ATHENA'S DAUGHTERS: Millie

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Athena's Daughters an all women science fiction and fantasy anthology. All of the authors, artists, editor - pretty much everyone involved is a woman. In short, it's an anthology by women, about women. My story "Millie" is one of the stories you'll find in "Athena's Daughters" and below are the first two chapters of this story.

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Storm

The loud boom of thunder that sounded just outside Major Sara Colón’s seven passenger, twin engine C-12 didn’t startle her nearly as much as it did her co-pilot. Blocker nearly leaped out of his seat when the bright fork of green lightning flashed just off their right wing.

“What’s wrong, Blocker? You afraid of a little lightning?” Sara would concede that green lightning was more than weird, but freaking out while flying was never a good idea. So instead she grinned at her fellow Marine major while she fought to keep them on the prescribed heading.

“Hell yes!” he said. “I’d rather—”

The radio blared, cutting off the rest of Blocker’s response. “SUNY Five One Three, three point five miles from initial approach fix…”

While Cherry Point Approach Control finished providing their clearance, Sara turned the plane right to the assigned intercept course. She’d drifted a bit high, but that was easily corrected with a slight nudge and flex of her single-handed grip on the yoke. The surest way to set the plane jostling all over the place—even worse than it already was—would be to, as her old flight instructor used to say, “grip the black out of the stick.”

The plane jerked again like a shying horse, away from another eerie green fork of light. Sara quickly pressed her right hand on the vintage Saint Christopher medallion her papa had given her years before. She felt a wave of calm wash over her, like she always did when she touched the old medal, and returned her hand to the power levers.

Aviate, navigate, communicate, Sara thought as she focused on keeping the bucking plane on course. It was bad enough that she was riding the leading edge of a storm, with a boot co-pilot who wasn’t okay with flying when he couldn’t see anything, and her stupid autopilot wasn’t coupling properly. Not that she minded hand flying, normally she preferred it given her background flying helicopters, but—

Sara’s stomach felt like it had clawed its way into her throat when the King Air dropped and then bumped back up as the pressure pockets and winds from the storm tossed her little plane around.

She pulled some power off and turned them onto their final approach course, keeping her gaze riveted on her instruments.

Attitude, course, airspeed, course, altitude, course, airspeed…

Another jolt slammed into them from below while a flash of green light lit up the flight deck. Sara couldn’t help letting out a laughing whoop while she gave the yoke an uncontrolled squeeze. “Well, if Christine wasn’t bent before, she sure is now!”

Blocker stared at Sara, but she just smiled. She always found that if she was making jokes, things weren’t that serious.

“After we land, remind me to tell you how Five One Three got the name Christine.” Sara snuck a glance at Blocker just in time to see the look of dismay on his face.

“Ah hell, Cheetos, please don’t tell me it’s because of that old horror flick.”

Watching their altitude as they continued to descend, Sara didn’t answer, and instead tried to see something . . . anything . . . through the dense, olive green-tinted cloud bank before them.

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