This is the 130th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Duct Rat, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 10th April 2013
Word count: 952
The war had been raging for two generations. There had been quiet times, cease fires, truces, but they had only served to provide time for each side to resupply, recruit, and rearm.
It was a terrible time to be born, but it was the universe Crys Shirebrook was born into. Constantly on the verge of starvation his whole life as the enemy tried to cut off supplies to the colonies, just like his side was. He grew up in an age where knowledge was spread easily and quickly, and at a young age he was indoctrinated into the propaganda of the war.
So it was predictable that at the age of fifteen he signed up to fight. His skills were identified, categorised and subsequently he was rapidly trained as a space fighter pilot.
He earned his wings and then he was thrust into the bloody business of war.
On a routine patrol he was captured by the enemy and taken to their capital ship for interrogation. He was scarcely twenty, and he was scared. Little did he know the stuff of heroes was in him.
On the eve of his ninth day of incarceration, and his third of torture, (or preliminaries as the torturer called it), Crys caught a break. Just a worn strap, just a door not quite shut, but suddenly he was free. Out of his cell, and realising be couldn’t just wander round, he would be too easy to spot, he made his way into the air ducts, pressing deep into the ship.