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A Matter of Gravity

Posted on 03 Sep 2016 @ 7:02am by Ensign Quinn Mackie

Mission: Click Three Times
Location: Deck Five
Timeline: MD7 || 1030 hours

Quinn wondered why he volunteered for this task. Most of Deck Five, except for sections one trough six, had lost all gravity. Air flow and the other life support systems were functional, but the gravity generators had gone out shortly after the shift had started. No one heard an explosion, which meant that something had failed. Or, multiple somethings happened.

With only just over three hundred active personnel, Quinn would think there would be an abundance of hands for things like this. But as primary systems were still out, and every hand needed on them, no one really could take care of non-critical areas.

The cadet, however, wanted out of Engineering for a while. It was too crowded, and there too many ensigns pulling for rank. "Go to the one place no one wants to be..." he muttered, floating along the corridor. "Great idea, Quinn."

He was rather familiar with the power systems on this level. After all, he'd spent the better part of the week configuring them a while back. The gravity control circuits were controlled by bio-neural gelpacks and supposed to be foolproof as they had their own power. So far, the three he'd seen had burned out. He did check the last working one and found it about to overload. Quinn willingly shut it down to keep it from doing so, temporarily suspending all gravity on the deck.

He was about to hit the next section when he encountered orbs of floating water. "Oh no," he whispered. The pool, under normal circumstances, was protected by a low-level forcefield to contain the water whenever the ship was in a dangerous situation. One would think that it would have its own power source, but a generator for a forcefield that size to be that close to water was not a good idea under any circumstance.

Still, that danger could have kept these orbs from floating in the corridor. The swimming pool couldn't fill an entire section, maybe half of it. And, hopefully it wasn't concentrated above the gravity control circuits for sections twenty-five through thirty.

Quinn soon saw that it wasn't, but there was enough water to make him nervous, including a meter-sized orb over his head. Still, no gravity meant that it wouldn't fall on him. Quinn removed the wall cover to examine the bioneural gelpack, only to be greeted by floating ash.

The cadet closed his eyes, saddened by the reminder of how close they all came to losing their lives. At least he now knew why this all started. Sensors would have detected the abnormality immediately. Without sensors, it would have only been a matter of time before the gravity failed.

After making a mental note to send teams to examine every gel pack, Quinn pulled out a spare pack from the backpack he wore. The remains of the gelpack, at least its frame, came out easy. Using a piece of his sleeve, Quinn brushed away the extra dust and installed the new pack.

He pushed the expired gelpack casing down the corridor. Shielding himself with the hatch, Quinn reached over with a free hand to reactivate the unit. Instantly, he felt the floor under his butt. A split second later, the hatch cover bounced off his head as the giant orb transformed into a sheet of water. Quinn managed to keep the hatch upright and protect his head and the unit.

Glancing to his left, he saw that the rest of the water had fallen into the corridor, creating multiple puddles on the carpet. "Well," he remarked, setting the hatch down and resting against the bulkhead. "That wasn't too hard, now was it?" If nothing else, Deck Five once again had gravity.

 

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