Rachael woke up with a sick feeling in her gut as she lifted up her head as saw a pipe wrench not far away that was covered with blood. Sparks popped around her. She pushed her hair out of her face it was wet and grimy. What happened? She couldn’t remember but she had a sense of urgency.
She had to get away, far, far away.
She was up on her hands before she looked behind her at a pile of junk that ran down her waist swallowing everything behind it.
The bulkhead must have collapsed. She thought. Though she wasn’t sure; everything swam in a thick dizziness.
Everything confused her. She grabbed the floor with her hands and pulled. God it hurt!
She pulled again; she began to feel a prickly throbbing in her legs. She had to get out. She had to get away, that was all she knew.
She suddenly felt a dull pinching like a needle going into her leg. She mopped her forehead with her sleeve. Put her hands on the floor again and pushed with all her might the dull pinch became more intense then released as she slid out from under the rubble. Rachael sat there trying to catch her breath.
Her legs began to seriously throb, though one leg hurt more than the other. She pulled herself into a sitting position. As she did she realized the right pant leg was torn and her leg was covered in blood that was pooling at her foot. Blood was pooling out of a hole in her leg. She tore the rest of her pant leg off and grabbed a small piece of pipe making a turnacit.
She cried out as she twisted the pipe on final time and tied it off. Her head was clearing a bit. This would make it harder to walk if she was going to get out of here she had to book it.
Catching her breath her eyes focused the hole she had pulled herself out of. Inside was a large metal pipe twisted at an angle colored in a crimson that dripped in a pool below. She moved towards the part of the bulk head that didn’t collapse. She took a deep breath and readied herself. This was it.
Grabbing one of the eye beams she began to pull herself up on her good leg. She began to feel nauseous and light headed. She stopped half way up. It was then that she heard as sound, a blip of some sort. She looked over at a screen in the other room. There it was again. She looked in the other room. A large screen in the other room flashed large numbers in red. 60… 59…
The countdown! She gritted he teeth and pulled herself up. Steadying herself on the eyebeam again. Her leg was already pins and needles. She tried out her wounded leg and nearly fell. She looked around the room. In on the far side of the rubble was a mop. She lowered herself to the floor again and skootched herself across the floor toward the mop.
The station suddenly shook and rocked a few times. Rachael began to get a feeling of disorientation, be vertigo maybe? It was then she realized the ceiling was getting closer. Looking around the room was more and more filled with debris. She waited to get within range of the ceiling and then kicked off at an angle towards the door. She then covered her head. She hit a few things one before she found the doorway. Grabbing a hold of the door frame she kicked off again and down the C curved hallway. Fire burned along the ceiling, The nitrogen scrubbers were still working.
Rachael’s heart beat faster and faster. She was nearly to the end of the hall when the station rocked again. She heard the hiss of the door ahead of her. She began to feel something primal and animal like rise up from the core of her being; it was all she could do to stave it off. Getting to the door She grabbed the bit of frame that was available while it was shut.
Pinching the edges she pulled herself down and forced herself to punch characters with one hand onto the screen beside the door. Looking over the rec. room beyond the door chairs, sports equipment and foosball tables floated absently but she didn’t see any visible breaches.
There was a flash of flame outside that disappeared like liquid nitrogen out of a fire extinguisher. Bending below the screen she punched in some breakaway glass and pulled a lever and the door hissed open. One more room to go but the rec. room was large. She would have to aim for a table and hope she could push off from there.
Sweat burned her eyes. She cursed and wiped her forehead. She grabbed the door way and pushed off again aiming straight for the table. The tornaqette cloth on her leg was red and gummy. The table began to drift away from her as she was moving closer to it.
“No!” She shouted.
Rachael slid under the foosball table as her momentum slowed. She was halfway across the room. There were several flashes brighter than the last ones. The station rocked more violent than before, the bulkhead rocked and groaned in protest. Rachael fell and hit the ground hard on her hurt leg.
She cried out as she looked at a large object hurling at her. She tumbled in a ball landing again on her bad leg. The giant leg of a foosball table landed on her splayed hair and bounced hitting the C curved wall and landing upright gain. She was pelted by various sports equipment. She cried as she held her leg up above the torniquette.
Rachael heard a familiar blip. Looking up a video panel on the far wall she could see the countdown again, 30...29…
She slid herself as fast as she could to the foosball table and tried to pull herself up. Then out of the corner of her eye she saw something bright and yellow. She turned and saw an empty over turned mop bucket. She grabbed a few tennis racket s and scotched over to the bucket throwing the rackets in the bucket she pulled it back to the foosball table. Wincing she pulled herself up leaning on her good leg. She felt light headed. Grabbing the tennis rackets she sat down in the bucket and pushed herself toward the door pushed and clutter aside that she could with the rackets. Coming to the door she hit the button and the door hissed open.
Beyond was another hall similar to the last but at the end was an observation port at the end was an open door. “Wait!” She yelled. The hall was filled with the loud noise of the countdown.
15…14… She sped down the hall as fast as she could. The shuttle door was open. Her face was covered with sweat she paddled forward everything inside was filled with exhilaration and anxiety. Just then there was a violent shaking of the station, she heard the boom and the dreadful silence that cut it off and knew there was a hull breach somewhere.
Sweat poured down her back like a cold river. The station tilted toward the door and she felt herself rolling at an alarming speed toward the shuttle door. She was twenty feet and closing. She was within ten feet when the door hissed shut. The Station tilted in the opposite direction and her bucket slid back down the hall away from the ship. She felt an icy coldness over her entire body as she reached fumbled and dropped one. Throwing the other she reached out with her hands and stopped herself. Gritting her teeth she tipped the bucket taking care to land on her side.
She couldn’t feel anything in her legs. In spite of the drunken feeling in her legs she pushed on pulling herself along with her hands. She made it to the observation platform. Pulling herself up to the window she banged on the glass. There was Sherman, sweaty mopping his brow. She felt a feeling of hatred rise up from her gut but couldn’t remember why.
She hammered on the window in desperation. Wait, he saw her. Yes he was looking straight at her. Rachael looked at him with teary eyes as he turned the other way from her. Was he telling someone? It was then she felt the thrust that rocked the station. She grabbed the bulkhead like a mad woman. She wanted to laugh, this wasn’t happening! How could it. It was then she remembered. That fat bastard had gone with her to hit the shuttle overrides when they couldn’t clear the Station umbilicus. He had left her there then he was leaving her here now.
She suddenly saw pictures of her on earth as a child. She was playing in a wagon with her sister. Then story time with her mother. Jeremy Callow her High School prom date she thought she would marry. Then Marcus the night they had been married, how he had always made her feel safe in his arms.
Rachael wept bitter tears which changed into a deep heart ache for him, for Marcus. Who would comfort him, who would comfort his suffering when she was gone? It was then that she felt a overwhelming peace inside like when her mother would wrap her up in a blanket and cold her while she cried comforting her; rocking her to sleep.
Rachael let out a sigh. “Goodbye Marcus.”
In the shuttle Saratoga a man with redrummed eyes cut them across the aisle at a chubby man who mopped his upper lip gazed out the window. Then stopped a touched a purple blotch on his cheek bone.
There was a flash of light and a flash of silver from the tiny ship as it sped out of sight.
In the nakedness of space a silent star that shone in the darkness. Then a bright flash of light and silence.