Fiction logo

The Consequences of Oxygen Deprivation and the Existential Crises that Occur After Being Adrift in Space for Far Too Long

by Jaimie

By JaimiePublished 2 years ago 5 min read
The Consequences of Oxygen Deprivation and the Existential Crises that Occur After Being Adrift in Space for Far Too Long
Photo by Monica Garniga on Unsplash

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.

What am I talking about? I know that nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space - I'm in the vacuum of space and I have been screaming for what feels like enough time for the universe to implode and then explode back out again. Big bang, number two. That would be fantastic right now, really. Just my luck if the universe came to a halt with its incessant expanding and began the process all over again.

Anything would be better than the nothingness that is just drifting here in a suit that I can pee into at will. I can see my tether, it's too-straight end floating before me as a vivid reminder of those that stuck me in this awful thing and shoved me out the door. In hindsight, they were a bit too eager to get me to fix the Dynamic Navigation Wing that became detached on that last ride around Galaxy 49.

Honestly, joy riding isn't all it's cracked up to be. Once you've cruised around a galaxy once, there really isn't much more to see. It's just a bunch of stars. We've all seen them, and my 'friends' clearly weren't interested in all of that. Manipulating me into helping them steal the Regency F91 (Sports Edition*) spacecraft must have been the real highlight of the day/night. Then abandoning me to the endlessness that is space must have been the encore.

What time is it anyway? I try to look at my watch. It's under the glove of the suit I'm wearing. I could ask the computer in my helmet, but it's trying to keep me oxygenated - no need for a computer to waste air.

Wait, no, do computers breathe?

No, of course they don't. Breathing is reserved for dogs, cats, humans, and teapots.

Quite frankly, I'm locked in my own mind. Everything has gone numb and I haven't felt anything in my extremities for a while. I can see my breath on the inside of the helmet in front of me. I wonder how much longer I'll be seeing that. Must have been hours by now, surely. It feels like forever.

I risk asking the computer how long it has been.

It says I've been adrift in space for ten minutes and reminds me in its chirpy voice that I have a tendency to catastrophise. Which I do, I know I do - I had just forgotten.

"Keep breathing calmly," it says. "I'm certain that they will return for you. You have eight hours of oxygen remaining."

I huff, puffing white air into my helmet and temporarily blinding myself. Not that there's a lot to see out here, just stars, as I said. Stars, stars and more stars.

I wonder idly if one of the stars is a planet. Then wonder what happened to the last planet that humans inhabited - then I hope that the current planet will do better than that one - for humanity's sake, of course. I do seem to like humanity, after all. And yet, the name 'Earth 4' isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of humanity's habitation of planets.

Also, the current planet wiped out half a million people with some really intense lung disease the moment they landed. The politicians are still trying to spin that in a positive light. What did the President of Earth 4 say the other day? If I could think through the lack of oxygen, I would tell you.

"Siri, how much time has passed now?"

"It has been four minutes since you last asked me. If you feel you need to panic, please do so quietly so that I may save my power for when you are actually dying," the computer mutters back. "... sir."

It seems that even a computer wants to have very little to do with me. I mean, I know that I'm not exactly 'likeable'. For starters, I say 'exactly' far too much and I'm using first person present tense to spin this tale of rogue adventure - that has now included altogether much more focus on my budding anxiety disorder than I'm sure anyone would like to read about normally.

But also, I just tend to get on people's nerves. Which is why, when the computer has told me nicely to not speak, I try my best rendition of a shrug and I decide sleeping might be a good option. I can conserve some oxygen, pretend that the reality I'm currently existing in doesn't exist, and perhaps I could even have some nice dreams about ... cake. I always like cake.

But it is just as I am settling down to rest my head against the screen of the helmet in front of me that a light catches my eye and the never-ending darkness is speared in two.

A spacecraft about three times the size of the Regency F91 (Sports Edition*) comes into view, seemingly popping into existence right before my eyes. Within the next moment, a door on the side of the spacecraft is opening and more light is pouring out into the space between me and the hulking metal shadow. I squint against it, blinding myself again with breath-fog as my mouth drops open.

I don't see the thing that grabs me. It is large and vaguely humanoid-shaped and covered in a suit much like mine. A thought about whether the computer system in their helmet is chirpy yet rude at the same time enters my mind, and then is drowned out by the lights and the sounds of entering a new ship.

I am on the ground on my hands and knees and I feel the pressure in the air change around me. I take my helmet off, knowing that despite the burning in my eyes, that the air will be fine now. Tears fall down my cheeks. It is hard to tell what they are from.

I can finally breathe.

But that is when I look up into a face that ... isn't - well not, exactly - I mean, well, it - it isn't entirely ... human?

AdventureExcerptHumorSci FiShort StoryYoung AdultSatire

About the Creator


Amateur writer

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.