Jenifer’s ears thumped painfully with every heartbeat. The view of the ships flickering instruments swam nauseatingly around her.
A high-pitched burst of radio static slapped a little clarity into her mind.
“Pilot. Free your controls and stand by.”
She could just about tilt her head to see the dark silhouette of another craft to her left. She’d seen only ones like this before in old spacer mags.
Her voice was cracked and dry from the thinning, frozen air.
The cargo bay beneath the ship rotated open and a blue holographic grill projected around her. Large hydraulic actuators unfolded towards her like the arms of some prehistoric crab.
“What happened Hania, what was that?”
Jola held both of Hania’s hands while the two floated at the edge of the ships living space. The girl looked wretched. Skin now pale even for someone who spent the whole of her life in caves, dry blood around her ears and eyes and matted into her white hair.
“The space.. lights.. I saw things when I was..”
“But the ship Hania”
Morris pushed himself into the compartment one-handed, with grimaced face he struggled briefly with the bulkhead wheel but managed to close it.
“I pulled the boost, she jumped”
Morris was almost as grey looking as her, he too had dark dry blood around his nose and eyes.
“Hania, the next jump was supposed to be to Chotec. Twenty light years”.
She felt hurt, how was she to know the jump drive was aimed at the wrong place.
“Ya, uh, I didn’t know, I just hit the trigger!”
“No, you don’t understand Hania.. This is… This is LFT 1291!”
“I.. Where is that?”
“I had to actually look it up. It’s a hundred and forty light years from Chotec..”