In the vacuum of space, there is silence.
In my 18 years flying the Raw Potential, I have seen some pretty impressive asteroid collisions, some much too close for comfort, but always, I have heard nothing. So when, within moments of turning on my electro-magnet, I heard a bang, my stomach lurched. For sound to reach the atmosphere within my control deck, I know that something has happened to my ship.
Automatically, I glance down towards the computerized instrument display to see what I can learn. There are a lot of systems that are important on the ship, like the magnet controls, light-speed comm system, and even the stereo system…but if those system icons change from green to yellow…or even red, I know that I will still survive. Those icons are all green.
It is the Critical Systems icon has changed colour from green to yellow. Critical systems include everything from food and water supply to navigation controls to life support systems. Basically, anything necessary for me to stay alive until I get back to base. Yellow may not be red, but I’d still rather see green. I tap to expand the view and see the worst case scenario…my oxygen levels are bleeding off at a rate just fast enough that, without remedial action, I’ll be breathing vacuum at least 2 days before I can arrive back at base. I was hoping that it was the food supply…it might be uncomfortable, but a few days without meals are doable…but I’m rather addicted to breathing.
I’m tempted to send a message back to base and request help, but that would be pointless. Communications can only travel at light speed, and if I were to head home at top speed, I’ll be travelling at 1.2C… so even if I had the oxygen to do it, I’d arrive before my message. Fact is, my message would only arrive in time to inform them that I had already died of oxygen starvation.
In this industry, margins are tight. Returning home to base with less than a full load of metallic dust means falling further into debt, and my tanks are barely at the half way mark. It would kill me financially to turn tail and run now. Besides, I’d never make it in time. Best to keep the magnet running and hope that I can figure out some way to fix that leak. I hate to be dependent on anyone or anything, but this is a dependence that I’m willing to fight for. Here’s hoping I can figure out how!
Inspiration Monday gives 5 prompts each week for us to use in any way we see fit. Today, I have chosen the prompt “Fight for Dependence” to continue my story. I’ll see if I can continue this story using the InMon prompts. This dependence on prompts means that I can’t possibly know until next week how I’ll continue this tale, so despite the fact that I’m the author…I’m along for the ride just as much as any of you who choose to read along! Will our hero survive, or will next week’s prompt be “Explosive Decompression?” Only time will tell! 🙂