Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I was crouching on the very edge of a raw metal deck plate with my arms straight out on either side of me, reaching just far enough to hold on to the struts that were the only things connecting the deck plates to the ship. With the main engines running at full throttle my feet felt as thought they were not truly in contact with the deck. They felt, actually, as though they were repelled by the vibration of it. I had to ride it with my knees bent, skating back and forth with my feet to keep them under me. I clutched at the struts so tightly that my fingers hurt, really hurt, but I didn’t dare let go.

Sealed up tight inside the hull the darkness was total, not that it mattered. I kept my eyes clenched shut, as if that would somehow shut out the deafening noise of the engines. Silly, I know. Nothing could have blocked that sound. I could have filled my ears with cement, and the roar would still have come smashing through.

The darkness was suddenly shattered by a shower of sparks from left and right, front and back, and the space between the bulkheads was filled with exploding gas, and the hull split open, and the stern of the ship fell away. The explosion that blasted across my face was paradoxically cold, and when I opened my eyes I realized they would stay open forever, glazed by frozen tears, lids glued back, eyelashes stitched across the underside of my brow.

Blinding sunlight fell across the yellow bulkhead of the aft fuel tank as it parted from the ship. Stack gas billowed in its wake. The engines alongside me shuddered and shook, and in the propulsive blast of their efforts the stern section began to tumble end over end as it lost speed and fell.

Far below, the arc of the Earth shone like the blue and white curve of a neon sign behind a window trimmed with frost. And I thought, Wow. I may be frozen in place like a gargoyle right now, but nobody will ever see what I’ve seen today.

And the last thing I saw was a glitter of light as a sixteen millimeter camera was ejected from the hull of the ship to fall back to earth and be caught by a waiting airplane far below, its film eventually developed and analyzed and eventually posted on YouTube. Dammit.

nerd dream | 10:15 pm CST
Category: daily drivel, dreams, hobby, play, space geekery
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