Bora is trying something new on Saturdays at the Scientific American Guest Blog. This Saturday, I took part in that experiment with a reprint of an old post. A very few of you may have read it a long time ago, but it will be new to the rest.
Daria had insisted on taking this job. Now she had to finish it, even though the serenity she’d faked for the tests was gone. Eoin was counting on her. The success of the mission, his experiments, even her control of her project, hinged on her doing this right.
She made herself loosen her grip. She shifted from rung to rung, not letting go of one until she was holding securely onto the next. It was progress, but it was slow.
Finally, resting her forehead against the cool metal wall, Daria knew it wasn’t working. She was no more than halfway to her lab and still further from the generator. The fluctuations in the field were coming more frequently, and they were starting to ripple, turning the corridor into a shifting hillside.
Each heave left her shaking, weaker and closer to panic. The babbling doom in her head was louder. She had to do something while she and the field were still experiencing stable periods. She waited where she was through three more cycles, trying to shut it all out. She looked for a calm inside of her she wasn’t sure existed.
She let go and ran, using the adrenaline from her fear to power her legs. The corridor flashed by unseen as she concentrated on her goal.
Daria could see the door to her lab when the world heaved again. The floor tilted away and she was falling downhill. She knew she should let herself go, tuck up and concentrate on landing, but her panic-laced body had its own ideas.
Her outstretched arms, braced against the fall, hit first. Her left wrist gave with a stab of pain. She would have screamed if her chin hadn’t landed next. Then she was too busy trying to stay conscious.
Head on over to the SciAm Guest Blog to read the whole thing.