My knowledge of this thing is limited, but I’ve read enough about it to know that it does not reproduce unless it can consume oxygen, and in the oxygen rich atmosphere or my ship, it is reproducing quickly enough that I can see it multiply. This knowledge gives me an idea. When I came back into the ship, I knew that I might have to go outside again, and so to save time, I kept on my suit. Glad that I did!
I manually turn all the valves on all the cylindars to the “off” position, and then I go back to my cockpit and strap myself in. I never thought I’d do this, but…I activate the controls for opening both doors of the airlock. As expected, my computer screen starts flashing violently, warning me of decompression, but I punch in my over-ride code, and expose my ship to the vacuum of space. The resulting wind from the escaping atmosphere would suck anything loose into the void, but I run a tight ship…usually the only loose thing here is me, and right now, I’m firmly strapped in.
It doesn’t take long for the ship to completely decompress. Now the real work begins. Before I can close the doors and re-introduce atmosphere into my ship, I need to make sure that this thing is completely eradicated, otherwise, I’ll be back at square one. The only thing I can think of doing is spraying down the entire affected area with a strong solution of cleaning solvents…and I’ll need to do this relatively quickly, as I cannot risk changing my suit’s oxygen tank until the task is complete. I can’t even have anything to eat or drink…and my stomach is starting to rumble.
I’ve never used quite so much hydrochloric acid at one time. I’m rather glad that the suit…and the lack of oxygen, for that matter, are preventing me from smelling this stuff. In these concentrations, I’d probably be unconscious. I can only hope that it’ll be the smell of disaster for the intruding creatures.
That done, I go to where my beacon indicates that the microscopic breach is located and paint some fast-drying liquid plastic over the area.
When I check my suit’s oxygen tank, I see that I have just slightly more than enough to last until I can re-pressurize the Raw Potential. I estimate approximately 30-45 minutes until I can safely take off my suit and have some lunch. If I did my tasks right, without my invader present to consume my oxygen, I should actually have enough atmosphere to get back to base. The computer projections that indicated I wouldn’t be able to get back were based on oxygen loss at the time, including what my “friends” were taking in. I doubt, though, that I have enough to stay out long enough to fill my cargo hold. This trip is going to cost me big time. Oh well, debt is better than death.
written for the Inspiration Monday prompt: The Smell of Disaster.