Tag Archives: spacestation

The future is all long hallways

The city’s police department took up one of the largest buildings in the city, not including the housing Agropolises. It doubled as a civil defence base with the firepower of a capital class ship. Capable of lifting off the ground and leaving the atmosphere in the event of planetary emergency. Unlike other buildings, which had compartments that would separate from the main structure before leaving Earth.


I walked down the white plastic hallway of the Nova’s floor towards the elevator. The walkway was empty, no posters or active screens. The only alleviation from the blindingly lit walls were the black, red and blue lines. Indicating where there were hand-holds in the case of low gravity, the way to the elevator and the way to robot processing. Not that robots needed that line to tell them where they were going.


The robotic police force which I was technically a part of came in three parts. The uniformed officers that patrolled the streets, the muscle, were given rudimentary intelligence. They could talk to people, assess dangerous situations and attempt to achieve peaceful outcomes. There is no empathy or emotional simulation in their programing, they cannot be threatened or bribed.


For more complex situations the muscle is connected to the brain, the second part of the force, truly artificially intelligent robots that can communicate orders directly to uniforms. These artificial life forms work together to make more human decisions around how the law is supposed to be interpreted. Of course keeping with the rules set by the earlier founders of the force, ultimately there is a human element.


The augmented police force, detectives and government agents are all born human. They can have any kind of cybernetic enhancement, usually the more the better.


I flicked on my AR, the hallway remained the same, no point in advertising in a place no civilian has ever walked. In the bottom right corner of my vision there was a blinking message icon, I brought it up. My hyperspace window had been approved, while the message was active on my AR it surrounded the edges of my focus in white dots that zipped passed like I was in a soft blizzard. I’m not sure why that’s still part of the marketing scheme for hyperspace transit rings. Even if you could see outside your ship in hyperspace no-one thought it looked like that.


An elevator arrived for me just as I got to them, I hadn’t requested one, the superintendent of the building had noticed that I was walking this way and that I still wasn’t on duty. It would have accepted me walking right past the open lift and taking the stairs, only adding more data to it’s profile on me. Likes to walk down twenty flights of stairs sometimes. I stepped into the elevator and held my hand over the control terminal to interface with the superintendent.


My ship had been taken out of the docking bay and brought to the launch terminal by the time I reached the hanger. I could say that I was one of the lucky ones who managed to have their own ship, unlike those would eject their housing compartment and use it for this kind of flight. I do feel lucky but I did put a lot of work into this ship.

A twenty six R eight Hellion that I’ve modified myself. Took me almost my entire service on the force to put her together. It was a lot of working credits just to purchase the chassis, not just because the market had just crashed when I bought it but the R eight series ended with the twenty six, ten years before I was born making it, basically an antique. The creation of hyperspace transit rings had lead to the discontinuation of a lot of commercial spaceship manufacturing.


As part of the universal bill of rights every living human was provided with healthy housing of at least one hundred and fifty six square metres in living space. Among requirements for air, water, food and recreation. Further amendments to that right had made it so the house had to be capable of exiting earth’s atmosphere in the event of emergency. Once the transit rings went online this meant everyone could take a long visit to the edge of the galaxy without the need of a faster-than-light drive.


It also put the commercial interstellar transport industry out of business, but I’m sure most of them bought shares in the transit rings.


The superintendent lowered my ship down holding the airlock at the end docking platform I was standing on. The red paint had started to get a bit worn due to small debris impacts but that only made me appreciate it more. I could see her registered name just underneath the wing ‘The Scutum Crux’. It was printed in black surrounded by an artistic impression of the galactic arm.


The door opened with a slight hiss from the small amount of decompression.


I entered and the door closed behind me. Interfacing with the ship immediately I started the exit sequence. The docking clamp moved us, me and my ship, to the docking bay exit. I reached the bridge shortly after we halted at the exit. The bridge was an empty gray room at the front of the ship, an R eight straight out of the factory would have had screen on the wall to display ship information but I never installed one during my refit.


