“What d’you mean, why the delay? Oh, you’ve not been to Phílae before, I suppose.”
The pilot gestured through the window at the white-blue marbled planet below them. The hypercane sprawled across the ocean’s surface for over two thousand miles, an ugly whorl of cloud mottled at its outer edges with the lesser swirls of mere hurricanes spun off by the intense core surrounding the primary eyewall, where clouds humped miles into the stratosphere.
“That’s why we can’t land; the eye’s only ninety miles or so from Phílae City right now. And the last reports said they had continuous lightning, horizontal rain, wind speeds nearing five-hundred and a hundred-twenty-foot storm surge. You don’t want me to take a pinnace down into the middle of that –”
“Oh, no, they’re fine – this happens every year. Most of the city’s underwater, and the topside part will have closed its shells and gone deep to ride it out. But it’ll be about thirty, forty hours before the storm’s clear of the city, so we might as well get comfortable — No, not a chance. Even if I was crazy enough to thread the eye – which I’m not – they’re not going to come back up just so we can dock.”