The premature explosion of a rocket harpoon fatally damages the spaceship Starbuck III, a whaling vessel dedicated to hunting the giant space whales Balaenoptera Tregannae. But was the explosion an accident or sabotage?
One of the few survivors is Billy Baddoff, crewman second class. Only the luck of a low cabin number saved him from certain death in the vacuum of space.
Hunting space whales is highly controversial, even though the giant beasts show no signs of intelligence and endanger human space colonies with their relentless appetite for rocks. But though he considers the creatures dangerous pests, Billy had no political motive for signing on aboard the Starbuck III. He only needed a job. Though having his ship blown up underneath him may just harden Billy's views, provided he makes it off the rapidly failing vessel first...
This is a short story of 4200 words.