Friday, May 24, 2013


  Sooo... Maybe I shouldn't write when I'm in excruciating pain... >.> Anywho, this is a piece inspired by the prompt "Rust" on this dA Member's Contest. Enjoy? ;P

(This is a Repost... as I don't know what kind of craziness was going on the first time I posted it. O.o!)


  What sounded like an explosion rocked the ship, and what had moments before been a pleasant exercise session turned into a panicked scramble for the bars lining the rooms walls. As the rocking grew more severe, if felt like the entire ship was tearing itself apart, and the grinding squealing sounds it was making as it did were enough to liquidize what little courage the men and women of the crew had.

"What's happening?" Soo the re-entry pilot shouted at nobody in particular as she reached the navigation bar fastened to the wall.

"How the heck should I know?" Jerek, the nutritionist, reaching the bar next hollered back assuming, as was his usual, everyone was talking to him. A habit that he obviously didn't drop even during a crisis such as this one.

"Where is that coming from?" Zaile, research lead, screamed as she reached the bar almost on top of Greg, physical therapist, who yelled, "What's going on?" at the same time.

"Everyone to the suits!" Barney, the maintenance guy, ordered, taking charge in a bad situation. This would have likely surprised everyone had they not just recently become aware of how short their lives were likely to be.

  With direction now, everyone began pulling themselves towards the door leading towards the suits.

* * * * *

  Yawning, Brett couldn't care less what the instructors were saying. His father had worked ship construction his whole life, and Brett came to it naturally. There wasn't anything more complicated to be found in this warehouse than he's already encountered at his previous job. Drumming his fingers silently on the table at the back of the room, he let his mind wander, dreaming of one day maybe piloting one of the ships himself. He knew that wasn't likely. You had to be rich to afford all the pilot training courses you needed... but it was nice to dream sometimes...

* * * * *

  As Barney was pulling the door to the exercise room too, a second explosion threw them all into the wall opposite the door and a scraping, crashing sound accompanied what was supposed to be a stationary bike as it lodged itself into the corridor, tearing through Barney and contorting him into a gruesome mockery of a human form between the bike and the wall.

"Don't stop!" Soo sobbed out, hurrying behind the rest of them as they climbed the ladder in the access corridor. Their only hope was to make it to the suits and from there straight into the emergency life pods... They had to make it... what was happening to the rest of the crew... what was happening to the ship...

* * * * *

  Lifting the panel into place, Brett couldn't believe how lucky he'd been. Coming out of the last warehouse with a less than stellar work history, he had assumed his future in ship assembly was over. His father had of course been livid... but it wasn't his fault they fired him. Just because he didn't brown nose the boss like all the other guys did during training, he'd been constantly harassed since he started. Every time he made even the tiniest mistake, the shift lead would jump down his throat like he'd done it on purpose.

  Now he was working for an even larger assembly house, and sure... he'd had to move to get the job, but he was 'way' over qualified for this work, and the money was great.

"What are you doing!" the boss's voice shouted out from right behind him.

Jumping and dropping the panel as he did, Brett whirled around angry at being surprised.

"If I have to tell you again not to use the external housing inside the ship, you're going to spend the next year sorting through the used materials! Do I make myself clear!"

"Yes sir..." he muttered looking down at the ground as he did.

* * * * *

  There weren't enough suits... this wasn't the way it was supposed to be. Safety regulations specifically required that every ship carried enough suits to protect every crew member in every station. There was one too few suits for all of them, and they couldn't go out in the safety pod without a suit.

"What are we going to do?" Greg shouted as soon as they realized there weren't enough suits for all of them, "Someone's going to have to go out without a suit! Someone's going to die! What are we going to... Oh my God!"

  Soo turned to see what he was pointing at and the sudden panic that snared her had nothing to do with the increasingly violent sounds the rest of the ship was making around them. Zaile was thrashing, aimlessly with a screwdriver sticking out of one of her eyes as Jerek took the suit she'd been holding and pushed it towards her.

