Stranded: A Short Story (Part IV)

By Alyssa M

     The sound of screeching metal and screams pierced my ears. It felt as if my head split in two. I dropped my pen, and my hands went straight to my ears. The numbing water started to gush in and envelop my feet. There was shouting all around me, but I was frozen to the spot, staring at the immense gash in the wall.

     “The cabin’s depressurizing, go.”

     The words seemed to come out of nowhere. I slipped the small journal in my coat. My feet moved without my command. We were told to close off the area if this happened, and that’s exactly what they did. Unfortunately, the base had already started to depressurize. Rapidly. The next best idea was to get to our suits. There were 20 or so crew members sloshing through the ankle-deep water. At this point, it dawned on me that I could never come back. The bright lights were burning into the back of my head, and my eyelids seemed to be growing heavier by the second. The shouting all around me was discombobulating. The signs above whizzed by until I saw “AirLock” and knew the suits weren’t far away. I burst through the door, and the spray of water cooled my face. My eyes scanned the room. 10 crew members were there, helping each other into suits. Almost as if in a dream, I walked over and slid in. When I did the pressure of the situation hit me. This feeling, almost as if I had never felt it before. It almost felt like waves washing over me, and suddenly they were. I was released out into the ocean. Far far below the waves, I waited and let darkness consume me. 

     Seconds felt like hours and cameras caught others swimming away, which I decided was obviously the right thing to do. I kicked and pulled against the water with all my might. The currents were stronger than they were ever before. Sand scratched up the camera lenses. I let myself get pulled, desperate to get away from the place I once had sanctuary in. During our training program, the scientists told us that the suits would implode because of the pressure difference. Deciding that up was the worst way to go, I went to my radio. My shaking hands could barely hold up the tiny receiver. 
     “Hello?” My shaky voice called. 
     “Where are you? The rest of the crew and I are together.”
      I was so relieved. I sighed and then spoke, “Where are you guys? I was dragged away in a current.” 
      “We’re 50 clicks west of the ruins, you should have a reading of where you...” The words seemed distant, almost panicked. 
     “I’m on my way.” 
     “Ruins,” That word stuck in my head, what else had happened? 

     Like how all the others had said the blackness crawled at the edge of my vision. No, it was on the cameras. I’m sure. I ignored it and checked the system. It said that the base was close, only a bit south of my position. 
     I started off swimming. It felt too long. All the screens blipped. Just blipped, that was all. My limbs were really sore. Still, I kept on swimming for what felt like hours. I didn’t spot the base, but I was in the exact coordinates they claimed they were. I swam around and around. Nothing gave any indication that they were there.

     It was the red tinge of the water around me that did.

To Be Continued...


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