Copyright (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): 2017 David Noë
Co-authors/players involved: David Noë, Laura Loolaid, Kieyotie McDermott, Drew Eckhardt
The original forum thread ran from May 2014 to Oct 2014.
Read more about the Forum Leakage project here: http://bit.ly/2gkGNrm
Read previous post in this series: http://bit.ly/2ywHZSw
The fourth part of this story has already been featured among reading samples as 2nd excerpt of “Space Junk”. Read it here: http://bit.ly/2xOPVQe
And now onward to part 5!
“We’re coming in hot!” Knux called out as the entry burn began and the bridge flooded with red warning lights. “According to this, we’re still at a funny angle… Reports say we’re going to crash smack-dab in the middle of… New Haven?”
Corey ignored him, he was frantically trying to bring the retro-thrusters online to slow their descent. One fired, before ripping off, the other two failed to even start.
“Corey….” Knux muttered with worried tones.
“I’m working on it!”
Without warning, the main screen went blank.
“This isn’t right!” Corey grabbed his hair. “I can’t correct the angle! It didn’t happen this way before!”
The ship shook as the final engine cut out.
Knux wrestled to get his safety harness off.
“Where are you going?” Corey asked.
“Where do you think??” He darted out of the hatchway and stumbled towards engineering.
“Twenty seconds until impact…” Moirai nodded calmly. “Fifteen.”
“Try it now!” Knux called out.
Corey slammed his fist into the console which flashed a flurry of colours at him. Two thrusters fired and the ship shook, throwing everybody about.
Corey struggled with the controls as Knux came tumbling through the hatch, crashing into the main screen.
“Where are we going to hit?”
“The docks! Three!”
“Everyone HOLD ON!”
At the New Haven docks, people gathered to see the wreckage. The last minute burst made the difference between ‘exploding fireball’ and mere ‘near-certain-death’. A tidal wave spread out from the impact area and people pulled farther from the water’s edge. Steam rose as the ship slowly resurfaced and bobbed on the water.
The bridge was pitch black, except for the sparks that flew from smashed consoles. Corey and Moirai dangled in their harnesses.
“Did everyone make it?” Corey tried to sound confident.
“I think… I think I’m still in one piece…” Moirai replied.
Corey undid his harness and fell with a splash. “Come on, we’ve gotta get out of here.” Moirai landed a lot more gracefully than he had.
“I’m gonna need some help here… Inflatable raft in the locker – grab it!
Moirai pulled out an inflatable life-raft and some life-suits.
Corey quickly spread out the life raft and rolled Knux onto it.
“It’s getting a little too damp in here for my liking.” Corey broke the raft’s seal allowing it to inflate. It instantly inflated into a canoe shaped boat, narrow enough to navigate the hatchways of the ship. Moirai grabbed the front of it and began dragging it over the water while Corey pushed from the rear.
“We need to get to the airlock, it’s on the… right, down here. Took me a moment, I’m used to this thing being right side up.”
Moirai waded through the rising water, pulling the raft behind her. Once at the airlock, she kicked the hatch out of the way.
The ship was already rolling dangerously.
Moirai and Corey clung to the raft, and smiled to the approaching group of local fishermen.
“Quite the show… You need help?” One asked with a welcoming grin.
Corey didn’t skip a beat, “Five-hundred credits if you tow that thing to shore.”
“Seven-fifty, I’ve gotta cover the cost of the pumps.”
“Deal. Now get it to shore.”
The skipper rallied his men to work, and soon a small fleet was tugging the wreckage.
“We could have used their help you know…” Moirai muttered, glancing at Knux.
“As long as he’s still breathing, he’ll be fine. He’s almost impossible to kill thanks to that damn arm of his. Come on, you ready for a swim?”
As Corey turned to paddle away with the raft in tow, he glanced back at the ship and noticed a small vessel, stuck to the bottom of their ship. “Odd… That’s not supposed to be there…” His eyes lit up with hope. “Is that you, Trouble?”
Moirai frowned at him, “Are you feeling okay?”
“Never better. I’ll meet you on the shoreline, keep an eye on our engineer.”
“And where are you going?”
Corey smiled and began swimming back to the wreckage.
“I’m off to see an old friend I’ll return soon!”