Orbital Decay: YeahWrite #281

She didn’t have the luxury of time. Releasing her safety harness, she glanced at the readouts one more time before pushing off. Grabbing the back of her flight seat she flipped herself over. Shoving hard against the cabin roof, she shot towards the engineering access.

Floating along the tunnel, she slowed her travel by grasping rungs in the ladder along the side. Reaching the engineering space, her wrist-com began beeping with a warning of her ship’s decaying orbit.

Pulling a panel open, she hunted for the fried control circuit.


“That doesn’t make any sense. Thrusters were firing fine before things went out.”, she looked at the  display above the panel. “Everything is showing green,” muttering, she pushed off over to another panel, yanking it open.

The smell of burnt wiring assaulted her nose as smoke wafted from the access. The primary astronics bundle had burned clean through.

The beeping from her wrist became more strident, as the computer warned that she was approaching a critical point in the currently uncontrolled decent.

“Ok, if I pull the avionics bundle and swap it for the fried set that should get me control.”

Reaching in, she quickly disconnected the fried wire harness at both ends and tossed it aside. Doing the same with the other line, she quickly connected it in place of the faulty one.

The ship became quieter as the random bursts from the thrusters stopped.

Slapping the panel shut, she pushed off towards the passage to the ships control room.

As she pulled herself back into her seat and snapped the belts in place, the ship began to shimmy as it started to hit the edge of the planet’s atmosphere.

Grabbing the controls, she fired the nose thrusters and kicked in the main engines. A few quick bursts from the maneuvering jets had her oriented the direction she wanted.

Hitting the comm switch she called, “All ships in the area this is Raven 13. Basic control restored. Orbit still decaying. I’m about to go full burn to gain some altitude.”

She punched the sequence, the sudden thrust forcing her back into her seat as the ship climbed towards a higher orbit.

! Great News: First time back in the Yeah Write contest in a while and I made the top 3. The winner really deserved it, check out “Monsoon mayhem“.


6 thoughts on “Orbital Decay: YeahWrite #281”

  1. I love the command of the voice in your story, Laith. The absence of another person in the spacecraft with her amped up the tension for me too. I would totally be talking to myself during that frenzied moment. The first few paragraphs have a series of sentences structured the same way: subordinate clause, noun verb prepositional phrase. It kind of lulled me at a time when I feel like the narrator should be panicking.

  2. What an interesting read. I’d love to hear more about the Raven 13 and it’s pilot. Just one thing I did notice throughout that distracted me a lot. The start of many of your sentences had a -ing verb. Using these actually slows down the pace of a piece that should be all guns blazing. Just an FYI for next time. Otherwise nice description and introduction to a sci-fi world. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I will keep that in mind in my writing. There are a few other stories that take place in this same story universe in older posts (I really need to go and tag them together sometime) they don’t necessarily involve this pilot but… 🙂

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