Here is Part 11 of my Describli-prompt inspired story. It was a battle against the odds to get this one done. Everything has gone wrong today. From belt-incidents to internet browser meltdowns. Still, I got it done. 🙂
Part 12 here next week.
“What in the universe is it for?” Lena asked.
Zinna looked thoughtful. “I think I remember hearing something about this.” She stepped into the room, the fog swirling around her ankles. “I think it’s to do with their regeneration process.”
“You mean like eating?”
“Yes. They don’t. Eat, I mean. They sit in these chairs and whatever they’re made of gives them energy.” She completed her loop of the strange chair, then added, “They don’t sleep, either.”
“Sounds like a strange race.”
“They were.” Zinna crouched down and looked at the chair closely. “I mean, still are.”
Lena stepped into the room, unsure of herself. She was curious about how it worked. “So they just sit in it, and it’s like us sleeping or eating?” Even though the replicated food they had wasn’t a patch on the real stuff, she’d still miss it.
“That’s the idea.” Zinna poked at something at the base, and a small beep sounded.
Lena crouched down beside her. A small panel of buttons and a touch interface blinked at her, similar to the control panel outside. Words were written by the buttons in the same language as on the bridge controls. Airean.
“There are some components in here that would be worth a fortune at home,” Zinna said.
“You want to harvest what we can?”
“Why shouldn’t we make use of the opportunity?”
There was no good reason. Lena just didn’t feel entirely comfortable with the idea. “This ship belongs to someone else. It’s one thing raiding dead ships, and another stealing and harvesting.”
“If we take it back to our time they’re not going to get it back anyway.”
She had a point. “Yes, but… let’s just get back to our time first and then discuss this, okay?”
Zinna shrugged, and stood. “Fair enough.”
She started to leave the room and Lena followed, saying, “Any ideas on that yet? Getting back?”
“One. If this ship has the right technology, I should be able to get us back.”
The right technology? “And what would that be?”
“I’ll tell you when I find it.”
They walked down several more twisting corridors, before Zinna stopped in front of another door.
Lena pulled the touch panel off and hacked into it just as she had the last one. The door slid quietly open.
She stood up and looked inside. A storage room. Shelves were stacked high with crates, components, bottles, cases of food… Some of the crates were labelled, and the symbol accompanying the strange words looked like they could be a warning.
Zinna went straight for one of those.
“Erm, have you seen that symbol on them?” Lena said.
“Yep.” She pulled one down off a middle shelf, removed the lid, and peered inside.
“And you’re not worried?”
“Well I am. What’s inside them?”
“Parts that could be radioactive.”
“You know this how?”
“I dealt in them a few years ago.”
There was a lot about Zinna’s past that Lena didn’t know. Years that they’d not been in each other’s lives… Zinna didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so Lena didn’t ask. “Oh.”
Zinna crouched down, putting the crate on the floor, then started to take some things out of it. They looked like ship and engine parts, but Lena didn’t recognise them. Some reminded her of things that she did know, but they weren’t the same.
“If I can find the right part…” Zinna muttered, then held up a piece, and smiled. “Got it.”
Lena stood back as Zinna charged from the room, saying, “Come on, we need to find the transporter on this thing.”
“Aren’t we a bit before transporters?” Lena asked, following at a half-jog. Zinna was moving quickly.
“No,” she replied. “The Aireans invented them.”
“He just refined them. The true inventor never got the credit.” She sounded irritated by that, as if it affected her personally.
There was something deeper going on here.
Down more winding corridors, and another door hacked. Then they were in a small room with four transporters lined up.
“Feeling lucky?” Zinna asked.
“Yes, be the daredevil I know you are!” Her eyes were shining with the adventure, the uncertainty.
It was infectious. Lena’s heart raced as she examined the booths before her. “That one.” She pointed to the third. A random choice.
“That one it is.” Zinna strode forward and knelt on the transporter pad. “Cross your fingers.”
This week’s prompt: A daredevil