“Tsk. So little trust in my spatial judgement. Let’s just adjust this rope. You at one end, and me at the other. And surely we can get there.”
“That’s not the Greyhound. Who’s flying it?”
Sarah’s voice. “I am?”
“Spence you have to get on the ship. You can pick me up later.”
“Self sacrifice, now?” Spence had been watching the ship and suddenly shoved Gerald away. “See how it works? You go a bit to that side, I’m a bit to this, and with the rope in between us . . .”
Gerald hit the end of the rope, and Spence pulled it a bit.
“We need a bit of slack so we can whip it one way or the other, so it hooks on something.” His arm jerked and a wave rolled down the rope. They drifted closer. Spence whipped it again. As they passed the ship the rope slipped along the hull, across the clear overhead, hung up, slipped off . . .
Gerald reached, flipped the rope toward a angular protrusion. The rope tightened and he swung toward the ship, slapped the side, nothing to grab . . .
“Right, I’m on the hull, you can breath again.”
“Spence will you please stop sounding so casual!” Gerald pulled himself up the now tight rope, and grabbed his angular whatever. “I have a death grip on something. Now how do we get to the airlock?”
“I can see it . . . and I’m there. Can you let go of your death grip?”
Gerald looked at his gloved hands. Forced them to open. “Right, I’m getting the rope off from around this thing. And I’ll pull myself along . . .” He looked down and spotted Cody through the plex roof. The boy waved excitedly and started rolling. There was Sarah and Fawn . . . and other people?
He spotted Spence, looking over the edge of the roof, starting to pull him in, grabbing his hand to swing him around and into the open airlock. Spence followed, coiling the rope and triggering the door as he whipped the rope in, then air was roaring in and . . . they’d made it.
The inner airlock opened and he staggered through to be mobbed by family. He wrestled off his helmet, took a deep breath, Sarah was kissing him blinking away at water in her eyes. Two smaller bodies hugging him . . .
Escape Part Two
Gerald relaxed . . . and managed to not whimper in pain.
“Everybody hold on. I’m going to maneuver.” Spence was at the controls, tapping in commands.
Gerald grabbed a seat back as the ship rotated, stopped rotating and then he sank to the floor as the main engines fired.
He took a deep breath exhaled, and looked at the others. Five women.
Sarah loosened her grip. “Gerry? These are the people the pirates kidnapped from the shuttle three weeks ago.”
“Good God.” He clung to the chair.
“He got shot. Only once, pretty amazing the number of bullets flying around. Everybody grab.”
The acceleration died away.
Spence shifted to the radar screen . . . “No pursuit yet.”
“Don’t they have any weapons?” Fawn peered at the images on the screen.
“Yes, but while they think they have a chance to recapture all of you, they won’t use them.” Spence tapped the display. “There’s a ship moving out now . . . yeah they’re after us.”
“Can we outrun them?” Gerald tried to concentrate on the screen.
“No, we’re low on fuel. I’m going to save it for maneuvering. Oh, they’re really hotdogging it. Just what we need, an eager idiot.”
Spence pushed away and floated over to the harpoon controls. “Let’s see just what we have to play with here . . . Oh, a nice strong electro-magnet, and three hundred meters of cable, bet we won’t need that much . . . “
He floated back to watch the screen, tapped a slow rotation, and then stopped it.
Cody grinned suddenly. “He turned to aim the harpoon at that ship. It’s coming up fast, aren’t they leaving braking a bit late?”
Spence looked over. “They want to get in front of us. Block us. They think that’ll let them counter any dodges. Poor fools.” He floated back to the harpoon controls and fiddled with them, head down in a scope.
Gerald watched the screen as the ship came even and started to pass them.
A tiny jolt of the spring loaded harpoon. Spence turned on the electromagnet, reached, waited, braked the reel and clamped the cable down.
A hard jolt, the ship swung wildly around, the station came into view . . . and they flew free.
Spence chuckled. “Try channel five.”
Gerald reached for his helmet and clicked the chin controls.
“ . . . spun me! Son of a bitch spun me!”
“Stop bitching and get your ship under control. You hit my station . . . that’s it Spence! Do you hear me? You’re dead!”
Spence brought up another screen, a visual of the station, zoomed in . . . the end of one of the docking tubes was opening. Multiple smaller tubes were inside. One moved out further and a rounded tip showed.