Marcus listened to the A.I's chattering for a few minutes, before he cracked his neck to the side and rose to his feet placing his hands on the table as he did so.
"right well I'm gonna go get started on fixing those carbon scrubbers, Codex, could you give me the location of any functional replacement parts and the location of the carbon scrubbers in the most dire need of repairs?" Marcus asked already heading in the general direction of secondary cargo storage.
Johann nodded. "We're going to go see what's in Torellis room. Do you have a gun?" He asked, drawing his own and checking the ammunition. Three bullets.
"We're going to go see what's in Torellis room. Do you have a gun?
"Hey, I'll join you later, I just need to get something, I'll meet you there." David said before he left the room and went for the Arcade.
"We're going to go see what's in Torellis room. Do you have a gun?"
"Ooo that. Sounds exciting. I can't say I'm the best with a gun though, I'm only a musician. I got the training like everyone else but don't count on me for accurate shooting," Ace said, revealing his gun from his clarinet case. He checked how much ammo he had and saw that he had a full magazine left. He searched for the safety and after a brief investigation, he found it and turned it on. He wasn't good with a gun but he wasn't an idiot. He wasn't going to risk shooting himself or the others.
Maybe it really is an alien. Ace was getting excited. An alien on board! He could forgive the ship for being hit if he got to see one in person. While it wasn't something Ace heavily thought about he still had it on the back of his mind. He never really thought he would live to see the day extra-terrestrial life was discovered but now that was going to change. Hell, meeting one in person was even more incredible.
It better be interesting, I don't want to raise my hopes for jackshit.
The RCRS is currently non-functional, Marcus." The AI replied. "Lithium Hydroxide for the backup Carbon-Scrubbers are located in Auxiliary Engineering, should they be needed. Additionally, so is the Sorbent materials required to repair the RCRS. Electrical damage indicated that the heater required to replenish the RCRS is non functioning. Please Wait... scanning... My checks indicate the Carbon Scrubbers have no power. The part of the ship containing some of Life Support's systems have lost power. Please deactivate the Carbon Scrubbers, replace the Sorbent Materials, Restore Power to the RCRS, and re-enable the RCRS."
The AI paused for a moment. "The entire atmosphere levels for the ship is at roughly 68% above safe levels, with 0.2% Carbon Dioxide. In order to restore lost atmosphere, mooring required."
David soon reached the Arcade and went to the old Silent Scope Machine.
He checked for witnesses, not like it mattered now but still, before doing behind and removing a panel, revealing a Large Case.
He took it out and opened it: "Ahhh there you are..."
As he picked up his Mosin-Nagant, he felt a tad bit better about this whole mess.
He bought it with him as he went for Torellis room to find out whatever was there.
Please don't be Aliens, Please don't be Aliens, Please don't be Aliens
Jake walked briskly to his room, it was a fairly standard affair, although he had to take a few detours but Codex's map got him there fairly quick.
Jake walked in, letting the door slide shut behind. He sat down at his cherry desk and pulled out some files from his desk, placing them on the counter-top. He almost shut the drawer but stopped, pulling out a glass and a bottle of bourbon, pouring himself a modest two fingers. Unlocking a different drawer,
He opened up the files and his glasses began to scan the words on each page, saving them to Jake's HUD system for on the fly access. They were basic files that gave insight into crew members on the ship, Jake didn't read them now but he allowed ones he felt useful to be saved into his HUD system. He brought the bourbon to his nose and inhaled before sipping, fully experiencing the drink. He sat back into his chair.
I have everything I need now, what else is there to do?
Jake eyed the bourbon, considering drinking more.
"I have received the command; however, I am having difficulty accessing the relevant personality data for Fabrication. I will attempt to replace the pipes to the best of my ability. However, I must leave the re-purposing of non-functional hardware to you, or allow you to assess a component's usefulness before I am able to break it down. I cannot take anything apart that could be vital to your survival.
"Thank you" He replied, making his way as best he could towards the airlock. Bringing up the ships schematics on his HUD, he began to marking bulkheads in the Planetary Assault Bay. "Codex I've marked several partitions, and minor bulkheads in the Marine Barracks. They are non-structural components and will not compromise the overall safety of the vessel. Please use them as necessary to patch or re-enforce the combat damage."
