The Last Roughneck's Welcome

I can hear the storm raging outside but it sounds more distant now, muffled. Have we arrived? Surely we’re not in the station airlock yet—the cable car is still reeling, my body still thrashing.

I hear a whoosh and the grinding of gears as the hatch pulls away, flooding the pod with light. Painful, blinding, stabbing light.

I’ve never had such a headache. It’s all the hangovers of a lifetime, piled up and compounded into my skull with a sledgehammer. The light from the hatch jumps from my left to my right confusedly, pulsing with disorientation as it swings maniacally in every direction. Now I understand the darkness. The pod is motionless but pinwheels in my hopelessly dizzy mind. I’m starting to black out…

A blurry figure steps into the car and, I think, salutes.

There’s an indistinct voice. Bold and authoritative, but after the Red Spot sounding little more than a harsh whisper.

“Welcome, gentlemen, to Turbine Station V. Your heads will clear momentarily. In the meantime, let’s get you out of here.”

View this story's 2 comments.