Once my AR fully synchronized with the Crux I requested a place to sit, a chair protruded from the construct-gel I had covered the interior with. Now comfortably strapped in my new seat a set of controls formed in my AR. Not physically there, physical controls would be too slow, but tactile because my mind was directly interfaced with the ship.

Earth’s airspace laws only allow polarized magnetic boosters at this height. They didn’t need the added heat of exhaust thrusters, not that I had any on board. I flicked on my mag-boosters filling the hull with an exacerbated hum. The docking clamp let go and I was in free fall for a split second before the docks magnetic field repelled my ship’s.


The gray wall in front of me became an exact image of what was outside the ship. We could easily make glass that would be strong enough to withstand space but when space-time was stretched around a ship in traditional hyperspace only certain materials could polarize correctly, glass was not one of them.


I edged the Crux until we reached the end of the hanger. I was lower than Nova’s office now but the view of the city was just as enticing. The AR ads not picking up the ships sensors as a person’s augment, instead there were neon strips of white, red and green highlighting the airways, building edges and empty parking spaces.


The nose of the ship dipped and we fell down the side of the Police precinct.



So uh, Happy Holidays and New Years.

I was on holiday there myself for a bit. Then when I came back to work I had completely lost the rhythm of writing. Once I had finally got it back we had a heat wave and when I wasn’t too hot to write I was too tired to.

And thus ends my impromptu hiatus.  Until the next one


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Leesandra 19

The black patch of space that Leesandra couldn’t make out started to contort, although it seemed more like the ship she was on was actually what was moving. Part of it suddenly lit up and she could finally make out some of it. It was a ship, a gigantic ship, almost as big as Alpha-Hydra’s dock. It was a continental class ship.


The ship itself didn’t seem very unique, it was made from the same mesh of High tensile carbon fiber and Steel polyalloy that Alpha-Hydra was. The greys and blacks partially hidden from view by stripes of green paint.  Leesandra shook off the look of awe on her face and tried to remember where the name plate of continental class ships was supposed to be printed.

On the starboard side of the bow. It wasn’t there, at least it wasn’t if she had remembered which side starboard was.


“How do you guys have a continental ship? And why would you have a base in an asteroid if you have one?” Leesandra asked.

“We only finished building it last year it was pretty hard to do it without a dock, the Asteroid was a better staging ground for recruitment.” Merah answered.

“What’s it’s name?” Leesandra let her curiosity run away with her.


“Enterprise.” Bronwyn said without a flicker of hesitation.


No-one else spoke, the bridge was silent apart from the dull hum of the engine and a few muffled beeps.


“Are you serious?” Leesandra blinked a few times. “I mean, okay… but really?”

“Yes.” Bronwyn continued. “It is supposed to reflect that spirit of exploration, the goals of humanity that we’re supposed to have.”

“To boldly go where no-one has gone before?”

“Yes, obviously.”


Leesandra didn’t get up from her seat but shifted her weight around. She couldn’t shrug off the idea that this was some kind of elaborate hallucination before she died of asphyxiation, and the ridiculousness made that seem even more plausible.


“Okay, you’ll really have a tough time explaining why you can’t just pack up and leave now.”

“This ship is the first step in our attempts to get out of this solar system.” Merah swiveled around in her chair to face Leesandra “Inside the Oort cloud is a series of anti-gravity well probes, there is no way to for us to make a break for it without being disabled almost immediately. Those same probes will alert the inter-planetary fleet, which will destroy us on site.”

“The fleet is only like 5 capital ships you could easily outrun them on normal drive.”

“It’s actually like 3 continental ships, and they won’t have the same gravity well handicap.”


“Oh…” Leesandra licked her lips as she thought for a moment. “What are the other steps to getting out of the solar system?”

“Bring down the inter-station government, eliminate the probes, help Kybers and humans alike to finally reach the stars.” Bronwyn tapped on her fingers to count each step.


