“Captain, Sentry Overlook just found something.”
“What kind of something?”
The crewman’s brow furrowed, and he pursed his lips before turning around in his seat. “Sir, Sentry reports finding a stranded human in the rocky expanse west of our position.”
“Give me the report,” Jai said as he walked to the officer.
The crewman nodded and turned back around in his seat. He swept a hand across his monitor, and bright symbols collected at his fingertips. He held out his hand, the data collecting into a shining white sphere in his palm. Jai plucked the sphere from the man’s palm and closed his fist over it; small tendrils of light snaked underneath the skin of his forearm before fading. He clapped his hands together then drew them apart once more as if he were to hold an open book, and light clung to his fingertips as he did so. Data scrolled between his open hands, and he scanned the contents quickly, shaking his head in disbelief. He closed his fists, and the light disappeared.
“Tell Overlooks Two, Three and Four to carry on with their operations. Alert them that Sentry will be returning to The Vigil. I’ll deal with this,” he told the crewman, who nodded and went back to his work. “Atlas, I need you for a moment. Giz, take care of things for me,” he called across the bridge.
Gizbourne gave him a thumbs up, and an orange light appeared at Jai’s shoulder as he turned toward the doors exiting the bridge. He swept past other crewmen in the halls, who mumbled greetings of “Captain.” He made his way through the labyrinth of corridors before coming to the Main Access Hallway. The access way was wide enough to fit nearly twenty-five men abreast and ran the entire length of the ship, providing enough room for the multitudes of traffic that it received. Even with the four rovers out on patrol, each needing at least thirty crewmen and a few hundred tons of cargo to operate, the main access was still difficult to navigate due to the sheer volume of people and tech still traversing its length.
“Atlas, I want you to keep me updated on Sentry’s progress,” he told the orange moth on his shoulder.
“Sentry Overlook is now en route to The Vigil’s cargo hold with the discovered human safely aboard. The rover will be docked within five minutes. Sentry’s medical team has conducted a full report on the man, but they found no anomalies or anything alarming concerning his health. Though understandably a little rattled, he seems to be perfectly healthy, but...” the moth’s sentence trailed off.
“What is it?” Jai asked, pushing past a group hauling cargo down the hall. “Do you not agree with their reports?”
“I never trust any process that I haven’t run,” Atlas said curtly. “With your permission, I’d like to run my own medical reports in addition to the ones that Sentry has already made. The rover is within distance of my routers; I could begin now and be done by the time they dock.”
“No,” Jai said firmly. “I want to see what you’re doing when you’re doing it.”
“I could bring it up on your neural interface--”
“I said no, Atlas. It’s not that I don’t trust you. You’re basically The Reticent Vigil itself; how could I not trust my own ship? No,” he continued, his eyes narrowing, “it’s this man that I don’t trust.”
Jai moved down an adjoining corridor on the left of the Main Access Hallway. This hall, one of the many routes that wound down to the cargo hold, was nearly void of people, and he quickened his pace to a jog.
“Uh oh,” he heard the moth mumble.
Jai groaned. “What now? Please tell me he hasn’t begun to wreck the rover. Those things are expensive.”
“No, he’s apparently being quite compliant, save for he refuses to talk to anyone aside from one person.”
“Which person is that?”