Once he was inside the airlock proper Eli donned a maintenance EVA suit, similar in appearance to Marcus', before depressurizing. With the airlock lights red, activated the magnetic pads in his boots and opened the exterior hatch. "Wow..." He whispered, looking out into the void. The vast blackness of space was spread before him, punctuated by pin pricks of light...anyone of which may be home. "Snap out of it man, you got a job to do." He muttered, taking a step on to the hull itself.
Clumpping his way over the battle scarred skin, Eli found himself in front of the Nav. Array in short order. Accessing the interior of the array, he dove into the work, cutting away damage, and splicing in new pathways as he went. Fortunately the attacks seemed to have been concentrated of the offensive and defensive weapons so the damage here was comparatively minimal.
As David walked down the halls, things seemed to get darker. As he walked past someone who was impaled by structure damage, he would slip on a little blood as the lights were out in some of the personnel halls. With only the occasional flickering light to light the way... He would find Torelli's room. Faint scratching could be heard on the other side. What does he do? Open it? Guns blazing? Behind David, a monitor flickered on, displaying the AI's avatar. She was watching? Or... Just, you know... Waiting for input.
As Eli walked along the hull of the dark ship, watching the small specs of light. He noticed something about the Nav array... The external system was awfully bright along the top of it. If he were to take a few more steps beyond the Nav Array... He would see it...
Two, bright white balls of fire. One significantly smaller than the other were more than likely orbiting eachother in this well lit solar system. In the distance was actually a planet... The barely noticeable black sphere had a white and yellow crescent to it, but something that was even more strange was that this crescent had a tiny break in it. A black line that was cut most of the way. It was impossible to see this far away...
Iskierka made her way toward the drop bays, decked out in an anti-radiation suit. The bulky device was heavy and inflexible, but it provided protection earning it the title of "necessary evil." With her she brought a pair of maintenance drones taken from the robotics lab.
She knew she should have asked one of the others to aid her - buddy system and all - but she chose to ignore that better judgement, aiming to accomplish more of the needed tasks and to honestly be alone for a while. she needed time to consider the ramifications of potentially spending the rest of her life on a badly damaged ship in the middle of nowhere space. Worse, being on that ship with the brother of the man who had ruined her life.
Her logical side of course realized the two were completely different people, and Eli deserved as much respect as anyone else, but her emotional side would never surrender so easily. Her logical side insisted he was one of the most valuable crew members they had, even before the event that had so drastically changed their circumstances, but her emotional side countered with graphic images of pushing his brother out an airlock. In the end, her two sides came to an uneasy truce and chose to avoid the man for however long possible.
While her thoughts wandered, the robots stripped one of the pods of the needed materials - a pair of air pumps, a large air tank, a mini-reactor, a shielding system, and the precious-precious lead that lined the pods.
"Ok...It'll be a Cat, It'll be a Cat...Please be a Cat, I hope you're a Cat..." David said as he felt like he was in a cheap horror movie. Fear of Aliens in Effect
After a few jump scares like the Impaled Body, he reached Torelli's room and saw the monitor with A.I. Avatar.
"Codex: Redo the Live-form Scan and suggest action..."
Johann drew up behind David, and cocked his pistol. "Has the Ai completed the scan yet?" He asked, suddenly.
David reacted in a second, turning and aiming straight at Johann.
After seeing who it was, he lowered his weapon.
"Jesus! You always sneak up on people like that?!"
"Unfortunately, I am only able to follow you by tracking your ID badge throughout the ship, David." The AI responded. "Scanners in this area are severely damaged. I am detecting a heat signature near the door."
More, and more scratching sounds on the door. skirrshk, skirrshk, skirrshk, skirrshk.
David took a deep breath and aimed his Revolver at the door.
"It's just a cat, it's just a cat..."
He hit the open button and tried to stop his hands from shaking.
"YOU'RE A CAT!" He screamed to himself for no reason as he readied himself for what was ahead.
"Aaand...done." He mumbled to himself, locking the last component in place. Checking the repairs from his diagnostic pad, he grimaced. "Hey Codex." He called. "The Nav. Array is fixed, but I'm only showing it running at 62% capacity. I think that's the best we're gonna get unless you can try something from your end." Eli knew what they really needed was a whole new array, but since that wasn't going to happen they'd have to work with what they had.
