The message was sent as Sarab checked the hook-up of her suit to the front of the craft to power the shield and ship’s drive. Likewise, Callib with shaking legs yet amazingly steady hands confirmed his suit was optimal and connected to the Dark Matter engine.
Sarab knew the time was ticking away on how long they had to reach the Neptonius system but still hesitated to start the craft on its destination.
’Could this be my final flight?’ She wondered to herself.
Shaking her head she waited no longer and fired up the ship. The craft lurched violently as multiple alarms rang to warn them of the danger they were in. Sarab had no choice but to ignore them and fly the vessel towards the nearest Dark Matter cloud.
The shields were holding but the makeshift power sources of their suits were not meant for this function. The vessel had no other life preservers either; it was light weight and built for speed, not fighting rouge sentient black holes and surviving on limited power after.
They entered the Dark Matter cloud and heard the engine hum to life; it flared and made a terribly loud noise immediately after this. Even the brief instant of traveling through the cloud was too much for it, powered only by Callib’s suit.
As they emerged from the cloud the engine caught fire, but at the same moment the shields from the ship failed and the ship interior was open to the vacuum of space. The force of the vacuum ripped anything not attached out into space with it, along with the suits that were now no more than dead batteries.
The fire was snuffed out immediately as it went out the hole in the side of the ship and was lost to space. But, along with it went the air and any protection from the unrelenting horrors of space.
Sarab and Callib were saved from the same fate as their suits by the magnetic boots they wore which locked them in place.
Sarab remembered her training and calmed her mind and body. Stanannoki were like most creatures and could not survive in space; but as children they learned what to do should they be in this type of situation.
Callib seemed as capable as Sarab; standing in place with his eyes closed as death slowly filtered its way into them.
’No point in panicking’ Her old instructor had told them in their youth. ‘Radiation will get into you no matter what, you won’t be able to breathe, but we have the medical technology to reverse those problems. If you wait patiently help will reach you…’
Rossiana would come for her, she had too! The message they broadcasted was on all channels; every civilization with some form of communication device will have heard it by now; broadcast through Dark Matter to all points of the galaxy.
Ice began to form along her body as radiation caused tumors to form around her neck and arms. Sarab could feel blood vessels bursting under her skin; still she stood in meditation, eyes closed.
There was no sound in space; no way to hear if anyone was close. Her body began shutting down; trying to numb her and protect her from the pain of dying. The magnetic boots she wore would keep her standing up; planted in this spot, dead upon her feet forever. The last thought that floated through Sarab’s mind as she died was whether Rossiana would ever find her again?
‘Even if I’m dead and gone I hope she can hold me in her arms one last time; that would be nice…’
Sarab died in space with Callib several feet away from her.