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Every Atom is Procedural - Chapter 1: It was H0peless

“And the ticking in my ears still continues, even after death?”

“But for what reason, my mind still continues to wander.”

“Could it be searching for a lost path?”

“I don't remember I was ever lost”

“And yet here I am, lost in my own mind with nothing else to spare”

”……”

“I wonder, what's colder than death?”

“I can only imagine it being an empty void up until that point”

“What's next for me?”

“………………”

“And if I’m not dead?”

“How do I know when to wake up?”

“As if, it’s a lucid dream?”

“…………………………”

“And yet, the light also seem to get in my way of peace”

“It’s not like I didn’t like it either”

“For once… I thought I could have rested”

“And yet the ticking still annoys me…..”

~~~ Two Months Earlier ~~~

As the pressure steadily reached equilibrium with the external and the internal pockets, a gas nozzle connected to O2 and Nitrogen reserves came lose and broke off, spraying a stream of deadly concentrated oxygen into the air. It was 3:51 am at night and all of the crew members was asleep except for one, the maintenance specialist among the five. He had loosened the bolts on most of the heavy furniture and the seats on the pilot deck of the spacecraft. A smirk appeared on his face when he had compromised vital parts of the spacecraft’s structure, while still maintaining the Façade of how it visibly looks stable. While dissembling is far easier than assembling, it still took an overwhelming 3 hours in perfect silence to complete the tasks, but to him, it was all part of his plan. he had just needed to wait another 2 hours for the crew to awake and then stick to his new employer’s plan. A great sum of the settlement was already entitled to him, but he wanted far more than just that.

“Maiko, what are you doing up so late?”

And then he froze. He didn’t flinch though, but calmly turned around and answered,

“I just got up, thought I’d might do some maintenance.” patting his tool belt seemed to satisfied Rich, the Crew’s Medical Doctor and Psychologist. In deep space, there will always be the chance of someone going crazy. It could be the fact that they’re light years away from home, maybe the confined spaces and seeing the same thing for decades, not in biological time of course but still. “So what are you up and about?” Maiko flashed his signature smile as he put away the wrench into his belt.

“Just some paperwork I have to get done so they can be ready for transmission. You’d think that after waiting years for the message to be sent out that they’d give me a few days ahead of the deadline.”

Of course, you can’t just simply send out a message light years into another location. Inverse Square Law makes it clear that you’ll be lucky enough to even receive a particle of the said message. That is why the federation has mandatory relay beacons on all transport, commercial, supply, hell, even ‘pirate’ ships, but they’re mostly just to capture messages rather than to relay them.

“Huh, good luck with that. I’ll be at the mess hall to pickup one of those Chicken MREs…” and with that, he left the deck and walked towards the west wing. In Maiko’s mind, he wasn’t really going to eat anything. His appetite as of now was the benefit of making sure none of the crew could tell anyone else about the item they had received. He wanted it all for himself, at the expense of the lives of the crew, he made sure that he’ll be the only one that knows of the item. He figured that if he could compromise sections of the ship connected to the airlock, and then persuade the crew into a concentrated area, then he could just simply detonate some remote explosives and then airlock the crew out in one swift motion. The most obvious trouble with this plan is the fact that hiding Remote explosives in a relatively small ship is going to be a hassle seeing as how anyone can just walk across and find it. It’s also going to be hard trying to get the crew except for himself into that specific part of the ship he’s been working on. But he had ways, and he’s determined to make it happen.

~~~ 2 Hours Later ~~~

Tick…Tock…Tick…Tock… Nah not really, our alarm is more of a loud banging from anyone of our crew who just happens to awake first, our Ship’s Captain of course, and after we wipe the crust out of our eyes, then the alarm starts going off, an obnoxious ringing from our watches. We all got ready for the day, a very straightforward routine of brushing our teeth, some taking showers when needed, using the toilet and then eventually meeting up to have breakfast at the mess hall. We would usually talk about our progress so far, what we would do today, any events that would be coming up. We still celebrate birthdays, holidays, and even did thanksgiving off of rations with it’s respective foods (conservatively mind you). We dropped off all of our breakfasts and sat at the stainless steel, round table across from each other. I usually stuck to oatmeal packets with tiny pieces of fruit in it, powdered milk usually ruins it though.

“So, any changes to the agenda today captain?” Sheila asked while taking a bite from her nutrition bar.

“Nope, just return to your usual posts and we’ll meet up again at lunch. Actually, weren’t we supposed to receive that transmission from Centauri Sector 23 or Something?”

“You mean the invoice about our discovery? Nope, still nothing yet, that was supposed to come 2 days ago.” Ethan replied, the ship’s radio transmission and communication specialist, he’s in charge of relaying, receiving and transmitting signals from and to other vesicles throughout the sector, usually the federation manages every little signal that gets send and received from sector to sector. This is to monitor potentially dangerous threats and to ensure that other ships cannot receive nor transmit messages they’re not supposed to get via encryption.

“And everything is a ll good Maiko?” he nodded his head.

“Alright, lets do another test and then start sending out batch messages, I’m sure they’ll understand our frustration if they start getting thousands of packets.” the captain then sipped down the last drop off coffee and started cleaning up with the crew just starting to finish up along with her. The crew usually doesn’t eat this fast in order to prevent any kind of possible motion sickness during an emergency, but the fact that there hasn’t been any communication within anyone else is starting to get to the crew.

Throughout the day, we performed our daily duties, keeping in mind with our current situation. We had always relied on the Federation as the ultimate higher ups, they make the orders and that’s how we keep afloat. We’re all under contract, therefore they’re essentially all of our bosses, including the ship captain who really only has affect as long as the Federation isn’t trying to override her. But for now, we’re just going to have to hope to god that all of our equipment isn’t malfunctioning in any way.

Science Fiction | Novels


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