Ricochet: In the Line of Duty

The sparks were flying from my oxyhydnite cutter and I knew I was nearly through the inner airlock door. I kept wondering how I was going to get this guy, suddenly turned chicken, out of the satellite and back to Thunderbird Three.

The door fell, and there was O’Shea with a look of terror on his face, shouting for me to stay away from him. Shouting that he got vertigo just climbing stairs. You’d have thought I was some kind of alien being the way he was looking at me. I tried to be soothing, I really tried, but he backed up farther and farther away from me, finally stopping at a tape recorder, his hands fumbling and accidently starting the thing up. Then in his panic, he took a swing at me.

He. Took. A. Swing. At. Me.

Okay. That’s it. I’ve had enough of this creep.

My gauntleted right fist connected with his face, and he went down for the count.

I grinned. The great and wonderful Rick O’Shea, the great and wonderful chicken Rick O’Shea, was now ready for transport to Thunderbird Three.

Scott’s voice came over my helmet communicator, his tone tense as he reminded me just how little time I had before re-entry. I responded, telling him that O’Shea was ready even as I jammed the space suit helmet down over the disk jockey’s head. Then I picked the man up in a fireman’s carry, and activated the outer airlock door. Explosive decompression swept papers and loose debris out into space, but I managed to keep my feet. Once the way was clear and zero gravity had taken over, I floated over to the airlock and out of the satellite, then spacewalked back with O’Shea to my red rocket ship.

I put the man down next to his engineer, Loman, and then stripped off my space suit and headed up to the command level.

“Mission accomplished, Scott. Let’s just hope that Virgil is ready to destroy that satellite.”

“Yeah. I wish John and Gordon would move a little faster on the repairs to Thunderbird Five. I’m sure Virgil would feel better knowing for sure that we got O’Shea and Loman out.” Scott frowned. “Hey, how are we going to get those two to a hospital on the mainland?” he asked.

I shook my head. “That’s up to Dad. It’s not like we can land this baby anywhere but on the Island.”

“Well, since we’re out of contact with base, I’m going to make a command decision. We’ll take these two to Kennedy Space Center. Thunderbird Three can land and blast off from there for the return trip home.” Scott said, a satisfied look on his face. I nodded, then sat down behind the controls and began to enter the coordinates for Kennedy while Scott moved to the communications panel and radioed the Space Center.

Wonder what O’Shea’s going to say when he wakes up with the shiner from my punch? I mused, chuckling to myself. Hopefully he’ll realize that it was all in the line of duty.

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