(This week’s installment is over 3000 words long, so I’m splitting it into two parts for posting. Enjoy!)
“Airlock 2 engaged,” came the navigator’s voice over their helmet comms. “Seal confirmed.”
“Thanks, Enoch,” Riss replied. “Take up your position on the catwalk.”
Riss removed her helmet and placed it on top of the cargo hold’s control computer stack. Riss surveyed the hold. Designed to safely transport small to medium-sized asteroids, the vast space was shaped like top half of a dodecahedron. Which, in fact, it was. The bottom half comprised the fuel storage for Artemis’s ion engines.
Behind the control computers, the main door to the hold remained closed. Wrapped around the entire cargo hold area, the walkway could be accessed only through a small square portal directly above the main door.
The hold had two access ports. Port-side, Airlock 1 was reserved for the Hopper. Starboard-side, Airlock 2 served as a backup. Riss hated using it. While Airlock 1 was almost flush with the floor, Airlock 2 was several centimeters up the wall. After several initial attempts trying to leave the airlock without spraining an ankle, she decided never to use it for the Hopper. On the other hand, the airlock was perfect for unwanted guests.
Riss motioned for Sanvi and Cooper to stand at either side of her. She readied her sidearm, an old tazer rifle. Riss prayed she wouldn’t have to use it. From the sound of things, Gennaji must still be holding the old grudge, from near the end of her time on the Sagittarius.
At the thought, her eyes hardened. Lena, I’m sorry.Continue Reading