Asteroid Rake – Chapter 10

The Exos (as they have consented to let me call them, as exo-0001 was a bit tedious of a name, and they apparently have no name for themselves) have helped me to figure out a way off of The Asclepius.  Each night, while I have slept, someone has come into my isolation room to provide me with fresh food and clean clothing.  I presume anything taken out was immediately incinerated.

I knew, of course, that in order to enter my room, they had to be wearing an environmental suit so that they wouldn’t risk contamination.  Last night, therefore, I forced myself to stay awake while feigning sleep.

Sure enough, about 2 in the morning, according to the ship clock, I was able to observe someone coming in through the airlock.

The plan was simple: wait until I could take the man completely unaware, decouple his helmet and knock him out before he could sound any sort of alarm.  The plan started out perfectly, but when I pulled off the helmet in preparation to deliver the knockout blow, I got a rather unexpected shock.  My mother taught me to never hit a woman, and I wasn’t about to start now.

I did, however, clamp my hand over her mouth and hiss, “I am contaminated, and now you probably are too.”  Her eyes widened in fear, so I continued, “I doubt that your crew members will have any qualms about forcing both of us into the first fire-chamber without an environment suit.  Co-operate with me, and I can get both of us out of this.  Let anybody know what happened here, and your fate will be the same as mine.”

She could not argue with my logic, and so agreed to go and get a second environment suit.

It seemed like an eternity before she returned with a suit for me, and another eternity before we were able to go through the five-chamber fire decontamination chambers.

So far, so good, but I still need to get off of The Asclepius and abscond with the Raw Potential…and I need to do it  before someone discovers what I’ve done and puts the ship on lock-down.  I already anticipated that this would be hard enough to do, but now I have a hostage to deal with too.  She is coming willingly right now, but I suspect that’s out of a sense of self-preservation more than any sense of loyalty to me.


Stay Awake was the one of the prompts at Inspiration Monday this week


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