Myrick was on the final leg of the race. His space ship had curved around Yiol the local moon, and waded itself free of the asteroid field that the route had took him through. Only a few minor trajectory adjustments and he would streak through the final waypoint, a fifteen kilometre wide circle in space. His craft had led the race from the very start. Its hyper drives – all four of them – had burnt purer and finer than any of his competitors had and he had quickly gained distance off them all.
So he was in a fairly excited but relaxed mood when a violent shock juddered him off his seat and alarm klaxons woop-wooped in the small cabin. The Computer quickly informed him a small piece of debris had smashed through the light shielding on the racing yacht, and had destroyed the rocket guidance servos. The computer assured him he was safe and a beacon was alerting the race authorities of the mishap. But he wasn’t going to be able to turn his craft that little amount to rush through the final circular waypoint. He would lose.
Myrick was pissed. He had a large bet on him winning the race and he couldn’t stand to see his fellow aristocratic racing nobles laugh and taunt him. He wanted to taunt and laugh.
On the outside of his tubular yacht were various ports where one could hook a spacesuit into and receive emergency air. The nozzles dotted the outside of the hull equidistant around itself.
He fired two in quick short burst and the yacht started to slowly turn on its axis. He waited four minutes until the ship had turned to the right way and then he dumped the water tanks through one of the smallest nozzles available to him. He felt the ship rattle as the liquid pushed itself out, and the yacht charged forward.
It should be enough. He should be able to pass through the waypoint – confirmed by the computer – and win with a still sizeable margin. He would win.
A grin stretched across Myrick’s face.
Sure it would take a fortnight to get the lifeboat out to him – he couldn’t slow down, they’d have to speed up to meet him. But his chemical converters would generate enough oxygen for months with no hassles, and he had food and ..water.
He had no water. His chemical converters needed water to generate the oxygen.
He needed to drink at least every three days. His oxygen use would be out in about four days. He realised it would be a race to see what killed him; the dehydration or the asphyixiation.
He had won but at what a cost!
At what cost victory?