This is part seven of the Anton deGama story, Black Ice. Anton's crawler is sliding towards a deep trench on Titan. Anton's effort to evade inevitable doom involved detonating a methane explosion against a giant tumbling boulder of ice...
The impact almost flung Anton off the crawlway: his fingers were agony as he fought to hang on. The laser went spinning away into oblivion. The blast tore at the ammonia boulder, flinging even its great mass a few metres sideways, directly into the path of the crawler. Liquid ammonia poured out of the fire onto the slithering ice, refreezing again almost immediately.
Anton watched, his eyes fixed upon the gigantic rock in the crawler's path, waiting for it to grind its bulk through the momentarily liquid ice onto the solid ground below, and bring the slide to a halt.
As the oxygen was consumed, the ravening fires dropped. The crawler was only a metre or two from the boulder. The gigantic block of ice was moving more slowly, and the crawler crunched against it with an unnerving clang, audible even through the thin atmosphere.
But the boulder had not stopped. Anton shivered in dismay – his plan hadn't worked. The boulder and the crawler were still sliding – and the drop-off was only twenty metres away.
Oops. Looks like Anton's done for.
As always, comments welcomed!