system restartMature

A sci fi about a space ship pilot and her brother as they discover The Project, a mission to seed new planets for earth, is not all it seems.

System failure

Error code 184

Suggest system purge and full restart...

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System restarting

Full functionality restored...

Engines... 70% capacity

Acceleration... 24% to target magnitude

 Life systems... operational

Crew... 100% viable serial codes P13... E16 operational

Cargo... 80% secure... 10% error code 487... 10% error code 001

ETA...  2:11:03

Trajectory... on course

 Time since Earth Beacon contact... 0:00:01

 

“P13 protocol dictates that after system restart all P class crew must return to viable mode” Hanna rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh, the VI was frustratingly bound by protocol, it’d been telling her to return to the hibernation pods for the last few hours. She’d given up trying to explain to the VI that she had merely been relaying the system restart report back to the earth beacon and The Project commanders. The VI was also ignoring the fact that she’d awoken the chief engineer, John or E16, to survey and repair, the damage to the cargo arm. That reminded her he should have reached the arm by now. She tapped the intercom screen and the hologram moved to centre field on her control panel, which surrounded her, feeding constant information about the ship. From here she could issue commands to any of the systems aboard the ship, the feeling always made her giddy. The Valency was one of the largest ships on the project to date, a massive cargo vessel, five and a half kilometres in length, with a crew of ninety one and a turning circle twice the diameter of earth, she was sluggish, unresponsive and a one of the greatest feats of human engineering to date. The astronomical costs of the vessel were in the double billions, but this was nothing compared to the value of the cargo she was carrying. She was carrying the future.

The screen fuzzed into life and she was confronted by a close up image of John Larson’s face. Her mouth twitched into a slight smile at the sight of the warm pop marked face that she remembered from the month of ship tests, when she and John had spent night after night calibrating the engines or power couplings to increase efficiency.  

“John, how does it look?”

“I’m looking at the units now,” John rasped, his Texan, cigarette ravaged, voice was somehow reassuring to Hanna “It’s as the VI reported, the shield array on the 3rd cargo arm failed, we’ve lost the outer arm to some kind of impact, but the inner arm is salvageable, I don’t think I’ll need my team but we’re going to have to bring out one of the spare shield arrays.”

“Acknowledged, VI please release backup units to E16” She didn’t need to ask the VI, she would have just tapped up the command herself, but she felt it was important to make the VI feel useful, even if it did lack feelings.

“Units released” it answered instantaneously in its patched together, Swedish accented, voice. There was much debate among the crew as to why the VI had a Swedish accent, but when they enquired the VI was only able to respond that the accent proved most effective.

“Ok John they’re en route, if you don’t need anything I’ll be returning to hibernation”

“No, I’ll see you in three years”

Hanna smiled and set the VI to full automation and unbuckled herself from the main pilot’s seat. The holographic displays and screens powered down, leaving her to navigate the gloomy bridge by the gentle orange glow of the standby lights. As she glided towards the captain’s chair, she decided to have a little fun. Grasping the chair, she angled herself so she was facing the double doors, her knees curled up below her. She ginned and pushed, flying towards the double doors she spun herself into a forward role, giggling as she did so. The doors hissed open, and she tumbled through, using the handrails to slow her sickening spin. She floated herself towards the hibernation deck, the sterile white lights shutting off behind her as she went.

Unlike the rest of the ship, the hibernation units had artificial gravity during travel. So Hanna was walking again. She removed her jumpsuit, and put it in her quarters before slipping into the hibernation suit, making sure the heating tubes were all functioning. She took a moment to examine herself in the mirror. She was a short five foot two, and had short mousy brown hair, which was tied back in a high pony tail. Her green eyes, shimmered slightly as the light caught her HUD implants; even now she was seeing status reports from throughout the ship. Her skin was fair and pale, though she had a few freckles spattering her forearms and face. She glowered at her figure, she needed more exercise. Sighing she turned off the lights and clambered into her hibernation pod, in-between the sleep glowering captain, Vicky, and her sweet faced brother Adam, a condition of her work on the project.

She kissed the glass on Adam’s pod and pulled her respirator on and braced herself as the needles pushed into her back. She was out like a light and didn’t notice her breath rate slowing, her blood flow turning to a trickle as the nanobots took over the job of her blood, providing for her body while it slept. Nor did she notice the water filling the pod, to assist in defending her against any neutron blasts.

She didn’t dream, you never dream in hibernation.

The End

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