Professor Akayama could not quantify the duration of her fall after the Hurricane ripped her spaceship in half. Each half of the Zephyr’s head spun into space in opposite directions, while she seemed to spin in place until she lost consciousness. Each time she woke and opened her eyes, she saw the red Hurricane Planet approaching beneath her. She lost consciousness like this seven times, and each time she prayed she could hit the ground and die before she woke once more and had to see the Hurricane again.
She wasn’t so lucky. She splashed face-down in a deep ocean of warm, pearly, pulpy liquid.
She had no strength to swim, but she floated to the surface and rolled face-up. Her lab coat kept her afloat as she languished in half-awareness for, it felt like, nine days. She had to guess at the duration because she saw only red Hurricane Planets speckling the black sky; she would die without the familiar sight of the earth and sun from her moon base. She was too distant to see even the Milky Way.