Scarcely had the ship pulled into dock before the fire sub-controls activated. Bluish-white foam hissed wickedly at the invading marauder. Crushing the life-sustaining oxygen that fueled the fire. It licked lackidasically at the walls of the titanium-plated ship.
Markinson attempted to douse the flames with a small hand-held extinguisher. It wasn't working. They kept creeping up on him; clawing at him. He was choking in the confined space. His oxygen was burning up exponentially.
He palmed the door pad frantically. It failed to open. He palmed it again; to no avail. Emergency sensors wailed sarcastically at him. Their late entrance almost made him spit. He'd known the Dutchman was a pile of junk, but this was bordering on ridiculous.
What had started this damnable monster of a fire anyway? Surely a faulty wire or broken circuit board couldn't cause this much destruction. There weren't any flammable chemicals on the ship that he knew of. A gas leak perhaps? No. The ships didn't use fuel. They worked off of nuclear reactions.
A box behind Markinson toppled onto the floor. The sound of the heavy metal-on-metal contact nearly caused him to jump. He turned around just in time to see a translucent shimmer flutter before him. Heat waves didn't do that; not that intensely at least. The extinguisher. He thought to himself. The small black handle depressed smoothly, and the bluish-white gel blanketed the area before him.
The reaction to heat caused the gel to curdle into a flame-retardent foam. It didn't react though. Definitely not heat waves. What was even stranger though, was the fact that the foam floated silently in the air. Markinson's brow furled as he struggled to figure that quandry out. It him him. SHIT!
The turquoise haze of plasma slid silently out of its sheath. The crimson spatter of blood across the deck was silent. Markinson's futile attempt at gasping only hurried the collapse of his lungs. Shadows roiled across his face as the main power couplings died, and the emergency generators took over. The emergency lights themselves were almost crimson, if not a tint lighter.
His superheated blood burned throughout his chest before circling to his head and legs. His teeth hurt as the boiling blood oozed from his lips, and rolled slowly down his chin. An eerie drip, drip, drip eminated from them as they exploded on the floor. If he had to die over again, he sure the hell wouldn't pick this way to do it.
From the corner of his eye he saw Sonny, his partner, lying in a pool of his own blood as well. He'd gone to check on a pressure gauge that had been giving faulty readings ten minutes earlier. Markinson hadn't even noticed his unusual lack of noise. For once the man wanted some peace and quiet.
As consciousness phased into nothingness, his murderer revealed himself. A deep roar of defiance, or a throaty laugh? Markinson's senses were too bedraggled to tell the difference. He knew that skin though. The skin of an elite. He'd let the bastard right onto the Salvation's Army. Now he'd be free to do whatever the hell his commanders had ordered him too. It would all just be an accident to onlookers. His heavy eyelids closed for the last time as he felt an overwhelming urge to rest his eyes for just a moment. "Markinson! Wake the hell up man." Came Sonny's smooth voice. It startled Markinson awake, and he nearly fell out of his soft, leather chair. "Woah! Careful man. Just had to get you up for a second. We'll be at the Salvation's Army in ten minutes, be ready."He heaved a heavy sigh of relief. It had all just been a dream. Nothing was on fire, Sonny was alive, and there wasn't an enormous hole puncturing his torso. Everything was fine. He slouched down in his seat as the beads of sweat dripped off of his chin and onto his lapelle.
"Hey Markinson, I'll be back in ten. Can you hold the fort while I'm gone?"
"Sure man. No problem."
"Thanks. Just gotta run back here and check on this pressure gauge. It's acting up again. Shouldn't take long."
Markinson stared at the cockpit hatch. The darkness behind it was unsettling. Like a beady pair of eyes were glaring at you, waiting for a moment to pounce.
"On second thought Sonny, why don't we just close this hatch as tight as we can, and vent the atmosphere in the cargo bay. That ought to fix everything. How does that sound?"
"Uh, sure boss. Whatever you say."
Markinson closed the hatch with a wry grin. He secured the lock, and double-checked it just for his own sake. He punched in the code that vented the atmosphere from the cargo bay. And smiled quietly to himself as they circled the space dock two extra times. Just for the hell of it.