Chains – Chapter Eleven

Cold. Darkness. His hands felt wet. They stung painfully. For a moment all was silent, then he became aware of his heartbeat and breath. Suddenly their sounds filled his ears. His breathing seemed like a roaring gale and heart like the chronometer of death.

Blue light crept into the cabin. The ship was slowly rotating, reflected light from the planet lit up the destroyed cockpit around him. Fragments of glass and metal glinted as they spin silently around him. All the instruments were dark. The ship was utterly still.

Cold.. So cold. The entire left side of the T6’s canopy was smashed.

He felt so sick, so tired, the headache was threatening to overwhelm him. Euan made to rub his temples but his hand met only the thin plastic of the remlok mask. His hands were freezing and bare. He’d left his gloves down below in the living area. The wetness he felt was blood, seeping from cracks in his skin, being drawn out slowly by the vacuum.

The light from outside dimmed. A ship, an eagle, was casting it’s shadow over him. Two bright lights errupted from the ship nearly blinding him. He raised his arms to block some of the light. The lights started to flash, quickly in a pattern. Three long flashes, a gap, another long, a short flash and a finally a long. Euan’s cracked voice sounded the morse letters out of habit inside his mask.

“O K”

The eagle tilted it’s wings from side to side, then a second later Euan was pushed into his straps at the same time as grey translucent liquid slammed silently into the front of his ship. It rippled organically as it found cracks and holes in the cockpit windows, forming rainbow coloured sheets over the larger holes. A moment later and the watery substance seemed to drain of it’s eerie life as it solidified sealing itself.

Euan reached down the side of his seat and pulled the tab from a red canister below him. Ice crystals sprinkled outward from it in straight lines. He was reminded of a cool winter morning years ago as they slowly began to curve and sleet around him in the blue light, they spun more in the cabin and sound began to return, feint hissing, reached his ears, gradually becoming a howling whistle as the air pressure was restored.

The survival mask crumpled automatically back into it’s fittings. The cockpit was warming, his hands ached painfully but had stopped bleeding.

The ship was not completely without power, a handful of indicators were alight. As his ears popped he became aware of a repeating alarm.

He pressed the power button on the control screen between his knees and it illuminated. The blast must have knocked out the cockpit holofac displays. He flicked through pages of the ships systems report. He was at least in an orbit that was safe but everything except sensors and minimal power was off. The thrusters and hyperdrive weren’t even responding to diagnostic queries.

Euan was startled by a tinny musical tone playing from his left hand. His link band was flashing an incoming call. He gestured his other hand over it.

“Don’t worry Banksy, it will buff out”


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