Every Friday (or close to every Friday) I am posting a short work of fiction that will be free to read on my site. Please enjoy this week’s piece!
by Jeremy C Kester
Instinct was telling him that much like everything else, the system couldn’t be trusted. Still, there wasn’t much choice there. He had to move forward.
Bringing down a frigate was no easy task. Especially out in space. One mistake sets the ship adrift rather than destroying it. Giving a chance for it to be repaired.
Having stowed away into the ship’s last supply loading, he slipped easily into the ship’s secondary areas where he slept little to remain awake enough to avoid detection. When sleep He checked his watch. System scanned showed that there was a clear path to the destination. pushed to close to be too much from him to avoid, there were drugs that he took to ensure that he didn’t doze off accidentally. Sleeping and then being caught would ruin his mission.
The core of the engine was the place where it needed to happen. Overloading the core, sending it into meltdown was what needed to happen. No easy feat. A task best left for a professional to undertake.
All secondary areas were loaded with pipes, tubes. Supply lines. Taking energy or whatever to all the areas of the ship. This was how he was going guarantee that he was getting to the correct location of the core of the ship. Schematics were known to be falsified to protect sensitive areas.
The largest ones were the ones he was meant to follow. Arrows directed the outgoing lines, indicating that he wanted to follow the opposite direction. Color was the only other possible sign as to what he was looking at.
Several security protocols also were in place throughout the ship. Measures to ensure that if someone got as far as he had, there would be no chance that they could do any damage.
Unfortunately, he was prepared.
Force fields were the easiest to disable. Special devices made to redirect the beams allowed him to push himself through the field with no effort.
Motion sensors were the next obstacle. There was no time for him to try and outsmart the devises by moving too slow for the motion sensors to pick up. And he was certain that the sensitivity was much higher here than what he was useful. Thinking in that frame had helped to keep him alive all these years. Why change it?
For those, he had brought with him devices that could locally disable those sensors.
They would overload them, causing them to relay a dead signal until they were able to reboot the sensors.
The type of failure there too allowed him to continue, unabated. What they would see in the diagnostics is a sensor reboot. Otherwise it would only look like an empty passage.
More security measures slowed him, but he had built in such things to his time estimates.
Obstacle after obstacle dissolved as he moved forward.
Eventually, the agent reached a small opening. An access panel.
Carefully, he pried only the side of it open, wanting to see if there was anybody on the other side. It had led directly into the engine’s core control room. Likely, there’d be at least one person there.
At cruising, the ship could be run with an absolute minimum of crew members.
As suspected, only one person stood there, the tight pony tail pulled into a regulation bun. The engineer wore virtual-interface glasses, allowing her to see additional information as she looked through problems without having to change her view.
Cautiously, he closed the panel so that he could formulate his approach. Having anyone in the room was less than desirable. One person was not as difficult to handle.
Expected as it was, he found himself hesitating.
Did he want to kill her?
The question was silly. Laughable, almost, when the point of his mission was brought into the consideration of the dilemma. He was trying to kill all of them. Himself included. A suicide for the honor of the cause.
People were to die. Indeed, they were. And though he expected a couple in the control room he was headed, the imagined experience of coming to them face to face was standing across a vast, cavernous rift from what reality had brought him.
He leaned back against the wall of the shaft. This was not acceptable. He knew to sneak in, kill her, then kill them all. And that momentary hesitation was putting that cause at risk.
Loss of this mission meant the influx of immigrants into the solar system. Society was ill-willing to allow them passage. Doing so would disrupt so much of what they all built. He was the last defense as the others had failed at doing their jobs.
He breathed, trying to steel himself against the onslaught of hesitation that he was experiencing.
Fiction written by Jeremy C Kester
©2019 Jeremy C Kester – All Rights Reserved.
Please do not replicate or use without written permission. Linking to this page is permitted.