The rescue beacon flashed yellow from one side of the cockpit, but it wouldn't do any good. No one would hear it, at least not until the sole occupant, Michael Ray Olmstead, was long dead.
He kicked it. It still flashed, the main and backup power mains were still dead, and now his foot hurt. Well, at least that was an improvement.
With nothing better to do, he started taking inventory. There were three suits in the spacesuit locker, each with a full load of air -- about four hours each. Food and water wouldn't be a problem, but he didn't know how long the air in the shuttle would last. A day? Two? Perhaps only hours. He wasn't quite sure.
He went back to fiddling on the electrical system. The panels were already popped, lying on the cabin floor. But the answer was the same -- circuits fried, generators blown. Nothing to be done about it. He idly wondered if he could jury-rig the engine to explode.
Fuck it, he though. Might as well get something to eat.
Michael blinked at the sudden dimness. It took a moment for him to regain his bearings when the guard removed the headjack. His meal still sat in front of him, barely touched.
"All right, Mr. Olmstead," the guard said. "Time's up."
Michael didn't resist at all as the guard stood him up and put on his chains. Wrists behind his back, then ankles. The other guard carelessly tossed the deck in its box, already addressed to his sister in Reno. Then they led him out of his cell, and down the corridor.
"Dead man walking," the guard called out.
[ Word (仕様がない) suggested by lyte13. ]
[ 仕様がない (shou ga nai, usually written in kana as しょうがない) literally means "there's no way" in Japanese. Used in conversation, however, it means "it can't be helped" or "nothing can be done." It's not a word, technically, but a phrase, but since Japanese writing doesn't use spaces to seperate words, that distinction tends to be a bit on the fuzzy side, and even when writing in romaji (i.e., using the western or "roman" characters), native Japanese speakers tend to use spaces to divide words fairly randomly. ]