McKinley looked on through the tunnel as their little hyperloop car sped through the vastness of the spacecraft. As he was thinking about this he thought it curious that a ship this size was built almost completely empty. What was it’s purpose? Why was it here? There would have to have been crew and many other people as it seemed to have been designed to carry them. But what was this ship about? What was going on here?
At that point Seanna came to McKinley’s side. “They’re awake – They’re getting ready. What are you thinking about?”
“Why would you make a spacecraft this size and yet almost completely hollow?”
“I dont know” Seanna replied “To carry something?”
“With no way in or for any single object that would take up the space?”
Seanna shrugged “I don’t know then. Perhaps lots of smaller objects?”
“Perhaps” McKinley half heartedly agreed But I’m not sure it’s like that. What about the hybernation chambers with us in there? There’s something we’re missing here and we need to find it out”
“I’m also sick of being on the back foot so far, I want to get on top of this and stop being just reacting to what’s going on.”
Again Seanna nodded “I wish I knew how sir.”
“As do I Seanna” McKinley looked on as they approached the docking tunnel at huge speed. In seconds they were envolped in the dark tube, lights flashing by at an incredible pace, the slowing, slowing as the car slowed to a stop.
“Where in God’s name are we?” McKinley asked, no one answered. The room where the car had stopped was far more open and much bigger than the other two tranfer bays. The space outside was clearly visible with a set of wide stairs leading up to another, darker level.
Jearo maneouvered up to McKinley with her instrument. “No life signs or movement on this level, there are five in the level above, but the they seem to be in some kind of low energy state.”
“Hibernating?” McKinley asked
“Possibly” Jearo replied.
McKinley looked across at Seanna, she shrugged. Picking up her rifle she armed it “Only one way to find out eh?”
McKinley nodded, “Stay with me Jearo” he asked ” I want your instrumentation close! The rest of you arm up, be careful and don’t take any risks. But we also need to find out how to get us all away from here so don’t get pulse happy!”
McKinley opened the door to the carrier and stepped out, Jearo and Seanna close behind. Blake following them. In a few moments they were all out, McKinley and Seanna motioned for them to split up and check the area. McKinley walked slowly toward the panoramic view of the space outside. Jearo followed him close to his side, he looked around and in a few moments he saw a bright shape in the dark – The Tycho. He was starting to wonder if all of this was an illusion, it still might be but at least seeing the Tycho reassured him a little that these might be real events. Even if they weren’t great. Turning around and meeting the rest of them at the foot of the stairs he walked up to Seanna.
“No sign of anything on this level sir!” Seanna reported.
” I think we’re on the level below some kind of command centre.” Jearo reported
“Yes, we seem to be inside the control superstructure towards the rear of the vessel.” McKinley agreed.
“It’s just what’s up there” Seanna mused as she looked up the stairs.
“I know, what you’re thinking…” said McKinley, reading her mind. With no word, she started strolling up the stairs, he rifle pointed defensively.
“Seanna wait..” McKinley shouted in a whisper.
Seanna turned to him “Why are you whispering?” she asked. “Let’s go and find some answers!” Turning again and resuming her stride. McKinley, Jaero, Blake and the others advanced behind Seanna, rushing to catch up. When they reached the upper level they all slowed, looking out across the floor of the darkened room. Dimly lit controls and displays provided the only lighting in the large room.
Across the room in front of them were five stations with a seemigly sleeping human form in each of them. Each of the had no hair and were dressed in a white skin suit, a dim blue light pulsed above each of their heads. Seanna again took the lead, slowly advancing towwards the five stations, one was slightly forward of the other four stations.
McKinley looked across to Seanna, both of them look at each other.
“What do we do now?” Seanna asked. She looked at the being in front of her, she supposed he was male he was of that size and straucture, his skin pale white.
“I don’t know.” McKinley replied “Lower your weapons everyone, he whispered to the rest of the team” Each of them slung their weapons in turn and started looking around the huge control room.
“Are you getting anything new?” McKinley asked Jearo.
“Nothing has changed. Wait… something is happeneing. I think their brain activity is increasing, it’s like they’re all waking up!”
McKinley stepped towards the the most forward figure, he still seemed to be asleep. In a split second his eyes opened. Startled McKinley jumped back “Damn! He’s awake!”
“Hello commander McKinley, I’m sorry I startled you.” the figure spoke, in a calm emotionless, almost synthsised tone.”
“Thank you – I’m fine.” McKinley replied hesitantly after a few moments. “How do you know who I am?”
“We have met before Commander, many times you and your crew have visited the Titan” The figure continued, not moving from his station. McKinley noticed the other four figures had opened their eyes also, but were saying nothing. “I think it’s happened in your future, or is it your past? I’m not sure either are right and I get confused between the two.” The figure paused in thought, lowering their eyes. McKinley stepped closer again, Seanna joined him by his side. The others looked on from behind.
“I need to ask you” McKinley was determined now to try see if this dialogue could bring them closer to completing their objective. “I’m here, becasue we, our spacecraft and us are trapped and cannot leave this area. Your vessel seems to be affecting our ability to travel in space.”
The being looked up at him again “You mentioned this at another time. I can’t rememeber when though” the being’s thoughts seemed distracted. McKinley noticed that he seemed to be struggling with when he was in time. “Oh yes!” he started again “This time loop is confusing me. You asked this before, many times and we agreed that you would help us. Is that right?”
McKinley decided he would try and play along with this and see where it led, he was beginning to think trying to explain when and where they were might confuse things more as this was the best lead yet he took the risk “We are willing to help if we can, but I don’t know what was agreed before.” McKinley explained. ” I would also like talk to you to understand what is happeneing!”
The being smiled “All in good time. Time… ” The being looked away thoughtfully again, then his eyes snapped back again “Yes, good time. You are very important to us McKinley, the human race needs you, we need you!”
McKinley suddenly felt very anxious and wasn’t sure if he done the right thing, at that moment he hoped he had.
©Simon Farnell 2016
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