Here's another flash fiction entry... I'm on fire. Wish me luck folks!
Conrad opened his eyes to a view of a massive blue globe. He jerked back and twisted around in the micro-gravity. He touched something solid in front of him. A window.
He pushed against the window and turned around. Conrad scanned the small room, no larger than a public bathroom stall, and empty except for an EV spacesuit and door. He studied the view through the window. Neptune, he thought. How did I get here?
But then, there were other pressing matters. Ones even more important. Like how was he going to get out?
The obvious way was through the doorway. The huge armoured doorway with the coded lock and the rubberised door-seal. Only, surely that door was going to open out into space, but… yes. Yes, he’d got a suit. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do once he escaped but he'd definitely got a way out.
Fortunately, he wasn’t a stranger to EV suits. He’d been born on a traders’ station orbiting Io and had built up more time in a suit than most Fleet pilots ever amassed in the whole of their highly stressed but brief careers in space. Poor little souls. He grinned, thinking of all the times he’d spent intercepting colonists’ flitters as they threaded their way through the Jovian system's moons. Space was large and out here in the outer reaches of the solar system, the Fleet's steadying influence was almost as weak as the micro-gravity he was experiencing here now.
But at least they’d left him a suit.
Checking his diaper-like maximum absorbency garment and liquid-cooled singlet were all in good order, he checked the suit’s comms and powered systems with a quick, practised eye, confirming he’d got at least 6 hours’ charge of battery and oxygen before sliding into the suit’s womb-like grip. Then, shrugging himself into the upper section, he quickly ran through his seals’ check. Waist: green; arms and gloves (outer and inner): green; legs and mag-secure boots; green. All he needed now was his helmet and he was good to go.
Good to go and to see what waited for him outside.
Conrad punched in the code - 361965 - on the over-sized key-pad, sighing in relief when the door slid in and then aside to let him through. The date taken from Edward Higgins White II’s first self-powered EVA on June 3rd 1965, giving rise to the access code used by all Fleet commissioning engineers everywhere. God bless them all. He donned his helmet and waited for the cycle to complete.
The drop-box’s outer hatch had just thudded back into its seals' bed, the ‘cycle-complete’ indicator turning green, when Conrad’s comm-unit suddenly came to life, spraying a burst of static into his ears. Resolving into a voice he knew. The weaselly tones of Jean-Pascal Berlotti; head of the local Fleet/Mafia justice department.
“Hello, Mr Conrad,” he oozed. “I’m so pleased you've woken up from your slumbers. It makes my arrangements for you so much more satisfying this way.”
Suddenly, the suit’s integrity warning light started flashing as the seams at the rear began to split open, the pressure differential peeling the jury-rigged material repairs apart.
“You may have noticed that your suit’s sprung a bit of a leak,” Berlotti continued, gloating. “But don’t worry, it’s not the first time I’ve seen Uranus in retrograde around Neptune…”