Tuesday, December 11, 2007

November 17, 2189 [0900-1000 U.T.]

Inner doors are secure. Opening outer doors.– U.T.-09:03:21 – M.T.-00:03:21(10)

Alright Bishop(11), take it away.– U.T.-09:03:45 – M.T.-00:03:45

Roger. – U.T.-09:03:47 – M.T.-00:03:47

The shuttle thrusts down to clear the Tonoro’s hull as it left the airlock. The vessels are currently on the dark side of the planet. The Sulaco is approximately 500 meters in front of the Tonoro in the dark. The ship is a mere silhouette against the distance stars. At this time it is difficult to make out the ship, but it is there.

Thrusting forward. – U.T. -09:04:08 – M.T.-00:04:08

Bishop thrusts the shuttle forward. It closes in on the Sulaco at a rate of approximately 100 meters per minute, according to the readout on the heads up display.

100 meters. Rotate.– U.T.-09:08:13 – M.T.-00:08:13

The shuttle rotates 90 degrees up pitch. With the Sulaco now out of sight, I selected a different video clip, this one taken by a camera on the Tonoro. The navigation lights of the shuttle appear small and pathetic against the rotating black mass of the Sulaco. With the help of the shuttle’s undercarriage landing lights, the details of the Sulaco’s hull near mid-ship are visible. From the Tonoro, the structure looks sound, but it is unknown at this time how much damage the Sulaco has sustained.

20 meters. Thrusting up.–U.T.-09:08:57 – M.T.-00:08:57

Bishop had his hands full at this point. He had to time everything perfectly so that the shuttle attached to the Sulaco directly over the airlock. If he missed, it would have been extremely difficult for him to line up for a second try.

10 meters. Gear is down and locked. Thrusting up. – U.T.-09:09:15 – M.T.-00:09:15

5 meters.– U.T.-09:09:32 – M.T.-00:09:32

1 meter. Thrusting Forward. Hang on everyone, this is going to be rough.– U.T.-09:09:59 – M.T.-00:09:59.

From the video clip taken from the shuttle looking at the marines, we see them lurch towards the back of the shuttle. A loud thud is heard over the microphones as the shuttle attached itself to the Sulaco.

Tonoro, Squad One, we are docked.– U.T.-09:10:05 – M.T.-00:10:05

Roger, Bishop. Wilman you may proceed inside. There’s no power, so use the manual override to open the airlock doors.– U.T.-09:10:13 – M.T.-00:10:13

Roger.– U.T.-09:10:16 – M.T.-00:10:16

From Wilman’s camera, Private Johnson is seen manually opening the outer airlock door. As the door opens, it hisses as the air pressure in the airlock equalizes with the pressure in the shuttle.

Alright, the airlock appears intact. No sign of damage. – U.T.-09:11:02 – M.T.-00:11:02

Roger. Proceed inside. – U.T.-09:11:06 – M.T.-00:11:06

The crew makes its way into the airlock, almost floating. Since the power is gone, the artificial gravity in the Sulaco is not working. The small gravity the team experience in the airlock – as evident by the marines falling towards the left bulkhead as they move in – is generated by the ship’s rotation. Bishop stays on the shuttle to make sure it doesn’t detach from the Sulaco and float away.

Alright, we’re all in the airlock. Opening inner door. –U.T. -09:11:44 – M.T.-00:11:44

The inner door opens hardly making a sound.

