Here's a snippet of a few hundred words at the 5K mark. Minimal editing has been done.
What I have learned so far: It is really, really hard to write about people moving about in zero g. You can't walk. You can't sit. Well, not really. You don't fall. When an explosion rocks your spaceship, stuff doesn't fall out of the places where it was stored - it just sort of slowly floats out.
Fortunately, the next chunk of story is, as my favorite sci fi writer DKM says, in drop.
The people in the room arranged themselves in a rough sphere around the projector, floating so they all got a good view. After a few seconds, the tube of light vanished and there was Spero, suspended in space. The tenders were on station. The trainees were going through their exercises, but fast. Skylar looked at the timestamp and saw that the time was advancing at two or three times the normal rate. Then she saw MRGN come into view.
“That’s me,” she said, as she made her spiraling tour of the space around Spero.
“What were you doing?” Jasper asked.
“Sightseeing,” Ally said.
“The bow deflector looked funny,” Skylar said. “MRGN wanted to…” but her voice faded out as she thought about the bow deflector.
The trainees disappeared into the Spero. MRGN docked. The tenders moved about.
And then there was a brilliant flash and the recording stopped.
“What happened?” several people said at once.
“Wait,” Fran said. She darted back out of the room and the image reset a few seconds before the explosion. The scene moved forward in slow motion. This time, they caught it. One of the tenders working on one of the ring exploded and crashed into the ring. A huge gash was torn out of the ring, with debris flying everywhere. The image goes dark again.
“Oh my god,” someone says in the silence.
“How did that happen?”
“Fran, replay it again, at half the speed you just showed us,” Jasper said.
“Sure,” she said.
They watch it a third time, and this time right before the collision, Jasper says, “There. See it!”
“Right before the explosion. There is a rock, a meteor that comes through the deflector. It hit the tender.”
“The deflector is down?”
“What is happening now?”
“The damage can’t be too bad, or there’d be wobble in the rotation, precesssion we could feel.”
“How can you say that? There was…” Ambo gestured helplessly at the hologram which was frozen on the last frame, showing debris flying away in all directions.
“We don’t know how bad it is,” Jasper said quietly. “It might have just been…” but he fell silent when everyone turned to look at him.
“Oh gods,” Ambo said.