“Oh here’s another leak.” The young woman pointed, stopping and looking back.
“Dammit.” The deep voice of a man replied. “Have we got any buckets left?”
“Just the one.” The young woman replied, she help it up to the man. Both of them looked disheveled and tired. Their white pressure suits looking far from white with dirt and grime. Cassi knew the routine now, she would climb under the the cables, pipes and other stuff to reach the leak and then put the bucket under it. She would then record the location and go back to retrieve the water. Garret was to big to get down there and was better at lifting things out of the way.
Cassi crawled under, wincing at the pain in her hands, knees and back now. On top of that the cold was crippling. “There, got it in place.”
“Good, come back out.” Garret instructed.
Cassi crawled back out and Garret her her back up.
“You think that’s the last one?” Cassi asked.
“I doubt it very much. We’ve probably missed a load but we’ve done what we can. We need to seal the busted pipes to save what water we can.” Garret replied grimly. “Then we have to start the re-processing units up to make more water again.”
“We have enough to drink right?” Cassi asked.
“Drinking isn’t the problem, this whole ship runs on water. We split the atoms apart and use the hydrogen for fuel and the oxygen to breathe. If we don’t repair the pipes and start re-processing we’ll either end up stranded, freeze from the cold, suffocate or all three!”
Cassi didn’t have any words, she started crying even though she didn’t want her father the see her crying. That then made it worse and she cried more.
Garret pull his daughter to him and held her “Stop Cassi, it’s going to be ok.” Feeling quite the fraud for saying it, with only four people left there was a lot of work to be done before things got serious and he wasn’t sure it could be done.
“Where’s Nicks and Paula?” Cassi sniveled, not looking at her father.
“They’ve started repairs, we still need to identify all the leaks and save what water we can.” Garret regretted having to bring his daughter with him on missions, but what was he to do? The choices were limited in the colonies, you worked or starved. There couldn’t be any dead weight. Looking over Garret stared at a bulkhead door. “That’s the door that’s meant to have failed.”
“What was that?” Cassi asked.
Garret let Cassi go and walked over to the door, he examined it for a moment before pressing some of the door controls. “It looks like someone deliberately compromised the safety controls.”
“Why would someone do that?” Cassi asked.
“I have no idea.” Garret looked around the door. “When this door opened the air was released pulling out everyone into space and the water in the fuel pipes froze, expanded and busted the pipes. But why?”
A moment later and the ship rocked, Garrett steadied himself and looked over at Cassie, she was ok but shaken. “What was that?” He radioed through to Nicks and Paula.
A voice came back through the intercom. “One of the storage tanks blew, I don’t think we can save the ship now, I would say within the hour the water will get into the workings of the reactor regulators and this will be a giant fireball!”
“Ok.” Garret replied. “Get what things you need and get to the hangar quick!”
Garret turned to Cassie and looked into her blue eyes. “We need to get off the ship, go to our quarters and get the things we need, you know them we’ve discussed this. Can you do that?”
“Good girl, go and then get to the hanger, the one we just came from as quickly as you can and only do those things.”
Cassie ran for their quarters Garret followed then the path the the hangar split, shouting to Cassie to remind her to be quick he slid down the access ladder.
Garret was priming the shuttle for launch, it had already been twenty minutes and there was no sign of anyone. The ship was making some unhealthy groaning noises and Garret was worried, thinking over and over, they be here. Don’t worry.
A few minutes later all three of them appeared. He had to restrain his instinct to shout at them all for taking so long. Instead he smiled as he saw Cassie with far more than she should have brought. Blankets and bags of this and that, he noticed that she had brought some extra’s for him too.
Nicks looked at Garret “We found this one on the way and thought we better help.”
“Nice one, but we don’t have much time.”
“The shuttle won’t get us back you know that right?” Nicks pointed out.
“I know, but I’ve prepared the other shuttle, we can dock and share resources.”
“Nice idea.” Nicks agreed. “Who’s flying it?”
Garret stared at Nicks.
“Oh, no… err. I’m not qualified!”
“No, you’re not.” Garret agreed. “But I need you to fly it out, that’s it. I’ll do the rest. Paula will be with you. Can you do it?”
Nicks nodded, without any further delay they manned the shuttles.
“Anytime now.” Paula told them.
They looked out at the bright speck that was the ship. Moments passed and anticipation grew. Garret looked on but was distracted. Wondering why someone would over ride safety controls and kill so many like that. He remembered stories from Earth history about ships like Mary Celeste and the Great Eastern that were shrouded in mystery, this ship would be the same. The Poseidon a great ship, run by water and then then destroyed by it.
The glare was so intense it couldn’t be looked at directly and then as soon as it came, it was gone.
This was the Blog Battle Entry for January 2020 and the prompt was Bucket.
© Simon Farnell 2020
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