A Fatal Error

Fifteen years after the cataclysm forced Moren and his people from the surface of his planet he returns on an exploration mission in hopes of finding a way for them all to return. As fate would have it however nothing goes as planned and a simple mission becomes a fight for survival.

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2. The Descent

“This is incredible!” Moren said aloud as he rocketed through the sky. His suit would be recording every detail of his mission but he felt it would be necessary to give his own commentary as well. He looked around him but all he could see was the dim gray interior of the cloud. “Without anything to orient myself off of I honestly can't tell that I'm falling. I feel completely weightless.” At this point he had been falling for over five minuets. In that time he had broken the sound barrier and hit a max speed of eight hundred and forty miles per hour. As he entered the lower atmosphere wind resistance had slowed him back down to terminal velocity. He turned his attention to his visors readouts. “Lets see, suit integrity is holding, oxygen and life support systems are good. Current speed is one hundred and twenty one miles per hour. Outside air temperature is negative seventy four degrees Fahrenheit. My altitude is approximately two thousand and five hundred feet. Wait, that can't be right. Computer, show altitude calculation data.” He looked over the information that appeared on his visor. Fear took hold of him when he couldn't find an error. “Son of a bitch! We were wrong! The cloud wall extends well below ten thousand feet!” He looked around frantically for anything that could orient him to the ground. He had no way of knowing which direction he faced. If he opened his chute and he was falling on his back or side he would become tangled and almost certainly die. To make things worse his reserve chute was set to open automatically at two thousand feet. He had mere moments to act. If he could just see the air flow around him all he would have to do is face into the wind. An idea suddenly hit him. He reached behind him and grabbed his pack with one hand. “Computer, detach pack alpha.” He felt the main parachute release from his suit and pulled it around to his chest. He grabbed the release at the top of the pack with his right hand and held onto it tight while he simultaneously kicked the pack away from himself as hard as he could. He managed to get the pack just far enough away to keep the deploying parachute from catching him. He watched as it caught wind and was snatched upward. That told him he was on his back. He flipped himself over half a second before his reserve opened on its own. It was designed to open with the help of compressed helium. When the chute opened the helium was jettisoned straight up forcing the chute out of the reserve pack and allowing it to catch air almost immediately. As a result Moren went from one hundred and twenty miles per hour to ten in just under thirty seconds. He blacked out from the incredible the amount of g-force the sudden deceleration had caused.

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