Flames in a space habitat are horribly dangerous, but only when there's oxygen. Energy surges from high-powered systems seem common in the movies, but only when there's power. A thoroughly wrecked ship is probably past these.
Despite Star Trek
, space battles don't tend to result in contusions and torn uniforms. You might get a few smudges on your spacesuit, be asphyxiated or be vapourised. If your ship wins, you could be extremely fortunate to be the one person in your work area who survives, minus limbs, eyes or lungs. The dead in a derelict, likewise, might either be intact, floating in clumps where they ran out of air, or greasy soot on melted deck plates.
Which reminds me of a couple of things - There will be a lot more battle-ruined starships, comparatively, to explore than we might be used to. Starships and starship power systems don't randomly explode when damaged - why would someone build a starship that way? PL 3 to 5 warcraft often explode, because they're full of chemical explosives, and so much more so, PL 5 surface-to-orbit spacecraft. An ion drive or a laser battery has no similar contents. As I've mentioned elsewhere, if you crack open a fusion reactor, the first thing that happens is that the fusion reaction stops and the second is that a few atoms of hydrogen drift away. We don't know exactly how duodecim behaves, but it stands to reason that it's even harder to get it to react energetically (otherwise we'd already see it doing so).
Nuclear fission reactors also don't go bang, but do
melt and spew horrible radiation around, so it's fortunate that in Alternity standard assumptions nobody has used them
Wrecked watercraft sink into a medium that humans can't easily see through, that standard vessels can't easily travel or work in, and that corrodes and breaks apart remains. None of this is true of vacuum.
On the other hand, gravity pulls space debris into far more destructive reactions, eventually. This post has been edited by uncle_jimbo on Nov 7 2017, 07:08