I think there’s still air in here. –U.T.-09:12:01 – M.T.-00:12:01

Is it breathable? – U.T.-09:12:03 – M.T.-00:12:03

Standby. Lewis, check the air. –U.T.-09:12:07 – M.T.-00:12:07

Alright, according to this, the air is not breathable. We’ve got an awful lot of carbon dioxide with very little oxygen. Guess we’re gonna have to stay in these suits.–U.T.-09:12:39 – M.T.-09:12:39

Alright, let’s move on people. Stay up against the bulkhead when you get out of the airlock.-U.T.-09:12:51 – M.T.-00:12:51

Whoa, hey Sarge! –U.T.-09:13:54 – M.T.-00:13:54

What Wilson? –U.T.-09:13:57 – M.T.-00:13:57

I’m I seeing things, or is this whole place burnt? –U.T.-09:14:02 – M.T.-00:14:02

He’s right. –U.T.-09:14:13 – M.T.-00:14:13

Wilman, what’s going on? –U.T.-09:14:16 – M.T.-00:14:16

Sir, we are looking at a lot of fire damage here. It looks like this whole damn place caught fire! –U.T.-09:14:21 – M.T.-00:14:21

Well, we know the Sulaco’s cryogenic compartment caught fire(12), but the fire suppression system should have contained it. –U.T.-09:14:32 – M.T.-00:14:32

It looks like it didn’t. I think the whole damn ship caught fire.–U.T.-09:14:39 – M.T.-00:14:39

Maybe that’s why it vanished. -U.T.-09:14:43 – M.T.-00:14:43

Could be. -U.T.-09:14:46 – M.T.-00:14:46

Alright enough, we have a job to do. Everson, take Lewis and Wilson to the reactor room, see if you can get us some power. –U.T.-09:15:09 – M.T.-00:15:09

Yes, sir! –U.T.-09:15:10 – M.T.-00:15:10

The rest of you, come with me! –U.T. -09:15:13 – M.T.-00:15:13

The two teams head of in separate directions. Wilman’s team makes its way forward, while Everson’s team makes its way to the reactor room aft of their present location. Because of the ship’s rotation, they have to repel their way down the halls. Everson’s team made it to the reactor room, but they found that it too was scarred by fire. To add to their problems, the ship’s reactor apparently was damaged. When Everson tried to start it up – hanging from the engineer’s control panel – it would scram half way through the startup procedure.

Everson, what’s the matter? –U.T.-09:46:12 – M.T.-00:46:12

Sir, I don’t know. When I get to step four of the startup procedure, something pisses it off and it scrams. –U.T.-09:46:21 – M.T.-00:46:21

Do you know why? –U.T.-09:46:24 – M.T. -00:46:24

No. All of the C.W.(13) lights light up like a Christmas tree. I can’t tell what’s broken and what’s not. Hell, maybe everything is broken. –U.T.-09:46:34 – M.T.-00:46:34

Can you bypass the computer and run the reactor manually? –U.T.-09:46:38 – M.T.-00:46:38

Probably, but I wouldn’t recommend it. One small fuck up and we’re all dead. –U.T.-09:46:45 – M.T.-00:46:45

Alright. Can you at least get the emergency power systems going? –U.T.-09:46:51 – M.T.-00:46:51

I’ll try. –U.T.-09:46:54 – M.T.-00:46:54


To understand what was happening on the Sulaco, the following contains radio transmissions – recorded and time stamped by the Tonoro’s computer – between Search Squad One and Lieutenant Gorman on the Tonoro, and my interpretation of the videos captured by the Marines’ SIVRs (Standard Issue Video Recorders) installed in their headsets, as well as other cameras installed on the shuttle and the Tonoro. Just for clarity, the time stamps on the radio transmissions include both the Universal Time and the Mission Time (M.T.).

Bishop (unit number 529-A) was an android assigned to the U.S.S. Tonoro. The androids on the Conestoga-class ships serve both as the executive officer of the vessel and the chief mechanic. Since androids do not consume food, they do not have to be put in stasis to conserve the ship's supplies. They are in charge of keeping an eye on the life support systems while the ship is en route, even though the ship's computer is fully capable of controlling all of the systems on the ship.

Stasis interrupted.
Fire in cryogenic compartment.
Repeat, fire in cryogenic compartment.
All personnel, report to Emergency Escape Vehicle launch pod.
Deep-space flight will commence in T-minus 20 seconds.


Caution and Warning (C.W.)

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

I approve of the switch from the epistolary form to telling the story more directly - although having more to do with your original character would have been nice.