Thursday, September 1, 2011

Waiting to Descend

I knew I was going to die. I mean, we all do eventually. In my case, it was a little earlier than planned. Not that I had any say in the matter. I was drifting. The planet's gravity had me and it wasn't letting go. Not that I could do anything about that either. My engines were a gaping hole into space, I was leaking atmosphere and I didn't have a prayer. It was one of those moments of clarity when you realize that you're screwed. Kind of liberating in a way. I was still waiting for the bolt of plasma to finish me off, but it wasn't happening. Now that bothered me.

The Old Man told me I would probably end like this. Of course, I was pointing gun at his head at the time. Funny, but he didn't seem to upset by it, more amused than anything. My feelings for the man aside, I had my assignment and I never failed an assignment. I would have rather taken him alive, but the bounty said "dead". So I did what I was told. Failure meant death and I didn't want to die. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have taken death, but I doubt the Old Man would have wanted it that way. He had a funny way about him, like he knew things that nobody else knew. Not surprising considering how long he lasted in this business. Guess I wasn't going to outlast him by much. Maybe my attacker would take mercy on me and vaporize the rest of my ship, but I doubted I was going to get off that easy.

I stared at the data disc that the Old Man had given me. It was encrypted and I didn't have the time to hack it. Guess I'll never find out what it was he wanted me to know. He was pretty insistent that I take it. He told me that it contained some really important information that I would need. Whatever it was, it would be lost with me. Pity, it would have been interesting to find out what the Old Man knew. I had the nagging feeling that this was some sort of twisted legacy. Either that or it was his special recipe for Doolani Mud Worms. If that was the case, it was probably a good thing it was going to burn. Those things are disgusting. I have no idea how he could stand eating them all the time.

I looked at the sensor screen. Still nothing. Of course, half the sensors were off line, so I could have been right next to them and not noticed. I watched as my velocity increased. I was finally getting closer. No more drifting, it was going to end soon. Damn. I was really going to miss this ship.

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