Adrift By: Terry D. Scheerer


By: Terry D. Scheerer

Then he remembered that part of Jude's mission on the EVA was to replace a set of cables connected to a cooling unit, which ran from the secondary power thrusters. That meant he would have had a pair of large wire cutters in his tool box when he went EVA. Of course, the wire cutters weren't sharp, but they could easily have cut through his safety tether--that's what they were made for; cutting through insulation and metal cables.

Fine. So Jude had committed the actual act, but who else was in on the plot? Marie? She certainly made no effort to help him as he floated helplessly by her, but he and Marie always had a pleasant, if not overtly friendly, working relationship. Hell, he had known every person on the 'Orion' for over two years and some of them longer than that.

Now he found himself becoming angry about the entire situation, but he suddenly realized that he was also becoming somewhat dizzy and very sleepy--a sure sign that he was running low on oxygen. Oh, well, he thought bitterly, I guess I'll never know what really happened, or why they did this to me.

His vision was becoming rather blurred; the once bright stars now hazy smudges against the darkness. That's what he needed, now--darkness. So he closed his eyes and just let himself drift, inside, as well as outside. He chuckled to himself at that thought. He was drifting all over the place, now. Forever drifting, slowly across the whole galaxy, alone in the vast emptiness of space, drifting...

He heard someone far away, calling his name, but he just wanted to sleep, so he tried to ignore the voice. "Nate, wake up," the voice insisted.

"What?" he complained, not wanting to leave the peaceful darkness.

"Get up, fella. It's your shift and you've got work to do." It was a female voice, one that he recognized. Marie?

Nate opened his eyes and blinked a few times. Marie was standing next to him, smiling down at him and he was lying in his own bunk, in his own cabin, aboard the 'Orion Rising'. "Uh, what happened?" he asked, feeling very disoriented.

Marie shrugged her shoulders. "Nothing happened, except that you slept through role call, so they sent me down here to find out if you were all right," she told him and watched as he rubbed his eyes and face. "Areyou all right?" she asked, noting his rather puzzled expression.

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