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Space Junk (excerpt 2)

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1 Space Junk (excerpt 2) on Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:10 pm

kNuX_V1

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Guardian of Chaos
Space Junk (excerpt 2)

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Copyright © Laura Loolaid 2015

Written and edited by: Laura Loolaid

“Space Junk” series consists of one character’s posts in an ongoing forum roleplay. It takes place in an already-built world, and *might* tie into some universe-establishing storylines. [Innocent whistle] This bit picks up where excerpt one left off.

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She woke with a start. Among the dimmed lights and occasional system beeps, it took a little while to adjust to the reality. Some sections of the displayed starchart were blinking, and  system-relevant info was scrolling over side-screens. Rubbing her face, she switched the main display from chart mode to live view and saw a planet quickly taking up more and more of the screen. One of the central homeworlds, according to the data-roll.
“A new world, huh?”
She clearly preferred the backworld colonies – at least until they weren’t being attacked – but having to put up with more civilized setting was helpful for keeping that perspective.



They were in orbit now, and she signalled the clamps to disengage. Nothing happened.
“Alright, Mama Bear, it’s been a pleasure travelling with you but this is where we part ways.”
She carefully repeated the command and held down the buttons a little longer. Still nothing. Again, and again with increasing patience and care – and again she saw the correct sequence lighting up in vain. Something between the two systems must have malfunctioned, and kept the two vessels locked together.
“Useless junk!”
She kicked the wall in exasperation. She paused, then chuckled in disbelief.
Her boot had landed next to an almost identical dent, once accompanied by those very words. She grinned to herself thinking how back then she’d found herself on an unfamiliar moon, stranded, with a broken shuttle and a broken heart; how, unable to do a damn thing about the latter, she’d set up in a derelict ground depot and channelled all her anger into repairs; how she’d painted the letters on a whim, then bust open the depot’s liquor stash, and completed the baptism by yelling obscenities at the galaxy above, and throwing every other shot glass at the shuttle’s general direction; how she’d finally gotten the damn thing to fly, and how she’d been moving from community to community ever since, doing odd jobs and building up resources – all the way to Tucker Nine. If she had handled all that, she could certainly handle one surprised runaway crew. Gathering her confidence, she squared her shoulders, and let the thrill of unknown wash over her. She slid the protective suit’s visor in place and braced for descent.



***



When the two ships came tumbling down in their unholy union, she had tried to fire up “Junk’s” thrusters to add what little direction and cushioning she could. Whether this had helped at all, she had no clue. Now everything was dark, and a faint short-circuit smell seeped in through her suit’s filtering system. Muffled creaking sounds came from somewhere – outside, she presumed. She somehow wiggled one arm free, and felt the suit’s headlamps. Still darkness – the impact must have shaken those out too.


Now that she let her perception wander, she noticed the shuttle swaying; there were more muffled noises, and an unpleasant feeling growing in her head. She tried shaking it off, and  realized the world was hanging upside down. She couldn’t sense any direct bodily harm – the seat harness had caught her tight. Too tight, in fact. The mechanism must have locked up and wouldn’t loosen.
“Focus,” she thought. “Think, move slow.”
The folding knife strapped to the boot was no good; the attempt to reach it had already triggered the straps to tighten further; she could only afford two, maybe three stronger pushes like this before the short-term relative safety would become a permanent choke. In her mind, she slowly went over the tools and devices she knew to be stored in the suit – unless she’d forgotten something. Then again, she kept separate kits stored everywhere exactly because she knew she’d likely forget stuff that wasn’t tied down. She hoped that she’d indeed managed to outsmart herself this time.


When she thought of all the extra knives sitting useless in cargo, the longing gave her the illusion of sounds coming from there. “Focus,” she thought again, and monitored her breathing. But the sound didn’t go away. Now she was certain that someone was operating the main hatch from outside.
“Focus,” she thought once again, this time with a hint of smile. “Remain very still.”



Last edited by fafafabigben on Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : paragraphing)

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