Author : Joe Russell

Awakened. Confused. Red alert. Hull breach. Life support failing.

Mad scramble. Explosions. Death. Escape hatch.

There is a blur and then for a time nothing. When I awake it is to the vast cold of space. I am alone.

The HUD on the suit displays system information. Seals intact. Distress signal being transmitted.

Oxygen supply at 60%.

I briefly ignite the maneuvering thrusters to turn myself in a circle. I think I am upright, but what does that really mean out here?
I see the ship. I watch her burn.

No. I watch vacuum suck the will to live from her in brief geysers of brilliant flame as the destruction spreads to the volatile gift of life sealed in pressurized canisters.

I breathe in great, gasping, panicking breaths of that same life.

Oxygen supply at 45%.

I try to control my breathing. The more I try, the harder it becomes. I try to make myself not think about breathing. Not thinking about it makes me think about it more. Makes me want it more.

Oxygen supply at 30%.

The ship breaks into massive chunks of debris that drift apart from one another in the sluggish beginning of their eternal journey through infinity. I imagine that I hear the metal rending itself apart in terrible groans of agony.

Oxygen supply at 15%.

I think of the faces pleading with me to make it better. I see the hope they put in me. Their hero. Their savior. Their messiah.
Their Captain.

I think of the woman begging me for the suit. I think of the look on her face when I turn to her with the pistol.

Oxygen supply at 8%.

I say a prayer for the faces. I say a prayer for myself. For what I have done. All I have done.

I think of the seals on the suit. I think of the release valve. I am certain about what I should do. What is right. For the faces. For me.

I don’t.

I close my eyes and devour life as long as I can.


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