With everything there as fixed as it was going to get, Eli took a moment for himself. When construction of Aurora had begun, he and the rest of the design team had been given basic EVA training so they could move about the ship well before she was all closed in. At the time he'd seen it as a waste of time, time that could have been better spent on his ship, but now he was glad they'd made him do it.
Starring out into the vastness, he actually felt a bit calmer after the rush of what had been happening over the past few hours. Turning to go back in he noticed something...the top of the array's antenna was lit up like somebody was shinning a spot lamp at it. "No way..." Stepping past the array, Eli crested the curvature of the hull, his suits optics adjusting for the unfiltered light from the binary stars. Checking his HUD he saw he still had about 60% of his air...plenty of time.
"Umm hey all." He called. "If you're not too busy get to a display panel if you can. You'll want to see this." With that he began sending his helmet feed shipwide.
Ace crept up behind David and Johann. He wasn't sure what he was feeling. Was it fear? Excitement? He didn't know. All he knew was that he had to know what was behind that door. He almost didn't care if he didn't make it out. Why? It was only an animal. Why did he suddenly want to see it? Was he really that desperate to keep his mind off his luck? Or was his curiosity genuine? It was like a student being fascinated by something that would otherwise bore him while he studied. Was it? He wasn't sure.
His grip on the gun tightened, finger on the trigger. He didn't know why he had it out. He was probably going to hit David or Johann if he fired. What the fuck is behind that door?
Shortly after David opened the door the creature would move to give him a head-butt to his shin, and then rub it's body along his leg.
Yep. Cat. A big one too. "Mrrow~" it mewed after being freed. The chatty feline would look up to Johann and let out another "mrhh-hrp!" as it started to wander away, but then change it's mind to go for another head-butt and rub against David's leg. It had mostly black and dark brown fur, with the exception of it's fur around it's nose, mouth, and paws.
Torelli's room was vacant. The standard, small room given to most crew. Bunk, locker, desk with light, and a spot to put up a poster. "Cthulhu For Shits!" was written in bold on the poster, showing off the dark god in it's glory. Near the foot of them bed were two small dishes on a mat that read "TOBY." One of the bowls were empty, the other had water for the cat. On Torelli's desk was his PDA.
The AI would respond to Eli. Unfortunately, I am unable to access the information required to make adjustments. I am attempting to boost the signal. I am able to increase Navigation's Array to 71%, but this is below the required amount to allow me to make decisions for myself."
Iskierka finished jury-rigging her radiation sponge. The device was far from perfect, but it would suffice. She had mounted the device to one of the drones for easy mobility. The device would pull in air, chemically bond the radioactive particles with filter, and encase the radioactive material in more lead than she could lift. Already she was taking the device to the nearest radiation leak to begin repairs.
That was when she received the message from Eli. "Umm hey all. If you're not too busy get to a display panel if you can. You'll want to see this." he said through the HUD. Shrugging, she made her way to the nearest screen and did just that.
The image she saw was unbelievable. When Codex told them they were in another star-system, she hadn't really believed her. She had just assumed most of the sensor systems were damaged and they were somewhere around Jupiter or Saturn, floating helplessly. The image of the binary stars changed everything. To her best knowledge, The nearest binary star system to earth was roughly 4.4 light years away. It was simultaneously jaw-droppingly beautiful and terrifying. It meant they were seeing something no one else had ever seen or likely ever would and just how far from their homes they were. She stared at it for the better part of a minute before she realized the other item of interest - a planet.
The planet was hard to make out, but most strikingly it was blue and green and white. Almost earth like. It was impossible. She had to confirm it.
"Eli... is that planet... is it..." she tried to gather her words but they refused to come. Iskierka was crying; a mixture of sorrow at being so far from home, from the joy of seeing something so incredible, from her fears and hopes. She left the comm-link channel open, unable to truly comprehend the world around her. After a few minutes of her emotion pouring over, she regained her senses and asked her question. "is it... habitable?"
"Jesus it's just like aliens...," Ace said, lowering his weapon and putting it back into his case. He had hoped it would be something more exciting but instead he got an anti-climatic cat. He was disappointed but another part of him was happy. The survivors didn't need more obstacles to stop them from getting off the ship. He was going to go back to the Mess Hall when he heard what seemed to be Dr.Capek.
"Umm hey all. If you're not too busy get to a display panel if you can. You'll want to see this."
