Pressing the button more firmly this time, Jose waited nervously breathless, knees knocking inside her pressure suit as the portal's corroded servos began screeching their protest into the void. The facets of the sphincter finally begin a laborious expansion into their housings, protesting their arousal from retirement by the few solar cells still working.
Jose could feel the torture of the alloy vibrating through the superstructure and braced herself against the shift in pressure to fight the drag of cold space while beginning her decent with practiced grace through the wreckage. This old crate wouldn't have been worth squat if the price of copper hadn't spiked again but now that the 2000 credits per kilo price point had been reached, every scrap-rat and scavenger in the solar system was scouring the junk in near earth orbit for the priceless metal.
Of course Jose was no exception. After all, who was she to judge those who were now her peers? She had secretly bargained, bluffed and plundered her way across every inch of known space in the five years since the united world council was overthrown and the corporations had finally taken charge. Now it was every capitalist for herself and Jose fully intended to be one of the winners.
But this was no time for sky dreaming and she was brought rudely back into the present in a blast of compressed air and hydraulic fluid as the overstressed rams burst spewing their intestines outward in an embrangle of torn wiring, tubes, conduits and lines of razor-edged lagging. Jose was punched brutally into the framework and pinned in the writhing springy mass now caught precariously in the crook of an outer strut of the forward bridge of the abandoned hulk.
Quickly running a systems check for vital signs and peripheral damage, Jose gingerly brought two of her arms forward into the light of her photoluminescence visor. A gash as long as her forearm leaked plasma and alkaline film in a stream of droplets drawn outward in frozen ovoids. Damn but that hurt. Still, not the worst she had suffered and nothing a soak in her cocoon wouldn't fix but for now it was all she could do to free one more prehensile limb and get the medikit out to apply to the wound.
The cool liquid feel of the nanos flooding out into the exposed cells to mesh in a chemically synthesized response to the damage was almost erotic in the wave of relief it brought. Jose glimpsed however briefly the world of the med addicts who lived only for the thrall of pleasure and pain as they at once severed then healed themselves in evermore narcissistic search for higher sensations.
There she was, sky dreaming again. Better check the… ah, there it is, of course, the increased blood endorphin levels from her extremely physical day had not only reduced pain but provided a euphoric high. "Ah, snap out of it" she said to herself out loud, then chortled at that as well before getting back to work stripping the threads of copper from the dangling veins of the old space station. Her first million credits wouldn't earn themselves.
[Fiction] Friday Challenge #172 for Sept 10th, 2010
Use one or more of these words in your story (but resist the temptation to look them up first!) http://writeanything.wordpress.com/fiction-friday/