Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary-Part 3

Zip stirred and promptly wished he’d died instead.

His head pounded with the force of twenty-five dancing rhinos. No hangover he’d ever suffered through had split his skull quite like this. He stilled as a thought came, painfully, to him.

Wait…I’m not dead? There’s a metal floor under me, where am I?

Slowly, Zip cracked one eye open and surveyed what he could see without sitting up. He was slumped in an uncomfortable position on a light grey, metal floor. He could feel a vibration running through the floor.

Okay, I’m in a ship. But not mine. The floor is wrong.

The light wasn’t harsh, so he eased his other eye open. He was in an empty room, illuminated by a source he couldn’t see. The walls seemed to curve organically from the floor, as did the ceiling above him, and all of it was the same metal. He should have been cold, between all the metallic surfaces and the blue-tinged light, but he was surprised to be warm.

He patted his body, intending to take excess clothes off, but found himself no longer in his own clothes. They had been removed somehow and replaced by grey pants and a grey tunic-style shirt.  He was barefoot.

“Hello? Is anyone listening?” He called out cautiously.

 

There was no answer.

 

Zip waited a moment before repeating himself. “Is anyone there?”

HIs stomach growled, loud in the empty metallic room.

 

A panel slid open with a whisper, and Zip could see a hallway beyond.

 

He stood slowly, mindful of the rhinos still dancing on his skull. At the door, he looked both ways, wondering which direction held food.

 

A blue line lit up a stripe in the floor, leading off to the right.

Zip looked around once more. No space mercenary lived to see old age by letting his guard down. Muscle memory taking over, his right hand went to his hip. But his weapon wasn’t there. He scowled. If his head didn’t hurt so much, he’d be pissed off. He had invested time and credits in that hand-laser, and he wanted it back.

His stomach growled again, and the line in the floor pulsed, as if to hurry him along.

“Damn it, this better not be an ambush,” he muttered as he padded silently down the hall.

 

To be continued!

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Zip Harrington, Asteroid Ornament

Zip knew his oxygen wouldn’t last forever, so when he felt himself growing lightheaded, he figured his nefarious career had come to an end. He couldn’t even sigh in resignation. He felt logic and conscious thought slipping away, like that old Earth desert jello used to slip through his fingers as a child.

His view of space grew blurry, even as the damned asteroid continued to plummet through the stars and space dust. He coughed once, a desperate and involuntary plea from his lungs for more oxygen. When none came, his eyelids simply slid closed.

As Zip’s eyes closed, the space rock that was his killer, slowed and finally stopped. A long arm tipped with a pincher separated itself from the surface, inched toward Zip, and pulled him off like a bird trapped on the grill of a tractor trailer.
Had he been conscious, he would have found the similarity hilarious.

The long arm pulled him back toward the bulk of rock, where an airlock opened. The pincher dropped him in, the airlock closed and the arm receded.
Then the rock that wasn’t, promptly changed course.

Taking Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary, with it.

To be continued!

Zip Harrington, Space Mercenary

Just a little bit of short fiction, inspired by a word prompt over at The Daily Post. Enjoy!

 

The asteroid wasn’t large, but it was on a deadly trajectory. Headed straight for him and there was bugger all he could do about it. There was nothing to push off from, nothing to give him the thrust he needed to get out of the asteroid’s way.

He waited to see his life flash before his eyes like everyone said would likely happen.

It didn’t.

Nothing changed.

Space continued to move around him. The asteroid carried on its merry way, seemingly determined to take him out.

Zip Harrington was a little disappointed.

He could hear his father now – accusing him of not even being capable of dying correctly.

Zip could only watch as the asteroid got a little larger with each second that passed.

Just before impact, he screwed his eyes shut, an involuntary reaction. He felt the asteroid body-slam him and his eyes flew open in time to watch his hoses and safety tether snap off the outside of his ship.

The ship he’d been repairing.

Alone.

 

No one knew he was out here, no one to care that his ship had been crippled by a cascade wave of malfunctions. No one knew he would have died in a matter of weeks.

And now he would die in hours, a bug pinned by momentum to the leading surface of an asteroid no bigger than a Volkswagen, hurtling through space.

With a screaming space pirate unable to pry himself off, with nowhere to go.

And nothing to do but watch space speed by his visor.

And wonder what came next.

Zip
 

If you enjoyed this bit of short fiction, please feel free to leave a comment!