When Vacation Plans Revise — Writing Fiction — C. C. Brower
When Vacation Plans Revise
No power. Little air.
Deep space, off the trade routes.
Helluva way to start a vacation.
The explosion had happened in hyperspace. It threw us out of “warp” and we appeared in normal space several parsecs from where we could be found. So said the radio before it quit.
My problem was more immediate, though. Power and Air existed on the other half of the ship.
Separated from me by a big hole that explosion had left.
And, no, I wasn’t trained at this spaceship survival stuff. I worked in a research group, back of a library, in a college town. My specialist training wasn’t in surviving space-liner wrecks. We all had to take the required emergency drills before we could board for the vacation. Not that it gave us much experience with these things. Like those boring lectures flight attendants give on airlines about what to do when the plane gets in trouble. (Yawn.)
But now we were in real trouble. Deep in it.
At least the suit I found mostly fit. Too big is better than too small.
And why I was able to find one near the bathroom I was using wasn’t my main question right now.
There were few air minutes left and a big gap to travel. Then somehow getting in on the other side without tearing my suit open.
Let’s see, give a straight push, not too hard. Because I’d have to cushion my “fall” on the other side. Looked easy in the movies.
Well, here I am, floating.
Oh, come on.
Here we go. A little more…
Watch that rotation. (Like I could do much other than move my arms, but then everything else moved in turn.)
Hope my gloves hold.
“Be still, poor heart.” Breathe. Breathe regular.
Here we go.
There. Nothing to send home as a video. But I made it in one piece.
Now, where am I? What is all this stuff in front of me? Watch out for the sharp things.
Looking for an air lock. Don’t want to open anything I shouldn’t. De-pressurization might be a bitch. Talk about blown off course — literally.
OK, here’s something promising. What do those lights mean? One’s flashing. Of course the instructions are charred. What did I expect?
Let’s see — big button for big gloved fingers.
Well, that’s interesting. A red light turned green. Blue one still steady.
Grab hold of something as a handle just in case.
OK, two more turned green.
Is that minutes or seconds of air left? Buzzer in this suit isn’t helping.her
Can’t hear anything outside in space. But that door just opened a bit. Give it a pull as I hold on. Here we go…
Jammed part way. Maybe it’s enough. Squeezing through. Hope I can shut it when I’m done. And maybe read the instructions inside?
There. Closed again.
Damned suit buzzer.
OK, punched the big-finger button. Lights are changing again. All green this time. Does that mean I can take off this helmet? Starting to stink in here.
Lights came on across the airlock in a window on the other side. What’s that, a face?
Damn that buzzer.
Next thing I see is a plastic mask on my face with cool, sweet air coming in it. I’m laying on the floor, with my helmet off, but the rest of the too-big suit is scrunched up uncomfortably underneath me.
“She’s coming around.”
“Lucky stiff. Well, luckier than those other stiffs she left.”
“Just in time for the party.”
My eyes must have showed my confusion, because they took the plastic breathing mask off.
“How are you doing?”
“Could be better. What’s happening?”
“Well, you passed the test. Looks like you get to go onboard.”
“Onboard? We are already onboard.”
“Not so much. That was a hologram. You’re still on Earth. Practice training. Remember?”
Oh. That’s right. Some practice.
“Can you stand up now? Let’s get that suit off you. Hey, where are you going?”
No way in hell I was going up there. I’ll vacation on Earth. Picnic in a park. Somewhere I could walk to.
Originally published at Living Sensical.