Wednesday, 19 May 2010

life in a vacuum

The shattered spine of the ship stretches out into the darkness. Haloes of blue light flicker and burst from its cracks. It falls away from view, hidden by the tilted spin of the command section. I turn away from the viewport and sit down on the wall that has become a floor. That leaves me with only the ruin to look at. I only want to close my eyes and wait for the dark cold to seep into the ship and take me away.

I do not have the luxury of the time it will take to die. They will be here long before, scouring for survivors and technology, and it is my duty now to find a way to stop them. I look over the command, the large open space, a hundred metres long and nearly as wide, broken with torn metal and the dead reamins of my colleagues. I hold my breath, listening to the silence for a sense of a moan, of life. There is none.

Weapons and tools are my first priority. I crawl under a piece of fallen floor to where the emergency locker is kept. It remains undamaged. Inside there are swords and crossbows, tipped with neurotoxins designed to drop most species of attacker. Boarding a ship is almost always a bloody and difficult affair. I blink away a memory and select one of each, as well tucking a small knife into a pocket in my trousers.

Next I will need food and water. Enough to keep me on the run for several weeks. Even if our emergency buoy manages to make it back home there will be no rescue for at least that long.

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