matt caught sight of the ledge that was the target on the navigation-screen. Although it looked much smaller from the shuttle door, then the screen it was the best place to sit down. Matt moved to the door and signaled the other to prepare for exit. Alison hesitated realizing she didn’t have room to put the shuttle down safely in the battering wind. If the wind caught the craft wrong, it could smash it against the wall on the other side of the ledge.
Fighting the crosscurrents, Alison managed to guide the shuttle toward the ledge. The shuttle shook when the right-side landing gear contacted the ledge. Matt hit the lever and the door opened sucking the cabin air from the cargo area. The force almost expelled the team with it. Matt hit his com link to the on position.
“Activate your bionics to full power.”
Below them the landing gear scraped across the ledge as the shuttle started to slide.
“Get moving.” Alison yelled. “I can’t hold it!”