“I feel like that second step is a bit more like a staircase.”

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Leesandra 18

Merah and Bronwyn pulled Leesandra to her feet once her limbs had repaired. She followed them through the ship to the bridge. It was up a flight of stairs and not even a minutes walk away from the cargo bay.

“So what did you mean by ‘it isn’t true’?” Leesandra asked as Bronwyn sat down in the seat in the middle of the room. There were two other seats on the bridge, one on either side. A man sat in the one on the right, his hair was cut short and was a gingery brown, he didn’t turn around and seemed to be busy working.

“Kyber-kind isn’t at the level of development that you think it is.” Merah answered as she sat in the left chair.

“What do you mean?”


“Currently you would think that we’re reliant on the sun for energy. That we are reliant on mined fuels to get around. That artificial gravity wells are only just being tested and would be far to energy hungry to be useful.” Bronwyn swivelled in her chair.

“How is that not the case?”

“Shortly after leaving Earth kyber created stable and sustained artificial fusion.” Bronwyn smiled.



“Nick, set course for Yankee plus four X-Ray minus five, stay on this Zulu. Maximum speed please but give us leeway of about six hundred kilometers.” Bronwyn called out to the man at the righthand station.


“Is maximum speed really necessary ma’am?” He turned in his chair and didn’t seem very impressed by what was currently happening.

“Yes absolutely, I’m trying to show off here. Take a seat Leese.” Bronwyn pointed her hand to the back of the room. The wall seemed to melt away and fold itself into a seat. Leesandra wasn’t impressed.


“The course is set ma’am. All hands prepare for maximum speed.”

“Engage the engine Nick.”


Leesandra looked out the main window, the stars sitting motionless in the void. Suddenly the view screen flashed white and the stars were gone. In their place was a black patch that she couldn’t make out.


“Jump complete.” Nick seemed to grumble.

“See…” Bronwyn said as though she was expecting Leesandra to have a revelation.

“See what?” Leesandra asked confused.


“We just traveled approximately 5 AU, is what she is trying to get at.” Nick spoke up but didn’t turn around to face her.


“Yes, two thousand five hundred light seconds.” Merah answered her.

“In under a second? It isn’t possible.”


“It’s not possible to go that fast, correct. However that’s not what we did.” Merah continued. “Using the gravity well tech we can manipulate space around us, so technically we didn’t really move at all.”


“Okay, so this makes even less sense. How could you possibly have a hard time leaving?”

“Kyber have had this technology for years now. And the first thing the governing kybers did was find a way to stop it from working.”

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Leesandra 17

Harold’s office was right next to the external bulkheads of one of the ending rotational rings. There was some redundant maintenance space between his office wall and the actual external panels, so the floor to ceiling windows behind his desk didn’t display outside. Instead a simulation of late twentieth-century New York city. Not that he would have wanted to see outside, the very idea that he was spinning made him a little queasy sometimes.


His desk was made from a synthetic carved wood of a dark brown colour, the colour could be changed but Harold left it the default look. He sat down at the desk, the window behind him and cast a slow sweeping gaze over his office. The walls were clinically white and partially covered by book shelves, art pieces and certificates of achievements.


It was all fake. The book shelves didn’t have any books in them, just coloured blocks stacked up to look like them. The paintings were digital reproductions of old Earth landscapes. He never went to College and none of the achievement’s he was actually proud of would have produced a certificate. It was all just decoration, to make one feel like they were back on Earth.


“Fucking fighting to get back in the womb.” He muttered under his breath. Harold raised his hands over his desk initializing his HUD to use it as a textile surface. White grid lines appeared separating segments of the desk into simulated displays. Only he saw this, it was generated by his Kyber systems and just overlaying his own perception. He tapped on the desk where the lines formed a keyboard, each segment lighting up as he did so.


