Under a new sky – chapter 20

Note: this is a work of fiction, with all the usual stuff about copyright and permission. It’s also a work in progress and a way to develop my knowledge of the english language. So feel free to correct, debate, laugh, ask about it in the comments. Help appreciated.

You may find the index here.

Chapter twenty.

After sunset I settled myself in the living quarters, near that crystal. The black hologram from the HRC Constellation disappeared after a while and the female version of OmniPlan didn’t came back. I ate my bread in silence, glad to have some spare time to think. Whoever built those machines knew his business for sure. After one thousand years all of them were still running. I fell asleep for a few hours only to awake short before dawn. The SIMCU hologram was back.

There are no other HRC ships in this solar system. Please motivate your presence here.”

I’m from planet Earth. I’m here in order to find a way to repair Omniplan.”

OmniPlan is under control. Do you reach this planet by the means of a high-energy event?”

Guess so. And your friend is not under control at all. Its… personality, so to speak, is malfunctioning.”

OmniPlan is keeping the experimental population under control. His operations are all inside mission parameters. You have to leave this facility at once. Your presence is a security violation.”

What’s that? Orders from Commander Stone?”

Right. Commander Stone ordinated to keep this facility clear from human presence. You have to leave this facility at once.”

What you will do to stop me? Are you gonna shot me from the orbit?”

Yes. Targeting procedure complete. You have one minute to leave this facility.”

orbital_ion_cannon

It took me less than a second to decide, such an opportunity could be unique. I removed the crystal and start to run away from that building before the AI from that ship could say anything more. Once outside I found a cold and starry night, with enough light to see where I was going. Less than a minute after SIMCU started to fire at me from its vantage position.

The first strike hit just one yard from me to my left, a blinding white pulse of light. It was some sort of pulse weapon, small amounts of charged particles fired near the speed of light. I was in real trouble, I had no idea about the power level of such a weapon or about how many weapons were targeting me. I run away in a non linear pattern, the night alive with more hits. My general direction was to the little cemetery, my idea was to cross it and try my luck inside one of small structures.

Once inside the cemetery I fumbled, hitting hard the ground on my left side. For a few seconds I lied there, waiting for a strike. Then I sat, looking around me. No more hits. What the hell was going on? Then I saw blue holograms popping here and there all around, there were the two versions of OmniPlan, both in mute agony. Removing that crystal maybe wasn’t the best idea in the world. That strange show of suffering holograms was still running when the light of day came back, transforming me again.

I pocketed that crystal and start my journey back to Kellan, hoping for the best. The first version of Omniplan I met was a bit schizoid, removing a one thousand year old block could not be good for it.

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