5 Short Stories, linked together.
I had had enough of space travel, there was little point in trying to get to the furthest reaches of the galaxy. I knew what was there, Aliens, and they weren’t the friendly ones. They had contacted me about a month ago now, stating if we didn’t abort the mission they would find our home planet and blow it up. At first I had been shocked that contact had been made, then I resigned myself to the fate of the ship.
It was up to me to abort this mission, and I couldn’t let the others know. The best chance I had was we were closest to the Sáng Sun and the ship’s power at it’s lowest. I wandered into the engine room and disconnected the power cable, this took a little bit of trial and error as only the engineer had the password to make changes. I got it right at “Layla” her daughter, back earthside.
“Howdy Lieutenant!” I turn round slowly to see Chris come in, “Heya Chris, what brings you here?” I shuffle to the left slightly to cover my espoinge.
“Just doing the rounds, how have you been?”
“Not too bad,” I start to sweat “I really have to go,” I make my excuse and rush for the door.
The ship starts to tumble as I make it to the escape pods. I hear the alarms go off and panic break out. I cut my losses and tumble into space.
I was bored, this space mission had gone on too long. There wasn’t going to be anything in space, it was just an empty vat. I knew this when I signed up, but living in a spaceship is slightly more luxurious than living in a cell. Not that any of the other crew mates need to know I have a life sentence for murder.
I was doing my usual wonderings, first the Hospital Bay to flirt with Kelly. Today she wore a flamboyant canary yellow jumpsuit. She wore a jumpsuit everyday, there weren’t any shopping centres in the Centauri galaxy, but she could change the colour, which made an interesting topic to start with.
Next on my list was the engine room, normally Poppsie would be there, or if not somewhere in the vents, checking the wires. Instead it was the seedy Lieutenant. I greeted him and he scurried of back to the control room probably. Something about him had been off for the last month or so, and he wasn’t acting normally today either. Space does that to you sometimes.
I was about to head out of the engine room when Poppsie flies in looking troubled. She dashes up to the control board and frantically tries to correct whatever went wrong. “Chris, go to the control room immediately!” I darne’t argue with that tone and rush off. On the way I saw an escape pod leave, with the strange feeling the Lieutenant was inside.
So far today had been routine as ever, after waking up and having an instant steam shower I selected porridge and ate it on the way to the tubes. I loved the tubes, the secret tunnels which ran across the entire body of the ship. It made me feel like a medic, or antibodies keeping the ship’s blood vessels alive.
The alarm from my scanner started beeping furiously, I checked the console and saw the power cable had been disconnected! I rushed back out of the tubes and into the engine room. Panic hit and the adrenaline kicked in, Chris was standing staring at the console, I scream at him to get to the control room. I knew the ship would be finished in no more than 10mins as gravity pulled her closer to the sun, or maybe I could reboot the system before then. There was no way to risk it, Chris had to leave.
For the next 7mins I frantically tried to reboot the ship’s computer but removing the power cable messes with the entire system. It must have been sabotage, but why? Don’t the perpetrators stay at the scene of the crime, why would Chris do this? He’s a good lad, if a bit sleazy sometimes, but none the less, this is people’s lives he’s putting on the lien!
I message to the captain, there’s not much more I can do. He has evacuated the ship, but there is 1 too few escape pods, so he is staying behind. Fear creeps in, I’m stuck, I’m going to die here. I frantically try to connect a call back to earth. I see the loading light as the signal makes the distance. My daughter, I need to see her face one last time. The blinding light cuts everything to black. The ship is no more.
I enjoy the easy life in space, I know my family back at home is being paid handsomely for my efforts. They will be able to have the life and education I never had. Normally to be educated in medicine it would take years and a huge amount of money to become qualified, or you blag and forge your way through life, so that the next generation doesn’t have to.
I was sitting back enjoying the view and listening to some space tunes. A voice cut through my musings “Howdy Kelly, looking pretty fine in that yellow today.” Chris was a tease, he would do nothing but flirt, and it was the highlight of the trip. We had this strange connection that somehow we were kindred spirits. After the usual exchange of slight raunchy comments, he left and I was left to gaze back into space.
The alarm went off. The sirens were everywhere, I startled into a panic, as I had probably dozed off. I grabbed my bag, which I always took to the medic bay, and scrambled towards the escape pods. I rushed inside and the door closed behind. It wasn’t long before space was covered in white light as the ship imploded.
I stare into space, I can feel discovery nearing, there is life out here and it’s close. A light starts flashing on the control panel in front of me, this is bad. The power cables in the engine room have been cut! Poppsie will be on it soon, but there is little time to evacuate everyone in case of implosion. I rush into action, commanding people towards escape pods, there is still time.
The alarms are pounding my ears, I keep my cool and check that everyone is in the escape pods, one pod had been released early! There is not going to be enough space for everyone to leave. Poppsie messages through, asking how evacuation in going, I tell her the bad news “We are going down with the ship.” The line quickly cuts of. I sit in my captain’s chair surveying space in front of me. If the power cable was removed, it must have been sabotage, and that person must be in that lonely escape pod.
I look back over the communication log, who would have wanted to ship to go down? There are a lot of calls late at night from the Lieutenant, I play back the log. I can’t believe my ears, he was communicating with Aliens! They are real, they exist, this trip hasn’t been for nothing. Blinding white light floods the deck, and the spacecraft implodes.