“Call coming in from Gerald Cooper, do you wish to accept.” His Kyber systems alerted him in the same robotic tone that CAL had chosen. Above the keyboard segment of his desk another segment flashed white notifying him of the same call. If he left the call ringing that segment would eventually expand to be the length of the keyboard section but not covering it. He pressed on the flashing piece begrudgingly.


“Harold. I’ve had the board of spaceport operations in an out of my office for the last five hours. What can you tell me?” Gerald’s personal avatar appeared as an image on the desk. It was a small cartoon ghost with a huge smile.

“CAL isn’t a toaster Gerald, you can’t just tip them upside down to get the crumbs.”

“You designed her Harold.”

“No Gerald, me and fifteen other people designed the foundation of the programming. CAL has evolved and will continue to evolve. This is going to take longer than a day to find out what happened. And even longer to fix it.”

“What do you need?”

“Well if you could get me back at least five of the fifteen…”

“You know that’s not going to happen.”

“Then give me time! Alright?”

“Fine, but we want constant updates.”


The call cut out and Gerald’s avatar faded out, returning to the series of grid lines.

“Do you think he bought it?” Harold was mildly surprised for a moment wondering why his internal systems would ask that, then he realized.

“Of course, why would he not believe me? I’ve given no reason for him to suspect me and there are fourteen other people who could have done this.”

“Still, seems like an unnecessary risk. Sticking around.”
“We’ll if you hadn’t got that girl ejected we wouldn’t have this problem.”

“She’s important.”

“How is a HUD-phobic girl important CAL? And where did she even go?”

“All life is important. Our friends picked her up.”

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Leesandra 16

“Should my legs tingle like this?” Leesandra asked looking up at Merah and the new woman.

“You were out there a while, you’re probably healing. Or they’re about to…”

“Fall off?” Leesandra cut her off.


“I already made the joke sorry.” said Merah apologetically

“Damn it.” She shook her fist at Merah jokingly. “I guess funs over then. I’m Bronwyn by the way, who are you?”

“My name is Leesandra, just a dock worker.” Leesandra managed to pull her legs up to her chest. She rubbed them to try and revitalize them more quickly but it didn’t seem to work. The feeling was uncomfortable, she imagined that this was what ‘pins and needles’ was supposed to feel like. There was probably a lot more pain involved than she was actually experiencing, the Kyber in her would have automatically shut out anything considered unbearable or unnecessary.


“She knows she has doctorate genes but without going into her….” Merah trailed off.

“Yeah without HUD use that may be a bit interesting, we probably know someone who can help though.”

“Why would you want me to join La Mesclado? Especially considering that basically makes me disabled.” Leesandra wondered out loud.


“Disabled? Why would you think that? You’re still kyber? Still far more capable than even the most able bodied human.” Bronwyn questioned, wild at the idea.

“How could I be useful for the solar system’s most wanted criminal organisation?”

“We’re actually the only criminal organisation in the solar system.” Interjected Merah.

“Exactly! Surely it would be better to just put me back outside.”

“Wow, how could you be so brainwashed if you don’t open your HUD?” Bronwyn shook her head.


“Huh? Brainwashed?”

“La Mesclado has never killed anyone, kyber or human.” Stated Merah as a matter of fact.

“But the Mars Colony?”

“None of the people were harmed. We evacuated every single living thing.”
“Before or after you put a crater where it was?”


Bronwyn shifted her weight onto her other leg.

“Yeah, probably not the best publicity stunt we’ve ever come up with.”

“But it did what we wanted, no one’s tried to settle there again.” Merah stood straight as she defended what seemed to be her own pride.

“But why?” Leesandra appeared to be begging, but that may have been due to her inability to get up.


“Kyber kind has stagnated.”


“It’s become dull, repetitive. We have the knowledge and resources to spread into the cosmos yet we float around this pathetic yellow star for no good reason.”

“It’s our home?”

“No, Earth is our home and we gave it up. There’s no point in trying to go backwards. La Mesclado is trying to move us on.”


