The thing about epsilon crystal forcefields is that you can’t touch them with your hand, at least not unless you want to lose all use of it, but there’s nothing to stop you breaching them with an inanimate object. That’s why they’re both brilliant and pointless.
I pulled myself down through the air until I was level with the console. I stared through the blue and pink rippling pearlescent dome and fixed my eyes on the sandwich. It was my third voyage past the asteroid belt and nearly a year since I’d bitten through real spongy bread, soft cheese and crisp lettuce and onions. It might not have been mine, but I was the most brilliant cosmonomics engineer in the whole of United Alliance. There was no way a simple forcefield was going to stop me. I took a wrench from my tool belt and flicked it up, leaving it to spin end over end in the air in front of me. Then I pulled my oil rag from my pocket and spread it over my hand.
I caught one end of the wrench in the middle of my rag and spun it quickly, wrapping the rag around it. This was too easy. Pressing the cushioned wrench to the surface of the console, I drew it back from the forcefield and then gently forward again in a straight line. Then I drew it back once more and lined it up straight. In a flash I shot it forward as hard as I could, a tribute to the old snooker players of classical history. I let go of it at the last second and left it to sail through, into the middle of the forcefield.
The wrench collided with the weightless sandwich and carried it through with the momentum. My wrench was still half in the dome. There was no way I’d be touching that. But the sandwich had been pushed clear. A prize for my sheer genius knowledge of epsilon crystal technology.
I picked it up in both hands, my fingertips tingling in anticipation of the taste. Then I raised the sandwich to my mouth, salivating already.
“What are you doing?” asked Micky, hovering at the gravity door metres over my head.
I looked up, still chewing, trying to think of a reply before I swallowed my delicious prize.
“Wash dish yursh?” I slurred. I looked back down at the sandwich in my hands. My fingers were pale blue already. And then my whole lower jaw began to go numb.