Early Days

Ice Age

Age of Conflict

Through the Eye of Paal

Maps and Tables

Ch 3

Chapter 3


"Really, there's no hurry." The computer sounded vaguely chipper. "I calculate he's got another 26 years before anything terminal is likely to happen to him."

"Right. But my time-frame says we don't have 26 years."

"Ok, smarty pants, why don't we have 26 years?"

"Because when I left the ship, I was only out in that for a few seconds. Get my drift?"

"Damn! And here I was thinking I was omniscient!"

"I'll still have to take a day or two to fix my suit. You'd better start looking for ways to speed up the airlock process." Paal grabbed his space suit and headed for the aft lockers. The suit took a day and a half. A good home base facility could have had it perfectly patched in under an hour, but the ship had no fancy machines to fuse materials. Paal had to do it the old fashioned way with a patch kit and plenty of patience. When he was done it looked patched but at least it held the air.

"Computer, once I'm in the airlock, I want you to force the water in as fast as you can without killing me. When the water is over my head, open the outer door. That should shave a little time." Paal dressed as he spoke. The last couple days had been rough. He'd had little sleep; but if the sentient was to be saved, he had to move fast. "See if you can flag him down somehow, while you're waiting for me." As the airlock door shut, Paal heard the booming sound of a torpedo being release. He just had enough time to shout, "Don't blow him up!" before the door sealed.