Janet Reid is running another flash fiction contest.
Frantic. "Attitude--flight attitude malfunction! tailspin!"
She'd never seen the controls like this. Stared, time stopped. This was death.
She had trained, she knew what to do. Just over mach 7 when the rocket malfunctioned--now approaching 4. She'd lost less than ten thousand feet and the port aileron. She compensated. She breathed. She held, hard. She compensated again.
The mountains rose up as if to greet the craft. The world twisted, a yaw she had never felt, the roar obliterating all other senses.
The gates were really all pearls.