• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 05
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An Altered Sense of Perspective

My mother always wanted me to be a chartered accountant but I guess it's too late for regrets now. Despite it all, free floating is not as bad as I thought it would be. In basic training, we practiced space walks until they became as natural as drawing the next government pay-check, but it was always with a tether - always anchored.

The mission started so well - a routine trip to the first lunar terraforming installation to run final checks before the volunteers moved in. Couldn't let civilians risk their lives - why not let a low ranking grunt in the Space Force do it instead. Chen really shouldn't have pushed me. He had been on my case since we first launched; the sort of guy who never knew when to quit - until we had a 'discussion' in number three airlock. He forced me to go with him to repair a comms array damaged in a meteor strike - a two person job, he said - but he just wanted to pull rank.

I swear it was an accident - never meant to push the big red button before he could attach the lifelines. Something snapped. My superior officer got sucked out into the vast emptiness of space but he took me with him - always was a misogynistic asshole.

The air in the tank is almost gone; my suit thrusters burnt out an hour ago but at least I'm upright now. Dying upside down or spinning would be far worse. Out here, the usual chorus of voices in my head have fallen mercifully silent. I still hear my mother's nasal Irish brogue in the background, making me feel guilty as usual. Ma never understood why her only daughter chose an off-world career but Earth had gone to shit. The twin monsters of global warming and humanity's inability to share dwindling resources ensured that the next generation would be one of the last. Just as well I never wanted kids.


An Altered Sense of Perspective

It's peaceful up here in the infinite ebony black of oblivion, cradled by stars. Nothing matters anymore as I orbit a planet too arrogant to know it's fucked. My father's voice sings me an old-time lullaby to guide me home.