Chains – Chapter Eighteen

Spinning.. Rushing air.. Darkness.

“Hania!”

Pain, cold dry taste..

“Hania! Reach out kid!”

Flashes of red..

“Punch it Hania! I can’t reach”

She blinked.. The ship was spinning.. someone was calling out..

“Jump Hania!”

That voice? but I left her behind!

“Jen? Where?”

The blurry holofac panel sputtered off and on again just by her hand. Red text pulsed. “Throttle up to engage”.

Hania looked up, just above her was the engine controls. Her arm felt like a bar of iron. Or like one of those big ‘tree’ things; it swam sickeningly in-front of her as she stretched out to the boost trigger.

The grey switch clicked down, it’s sound muffled by the pounding in her ears never reaching her. A moment later and she was slammed into the rear bulkhead, her leg twisting painfully as it struck someone else already pinned there by the acceleration. The spinning stopped and the ship jumped..

~

Jenifer Sketcher was bleeding badly. She could tell this partly by the acidic burning in her arm but also by the crackling and boiling sound made as the pool of her own blood was slowly drawn out of a fissure in the ship’s windows.

She closed her eyes, she had to focus. So tired. Maybe a quick nap..

“No!” she shouted out. She had to fix this now or she’d never wake from any sleep.

Her left arm was pinned onto the arm of the acceleration couch. A thin piece of metal protruded through her arm just behind her wrist, the metal firmly embedded in her seat. She reached out with her right hand towards a small red hatch panel marked ‘Rescue’. Her fingers only just making contact with the latch.

The door sprang open. The catches inside already snapped from the forces of the impacts, the contents of the small storage space began to slowly drift out into the tiny cockpit. Her eyes raked the labels of the tubes and boxes before she found what she was looking for. She snatched a stubby can marked “Rigel-re-gel” and bashed the cap off against her knee.

Jen held the top of the can towards the blackening and boiling blood patch that marked the canopy breach and squeezed the sides.

A blast of white foam erupted from the re-gel and splattered into the glass above. It began to move, slithering almost alive towards the crack, becoming less white and more translucent as it approached the microscopic hole. The rushing and boiling sounds slowed and stopped just as the gel set into a faintly rainbow tinged blob over her head.

She suddenly realised how cold she felt, sweating, numb and dizzy. She’d stopped the ship leaking precious life giving atmosphere, now she had to stop the bleeding from her arm.

She cast around through the other boxes and packages that drifted out of the rescue kit. Bandages, drugs, stims.. None of those would help. She needed.. Yes!

Jen stretched her good arm out to catch a small spray can. But she was too slow, her fingertips closing on thin air as the can of DermaPatch90 clincked as it gently bounced off the holofac table. She looked on helpless as it sailed down to the front of the cockpit and lodged itself about as far away as it would be possible to get from her seat.

She was feeling sick now, everything seemed cold, it all seemed darker here.  There was not much else she could do..

“Will it work? Will it hurt?”

She grabbed the can of re-gel again before it joined the Derma, aimed it at her left forearm and squeezed.

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