Adrift By: Terry D. Scheerer


By: Terry D. Scheerer

He felt the first twinge of panic creep up his spine. Nate slowly spread his arms out from his body in supplication. "Jude," he said, softly. "C'mon, pal. If I drift out another few feet, I'll start to slip away from you."

Jude just stared at him and made no move to help. Nate slowly drifted another foot from the ship.

Something was really wrong, here, he decided and it went deeper than just his tether coming loose. "Jude," he said again, quietly, not wanting to spook his only chance of survival. "Are you going to help me, or not?" He could still see his partner's face through the view plate of his suit and watched in horror as Jude slowly shook his head in answer to the question.

Nate was now far enough away from the 'Orion' that he could see the ship just barely moving along without him. Jude was already beginning to recede from his free-floating position, but Nate thought he could see the other's mouth moving, although he couldn't hear him. Jude must have switched over to the ship-com link. Maybe he was trying to get a rescue party together, Nate thought desperately, letting the crew know that he was drifting away.

They had better hurry, he realized, as the ship was now visibly moving past him. A viewing port slid slowly by and Nate was surprised to see Marie looking through the thick window at him.

"Marie," he shouted and stupidly raised his arm, causing his body to begin slowly spinning. "Damn," he muttered, trying to turn his head around so he could see the port, again. Of course, he would have had to turn the entire suit, not just his head, which he could not do in zero gravity, so he had to wait helplessly, until his body rotated around to face the ship, once again. By the time it did, the viewing port had already moved somewhat past his position, but he could still see Marie, leaning over so she could look back at him. His hopes of rescue were finally dashed, however, when he saw her give him a sad wave and then move away from the port.

"What the hell?" he said, as he rotated away from the ship, again. By then, he was far enough from her that she was moving away quite rapidly and within a relatively short time, the 'Orion Rising' was a mere speck of light, totally lost amid a million others and Nate was alone.


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