Jonathan’s eyes fluttered open. His head was pounding and the cotton mouth had returned, but it had a metal taste to it now, a taste of iron.
He licked his lips and realized that there was dried blood on his lips.
“Greetings, Let us try this again,” said the voice of Osama Bin Laden floating in the air 5 feet away.
Jonathan’s brain was not cloudy any longer. He smiled at the gangly old man and said, “Yes, let’s do that. You can start by untying my arms and legs.”
Jonathan was strapped to what was a wall from his current perspective. It could just as easily be a ceiling or floor, but it didn’t matter when space was relative, and Jonathan new one thing for certain. He was in space and this sorry piece of shit in front of him needed his help more than Jonathan needed Osama’s in return.
The old man lightly walked himself hand over hand towards Jonathan. He smirked in an ironic way that only a few reporters had ever witnessed and then unlatched the Velcro restraints that had Jonathan’s arms pinned down. Osama glanced down for just a second towards the chest and leg restraints and then looked away with a blush on his face and proceeded to retreat in an even more awkward hand over hand movement keeping his eyes locked on Jonathan.
Jonathan removed the chest strap himself and chuckled as he attempted to bend down and unlatch his own legs. He too was wearing one of the ridiculous unitards and still had a fucking hard on as did Osama now that he thought about it.
“I take it that despite yourself, you aren’t exactly happy to see me?” Jonathan joked as he pointed at Osama’s engorged embarrassment.
“No and Yes. It would seem we are all inflicted with this curse after awaking from deep sleep. However, I am somewhat pleased to have someone of your skills present under the circumstances. We have a most pressing problem.”
“No shit, we are stuck in space together, and I am the only rocket scientist on board.”
“Yes, and we are starving.”
As Osama said that, Jonathan recognized his own pangs of hunger. He felt as if he had just run a marathon on fumes and desperately needed to refuel.
“We have searched the ship to the extent that is safe and we can find no sources of food other than the IV drips that seem to have ceased to function when we came out of stasis.”
Jonathan immediately understood the problem. They were not supposed to be awake. They were supposed to remain in stasis until their ship was retrieved out of Earth orbit. Somehow they must have awoken prematurely or maybe Earth had simply failed to retrieve them and some fail safe system had kicked in and woken them up.
“Why should I help you or any of your crazy jihadist buddies. The last time I was forced to help assholes like you, I ended up in prison for twenty years and then dumped into space after that. Hell for all I know, if I help you, you might try and use this space ship as a weapon against the Earth.” Jonathan’s anger had increased with every word. After so many years in prison, he was not against the notion of killing himself. He had definitely entertained the idea many times and worked through several different ways to do it, given half the opportunity. Unfortunately, until now, that opportunity had not manifested.
“You are not a fool and we share something in common.” Osama said.
Osama continued, “We are survivors. You survived in Pakistani custody for three years and in Guantanamo for twenty. You were tortured by the Pakistanis, and by your own people. You may not wish your people any harm, but you know how to survive. I too know how to survive.”
Jonathan’s stomach rumbled audibly. He nodded and said, “Let’s see what we have. For now.”
Osama floated back a foot or two and gestured two his right. Jonathan pushed off the wall and grabbed the handholds and started to proceed into the next compartment which lighted as he entered.
It was a massive cargo hold with rows and rows of oval tubes larger than a man.
It took them about five minutes to navigate to the end of this hold and this brought them to a door. The door had a small rectangular port hole and warning language near the door.
It was an air lock. Jonathan approached the window and looked out into starry blackness. He looked at the door again and noticed a blue lever labeled hatch lighting. He flipped the switch and looked back out the port hole.
Over one hundred meters away along a frame like structure of tubes and cables, Jonathan could make out what had to be the primary compartment for navigation. This would have been the structure for the pilot that had initially launched the ship. The void in between was the space previously occupied by the shuttle that the pilot had likely departed the ship within.
To get to the main controls of the ship, they would have to find a way to navigate one hundred meters of vacuum, absolute zero temperatures and god knows what type of radiation, and they needed to do this within just a few days or die of starvation.
Jonathan realized that before him lay the opportunity to end his own torture, sabotage whatever plans Osama had started to conceive and more. All he had to do, was to release the air lock. He looked down at the safety cover over the release lever. He started to reach for it, and stopped.
If worse came to worse, there would be other ways to kills these mother fuckers. Sucking the air and the life out of them, refreezing them in outer space, that was too easy. He would not make martyrs out of these assholes. He would make them pay first.
Continue to Next Chapter - AQ – 03 – Clearing Your Head Before a Space Walk