Things that won't make it into the next book.
I mean, maybe this will, but there's very little happening in the scene. Just some backstory into the character of Dallas. Who he was, back in a previous and now distant life.
Please do comment if you enjoy this. I've been considering releasing on a semi-regular basis slightly edited content that didn't make The Sequence. There's 100,000 words of it, some you may even enjoy...
Lighting the candle was never dull, never boring, never routine. At 40,000 feet above the southern tip of Florida’s coastline, with all checklists complete, Dallas Ward consistently experienced the one long second of trepidation and knowledge that this next action had a less than zero chance of being the last switch he would ever throw. The toggle mounted against the overhead panel was guarded in red. He lifted the guard, called for confirmation, declared “ignition,” and depressed the switch.
The acceleration was immediate, violent, and brutal. He smiled every time. Five gee’s of acceleration weighed him into the control seat, his first officer continuing to call out azimuth, heading, and deviation from their required trajectory. Dallas rested his hand on the side stick, ready to correct for any unexpected changes in control. Through his side window Dallas watched as the azure sky thinned and fell below them, transitioning into the blackness of space with what seemed inconceivable speed. As the atmosphere surrounding them lessened, the spacecraft’s rumble and jolting became smoother and then with a sudden whump and lurch as the propellant exhausted itself, the ship became still and weightless.
“Sub-orbital trajectory achieved, captain,” his first officer proclaimed. Another successful launch. Another smile that wouldn’t leave until touchdown.