Space week continues with the prompt: adjustments.
In order for mine (and, awesomely enough, pretty much everybody's in the comments as well) to make sense, you'll have to go back to Monday and the beginning of Space Week and read from there, as each of us is working on our own continuous story.
I have no idea how I'll manage to wrap all this up with Sunday's post, but I'm determined to find a way. So, consider that fair warning that my writing on the last day could be like two thousand words.
I'm mostly joking.
It had been a difficult adjustment after Eric had left. His declaration that he was accepting a promotion to Head Engineer on another ship had blindsided her and left her to raise her son alone.
Eric may not have been the father, but he had made promises when he first entered her life. Now, on top of her motherly responsibilities, she was burdened by feelings of betrayal, violation, and bitterness.
And now this. Faced with a ticking time bomb with only three options, the last of which was utterly out of the question.
1. They both would die.
2. She would die so that he would live.
3. He would die so...
She couldn't even finish the thought.
Looking up from where he lay sleeping on his bunk, his IES making it seem like he was a patient in the infirmary, the clock embedded on the wall of their compartment showed her there was only six hours of oxygen left for both of them. Which left just five hours for her.
If Eric hadn't left he could have saved us both.
She knew it wasn't a fair thought, but she was too angry and frightened to care. Rising from her seat at their shared desk, she moved silently to the door of their room. She paused to look back at her boy before exiting, reluctant to be apart from him for even a moment.
But she still had her duties to attend to and the call had come in for some adjustments to be made on Engine Three. No point sacrificing herself and then have a ship failure render it meaningless.
Leaving the room and turning left, a thought crept into her mind and took hold with barbed, icy fingers. It nearly stopped her in her tracks but she forced herself to continue walking as it tumbled over and over through her head.
What if there was a delay and her son needed more than an extra hour of air?
She was so troubled by this possibility that she didn't hear her name being called somewhere behind her until the third try.
"First Class Mechanic Sanchez!"