Avon and Soolin worked rapidly, making sure to get rid of every last nut and bolt beyond the ones that were absolutely necessary. When there was nothing unnecessary left, they rushed into the pilot compartment and Avon asked Orac:
“How much more weight must we lose before we can achieve escape velocity?”
“Seventy kilos, Avon,” answered the computer.
“Only seventy kilos... Soolin, strip off the insulation material in the cargo hold.”
The girl made to the door, but Avon found an object on the panel and stopped her, handing the object to her.
“But that's plastic. It weighs nothing,” she said taking the object.
“Get rid of it anyway.”
“A kilo and a half if we're lucky.”
“Do it! We've got five minutes.”
She turned to leave, and Avon exclaimed:
“Not enough! Not nearly enough! Dammit, what weighs seventy kilos?”
He didn’t expect to get an answer, but the answer came:
“You weigh seventy-six kilos, Avon.”
Soolin had always been very quick. The only thing she’d forgotten was that they had had to get rid of their weapons earlier. If she’d had a gun, Avon wouldn’t have had a chance…
He gave her a dazzling smile. He did have a gun and, though not so quick as Soolin, he was still not the slowest shooter in the galaxy.
“How much more now, Orac?”
Avon looked around. There was nothing left. The gun, the stupid plastic object, even the insulation material had already been thrown away.
“Remaining flight time: two minutes and thirty seconds.”
Avon looked at the computer, and suddenly his expression changed. He shook his head and whispered: