The Hydro-static Gel had a chill to it

The Hydro-static Gel had a chill to it.

It was way too cold and System knew if she slipped into it, it would take her breath away.

The pieces were coming together. For the last few weeks she had been in J space the list of seemingly pristine, but failing components in her Lachesis grew long.

First it was the lighting systems, they seemed to diminish about 1.4% every 24 hours. She hadn’t even noticed until the fourth day the logs said they were dimming.

Then the millisecond blip synchronization swing that spread from monitor to monitor, always just in the corner of her peripheral vision.

Although the heating conduit for the Pod Goo was the most annoying failure there were some close contenders. The mysterious locking of bulkhead passage way doors half open, the almost inaudible white noise that she could never quite find the source of. And then there was the false alarms; the hull damage below 50%, the locked on alarm sounding for 1.5 seconds, and the Capsule imminent eject cycle alarm. All of them sounding, but with no source or reason to sound. She had not seen another ship in months.

The most distressing was the Capsule eject alarm. At the time she had been out of the Capsule feeding her Fedo as the auto food dispensers were not responding. The thought of losing control of her beautiful ship and the realization, instantly, that her immortality would be lost was enough to make her feel like she would never get out of her pod again.

It was daunting, and something had to be done.

“System, this is Jason copy 529 Omega Whiskey 5, are you there?” The comms came over the ship. At least ALLISON was still working and relaying communication from the pod to the ship wide speakers.

System did not mind the ship wide speakers sounding off as there was no one else aboard. Even with a Capsuleer piloting the Lachesis, there were usually around 40 or 50 crew aboard, but with the Zendaine Rigs, System was able to control every single aspect of the ship without a crew… or so she thought. She was now kicking herself for dismissing her crew back in K space.

“Jason, I am here… Allison – Sudo Auth. Prepare the ship to ship docking protocols. Jason, it will be about 10 minutes and we will get you aboard to check these Zendaine Rigs.” She croaked realizing she had not spoken to a real other person in 3 weeks.

“Copy that System… Jason’s FIX ALL Malware Removal and Pest Control is her to assist you.”

System looked out of the portal to see the slick Navy Issue Exequror pull alongside her ship, the motto blazed across her hull in 9 meter high letters: “Jason’s FIX ALL – K to J Space, We Can Fix Anything, Terms and Conditions Apply”

When they say space is quiet: Lies, damn lies

Nothing was happening.

Like nothing… when they say space is quiet – that is an understatement and a lie, funny enough.

It was Day 37 of this relative quiet streak. Only the solar radio waves splashed across the ships primary transceiver with occasional quiet blips back from the deployed probes.

System awoke from her sleep. She rolled out of her bunk. She had decided things were so quiet in this distant J space she would risk sleeping dry.

She wasn’t crazy though. The ships Cloak had been active now for 17 hours and she had parked it at a random AU from the Sun and a mid-warp spot between two of the 7 planets in this star system.

The walk from the bunk to the kitchenette took her past the hydroponic bay and she plucked the next to last Pear from the vine it hung on.

When she arrived at the kitchenette she sat down and sliced the Pear with a vibra-lade placing the pieces into a bowl of yogurt and sprinkled some Papreek seed across it. She had done this so often she did not even realized the ritualized preparation was being done as her mind was on something else.

For the last 37 days she had drifted in and out of cloak, in and out of J spaces, and in and out of consciousness. The monotony, solitude, and quiet was starting to get to her, starting to play games with her mind.

She worked out for nearly 2 hours after breakfast both running around the small vessel and plying her muscles against the gravimetric weights working up a sweat and an aching body. It was a good ache that meant her muscles and bones were still solid and young.

This last clone body had been the most youthful feeling one to date, even though they were always the same age when she awoke in them. Maybe it was just her mind that made it feel so young.

After a swift clean in the cleanser, System walked to the lounge and checked her logged communiques.

Nothing.

Not a single new Eve-mail in 37 days. Not even a corporation notification about some fool hardy war declaration being announced or rescinded by Concorde.

System shut down and restarted the computer terminal and started diagnostic and debug software to confirm it was functioning correctly.

The morning seem to draw on and on with small inconsequence tasks until she realized she had not eaten in nearly 7 hours.

After consuming some packaged food she reclined and took a quick nap on the hammock she had strung between the bulkheads in the forward observation lounge.

Then Nothing.

Then more nothing.

She awoke in a cold sweat, heart pounding with adrenaline pumping through her body. She was ready. After a few seconds of all attentive sensing her surroundings she realized there was nothing threatening or demanding her attention.

The quiet hum of the ships systems silently whispering to her their oppression.

System made herself a hot pocket of faux carne and red sauce and wandered around the ship just hoping to find something out of place so she could have something to do while she ate.

She spent the next 4 hours re-cleaning the air and liquid refresher systems only to find no dirt nor dust nor even a fingerprint out of place… but she did find relief from the monotony by her futile and unneeded labours.

