Welcome back to the ship! If this is your first time here, I recommend starting with part 1 and continuing from there. You can find all of these posts on the Dream Journal page.
The story continues…
I looked over my shoulder and smiled at the current owner of the name in question.
“Few units choose call names,” I replied. “What makes this one so bad?”
Sighing, Juicy followed me through another door into a wide hallway. The lift was to my right. To mix things up, I intended to walk down to the ship docking bay at the far end, accessed from this central floor, before we made our way through the rooms on the opposite side.
“It reminds me of that underwear company that came back in style when I was younger.”
I had to wrack my brain for a minute before what he was talking about came back to me. Laughing out, I stopped and put a hand on his arm.
“The ones with the words across the butt?”
For a moment, the image of Juicy with the word “juicy” written across his backside flashed in my mind. A grin split my face. When Juicy saw it, he pursed his lips, rolled his eyes, and shook his head at me.
With a final laugh, I started walking again. “While hilarious,” I said, “That is not the origin of the ‘juicy’ name. The original unit commander had a thing for old movies. It’s from some monster movie from back in the day and means you are new like a freshly made corpse.”
He stopped and stared at me, blinking in confusion. “A fresh corpse?”
“Yeah,” I paused. “You’re still juicy.”
“That… I’m not sure that’s any better.”
I laughed again, but before I could form a response, the floor tilted beneath our feet. My head slammed against the floor as gravity shifted, sending us sliding down the hall, picking up speed as it continued to shift from horizontal to vertical.
“Bitsa!” Juicy yelled as he clawed at the carpeted floor.
Activating my boots had no impact. Instead of generating a charged connection with the floor, I continued my slide down. That meant the structure no longer carried a charge.
The automated doors in this hallway were flush with the walls, meaning there was nothing to grab to stop our descent. At the end was either a long fall through the force field and out into space or to the bottom floor far below. It depended on the direction of the pull once we left this hallway.
“Bitsa, the boots aren’t connecting!”
But the gloves might! I thought.
“Gloves!” I called out. We had less than 30 seconds, “use your gloves!” Even as I said it, I grabbed mine off my belt and put them on.
“I left them in the room,” there was terror in Juicy’s voice. “Bitsa, my gloves are back in the room!”
Ten seconds. I rolled closer to him. “Grab my hand! Juicy, grab my hand and hang on!”
Hands grasped wrists. As we shot off the ledge, I activated my gloves through the HUD and slapped my free hand down on the floor. The built-in sticky property activated at full power, and our combined weight tore my arm away from my body. I couldn’t tell if the suit was the only thing holding me together.
A scream ripped from my throat and tears fell. “Mother firecracker,” I whisper-moaned as we dangled there. “Juicy, stop moving.”
He looked up at me. “Are you okay, Bitsa?”
“No,” I said through clenched teeth. “I’m going to either puke or pass out, so you need to hold on.”
I activated the comms. “Mayday, Mayday. Bitsa and Juicy in need of immediate assistance in Lima dock. I repeat, immediate assistance needed in Lima dock.”
“Bitsa,” Flash’s response came nearly on top of my words. “Party Bus and Block Head are inbound. what is your situation?”
“We experienced—” I paused to breathe through a dizzy spell, “a sudden gravity shift 90 degrees. Entire structure of the hall—is not charged. Boots are no-go. I repeat, boots are no-go.”
“Are you injured?” Flash asked from far away as I closed my eyes. “Bitsa, Juicy, are you injured?”
“Bitsa is injured,” I heard Juicy say. “We are hanging over the docking bay by Bitsa’s glove.”
“Copy, Juicy. Magic Hands is also heading your way. Full-gear and anchors everyone. Take no chances.”
I faded in and out.
“Bitsa, I’m slipping.” The words held no meaning through the pain. “Bitsa.”
Juicy flailed, sending a fresh wave of searing agony through me.
“Juicy,” I mumbled, unsure if he could understand me.
“Bitsa, I’m slipping.”
I could feel his hands sliding down my wrist, over my hand.
“Can you pull up and grab my waist?”
“I don’t know.”
“Let’s try, Juicy. I’ll help.” I clamped my fingers around his larger hand as best I could without shaking him loose. “Now, Juicy!”
I screamed as I pulled up on my lower arm while Juicy curled up from below. He needed to be higher, but he was too heavy for me to lift. Darkness tunneled my vision at the edges. It wasn’t going to work.
His hand brushed my hip as I blacked out.