Monday, November 16, 2009

Black Maw

I wrote this one on January 26 of this year. I had planned on doing something with it since it ended with the triple tilde which used to mean “new section” in my notes. However, I didn’t leave myself any other info so this one isn’t going anywhere.

It should be written as General Relativity Horror, but I have no intention of re-writing it. Enjoy the appalling unevenness.

Oh, I forgot to mention, swearing disclaimer: There is swearing in this piece. Two words, I think? Same word both times. I'm not offended and I hope you aren't. But if you think you might be, you should skip this one.

Ancient Earther jazz played over the ship’s speakers. If she closed her eyes and ignored the metallic echo, she could almost imagine she was in some cold dark corner of that planet. Assuming there was such place on that giant golf course.

The distorted sound of an alarm quietly clashed with the music. Shit.

The flashing red light that went with the alarm meant trouble aft. She checked the sensors to make sure nothing was going to jump her ship, and pulled herself through the pit door. The gravity was turned off everywhere but the pit, her sack, and the engine room. She jumped out of the pit and went floating aft.

She could see a blackened mark on an instrument box. She pried it open with a screwdriver on her belt.

Two resistors and a capacitor had blown. It was primitive, but it was a critical part of a system that made sure the internal radiation didn’t rise much above the cosmic background radiation that permeated the entire universe. If she was lucky, it wouldn’t matter that it was gone. If she was unlucky, she’d be glowing in the dark.

She had replacement resistors and a soldering gun in the compartment, but she’d have to cannibalize the capacitor from something that mattered less than not getting radiation poisoning. She launched herself back toward the pit.

Beeping persisted in the pit. “Shut up already!”

“Oh, shit. You’re not the radiation sensor.”

Her ship was falling into a black maw. She was too far inside its grasp to pull out again. She turned the ship to face the maw and plunged straight in. There was no sense in waiting for time’s unending approach to zero to arrive.

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