Trope-a-Day: Almost Out of Oxygen

Almost Out Of Oxygen: Still happens occasionally, despite every spacecraft’s emergency kit carrying an ample supply of oxygen candles and lithium hydroxide (because CO2 poisoning is what’ll actually get you; or, well, if the thermal management system isn’t running because of the same problem that’s taken out the life support, you’ll cook) – or the appropriate equivalents for non-oxygen breathers – against exactly this contingency.

Of course, given the realities of space distances that we covered back in Escape Pod, if you should find yourself playing this straight, it almost certainly means you’re dead, or at least your current set of bodies are.  So it goes.

Darkness Within (3): Breathe Shallow

MET 184-12+34

Got out of my pod.

Expenditures: one podful of soured air, and a can of Quicksilver Quaff I’d forgotten which didn’t take well to depressurization. That’s not going to be viable in the long run, especially since it’ll be fresh air unless I wait exactly 12 hours-and-some in between every time I take a walk.

That, at least, should be easy enough to fix. There are five other pods on the port side, each with its own emergency oxygen tank and dioxide scrubbers. If I pull the access panels, I can unhook them and link them into the feed for my pod – well, not my pod, one that I’ve not bled all over – and scavenge their scrubber cartridges, likewise.

At least with the ship shot all to hell like this, it’ll be easy enough to scavenge the necessary pipework. The floor of what used to be the axial corridor is ripped up; I can see down through the plenum cable bundles as far as the mass driver coils. The battery room’s missing its deckhead, just a fragment left curling up from the outer hull fitting, leaving all the accumulator coil-stacks exposed to space. I should rig a k-blanket over that to prevent further damage, but air first.

Where was I? The twelve-hour wait problem. Rigging the scavenged tanks and scrubbers will provide more air, but won’t solve air loss from entering and leaving, and the pod system isn’t designed to depressurize and depressurize unassisted. I do, though, have an airlock that isn’t useful any more. If I pull the backup atmo pump and a gas backflow valve from that, then put the existing regulator on a toggle, it should be possible to rig a manual system.

The for’ard mess is holding air, by the hatch telltales. Getting in without losing it will be tricky. I do have a couple of rescue balls…