“Why not just go? You have cloaking and anti-gravity, the rest of kyber-kind couldn’t stop you.”

“I’m afraid that isn’t actually true.”


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Leesandra 15

“I don’t know.” Leesandra whispered with half a breath.

“You don’t have to answer right away, let your air reserves fill back up.”

“I think I’m okay now.” She tried get to her feet, she couldn’t even get to her knees.

“You were out there a long time, I wouldn’t be surprised if some parts are fairly damaged.” Merah sat on one of the seats on the side of the cargo bay.

“Do you have a doctor on board?” Leesandra looked around the bay a little more. She recognised some of the crates in this bay, they were the ones loaded from Delta ten.

“No we don’t. You’ll be fine though, you’ll heal. Or things will fall off, then grow back.”

“Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about that.”


“So what gene’s do you have?”


“Pure doctorate doesn’t give you that ability honey.” Merah leaned over, the red light making her look sinister.

“I don’t know what else I have. Never met my Father, Mother’s human.”

“Your Mother is human? Wow.” She sat back up straight curiosity on her face. “You know can check what genes you have right?”

“I can’t open my heads up display.”


“Oh, hud-phobic huh? Well there are other ways to find out.”

“Who are you people? How did you sneak into the station?”

“We are La Mezclado, this ship has cloaking technology.”


Leesandra didn’t really expect an answer and this response wasn’t even in the same department of ones she could have been ready for.

“I… uh…” She stopped and thought on this for a moment. Merah sat patiently as if wanting to see her squirm. “And it has artificial gravity? Aren’t La Mezclado supposed to be some kind of backwater resistance? How do you have this tech? How do you have the power on this ship to cloak and use artificial gravity?”


“Okay i’m going to stop you there.” Another woman walked in, she didn’t have the Kyber braid but her skin was reflective in ornate patterns giving her away. “We’re going to be asking the questions.”


“She’s hud-phobic, she couldn’t tell us anything.” Merah stood up as she defended Leesandra.

“Great.” She said sarcastically. “Guess she just going to have to join the cause then.”


“Uh, can i just go home?” Leesandra tried to get up again.

“Ha. No.”

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Leesandra 14

Suddenly, a feeling passed over her, like a cold shiver. Her physiology would normally keep her warm even in the harshness of space.

‘Have I started to run out of oxygen?’ Her terror asked itself.

‘If I have CRC then i’ll probably have a larger oxygen capacity than I first thought.’


Darkness started to surround her vision.

‘Yeah I’m dying.’ The thought was a dagger of ice.


Lights came on around her. A panel of metal started to lift in front of her.

‘Huh? But no-one was around to rescue me.’ There was no relief only confusion.


“You can breath now. You’re inside our shielding.” The woman’s voice from before.


Leesandra breathed in without even thinking, filling her lungs with more air than she ever had done before.

“What? How?” Leesandra breathed out and in again.

“Don’t start hyperventilating, concentrate on long breaths.” The door to the ship finally closed making a small thud.


Leesandra fell to the floor as gravity suddenly acted on her knocking the breath out of her again. “What did I tell you about gravity without warning!” There was the sound of a hand hitting metal.

“Sorry Merah.” An unfamiliar male voice.

“Leave.” Her voice was stern yet somehow soft.


Leese lay on the ground looking at the side of the ship, she was focusing on her breathing but tried to take in her surroundings. She seemed to be some kind of cargo bay, the floor was more a grid than a flat surface with larger holes for straps to fit in. The wall had a couple of padded seats with belts and was otherwise bare metal. It was painted a clinical white but was scuffed all around where the seats were.


“So what is your name?” The woman that she now knew to be Merah came into view. She was a kyber, her braided heatsink was a dark red and pulsed nefariously. This made her features seem sharp and fierce but Leesandra could instantly tell that she had a much softer face then she let on.


“Leesandra.” She managed to get out between breaths.

