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   Chapter 38 No.38

Loderunner By Christina Engela Characters: 5810

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:01


The ship was dead for all intents and purposes. Not one single energy reading showed on the little scanning instrument Vic carried. And no, no gravity either. Which is where the suits' magnetic boots came in handy. Vic cut the inner airlock door through around the locks. Handy little laser torch, that. No air came rushing in from the holes. For starters, that meant the air was gone, leaked out when the ship was abandoned, maybe. Or perhaps it was all just shut down and depressurized years ago? Who knew? Ships didn't stay pressurized for very long when the life support machinery was shut down. Just one of the little mysteries of space travel.

Deire and Vic forced the hinged door aside. Silence in a vacuum too. Oddly enough Tim almost heard the ancient squeal of the protesting hinges. It was like tomb robbing, only, he hoped it wasn't actually. The last thing he needed was to find bodies inside. Bodies complicated things. Especially where salvage was concerned. But all that aside, the door was now open and a small dark locker room loomed ahead. They stepped through, not seeing anything much worth looking at. It looked so ordinary. It was dark, just the light of their spots to see by, the light reflecting off the ice that had formed on every surface – the remnants of the ships' atmosphere. The doorway into the dark corridor beyond yawned at them.

"Well, okay." Said Tim, flashing his light down first the left and then the right of the corridor, "Deire, you go left, we'll go right."

There was an uncomfortable little silence.

"Why mus' I go down there alone?" Deire protested. "Garn!"

"Well, " Said Tim patiently. "If there were three corridors, we could each take one. But there are two – and three of us."

so he reached out and – urgh! – prodded it gently over to the side. It was wearing tattered dusty black clothes. All in black. That used to mean something not terribly long ago, he realized. Corsairs wore black. Not standard uniforms exactly, but just black in general. Like their hearts, so the old saying went.

"Sorry, Frosty." He said to it, giving it a name as the corpse-icle wobbled with movement so that it appeared to nod at him. Civility costs nothing, he thought, getting another dose of chills all over his body. Respect for the dead could go a long way, especially here. The further, the better. The corridor seemed to be leading to the cargo deck. He couldn't tell what had killed the man that was now floating against the bulkhead. There was just no way to tell. At least he couldn't see bullet holes or any energy wounds from a blaster. Bite marks from some mysterious alien wouldn't have been entirely welcome either. Frosty was fascinating in a morbid, gothic sort of way. Especially how he would slowly drift away from the bulkhead and gradually return to the same spot in the corridor, which he had now passed. Weird. Anyway, moving on.

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