Her voice, what’s wrong with her voice? It sounds as if… too harsh, the ringing in my ears. I can feel the cold, it’s really cold, like icicles pricking my skin in a thousand places, my face feels numb, feels like death, am I dead? Am I dying? What’s that smell?
No, there’s light, I know it’s light, but blurry and wet against moist frozen glass. There’s glass all around me!
It’s my helmet’s visor! The glass is veiled in carbon dioxide and ice crystals. I’m in my exosuit and I’m freezing. How long have I been out? The voice, the badgering voice. It’s the exosuit computer… ‘Life support has fallen to…!’
I’m numb all over, the sun’s rising and the sunlight’s splashing red tinges on the alien ruin. I’m still sprawled across the stone plaque. I feel pathetic, but I have to get up and get my blood circulating. My legs, I can’t feel them. I manage to push against my elbows and raise my torso, lift my stiff neck and crawl to the still sphere resting in the centre of the plaque.
I don’t have a choice; I activate the jetpack.
And when it overwhelms you, it devours you.