A Fiverr commission posted with permission from the client as per our agreement. Written by me, as requested.
Connection lost. Activating emergency protocol. Oxygen and heat levels: 75%.
The AI's soft voice, so very similar to his sister's, comes from speakers at the base of his helmet. When there's no voice coming from them, he can only hear the sound of his heartbeats and the blood flowing inside his veins.
Something they don't tell you in the movies is that space is silent. Completely so. There's no one to hear your cries for help, so the astronaut keeps his mouth shut. Slowly drifting away from his space craft and any form of communication possible, he opens his arms and lets himself get carried away by the lack of gravity. He's never toughed a cloud, even if he works right above them, and wonders if this is what it would feel like.
The astronaut wonders why the oxygen tank hadn't been at full capacity before. Maybe he should have paid more attention when things began malfunctioning with his suit. Or his life. He's accomplished most of his dreams, he's in space! Well, dying. In space! He feels like he should be happy here, even now, looking down at the Earth, round, blue and small, and try to hide it behind his thumb.
He's done so much and yet, this is how his story ends. At what point does enough really become enough? At what point in life one should acknowledge that there's nothing else to be done at all about anything? The astronaut hears the soft voice telling him heat and oxygen are below fifty perfect of capability and he lets out a shaky breath. Fear has begun clouding his senses.
I don't want to go like this, he thinks.
But what else can he do? What else could have he done before? Before space camp, before college, before family, before school. He remembers those days in school when he used to be some bully's favorite punching bag, and he especially remembers not standing up for himself or for a classmate that he never saw again after the bully broke his leg. He should have said something then.
Maybe he should also have said something to his father before he moved away from home. Before 'home' stopped being home. Maybe he should have said something to his daughter because he was behaving just the way his father used to be, the way he had promised to never be like, and she moved away too. And he failed. He hadn't been enough for neither of them. And I'm still not, the astronaut concludes.
You should have said something, his conscience whispers in his ears. It might be an hallucination caused by low levels of oxygen. You should have done something.
But it's too late now.
Is it really too late to fix things?
The astronaut stays silent.
But he does not stay in place. His drifting becomes wild kicks and desperate motions to push his body forwards. One last try, and he doesn't know if those are his thoughts or his conscience, but he's certainly moving somewhere. His motions make the level go down faster, and he's a twenty percent of capacity when he's halfway there. You just need to push a but harder.
If he had done something, maybe that kid from school would have been fine, or at least he'd know what happened to him. Maybe his father wouldn't have left him. And maybe, he wouldn't have pushed his daughter away from the new home he managed to build upon the broken remnants of a man someone dared to love. And still dares, just like you're still daring to success one more time.
With whatever strength he's got left, the astronaut kicks his way into the open cockpit from where his suit is supposed to be connected to his resources. He grabs onto a metal bar and pulls himself close to the lever and then pulls it down, effectively closing the mechanical door behind his back. Oxygen starts rushing in just when his suit levels reach eight percent.
He does. Taking off his helmet he walks to the main deck and checks his control panel for any received communications or incoming calls. There are two missed calls from base and an alarming amount of messages. And he's there to answer them all one at a time. But he's not ready to go back and leave all of this just yet.
There's so much to be done, and we're going to do it all.