Fuel’s errand

Contributor: Gary Hewitt

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Something wasn’t right. Charlie McCoy heard mumbling machinery in the depths of the ship. He glanced at the monitor begging for attention.

He groaned when he saw the words fuel tank cracked and isolated under protocol 4821A.

“Computer, remind me of protocol 4821A.”

“Under protocol 4821A any fuel leakage regarding the fuel tanks initiates shutdown procedure of aforementioned apparatus. The user is advised to take the craft to the nearest registered repair facility as soon as possible or to await recovery. Furthermore it is advised that…”

“Thank you computer, that’ll be all.”

Charlie scanned the list of nearest repair stations. He cursed when he found the one hit. He pressed contact and waited for a response.

“Hi, welcome to Barry’s auto cruiser rescue. Stranded in space? Repairs needed? Well worry not, Barry’s team of experts will fix any problems or you can have your credits back.”

Charlie pressed skip intro and scrolled down to prices and gasped. His faulty fuel tank would cost over five thousand credits. He tapped in the flight plan and lay down in cryogenics. He reckoned he’d be out for three months.

He frowned when he awoke and saw fuel reserves were down to ten percent. He raised Barry on his comms screen and waited for a dishevelled Barry Haynes to respond. He looked like a willow fountain stumbling in a storm.

“Hi. I’m sorry to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances our repair facility moved to quadrant eleven. We advise our customers to contact Communique Express who will dispatch assistance within two years. Thank you for your time.”

Charlie crashed back into his chair. He closed his eyes. He wasn’t anywhere near tired.

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Gary Hewitt enjoys writing quirky stories and lives in a small village in Kent, England. He has had several works published including sites such as Morpheus Tales, MBrane and indeed Linguistic Erosion.
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