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“Severe electrical storms approaching, Captain," reported First Mate Alex Reardon. He double-checked the reading on the computer-enhanced radar scanner. The monitor showed a digital image of the nearby coastline. Red blotches covered sections of the computer map, indicating thunderstorms.
Captain Stanley Briggs shot Reardon a look of disdain through his gold-rimmed glasses.
"I don't need that fancy piece of electronic genius to tell me that." He returned his attention to the windscreen. "Just look out there and you can see for yourself."
Black clouds roiled in the darkening, late afternoon sky. As Reardon watched, the clouds quickly consumed the South-East Queensland coastline some twelve kilometres away in a matter of minutes, almost obscuring it from view. Lightning shot down from the black mass in savage bolts, some of which would have certainly struck the ground. Low groans of thunder rumbled across the sea.