Ace went to the nearest display panel as the Dr. suggested and saw something extraordinary. What it was he didn't know but Ace made no attempt to find out. He only knew one thing.
They were beautiful, absolutely beautiful. It didn't matter what they were because they were simply breath-taking.
Marcus's Music was blaring at full volume, a classical song called 'Mr. Blue sky' by Electric light orchestra, the song was happy, almost to a ridiculous degree and right now he needed that more than ever.
"Alright that should do it, not the ideal amount of repairs but whatever I'm an engineer not Jesus and at least the atmospheric levels will be stable" Marcus let out a sigh of relief as he finished replacing the last component on the final Carbon scrubber, he was just about to head back to the mess hall when the P.A system interrupted his music.
"Umm hey all. If you're not too busy get to a display panel if you can. You'll want to see this."
Marcus found his way to the nearest display panel for lack of anything better to do and immediately he was glad he did. They were planets, he could tell that much, they were actual planets, his face broke out into a huge smile as he let out a loud cheer as he started running towards the engine room desperate to get this ship moving again.
David relaxed then kicked the desk in anger, he was this close from shitting himself.
He Holstered his gun and checked the room, deciding to bring the PDA with him.
He opened it up to see what was on it.
Jake activated the display panel at his desk after Eli had suggested they do so. Two suns and a black planet, it may have just been the angle, it looked like the dark side because the edge was visible. A bright white and yellow crescent with an incredible crack running through it,
Jake wasn't happy, this situation kept looking more and more long term and while he wasn't sure what the others left behind, he certainly knew he couldn't live the rest of his life without returning to what...to who he left behind.
"Well. frankly, I am dissapointed," Johann said, holstering his pistol. He turned, noticing Ace staring at the panel. He peered over the man's shoulder, and saw the planet. He raised an eyebrow. "I sincerly hope we're not considering landing there, are we?" He spoke into his comm.
"Unfortunately, I am unable to access the information required to make adjustments. I am attempting to boost the signal. I am able to increase Navigation's Array to 71%, but this is below the required amount to allow me to make decisions for myself."
"Well I guess that's the best we're gonna get then..." Eli replied, still looking at the rather amazing sight before him. Making his way, he waited until he was back inside and out of his suit before posing a question to the others. "I'm sure the rest of you saw what looked like a structure over there so I ask, do we try and make contact? Personally I say yes, if someone's there and they happen to be friendly then maybe, just maybe we'll see Earth again. If they're not...well we're fucked either way."
Eli stopped walking for a moment, and leant against the wall. The stress induced adrenalin was starting to wear off and he was feeling very tired. Awkwardly slumping to the floor, he closed his eyes. "Codex, how's our fuel reserves? Do we have enough for a sub-light burn towards the planet?"
A warning from the AI was voiced over the speakers. "Caution: I have temporary disabled the Shield System, so that the reactors can run at 60% capacity. This action was taken to ensure the safety of a fellow crew-member."
Once the repairs were completed, the AI's monitor flickered near Marcus. "Scans indicate that the Carbon Scrubbers are in full working condition. I will closely monitor the RCRS to ensure that no further problems occur with the system. I have disabled the backup systems, as Carbon Dioxide is below optimal levels. This should restore itself over the course of a day or two."
"Good work." She added with a smile. Her avatar would disappear, but be replaced with the word CODEX. She appeared to like that name.
As David checked out Torelli's PDA, he'd find a few things.
(You posted around the same time as me... So I'm quoting to grab thine attention! :O)
The AI, Codex flickered on the nearest monitor to Eli. "My Scans indicate that we are extremely close to the unknown planet. We do have enough fuel, but we may expend approximately 1% in order to avoid appearing hostile, as well as to avoid the anomaly between the mooring point, and us." Codex replied.
"Sheez this guy liked his cat..." David said as he lobbed the PDA back on the guy's desk.
"Hey if guys want a pet, be my guess, I just not a pet person..." He said as he headed back for the mess hall.
David leaned against the wall of the hallway, fishing his packet of pills from his pocket. He was having to take these more and more frequently, and he sincerly hoped they had more in the ships Medical Ward. For everyones sake.
David was currently studying the Torelli's room, and Ace was staring at the picture on the moniter, neither of which was helping them in the curretn situation. "Shall we proceed to the mess hall, then? I don't see much point in waiting around here..."
Ace snapped out of his gaze. The picture had almost put him in a hypnotic trance, not letting him look away from the beautiful sight. He was saddened that he had to leave but he knew that he would see them again. "Erm sorry, my bad. Let's go," he said, turning off the monitor and waiting for them to lead the way again.
Once back at the Mess Hall with the others, David asked the A.I "Codex: The Date and Time, Please?..."
"My Scans indicate that we are extremely close to the unknown planet. We do have enough fuel, but we may expend approximately 1% in order to avoid appearing hostile, as well as to avoid the anomaly between the mooring point, and us."
"Thank you Codex." Eli replied from his position on the floor. After a few minutes (and possibly a short nap), he pulled himself to his feet. "Codex, what can you tell my about this anomaly? Also, please start broadcasting a distress call on all channels." He realized the others might get mad at him for making such a decision without consultation, but fuck it. It's not like we're in much of a position to even defend ourselves right now.
The feline would follow the group, Rubbing along Ace's leg as he snapped out of his gaze. "meyerp..." It mewed, looking at the group as they walked away. (Johann and Ace, you can leave the kitty, or go back to help him... Up to you.)
As David returned to the Mess Hall, the AI attention focused on him. After his inquiry, she would respond with "The Current Time is the Year 2201, January 23rd, the 19th hour, 3rd minute and 17 seconds. The mission started on the Year 2201, January 22nd, the 6th hour, and 53rd minute."
A monitor flickered near Eli. She paused for a moment, but the AI would respond. "My scanners appear to be damaged, but I will provide a detailed analysis. There appears to be a large amount of organic life in the anomaly, along with large amounts of Cobalt, Molybdenum, and Titanium. The anomaly is extremely difficult to track, but appears to be on a course in our general direction. The anomaly is creating, and appears to be responding to Analog Signals, as well as a single Digital Channel. I am unable to decrypt, nor do I have a Codec capable of reading the Digital Channel. I am attempting to Capture and record the analog signals, but It is extremely difficult to capture a length of information in proper condition."
Codex, the AI paused for a moment. "I will attempt evasive maneuvers, but my steering is crippled. I imagine it will take most of a day for us to reach the station with the maximum fuel conservation. I will also begin broadcasting a Save Our Souls."
Iskierka received an objective through her HUDGEAR. A small bit of text showed in the lower corner of her glasses. If she could see it, or if it was functioning, she would see the following text.
Please complete your task quickly. I am lowering the power output of the reactor so that you do not get a blast of radiation. I detect 7 cracks in the reactor, 2 cooling cells that require replacement, and one SUC cooling chamber that requires manual activation.
"I guess I am obligated to take care of this now," Ace said, picking up the cat. Although he wasn't a fan of pets, he welcomed any chance to keep his mind off surviving. This cat would make him focus on it and it only. "What should we call it Johann?" he asked, stroking the cat while he walked.
"Please complete your task quickly. I am lowering the power output of the reactor so that you do not get a blast of radiation. I detect 7 cracks in the reactor, 2 cooling cells that require replacement, and one SUC cooling chamber that requires manual activation.
The message appeared on her HUD, dragging her out of her thoughts. All her questions could wait, she had a job to do. She responded "Roger that, repairs in progress." then proceeded into the reactor room, maintenance drones at the ready.
As the door opened, a wave of heat burst forth from the leaking reactor. It was well within the tolerance of her radiation-suit, but even so the rise in temperature made her sweat. Drones in tow, she went to the first breech - located on the control rod access panel. The crack was about six inches long and an inch across at the widest and apparently caused an impact with some unseen piece of debris. It was a relatively easy fix, but time consuming. Taking a few minutes to check the other cracks, she confirmed they were similarly dimensioned.
With a sigh, she got to work replacing the damaged components.
The better part of an hour later, The cracks were repaired and the cooling cells were replaced - thanks primarily to the drones. After stowing the systems, she went to the nearest SUC panel and booted the system. A few commands in the HUD and she had connected to the ship.
"Codex: I have finished repairs. Can you fun a system's check on the reactor before I reactivate the SUC?" she asked. A few seconds later, after staring at the bewildering number of commands on the cooling system, she made an addendum "Also, how do I reactivate the SUC?"