Hello 2019, yeah I know I’m late to the party. I have laid out 52 prompts for this year and plan to create regular content for you all to enjoy. I hope you enjoy the first short story of 2019, next week I’ll be working on the short story titled, The Unrequited love poem
Outside the Window
I looked outside the window, the palms of my hands flat against the glass. The dead of space put an oddly beautiful twist to the horrifying vision of war, there were no sounds, no screams, just a view of twisted pieces of metal twirling and the rare spark of light. The escape pod I floated slowly away in was part of a much larger ship. One that had thousands of people call it home and now there was just me. I thought about the friends I had lost, the pain they felt as they had died. Either being sucked out into the vacuum of space or feeling the heat of the explosion as it took them.
“Guidance system failure.” The voice was loud and unexpected, it caused me to jump. “Guidance system failure.” Turning away from the view of the dead and dying I looked for a control panel. “Guidance system failure.”
“I get it okay, guidance system is failing, where is the control panel for guidance systems?” The escape pod was not very big, it was white, a brilliant white, like when you walk in to a hospital and it almost feels like you are surrounded by the light of heaven. It was kind of like that.
“Cannot comply…guidance failure now imminent.”
“Computer, show me where guidance systems are located?” Asking again as I turned in a tight circle not understanding how this panel could be hidden from me. If I raised my arms to the side I could touch the wall on each side of this egg shaped pod.
“Require security password to unluck guidance system panel.”
I fell back into the small chair. “Computer my name is Chris Jensen, ID 45-6-4-MM, security level Delta Beta.”
“Security clearance denied. You do not have proper clearance to access guidance systems.”
“Computer, the ship UPF Vengeance was destroyed, you were part of that ship. From what I know I am the only survivor. How can I access guidance systems in emergency circumstances?”
“Computer error, please run diagnostic.”
“Computer, how do I run diagnostic?”
“System degrading, 70% operational, ETA until full system shut down five minutes.”
I was starting to get frustrated with the computer, it was not answering any of my questions and I had no way to access the guidance system but didn’t appear I’d need to worry about the guidance system much longer. “Computer what can I access with my security level?”
“Unknown code in kernel, system down to 50% operational. Shutting down life support to protect internal system power.”
“No keep life support on you idiot! Why would you shut that down at 50%? Shut down giros or interior lighting.”
“Life….suuuu…pppport shu…ttt…ing …d….ooown”
Great now the computer was stammering “Fuck…computer can you show me our trajectory?” Slowly the hologram of the system popped in to view. It was out of focus and stuttered like some child was shacking the optical signal. “Where are we heading?”
“We…we…we….we…are heading to…to…to…binary st….st…star Al..Al…Alpha One Zero.”
Holy fuck. “Are we on collision path with a star?”
“Yes…yes we are.”
“What will the cabin temperature reach?”
“Error…error…information corrupt. Fatal error.”
I ran my hands through my hair that was already beading with sweat. “Fatal…no shit.” Slumping in to the chair I sat with my hands holding my face.
“Warning….Warning…Temperature rising on hull.”
Not what I wanted to hear. “What is the temperature on the hull?”
“Temperature…is reading…fatal error…fatal error.”
“Do you know anything!” I yelled out
“Computer running at 10% efficiency.”
Great, a few more seconds and I’d have no computer, no information, and no control.
“Firing giro rockets, prepare for burst.”
“Wait….what?” I felt artificial gravity give way and before I could secure the seat belts the rockets fired and I was sent flying. Hitting the top of the pod rather hard with my head. I felt a wound open up on my forehead and hot blood poured over my face.
“You require first add, vitals suggest slight concussion, please rest…please rest…please rest…please rest.”
“Would you shut up!” I put a hand to my forehead and felt the sting of the salt as I tried to apply pressure to the bleeding. I looked out the window and the view had changed, I was now facing the star. “Computer are we still heading towards the star?”
“Yes…access….access guidance system immediately.”
“Computer how would…” Before I could finished the computer responded.
“Error…system error…shutting down.”
“Would be nice if I had gravity!” I yelled out but there was nothing I could do. “I guess now I just wait…and why the fuck am I still talking out loud?”
I couldn’t take my eyes off the star as it grew in size. Sweat started to drip from me and as minutes passed the heat grew and grew until it felt like I was sitting in a very uncomfortable sauna. This was going to be a slow death, being cooked alive inside an escape pod. I knew when I join the military that I would probably die in space. It was either the military or jail time on an off planet detention center. I picked the military and now I was wishing I had taken up hard time instead.
It didn’t take long until I found it hard to breath. I hoped that the shutting down of life support system would end up knocking me out so I don’t find out what it’s like being a hard boiled egg. My vision started to black out. A few seconds would pass where I felt like I would pass out and lost all vision and then it would come sliding back in a kaleidoscope of color. This happen a few times until I took my last breath, saw the star for the last time and blacked out.
I woke to a white room “I’m dead right?” I heard laughter.
“You are not dead.”
I turned my head to the side. “Where am I?”
“You got lucky son, we warped late, battle was over. We ran a sector scan looking for survivors and found you. Seconds away from burning up in the star.”
“Thank you.” I said.
“Sure, but you need to rest, you did suffer some trauma. The your left arm was pressed against the side of the pod and it was suffered 3rd degree burns. We had to amputate it.”
I took a deep breath.
“But you have been supplied with a state of the self healing self repairing Nano-limb. This beauty will still be repairing it’s self even when you are in the grave.”
“Wow, that makes me feel so much better. Where are we?”
“We are in the Holvic System and safe from the Mongers.”
I laid back with a sigh of relief, looking to my left hand that looked like a streamlined machine of gleaming metal, but damn did it look sexy. “What now?”
“We report back, you rest, then we fight back.”