Alarms blaring all around, you stagger to your feet reeling from the force of the unexpected impact.
Looking behind, you cough out the words “You okay boy?” A strange yet familiar mix of whimpering and chuffing is the reply.
“What the hell happened?” you say aloud. Speaking your thoughts somehow seems to form them more clearly in your mind. “We must have run into an asteroid or something. That impact was way too big for anything smaller.”
Asher gives one of his usual grumbling grunts and bounds towards the cabin door.
“I guess you’re right, we should probably get to the escape pods.” You grab your daypack, stuffing it with the few supplies at hand – an MRE package, bottle of water and your pocket knife – and race down the hallway behind your dog.
“Attention all personnel, this is an emergency. The Ship’s hull has been breached and we’re breaking apart. All passengers to your assigned escape pods. All crew, report to the bridge immediately.”
“How the hell do you know where to go anyway? It’s not like you’ve been on this Jumpship before.”
The moment the question leaves your lips you already know the answer. Asher isn’t like other dogs. He’s always had an uncanny understanding of the world around him. You stagger toward another corner as the Jumpship lurches, grabbing hold of the bulkhead framing beside you to stop yourself from falling. You round the corner and spot your dog standing on hind legs at the end of the hall, scrambling his forepaws against the large wheel lock that opens the escape pod door.
“I’ve got it.” You say as you reach the lock, bracing your legs to force the wheel to the left. The wheel moves slowly at first, barely a millimeter before suddenly spinning like mad under the exerted pressure. Asher sits in the hallway waiting for your lead.
“Okay.” Asher bounds into the escape pod at your command, squeezing between the lone chair and the wall, hoping to find some measure of safety. You walk in behind him as the pod door slams shut, practically falling into the chair and pulling down the roller coaster-like security harness.
“This might be a little rough.”
Within seconds, you feel yourself being thrown into the back of your seat with a force that reminds you of riding the ‘Gravitron’ at the local fair. You hear a whimper to your right but cannot turn your head. Out the porthole you see white lights blurring past reminding you of the opening credits from Star Trek. There’s a split second of weightlessness as the pod reaches the height of its curve just before you plummet toward the planet’s surface.