It gradually dawned upon him that the hazy light he had accepted as being a nebula must be something closer. He watched for it, and discovered after a few moments that it was growing brighter. It continued to do so for half an hour.
"It might be another ship!" he breathed, then he began to shout, "Mayday! Mayday!" over his radio.
He kept it up for nearly a quarter of an hour, even after the outline was definitely recognizable as a rocket. He found himself drifting across its course near the bow. It was hard to estimate the distance, but he guessed it to be something like a hundred yards.
Drifting? he asked himself. It should be going past me like a shooting star! Unless they took exactly the same curve from Centauri VII--
Then he could read the numbers he feared to see. AC7-4-525. His own ship.
He had gone out of the air lock mainly on a puff of air, with some fumb