**Ignition Sequence Activate in 15 Minutes**
A metallic voice rang over the intercomm, the synthetic voice of the computer, the prerecorded voice flat and monotone. Lt. Marney finished up the last minute preping. Tagget was hustled briskly into his tube, and then Hue into his. The hypodermic made a satisfying pop-hiss sound as it administered the measured dose of sedative. It was apparent that Tagget disliked the juice and that Hue was an old hand at it.
Marney laid down in her tube, and slipped the oxy-mask over her face. Her breathig became suddenly very loud as she keyed the tank from the inside. The small panel, no more than four buttons* glowed softly as she hit the fill button. Liquid sloshed into the tank and she could feel a pang of anxiety, that primal fear of drowning. The fear was short lived as the liquid completely filled the tank. She hit the raise button and the tank was pulled up into place.
The metallic voice droned again, but the sound was muffled. She ignored it and placed the hypo against the inside of her arm and discharged the device. She had an unpleasant feeling of urinating on herself as the drug washed through her body.
*Engine Heaters online...ignition in five minutes
*Ion Drivers online...ignition in one minute
The engines came to life, spewing a giant cloud of highly ionized hydrogen and helium behind the ship. The superstructure groaned as the engines increased in power output. The groaning sound, sometimes called space whales could be heard even in the tanks...some people in gee-tanks said they dreamed of the ocean, of the great whales, even those who had never seen a whale.
The computer corrected course and the Ballard dipped closer to Jupiterr, accelerating as gravity pulled the ship downwards. At the critical moment, Bally fired the maneuvering jets again and the ship screamed no more than a few hundred miles above the cloud bands of the giant. Inertia battled with gravity, and won. The Ballard swung out past the giant having gained a tremendous amount of speed in the process.
At the preprogramed time, the engines ramped back down to 8 gees. The tanks held, and the control systems were green as the ship primned itself for the long burn, with the hard burn behind it. Some time later, the engines powered down, and the reactor dropped down to a respectable pace. The ship continued at one standard Gee accleration. It would arrive at its coordinated in two days.
The sedatives began to wear off, the occupants of the tanks stirring, sluggish from the drugs, and the pressure from the high power moves executed by the ship.
*Drain - Lower - Raise - Fill