The Journal of the Last Crewman of the CTV Rainy Butler
By Void Munashii
My name is Sergei Belluci, I am a crewman on the Civilian Transport Vessel Rainy Butler, and I am alone.
The ship’s engines have been disabled and I am drifting in space. In addition, the comms and navi systems have also been disabled.
I am alone.
I woke up for my shift on the bridge this morning, hungover from last night’s drinking session, and was surprised to find no one there. I was supposed to be replace Murphy, but he had gone, and where he should have been were just the melted slag of the ship’s controls. It looks like the bastards took cutting torches to everything on the bridge before they left.
I found a similar situation in the engine room and computer room. They left the systems controlling life support and power management alone, but anything that might help me move the ship where I want it or contact help is ruined.
I have made a quick inventory of the ship:
The cargo bay is empty. How did I not notice this before?
I have approximately a two years’ worth of food if I ration sensibly, as we had enough food for the eight crew for three months each.
Water is not a problem. The recyclers will keep me in drinkable water indefinitely.
Air is similarly not a problem for the same reason.
Power is plentiful as they did not damage the power management systems or the astral converters. As long as there is starlight, I should have light and heat.
The only communications device I can find that has not been destroyed is my personal datapod, but without the ship’s comm systems to tether to it is useless out here.
All transport vessels and escape pods are gone. The only way off this ship is in an envirosuit.
I don’t understand why they did this to me.
I remember hearing this urban legend about a group of spacers who would hire a new crew member, take them out in space and strand them there on some junker ship.
I guess it’s not an urban legend after all.
I have done a more thorough examination of the ship, and I think that what I wrote yesterday is true. I looked through the other crew quarters, and there is nothing personal in them. No posters or stickers on the wall, nothing in the cabinets or drawers.
I suppose they could have packed up all their stuff before sneaking off, but I think they didn’t have this ship very long. My quarters have more personalization that any of theirs, and I’ve only been on the crew for a few weeks.
They planned this.
Why would anyone do this?
I am going to die out here. I am going to run out of food, or crash into something, or life support will break down.
No one will find me.
The only people who have any idea where I am are the ones who left me here.
I am going to die.
I have spent the last week in bed. I gave in to self-pity, but have marshalled all my will to get out of bed again.
I don’t know what to do though.
I have spent today doing routine maintenance on the ship as best I can. The chances of rescue are infinitesimally small, but they drop from some fraction to zero if I lose air or heat.
I just have to keep busy. I can’t let despair get the better of me.
Someone will find me.
Going over my food supplies again, I have decided to half my rations. That will give me about four years for someone to find me.
I was going to figure out how to grow my own food, but lacking any soil or seeds, I don’t see how I could do that.
Nothing to report. I wish I had someone to talk to.
Please, God, let someone find me.
I have settled into a good routine of checking vital systems every day now. It fills time and keeps me from thinking about my situation too much.
I have turned down the light and heat in the parts of the ship I rarely go into. I have also sealed the cargo bay and shut down all power to it. There is nothing I need in there anyway, and it will reduce strain on the ship’s systems.
In my extra time I have begun tinkering with the comms system. I don’t really know what I am doing, but it’s not like I can break it any worse.
I just woke up….
I think I shocked myself trying to work on the comms system; I woke up on the floor in front of it. I need to be a little more careful I think.
I don’t have anything to say today.
Nothing to report.
Comms are going nowhere.
I’ve made a breakthrough! I’ve discovered that if you add hot water to pretty much anything it becomes soup, and then it feels like you are eating more.
Loneliness is getting to me. It has been a month since I have talked to anyone.
I have invented a new game: I painted my former crewmates on the wall of the mess hall and I throw things at them.
I hope that wherever they are, they are in horrible and excruciating pain.
I swear I can hear someone else moving in the ship sometimes; like they are just around the corner from me.
I have checked the security logs, and I am the only thing alive on this ship.
There’s something in the cargo bay. I hear it banging on the door. It does not show up on vid, but I can hear it.
It can’t be there though. There has been no air or heat in there for the last month, and there’s nothing to eat in there.
It’s probably really hungry.
The thing in the cargo bay is so loud now. I swear I can feel the whole ship vibrate when it hits the door.
The person hiding just around the corner from me has started giggling at me now. I hope he doesn’t let that thing in the cargo bay out.
That should sort out the thing in the cargo bay. I opened the doors and let whatever air was left in their vent into space. Bye-bye, frasser!
I caught her! I caught the giggling person, and it’s the weirdest thing: it’s Marsha Hayakari, a girl I went to school with.
I finally have someone to talk to.
She hasn’t aged at all.
I am concerned about the food supplies though. I will have to cut my rations again to maintain the time we have left. I’ve already lost quite a bit of weight, but Marsha says I look good, even better than when we were in school.
Marsha convinced me to stop messing with the comm system. She reminded me that I don’t know what I am doing, and even if I got it working no one would come to rescue me anyway.
I deserve this, she told me, I deserve to be left out here.
I don’t remember her being quite so blunt, but she’s not wrong. I never was very nice.
I didn’t need to worry so much about the food situation. Marsha hardly eats anything.
She tells me that she doesn’t need food anymore, and neither do I. I am going to try this; maybe I can last indefinitely then.
It is hard adjsting to this diet. I find I just want to spleep all the time. I don’t know how Marsha does it.
She assures me that this is just an adjutment period. Is like detoxing from a drug; it’s really hard, but I will be better if I just push throgh.
If I don’t do this, she says I wil die.
It’s nice to have someone who cares aboot me.
She was evn nice enough to take over all of my maintance routine. I think I love hr.
Detox is hard. I am fndingn it hard to thnk strait. Hrd to wall too.
Marsha says im doing welllll tho, and ill be bettr soon.
She say she had a surpride for me, and will be wating for me in th cargo by.
I no rthere;s somethivg important about the crogo bay, but cant remememeber whzat. Must not be tht improtnt.
Hope iot’s something goog.
I don't have much to say about this story except that it didn't go quite where I thought it would.
This prompt is another one that made me think of "Ashore" (although I suppose he abandoned her in that story), but that is likely as much due to the picture that accompanied the prompt as anything else.
Yes, this is another story where the protagonist has a hallucinatory companion. I am going to try and get away from that (except for in Zane and Delanna stories), but that's just where this story went.
As usual, if you like this story (or even if you didn't), check out the Clever Fiction Writing Challenge page to see what other creatives did with this prompt. You should find something to your tastes