“Nice to meet ya. I’m Merah.” Merah sat down in one of the seats across from her. “Now tell me, what kind of genes give a girl CRC and enough oxygen to use it?”




Kari heard the news about the missing night shift operator before she even made it to the dock. She called Leesandra’s onboard comms at least fifteen times hoping for once she’d pick up. She only gave up once she heard Leesandra’s addendum to the log.


“Add addendum to your personal log, recent log and sensor damage has lowered system integrity, this is inhibiting your processing of current alerting and system data from level Delta. Human element has advised that there may be an intruder and it is being investigated.”


All of CAL’s other logs were being scrutinized. The corruption was being treated as purposeful and every authority in the station was being brought into investigate. Angus was trying to hold a conversation with her but she barely responded.

“Even CAL’s creator has been called. Can you believe that? I didn’t even know he was on this station.”

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Leesandra 13

It’s a short one this week, I’ve not slept well the last two days.

‘Okay so, I have reaction control. Why do would I have this? Kybers surely wouldn’t naturally have this? Or do they?’ Leesandra hovered in space staring at the tube protruding from her forearm.


‘First things first, reduce momentum.’ With that thought a short burst of gas came from her tube pushing her faster in her spin. ‘One of these is not enough.’  She pushed on the port panel of her right arm, it popped open and another identical tube slithered out. It sent out another burst of gas halting her spin.


‘My systems are calculating my inertia and reaction requirements without the HUD. This must be a safety feature.’ She was now facing the other side of the dock, the side that she was heading towards. ‘I’ve got a lot of velocity but I don’t think i’ll be conscious by the time I hit it. I don’t think I’d have as much gas as Astro-suit and even they wouldn’t get fast enough to cross the dock in under five minutes.’

‘Unless they used all the gas they carried.’

‘And be unable to slow down at the end, no thanks. I think my only hope is to try and go back.’

‘Hoping that you have enough gas to counteract your current momentum. And give you enough force to get back with enough time before your blood is de-oxygenated.’

‘Exactly. And that I can slow down when I get there or aim it enough to get back inside.’


Both of her tubes slid further out and bent themselves so that they pointed out around her center of gravity. ‘Good idea.’ They blasted out a steady stream of white. The dissolution of the gas in the vacuum was beautiful, Leesandra didn’t normally get to see it this clearly. It was a stark reminder of how she should have been dead by now.


The side of the dock that was coming towards her started to slow. Leesandra smiled, her lips still tight.


It came to a stop, then started to move away. Leesandra had to stop herself from cheering in delight.


Then her gas ran out.
‘Shit.’ She didn’t know exactly how far away she was from the entrance, but she was sure it would take hours to make it there.

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Leesandra 12

Leesandra’s heart smashed at her chest, blood splashed around in her head, that was all she could hear.

She had closed her eyes once she was unable to grab hold of anything on her way out. She was trying to stop the vacuum of space from popping her eyes.


As much as she had basically resigned herself to death at this point she wanted to at least hope for rescue. She had yet to feel the pain of ebullism or any of the depressurisation effects. Luckily in the last few seconds before complete decompression she has remembered to breath out.


‘Maybe you don’t like weightless flight because you know too much about space exposure.’ She thought to herself.


She was still holding her breath out, her kyber modifications would have allowed her to continue doing so for about twenty minutes before she would black out. It would have been longer if having air in her lungs wouldn’t have caused them to burst in the reverse pressure.


She guessed that she had now been completely depressurized for over two minutes. A normal human probably would have been unconscious at twenty seconds due to hypoxia and dead by ninety due to anoxia, atelectasis, freezing maybe even just shock. As a kyber she should only have maybe double that time.


‘You have to turn on your HUD if you want to survive this.’ She thought.

Her heart skipped a beat thinking about it. It would only take a single conscious decision to open it. She couldn’t do it.


She was probably about thirty seconds from death and she couldn’t do it.


‘If we turned it on how would that save us?’

‘We could contact CAL to pull us in.’

