Fail Safe

Charlie felt the skin sagging back on his face, pulling away from its proper location as his weight increased. He could swear his ribs were creaking, which was silly, because ribs oughtn’t make a noise until they snap.

He tried to think of something a little more pleasant than that sound, but all that came to mind were pickles and Slim Jims. He went back to the organs rupturing thing, which may have tasted better.

He should never have done this. Stupid, stupid, stupid. There were plenty of people willing to risk their lives in space—to be crushed beneath an ungodly force of acceleration because they had accidentally misplaced a decimal point in the command sequence. He could have been an accountant. Actually, no.

The hard fail-safe on the engine kicked in, and Charlie would have launched into the air, but for his temporarily colossal weight. He lay on the ground in a cold sweat until gravity normalized, and until about half an hour after that, when he decided that it was safe to throw up.

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