I wandered out the shop and back down the hall to the window looking into the bridge. The sliding hatch was still ajar.
"All right, everybody, quiet down." This from Russ, who was frowning at the displays in front of him, "This isn't a big jump; your EVA is secured, E&P?"
"Set systems for jump, we're coming up on five away about..." On the small display in front of him, a square turned red; klaxons sounded throughout the ship followed by the canned announcement, "Five minutes! Five minutes! Secure now!" as Russ finished with a satisfied smile, "...now."
"E&PP reports sec-- awcrap. EVA, Em was on the graywater recirc line for Starboard Forward, right? I've got a whole section of solenoid valves red."
"EVA. Checking...you got it in one."
"Russ, we're gonna get some sloshing on vector changes, maybe a lot if this tank valve's really open."
The pilot frowned again. "How bad?"
"The tank's twenty kay, at...call it two-thirds full. Baffles in it, but the run to the purifier is just about a straight line down the long axis."
"We've got maintenance shutoffs --GV S7 and GV S8, for sure. S7's best."
"EVA, how close is Emily to those?"
About then the four-minute warning sounded (same klaxon, similar announcement, all general-illumination blinked twice (for the hearing-impaired and gripe all you like, it's a good idea). I flipped down one of the jump seats along the hall and buckled in. That put the bridge out of my line of sight but I could still hear:
EVA: "Em, we've got valves showing open. You're near..."
EVA: "S7, right? ...No? S8? Can you get there and back in...three and a half minutes?"
(TO BE CONTINUED)
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
11 months ago