Chapter 5

Written by: dannyo77

“Galileo to Masterton – this is Bret, talk to me Masterton!” Several hours had passed and Bret was at a loss for what action to take. 

“Galileo to moonbase – this is Bret. Do you copy? I still have no response from Masterton. Awaiting your instructions.” Silence. Not even static. Moonbase reported Sirias 3’s computer system coming online before they too suddenly went quiet. 

The pulsating hum coming from the station unnerved Bret. What could be going on in there? He would not undock from Sirias 3 while Masterson was still at large on board, and Galileo did not have the fuel to reach moonbase. That was all moot anyway because the docking mechanism was firmly jammed, holding Galileo fast to Sirias 3. He had tried to open the airlock leading into the tunnel but it would not budge. And yet, he could not afford to wait - oxygen was the immediate concern. 

Bret stood on the flight deck, weighing up his hopeless predicament. He closed his eyes and pinched his forehead with his right hand. He sighed deeply, bereft of ideas. 

Without warning the reverberation from Sirias 3 abated. Bret looked up and saw a flash of light from outside the Galileo that pained his eyes, blinding him temporarily. He staggered forward, leaning against the window to try and determine the source of the flash. 

A distant sound of metal scraping on metal came from within Sirias 3 – a door opening. The distinctive sound of the airlock doors was unmistakable. Another door opening, closer this time. Someone was approaching the Galileo. Bret felt his pulse quickening.

Click, click. Bret heard the external button for the airlock release being pressed. The mechanism was jammed – he had tried several times. Tap, tap, tap. The emergency release was also malfunctioning. The Galileo was as good as glued to the Sirias 3. Charges would need to be set to blow the docking clamps free and release the ship.

A muffled, guttural roar erupted from close behind the jammed door, followed by a thunderous boom as something heavy struck the portal to the Galileo. Bret felt the hair on the back of his neck prickle as he cowered away from the door. Gaining entry, it seemed, was a non-negotiable. 

Instinctively, Bret knew he had to escape. There was only one option; the MMU. It sat conveniently next to the rear hatch, where Masterton had earlier set it aside after his external inspection of the damage. Bret crept up the main corridor to the locker room where he hurriedly donned his white space suit, still filthy with grease from the repair efforts.

As he entered the rear hatch he heard the docking portal finally yield to the boarding party, and felt the readjustment of air pressure. He shut the airlock, knowing it would immediately expose his location. He initiated depressurisation and prepared the MMU for exit. 

Static flooded his earpiece, startling him, followed by a wooden voice, “Bret, my boy, where are you? It’s me, Masterton.”

 

Comments

This is an excellent chapter as have all the previous ones. Great idea to move pov to Bret. So who are with Masterson and is it an old Masterson or a clone? The story is believably told and that is fantastic.