‘CAL should have already recognised that we are outside and would have saved us if she could.’

‘I could get CAL to have one ships pick me up.’

‘Would they get here in the next thirty seconds?’

‘CAL can send a message to my mother…’


Her thoughts paused, filling with the sound of heart kicking the heaviest drum that it could find.


‘It’s probably been about thirty seconds now’

‘If we’re judging based on heart beats.’

‘How am I still alive? I should have at least started to feel it by now?’

‘Fuck it.’


Leesandra opened her eyes. Nothing happened.


She was definitely in the center of the dock. She could feel the pull of the vacuum against every inch of her body, now even her eyes. But nothing happened. She floated among the stars without any pain.


‘They could have updated the kyber code to protect from space?’

‘I don’t get updates.’

‘Okay so we’re still alive. How do we get back inside?’


Leesandra looked at her arms, the seam of her left port panel was more evident than normal. She pushed on it with her other hand, it opened and a utility cable slithered out. She had never liked seeing her more mechanical parts but she was sure this cable was different from any of her export cables, even any of her doctorate attachments.


It was round and had an opening at the end more like a tube opening than a data connection. it  seemed to be wrapped in blue fabric, likely woven from her own hair follicles.


‘How does this help me?’


It shot out a puff of white gas. Putting her into a slight spin.
‘CRC gas? Why am i filled with CRC gas?’

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Leesandra 11

Leesandra remained hidden behind the shipping container. She wasn’t sure what else to do, CAL must have still been trying to get a dock superior to make their way in. She could probably just go back to the viewing platform, report the unauthorised access. At the same time she knew that if these people weren’t caught red handed then this would all be chalked up to some malfunctions, unless she gave access to her memory files. She shuddered at the thought.


“Seriously, how long…” The female voice began again

“It’s going to be done when it’s done.” He cut her off.

“Loader…” She started her audio command.

“Don’t you dare.”

“Time until fully loaded?”

“Approximately ten Minutes.” The loader responded in its usual dreary tone.


“Are you happy now?”

“Well good, cause now I have even more log scrubbing to do.”

“How is that my problem? You’re the one who wanted to stay here.”

“Oh and how would you have gotten out of this without me?”
“I’m sure we would have some up with something, can’t be too hard to sneak out of here.”

“The only reason you weren’t picked up immediately was luck. You weren’t caught in the next few hours because I managed to force a cleaning cycle. And you would be stuck here for the rest of your natural life if it wasn’t for my forethought to break this umbilical.” The man’s voice didn’t sound angry it just felt like it was coming from a place filled with it.

“Well thank you. Again.”

“You’re welcome.” Leesandra couldn’t possibly see them without giving herself up but she desperately wanted to see how she managed to calm him down after that.


“Task completed.” The loader declared and started to make its way back to it’s own hole in the wall. Leesandra wondered again about the nature of AI and why the loaders seemed to have such contempt for everything. Today just seemed like the day for that.


“Well you can go now.” The woman started again. “Remember we are going to need you to come out again soon.”

“How could I possibly forget?” The man was already moving away, his voice in a different location. His boots made two loud clangs as they magnetically pulled to the ground. “Stay quiet and safe.”

“You too.” She responded in kind, moving away as well.


The man had made his way over to the airlock between area ten and nine before Leesandra realised what was about to happen. She froze, there was no way to leave her position without being spotted. The airlocks at both ends of the area slid closed, the sound of the locking mechanisms making Leesandra quake.


“CAL.” She whispered. “CAL, I need you to open the airlock between area ten and eleven.” There was no response. “CAL!” She whispered as loud as she was willing to go.


The air started to hiss as the invisible ship started to undock.


“CAL!” She shouted this time. There may have been a response but she could not tell as air was rushing past her ears. She was pulled out from her hiding place.


Desperately she tried to grab onto something. She took in a deep breath and held it.


Leesandra flew out the broken umbilical into the center of the dock and was going to it hit the other side within minutes.

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