This is the ninth section of the fifth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
Laurence woke up in bed with the room shaking and looked across next to him at Jane.
“Did you feel that?” asked Laurence
“Yeah, I guess we’re docking with the other ship”
“Want to go out and look?”
“Yeah be interesting to have a look.”
They both peered out of the window while getting dressed and saw the ship. There was no obvious damage, but no obvious engines either.
“What do you suppose happened?” asked Jane
“At a quick guess, lack of engines and no damage implies a malfunction in their fire monitoring system, or maybe their radiation detection so it jettisoned their engines to save the crew. Kind of serious though as normally that would be a death sentence with no hope of rescue. Alive without engines in interplanetary transfer is just as good as dead of radiation poisoning.”
“Maybe that explains the coincidence of rendezvousing with us? Maybe they realised that with a short burn of their engines they’d be able to align with us enough for us to adjust our vector to meet them.”
“Maybe, I don’t buy it though. Too much of a coincidence” Laurence said buttoning up the last of his shirt.
“Well let’s go and meet them then.” said Jane stepping out of the door.