My dad used to tell me that. Every time he’d strap the pads to my elbows and knees before putting me on my hover bike. Every time he’d straighten my helmet during a little league Lift Ball game. Every time he’d make sure I had a box of baking soda and a fire foam canister in my kitchen every time he’d come visit the restaurant. He was always so concerned about safety.
What would he think if he found out I was currently sitting on a space ship with no fucking emergency escape pods!
I’ve been sitting here for at least an hour now. Staring ahead at the empty tubes where the pods should be. At first I was angry, then I was sad. Now, it’s just funny.
I’m not a religious person, I don’t believe in God or Fate or anything like that, but I do believe that the Ceres project has to be cursed or something. It would explain why this is the third time a Ceres ship has ended up a useless pile of metal. The third time it’s ended up ending lives instead of saving them.
The Ceres program is going to end up a joke at this rate. What was it, the first ship, Ceres I, didn’t even make it off the ground as far as I remember. Blew up on the launch pad during the ignition sequence. Sabotage was the official statement if I recall. Grounders. Those crazy right-wing bastards. Infiltrated Central, tampered with some of the launch mechanisms. Huge explosion, killed thousands. Most of the best scientists and flight crew that they had trained for years, dead in an instant. What a fuck up.
Of course, the Ceres II had a much worse fate. A few of the veteran members of the team at Central told us tales during the six months of training. About how it was only in orbit for three weeks before something went wrong.
Heh, something. That’s all they could say. Apparently, the actual situation wasn’t even documented. Just that there were unforeseen circumstances that caused the whole thing to be shut down. They had to come back after just getting settled. Then, and I guess this is all hearsay or speculation, the pilot messed up the re-entry and… KABLAM…
*clanging, sounds of metal on metal*
…the ship went plunging into the fucking ocean. Or at least what was left of the ocean. Every single crew member, once again, dead. More scientists. More flight crew. More ship maintenance. Dead.
And now here we are, round three. Sure, we managed to get up into space alright. We even stayed here for several months. But the end result is the same: Everyone on board is dead.
Everyone on board. Not a single survivor. At least not by the time you’re hearing this, I assume.
I know what you’re thinking. Oh, so you’ve given up hope, have you Isaac? Yes, yes I damn well have. What do you expect me to do now that I’ve discovered my only way out was apparently taken away from me? You expect me to prance around and expect to be saved?
Central told us right from the start that they wouldn’t come and rescue us. They didn’t have the materials and resources to send docking missions up once we were up here. We were on our own. That means that they even have to abandon their precious research. The research they value more than the lives of those dead scientists that are floating around in space right now. The research they value more than Dr. Loren, who’s body is probably half way to fuckin’ Venus by now.
“…h….ll….is…yone… here? I’m….the right…scien…ing.”
What the hell?
*sounds of rapid footsteps on metal, followed by a break in the radio static*
Hello! Hello! I hear you, can you hear me?!
“…the….com system…out of whack… need…boost… *static*… hatch… auxiliary… switch…”
*voice is drowned out by more static*
Hello! I don’t know what you’re saying? Who are you? Where are you?
“…Officer… mas Brask… second unit… who…this?”
My name is Isaac, I’m the head Chef, I’m in the mess hall escape bay! Can we repair this com system?!
“Yes…hatch…you can switch… aux…power to… com… boost”
I’m not sure how to do that? I… I’m just a chef.
I’ll go take a look, hold on a second,
*radio static softens, followed by the sound of a metal door swinging open*
How in the hell is someone still alive on this ship? Does that mean people actually escaped after lockdown? Maybe there are more survivors! Maybe people were able to survive the outbreak and get to safety. The com system in the mess hall must have been shot.
Alright, here we go… Power Conduit. That should be it.
*sound of banging*
Here we go… alright, buttons. Dammit. Lots of buttons. auxiliary… auxiliary, here we go… Auxilary Power Conduit. Switch this over to… no no wait… yes, Communications System for Pod Bay 6. Just flip this… that should do it…
*rapid foot steps*
“There we go. You’re coming in clear, Isaac. Good job”
Where are you, how are you still alive?
“I have no idea. I’ve been locked in one of the testing stations for quite awhile. I was beginning to think no one else was here”
So, you don’t have contact with anyone else?
“No, in fact, I was just about to give up trying the com system until you answered.”
Are you near an escape pod bay? I’m in one now, but all the pods are gone.
“Yes, I went to the nearby one as well, and all the pods are gone from this one too. What the fuck is going on? It’s like the ship auto-launched all the pods.”
It wouldn’t do that without people in them, would it?
“Who knows, dammit. We need to concentrate on getting this ship back under control”
What? No, we need to concentrate on getting the hell out of her. Fuck the ship, fuck the research. Why should we risk our lives for their damn research?
“Do you understand the significance of this ship? It could be mankind’s last hope of survival”
Bullshit. If it was so important, they’d come up here and get it. Listen, is there any way to get life support systems back online?
“Yes, if we can get to one of the ships control stations. They’re everywhere, there has to be one that’s still under life support nearby. According to this maintenance map, you should be able to access one through a hallway that’s under your current life support grid. You’ll need to go back through the maintenance shaft and head past your kitchen in the opposite direction a few more spots, from there, you can access the left wing hallway. There is a control station in a small room in the hallway. Use the com system when you get there to contact me, and we’ll work through it together. Can you do that, Isaac?”
I can try. I’ll contact you when I get there.