Flash Fiction: The Shadow

The sub-light cruiser’s narrow profile provided scant shade from the type-g star. Sam folded his body into the shadow, but the temperature reading on his HUD read 478.94K, and that was a problem; their spacesuits could only handle so much. He wished he could wipe the sweat from his eyes.

Temperature wasn’t the most pressing of his problems. Leah floated between him and the ship and released her grip on the plasma torch. It drifted beside her, still tethered to the open supply cabinet on the hull.

“Getting hot,” said Leah.

“Yup.” Pain needled his face. Another bad sign.

“Five percent on my O2 tank,” said Leah.

“I’m out.” Sam paced his breathing in long, calm intervals to save what was left.

She looked him in the eye. He hadn’t realized how pale she was. Leah trembled, and a pit of fear sank in his own stomach.

“Take my air,” she said.

Fuck. He couldn’t blame her for tapping out early.

Sam pressed his eyes shut, then attached his tank to hers. Didn’t make her wait. Bled her dry. She seemed calm as she sucked her own C02.

He squeezed her hand, then pulled against it to propel himself toward the lethal radioactive leak that was killing his crew, his final chance to put it out. Painful stings burst through his body as he neared the damaged panel.

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