Tired she decided to take a warm gel sleep in her pod. Maybe she would sleep longer there than in her dry sleeps, though she was likely to have the pod dream terrors. She was looking forward to a scary pod dream, it would at least be entertaining if she could realize she was dreaming when she was suspended in the fluid.

She went to strip off her clothes in preparation for entering the pod when, looking down, System realized she had been stark naked for the last two weeks.

She laughed under her breath.

Good thing this was a solo voyage. Only ALLISON could see her, and ALLISON did not judge her. If anything ALLISON probably was jealous that she even had a body… well, if ALLISON could feel jealously that is.

Funny how something like that could slip her mind. She was alone Trillions of AU from anyone she knew, as far as she could tell, there in the quiet j spaces in which she travelled.

She slipped into the pod goo like a lover falling into the arms of their beloved. It’s warm embrace engulfing the silence, soothing and drawing her into the alternate reality.

For the first time in three weeks she felt alive, ready for whatever may come.

Narrow the probe fly’s that gets the signature

It was out there… somewhere. In my mind it felt like a word you just can’t remember. On the tip of my tongue they used to say, just out of sight, just in the foggy parts of one’s brain.

With a few thoughts I refocused the probes and reduced there scan vicinity to nearly 0.5 AU breadth. The synthesized sound of the probes warp signature and scan mechanism was like a warm familiar soothing heat across my face, shoulders, and back.

“84.7% Scan resolution.” ALLISON reported in my head.

“Ok,” I thought, “Redefine Scan Area to 0.25 AU.” Again the sounds filled my temple.

Sound in a pod is an interesting thing. It actually is not physical sound traveling thorough the capsule and the Abiotic Neural Gel. The only real sounds that physically come through the capsule are the physical hums and creaks of the ship itself. My mind has nearly complete disassociated those sound. The ones I am speaking about are chemo-electrically triggered ones in the primary auditory cortex which is in the superior temporal gyrus of the temporal lobe and extends into the lateral sulcus and the transverse temporal gyri.

Please ignore my nerdy fascination with the inner workings of the brain.

Basically my parietal and frontal lobes are stimulated specifically as if my cochlea had received sound waves even though none are present.

“98.925% Scan Resolution.” ALLISON said almost sounding apologetic.

“Damn!” I thought. My probes were at their peak performance, I was not going to get any closer.

For a moment I thought I would just pack them back up and head off to check out the wormhole I had scanned down early.

But then a memory flooded into my mind. The memory was of an old friend of mine J. Splunk. He had showed me once how to realign the probes “Spherio” alignments to get an extra kick in resolution. It really only works in this exact situation.

“ALLISON, sudo authorization alpha 6 tango 723 oscar mike, lock and tighten 18 degrees probes 1 through 8.” the mental command left my mind.

I’ll have to send J a thank you bouquet of Pricillion flora if this works.

“100% Scan Resolution, warp to available. Do you want me to Save FUJ 938720-9 to your memorative marks?”

Oh ALLISON, what would I do without you?

A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for

Her fingers followed the curve of the passage way brushing lightly against it’s cool metallic surface as she walked toward the capsule chamber.

She stripped naked carefully stowing her over cloths and under garments in a nearby locker and then carefully lowered herself into the warm gel. With twitching anticipation she plugged in the fibre cable connections that ran along the back of her neck and down her spine. Then with a tightness building inside her stomach, she lowered herself under the gel and sent the first cerebral command to “button up” the capsule in preparation for departure. The arches of her feet always tingled as she thought those first few commands.

The ship began to hum, a slight sound building to a roar as she willed the ships sub warp engines to life, propelling it out from the docking gantry toward the outer area of the stations dock.

“Capsuleer Baud, System – designating release and exit from Zoohen 7… commencing in 3, 2, 1.” she said. Well, it was more of a thought than any vocalization.

“Confirmed. — Release confirmed.” the mortal reported back to her immediately, his disembodied voice echoing in her mind.

‘The universe is mine to command and I have dominion over it,’ she thought to herself as she willed the ship to warp away from the station.

Out here she was truly her own god.

Sudo auth; alpha 6 tango 723 oscar mike

$ Login: System_Baud
$ Password: oooooooooooooo-ooo
$ Login Confirmed

$ Hello Commander, How May I Assist You?
$ ALLISON, Open Source File /Contents $ http://systembaud.me
$ forward -t http://systembaud.me to https://systembaud.wordpress.com
$ Commence run -u -o title= 1420.mHrz, Content= Personal Journals and Stories
$ ALLISON, Close Initial Terminal id #93983490303, Continue to run http://systembaud.me -t
$ Secure -a, Close Terminal
$ Failed to Terminate, Not Authorized
$ Sudo auth; alpha 6 tango 723 oscar mike, Secure Terminal
$ Terminal Secure -a, Closed
$|