Unfortunate Accident

Unfortunate Accident

A Story by Callisto

Escaping a wrecked space craft

The blast door lazily pulled back from the window sill with a monotone hum. His foot tapped a nonsensical tune while he waited to see the extent of the damage. The growing dreadful scene came to an abrupt halt as the straining motors gave their last. Cursing under his breath, he bent down to peer outside. A hulk of disfigured metal decorated with failing lights that used to be the engineering section was drifting off on its own. On its flanks a familiar blue sphere and inky void that threatened to swallow it whole. Throwing open the manual lever hatch he pumped furiously until the blast door began to move again. Skins of hull plating listed precariously close to its parent, free from their welded bond to the ships superstructure. The full scope of the damage came into view, the rear half cleanly separated and floating along.

A brilliant blue corona emerged from the aft of the listing engine section.  Instantly regretting his decision with the blast door he braced himself, the two pieces of craft were going to meet again. The jagged hulls eagerly met together and tore into each other. Fresh wounds exposed the fragile internal compartments to space as meters of metal were peeled back and sheared off. The ceiling and his skull made abrupt friends in emulation of the collision. The room began to spin, a combination of hitting his head and the two ships clipping each other. They parted for the last time, the loose engine section hurtling off into the void dooming those who remained aboard.

The view outside changed rapidly alternating between the serene blue sphere and depths of space. The striking blue god rays of reckless engines were growing dimmer and dimmer as if it sped off into the vast nothing, carrying all survivors to their doom. The last of the artificial gravity gave out; his mind ached as it tried to make sense of why the room remained sideways. The centrifugal force of the spinning hull was pulling him into the wall. The door fortunately worked and an easy jump got him up and through.

Structural boards and shattered displays littered the corridor, the only working signage being the emergency panels that would guide him to safety. The cheerful main lighting had died with the artificial gravity, leaving it poorly lit with red back up lighting running on battery power. It was eerily quiet aside from the occasional rumble of explosive decompression in the distance. He had to be careful in the dim light as doors had become pits.

One closed door emitted a soft thud, he looked below, a panic stricken face of a trapped passenger appeared in the porthole. They had piled furniture in order to reach the door but it appeared to be jammed.

“I need something to pry the door open.” he mouthed

A large wrench would suffice but he could think of little to do with it but bang the door and hope it would come loose. He swung so hard his feet broke contact with the floor, the weak gravity being unable to compensate for the strength of his swing.
 A soft thunk within the room tore their attention away, their eyes newly filled with fear after a glance over their shoulder. Their mouth opened wider as their face was torn away from the window. Another thunk ensued, their makeshift ladder separating and disappearing in the same direction. He fruitlessly clambered the wrench on the door a few times to check for life but got no response.
Nothing more he could do but press on before he shared the same fate. At the end of the corridor he could see the welcoming face of the life boat hatch. Quickly closing the distance he embraced the handle, it budged easily, fresh air buffeted his face as it rushed passed him into the dying ship behind.

“Please sit quickly and do not block the path for other passengers” an automated voice greeted him
The floor illuminated a path flanked on either side by a row of red chairs. He took the lead chair in the craft, before him a display and control panel to release the pod. These craft were largely automated, program to clear the wreck and hold position for rescue. His finger stilled over the launch button looking over his shoulder into the corridor outside. The possibility of leaving and killing someone like himself was racking his brain. The corridor echoed a deep moan of dying metal as if a creature deep in the ship were coming for him.

A heavy weight dropped in his chest as he pressed the launch button, the display changed into a timer. Heavy bulkheads came down and sealed the rear of the craft. Sudden acceleration molded him into the seat, waves of nausea beset his stomach who could not catch up, and in a different situation this would almost be fun.  Several series of lights rapidly passed as the craft emerged from the super structure into space. The ship with its once delicate shapes and lines lay torn, the engine section a distant blur and the command and passenger areas spun slowly in a growing cloud of its own remains.

The control panel issuing a soothing chime that the rescue beacon was transmitting. Now he could allow himself to feel the feral panic that pooled in his heart the last several minutes. His eyes blinked rapidly tears bubbling up and floating off on their own. He swatted them away with shaky hands and swore this would be his last commercial space flight.

© 2017 Callisto

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Added on August 9, 2017
Last Updated on August 9, 2017
Tags: science, fiction, space, escape




I am Callisto and I love life! more..

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