Adrift By: Terry D. Scheerer


By: Terry D. Scheerer

He floated, weightless and in silence, amid infinity.

His body rotated, slowly, on its own axis, but since there was no up or down in space, it didn't much matter. At least his view was always changing, although he could no longer tell which of the million or so bright pinpoints of light that filled the vast expanse surrounding him, had been his ship.

The thought crossed his mind to check his chronometer, but he decided against it. There had been six hours of oxygen in his tank-pack when he and Jude had gone out for their EVA and he didn't really want to know how much was now left. The minor repair mission was slated for three hours, but they always carried extra oxygen while on EVA, just in case of an emergency. Nate smiled to himself. He guessed that this might be considered an emergency.

They had been outside the ship for just over an hour when, somehow, his life-line tether had become detached from the safety hook. Their cargo ship, 'Orion Rising' was four months out from earth and was moving through space at over 13,000 miles per hour and as long as Nate remained tethered to the ship, he was moving just as fast. Since he was no longer connected to the ship, however, his own momentum would steadily diminish as he drifted farther and farther from her, so he and 'Orion Rising' would begin to separate rather quickly, if he didn't receive some assistance.

When Nate first discovered that his tether had come loose, he was already just over an arms-length from the side of the ship and any sudden movement on his part would have sent him into an uncontrolled spin. Their suits weren't equipped with thrusters, so he wouldn't be able to get back to the 'Orion' without help. Jude was working nearby, but apparently hadn't noticed Nate's desperate situation.

"Yo, Jude," Nate called over his helmet-com. "A little help here, eh, partner?"

Nate watched as Jude turned slowly in his bulky pressure suit and stared over at him. And then just continued to stare.

"Hey, toss me a line or something, will ya? I'm loose, here," Nate shouted, pointing to the end of his tether, floating free about ten feet from him.

Jude turned and looked over to where the life-line should have been tethered to the ship, then back over at Nate. While Jude was slowlylooking back and forth, Nate had managed to drift another couple of feet from the ship.

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About the Author

A published writer since 2001, along with his work which has appeared in "The World of Myth," Terry D. Scheerer's short stories have appeared in such magazines as, "Dragonlaugh" and "Sword's Edge," and a book of his collected poetry and short stories was published by Gateway Press in August, 2005. Mr. Scheerer continues to work as an Editor and writer (as health permits) on a number of ongoing projects.
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