“On Your Shelf”

Day 7 and still going!  This one is a bit of a weird one as it’s technically a tiny little follow-on from The Package, which obviously isn’t out yet.  Enjoy anyway!

“On Your Shelf”


The broken frame fell onto the metal floor.

Samaritan Ramsay had to ignore it.  The ion storm his ship, the SilverCat, was currently mired in was taking all his attention to navigate.  Lightning strikes, attracted to the metal of the ship’s hull, were hitting at a regular rate, playing over the hull.

The ion storm was messing with the ship’s systems, stopping certain thrusters from working for a few vital seconds, or a shield projector.

The ion storm had cropped up rather sharpish as he entered the planet’s atmosphere.

He would get down to the surface if it killed him.

This was his first job, after all, after leaving the Star Mystics behind.  If he screwed this up, he wouldn’t be able to get another job running dangerous trips.

He was starting to miss the alcohol already, his lips dry.

A particularly dark section of cloud flashed at him, and another shock of lightning ripped through the air towards the SilverCat.  It struck the ship’s nose, and the cockpit canopy was alight with fizzling energy.  The consoles all went dark, and the ship died.

Wind whistling past the hull was the only noise he could hear that wasn’t the damned ion storm thundering and crackling like crazy.

Nothing was working.

He tried not to panic, his heart racing as if it was going to burst out of his chest.

“Dammit,” he spat, banging the cold start lever with his foot.

Nothing happened.

He grabbed the lever with both hands and pumped it several times.

The ship’s engines coughed but didn’t start.

The clouds dropped away, replaced by the sunshine underneath, his engines no longer attracting the energy storm.  The ground rushed up to meet the freighter awfully fast as the thousand tonnes of metal starship dropped powerless from the sky.

He swore the entire way down banging against the cold start lever as hard as he could.

The command controls came back online and the engines ignited again.  The ship started powering forward on a controlled vector, and he hurriedly pulled the ship level with the ground.  He peered suspiciously at the lever; he hadn’t actually pumped it that last time before the ship reinvigorated itself.

“We’re both getting temperamental in our old age,” he said to the cockpit around him, patting one of the consoles as he did so.  He laid a course in to the coordinates he was given, leaving the autopilot to fly for a few minutes.

He jumped up, and went back to the right-hand bunkroom.  He picked up the broken holograph frame and put it back where it belonged.  His eyes lingered on the picture of him with his wife and son.

He sighed before leaving the room, “Back on your shelf.”

7 - On Your Shelf  broken_frame_by_panicatthesanni

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