"We didn't need her," he said in a voice too calm for the chaos of their current situation, and not at all balanced with what he'd just done.

"What did you do!?" she screamed, "What's wrong with you!?" she continued not taking the suit drifting towards her.

  As he was putting his suit on Jerek responded, still in the too calm voice, "Somebody was going to die, we don't have time to talk about it, if we don't get out of her right now we're all going to die, would you rather we all died, I did what I had to do."

  Pulling her suit on as her stomach violently threatened to empty itself, Zaile's blood had been sent drifting across the room by her thrashing, Soo knew they didn't have time to discuss this... but what was wrong with Jerek?

* * * * *

  These last few years had been rough for him. Brett learned the hard way that after being fired from two of the largest ship manufacturers in the country, it was a little harder to get another assembly job. Even the autocraft manufacturers wouldn't hire him, and working in food processing didn't pay nearly as well.

  He'd heard some rumors though. Supposedly one of the primary assembly shops was getting bought out by their competitors... and his father used to have quite a bit of sway with this particular shop. Maybe if he talked to the right people...

  Only two months later he was manufacturing lead of a crew of about 20 guys, and all the nightmare problems his lead had dealt with in him was repaid in spades. Lazy workers, incompetent workers, workers that just stopped showing up altogether... they were lucky to get anything built. Next year they were going to bid on a rather important contract, and if he could show them how amazing a lead he was... Going back down to the floor, he knew he had an uphill battle ahead of him.

* * * * *

  Pulling the launch lever, the shuttle began separating from the ship. As the seal broke and the stabilization gel filled the pod, Jerek began thrashing in his straps. He could feel the gel oozing along his back. It shouldn't be getting into the suit! I sealed the suit! Oh God it Burns! Tearing confusedly at the releases for the suit, his vision was quickly swallowed by the gel as it seared the flesh of his eyes.

  Soo stared aghast towards where she knew Jerek was thrashing as his screams faded from the com. Something was wrong... did she really care? Too many people had died.. did anyone else even make it out? As the environment in the pod stabilized, and the gel became transparent, she looked over to see if Greg was okay. He was staring at Jerek with a sick expression on his face.

"I... had to do it..." Greg's voice came through the com, "He... he killed Zaile... we couldn't trust him Soo... we don't know who he'd have killed next..."

She didn't understand, and said as much, "What did you do?"

"I cut his suit. When we were sealing the pod, I took a torch to the back of his suit... We couldn't trust him Soo..." he stammered.

  She didn't know what to feel anymore. Too much had happened in too short a time. It seemed like forever ago they had all just begun their daily workout... and now... only she and Greg were still alive, drifting off in a life pod... with Jerek's dead body... dead because Greg killed him... It was all just too...

The sharp sound of something metal straining as if against a incredible force cut through the shuttle.

* * * * *

  This new kid reminded him a lot of himself when he'd been younger. All attitude, and constantly in a hurry. He refused to fire him though. Not only would that make things more difficult as he was about to retire, but he would prove that if you just worked with someone, you could help them grow. Look how far he'd come. Taking a deep breath, Brett spoke in only a low yell.

"Okay, one more time kid, and if I have to repeat myself again... I'm sending you down to used parts," a slight tingle at that niggled the back of his mind, but he shook it off, "I need you to put together these last few consoles for the navigator. Remember, this ship is heading out further than any ship they've sent before. The only reason you get to work on this project is because your dad spoke highly of your attention to detail. So tell me then, why are you using the old bolts for these casings?"

"Sir," the kid responded, almost sincere sounding... but he knew that most kids were just waiting till you turned around to say what they really thought, "all the newer bolts were left outside. The containers were full of water and some of the bolts had already begun to rust."

"Are you freaking kidding me!" he shouted back. They had to get this project finished before he could claim his full retirement sum, and he wasn't about to let something stupid like a few rusty bolts stop that.

* * * * *

It took less than a minute for the life pod to tear itself apart.

No comments: