The Titan Mystery
Just them Seanna had a message come through on the intercom. It was McKinley.
“What’s your progress? Any update?” Seanna froze for a second and looked round at the team who were staring back, all of them thinking the same thing.
“The target got away commander” Seanna hated to lie to McKinley. But she could see no choice.
“Got away?” McKinley asked in disbelief.
“Yes commander. We have however found a duct that leads to a large energy source” This was the only thing she could think of to distract McKinley. She needed him off her back.
“Very well, I don’t need to tell you to proceed with caution.”
“I understand, stay put – we may need you later if we can work out what we need and where we need it”
“I’ll be ready” McKinley signed off the intercom.
Seanna turned to her team, all of them lit by their helmet lights in the dark tunnel “No one breathes a word to McKinley yet. I’ll be the one to do it, anyone who feels the need to disobey they order consider this – I’ll fry you alive if you do!” The team didn’t need much convincing and all agreed. Now Seanna turned to the dishevelled alter ego of her commander.
“I need your help to get us out of here.” Seanna was almost demanding to him.
“Why would I do that? If I help you you’ll leave me here forever.” McKinley replied. He was in no obvious mood to be helpful.
“We will somehow work something out. But if you don’t help then no one gets out of here. I need to find the energy core.” Seanna was insistent, but realising she couldn’t push him into this, he had to believe he might get away. “You can at least show me and what me get incinerated”.
McKinley raised his eye brows “Since you put it like that, how can I possibly resist” He said mockingly “This way, this ship has some useful features and is believe it or not still operation on the whole” McKinley got up and motioned for the team to follow him. Seanna led the way Darak, Jaearo and the others followed, none of them certain of what the future held.
McKinley pressed a keypad and a bulkhead door slid open, they were all greeted to a well lit room. McKinley motioned them all into a small cylindrical car that appeared to run on some kind of track. The door to the car closed and they all took a seat, there was thirteen of them in all Seanna noted there were seats for about thirty. Outside a shell closed around the car. Seanna removed her helmet. McKinley wasn’t wearing one and there seemed little point. The rest of the team followed her lead.
“Evacuating air from chamber” came the automatic voice of some computer. The voice was female, calm. “Air evacuation complete. Airlock opening” the voice continued. McKinley tapped in some commands and then sat down. The car shot forward at incredible speed into a tunnel exactly big enough to accommodate the capsule.
“This is a hyperloop” Seanna said to McKinley “on a spacecraft!”
“Yes” McKinley turned to talk to talk to her. “Much of the Titan is intact and operational. I’m not entirely sure of the task that it was intended to serve, or the mission. All I know is that there was some kind of mass evacuation under way in 2774. The Titan was built and intended to carry around a million people to a new home or destination.
“Where was this?” Seanna asked.
“I’m not sure” McKinley replied “Neither do I know if the mission succeeded, but it seems that the Titan was meant to carry them to not only a different place, but time”
At that moment with no warning the tunnel opened up to the central cavity of the Titan, it was so vast there was nothing familiar to give the view scale. It felt like the car was floating in the centre of a huge space. Seanna worked out in her mind they must be at least a kilometre from the floor with another kilometre above. The tunnel turned, taking them at incredible speed towards what seemed to be a huge glowing ball in the centre of it all, some ten kilometres away. They were covering the distance quickly, although at first there seemed to be no perceivable motion, such was the vastness of the vessel.
“Where are we going?” Seanna asked McKinley.
“Where you wanted to go. The core.” McKinley replied matter of factly “You know what they say don’t you?”
“Be careful what you ask for?” Seanna asked. McKinley said nothing, he just looked ahead as the small capsule slowed to a stop at the maintenance dock for the core.
“I last came here ten years ago Seanna” McKinley told her without looking at her. After what happened here I never came back. Like you I believed that the cycle could be broken here at the core.”
“What happened?” Seanna asked, almost whispering.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you what’s going on. You must see for yourself, only then will you understand the scale of what you’re trying to achieve.”
McKinley stood at the door to the car stepping out as the hatch opened. He stood back and motioned to Seanna to come out.
“The entrance to the core maintenance room is in front of you.”
“You’re not coming in too?” Seanna asked.
“No” McKinley replied. “I don’t need to see it all twice in a lifetime, once was more than enough”
Seanna turned to the team “stay here. Jearo, you’re in charge until I get back. If I don’t go back to Tranquillity and report back everything” Jearo nodded grimly. Seanna turned to face the door and walked steadily towards it, her heart was beating out of her chest. The door opened automatically, she jumped as it surprised her. Walking in she was met with a sight that she couldn’t comprehend at first. The door shut behind her, about fifty metres in from of here was a pile of something. Then she realised, they were suits, like the one she was wearing now. Walking closer there must have been fifty, she looked at the arm panel and froze, it was hers. Checking another, it was hers. All of them it seemed were hers. There were no bodies, but it suddenly dawned on her what might be happening.
She turned and ran out of the door, back towards the capsule. She wasn’t sure but she thought she screamed as she ran out she ran so fast she tripped and landed at McKinley’s feet. The pain in her knees was excruciating. Looking up at McKinley, she couldn’t find the words to say.
“Scary eh?” McKinley told her without a trace of emotion.
©Simon Farnell 2016
This story is part of Rachael Ritchey’s blog battle, the category is Science Fiction and the theme is:
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- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
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