The Soyuz had barely cleared the gantry when an instrument panel sheared its screws and slammed down on my face.
I didn’t even see it. My helmet was busted instantly, and so was my nose.
I hung in my straps, my head turned up at an unnatural angle, my face obscured by blood and bits of glass, shaking loose-limbed in the vibration. Even if acceleration were pushing metal shards into my throat, I was beyond help.
It meant I missed the surprise they had waiting for me on the ISS, and which they’d managed to keep secret all through my training and prep. Or rather, the accident delayed it. I was still suitably surprised when I opened my unbandaged eye and found it staring straight into those of Joanne, the one girl in all the world I’d been happy to leave behind on Earth.
Tessellation Row is a standalone thriller about love, hatred and subatomic particles. Despite the title, don’t expect a comedy. There is humor here, but it’s black as space.
28,000 words : 106 pages