Spit. Spit. Spit. The damn ship is fallin apart. The whole ship is twitchin, I can hear metal groaning under stress. My heart is slamming my ribs and blood is poundin in my temples as I stagger toward the main cargo bay. I can feel the change in air pressure makin my ears pop. We’re still in jump. Most of ship’s power is channeled to the jump field, the auto-seal systems are down.
I manage to grab a breather from locker and slap a mask on. I hear yellin on the comms, someone screaming about shutting down the jump field. Moving around in jump is like wading through a snow drift when yer drunk. Nothin works right, you don’t move right, and nothing is exactly where you think it is.
I slap the cycle on the main bay airlock. I can hear pounding in there. Crates and boxes are flyin by in a spitstorm. I hope the drekkin sealer guns are where Boltz last left them.
As the outer lock doors close I pull a restraining strap out of the emergency cabinet, hitch it on, hit the inner hatch override, and grab the hand holds.
Even holding on, I’m almost sucked out. Spit, someone must have left the bay open to the rest of the ship. Morons. Ain’t hard to tell where the leak is. I just follow the loud sucking sound. As I stumble forward, it occurs to me that it ain’t the brightest thing to do… run toward a hull breech.
The sealer guns are still hung on the wall where Boltz left them, I notice two of the four are already missing. I grab the third, swinging the tank over my back. As I lunge into the storm of crap I realize it ain’t one hole, it’s three or four. Bengal and Felix already have sealers and are spraying expansive foam goo for all their worth.
There ain’t much talking in a hurricane, an none of us try. It’s hold on, spray, and pray. I’m getting beat and cut to hell by pieces of flying drek, but I can feel the leak slowin down. Some Einstein finally gets the bright idea to seal up the bay. The pressure lessens. The goo begins to stick. After a bit, it’s quiet. Just the three of us breathin heavy, and the crackle of sealer goop hardenin up.
The room is still distorted. It’s still half dark and we’re still in H-space. What the frell is going on?
Almost as I’m thinking it, the ship lurches again. A sickening churning sway that can’t be good. The jump field drops and the three of us are knocked sideways by sudden deceleration.
At the same time we hear more pounding. Like a herd of elephants is stampedin across the ship. It goes on for a few moments. I wince at the vibration of metal being torn and sheared in the upper sections of the ship.
“That’s bad, right?” Bengal murmurs looking up.
“It sure ain’t good,” I answer.
“It’s the collision of rock and metal on the upper ventricles,” Felix says.
“No shit, we were hit by music?” Bengal remarks.
Felix looks over with a frown. “What?”
The bay is still on emergency lighting. What the hell is up?
The comm speakers through the ship resonate. Captain Kessler’s deep voice rattles the bay. “All crew report status.”
I walk over to the intercom and thumb it on. “Main cargo storage, secure. Me, Felix and Bengal are okay.”
I hear Terry’s out of breath voice. “Rear command deck, secure. Hilda, Fingers, and I are okay.”
The comm crackles a bit and I hear the Doc’s come-hither voice. “Med bay is secure. Merrick, Mercedes and I are okay. Anyone with pressure injuries please report to the med bay immediately.”
I hear a loud click like the comm button has been smacked with a hammer. “Engineering secure, cap’n. We had some blow-throughs on the lower generator deck and lost the main power bus. It was jus a ‘lil leak and me ‘n the boys sealed her up.”
I ain’t no tech head and I’m lucky to know caliper from conduit, but that don’t sound so good. We’re still on emergency lighting and the ship has been beat to hell by something.
“Just a ‘lil leak’ he says,” Bengal grows and kicks the meter wide mound of foam at his feet. “What the frell does he think a big leak is?”
“The size of your mouth,” Felix says in a monotone voice.
Continued in … Convicts, Space Spiders, and Meteor Storms—Oh My. (Part 4 — Convict THIS)