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Black Out

Posted on 26 Feb 2018 @ 9:52pm by Captain Harvey Geisler

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: MD 35 || 0845 hours

The ship’s engineering room was most impressive. Even though Harvey felt the room was only vaguely familiar, he didn’t recognize any of the heavy machinery in the room. Labels throughout indicated various warnings such as Do Not Open or Hazardous Material or even Do Not Stare Into Light. The more Harvey read these, the more he understood that this was not a place to trifle with. The center machine didn’t have a name, but parts of it were warm to the touch, indicating that it was perhaps the ship’s power source which had been working until recently. He couldn’t get close enough as the barrier around it kept anyone from falling accidently.

What was the most impressive was that the room was the most lit he’d seen so far. Perhaps that was for whomever needed to see in a power outage could see. If only the persons they’d found in the room knew what to do. Everyone Harvey had encountered so far had been just like him; no knowledge of who they were or where they were. They’d be lucky just to get this ship working again.

So far, he’d counted nearly twenty different species aboard the ship. Except he didn’t know them as species, just that they didn’t look remotely similar to him. They all wore the same clothes, and each had their own markings on the collar. Several were similar, slashes, chevrons, circles. Harvey had to assume that the colors had meaning, same as the symbols on the collar. So far, he’d encountered no one with four circles like he, or the one with three solid gold on the bridge that spoke multiple languages. Did that mean he was a specialist or some type of leader? Why wasn’t he carrying some type of identification? Surely even prisoners had ways to identify themselves.

He turned to look for the pointy-eared woman who he’d come all the way down with, but was unable to spot her. Perhaps she was elsewhere trying to figure things out. At least, that’s what he had to assume.

Harvey started to walk around the room, looking at each of the persons as he did. Engineering was certainly filled with activity as everyone was collectively trying to find some clues. Most of the group wore gold collars, and judging by how intuitively they’d figured out some of the tools, Harvey could assume they were technicians. But, how good were technicians without knowledge of how things worked.

Suddenly, across the room, a tall individual, nearly eight feet in height, slowly stood. His pale face shone in the dim lighting, and he turned, allowing the light to accent the extended ganglia on the back of his neck. Carefully and slowly, he reached back to touch it. Though he had no knowledge of himself or line of work, he knew this feeling. Something was wrong. He gave Harvey a shocked look.

Before Harvey could react, there was a clatter on the upper levels. Practically everyone turned to look towards the upper catwalk where four individuals stood. Each one was clothed in a full-body suit, covering every extremity and head. If they were armed, their weapons were holstered. Strangely, no one in the room was shocked at their sudden appearance, just the fact that they were there. Harvey had noted that. Practically everyone accepted the other for who they were, or the lack thereof, almost as if they’d seen each other all their lives.

But these… these new arrivals were totally foreign.

No one moved. In fact, no one moved for nearly a minute. Not a single of the memory-void persons had a weapon, leaving them utterly defenseless. The only painfully obvious observation at this point was that if they were wanted dead, they would be.

Harvey opened his mouth. No words were uttered, simply because he did not know what to say. After a moment’s consideration, he called out, “Can I help you?”

Almost instantly, he was hit with a wave of… feeling? It didn’t overwhelm Harvey, but it startled him. He did not feel afraid or reserved. No. This was… this was serenity. This was hope. But, why were there not words. The other species on board knew how to communicate with another. Why not these? They couldn’t be from around here.

“Okay,” Harvey muttered. “Can you help us?” he called out. He pointed to the large center structure and said, “We need to turn this on.”

The aliens looked at each other. There was no verbal communication to be heard, but two of them did climb the ladders down to the lower levels. The technicians hovered around the armored individuals as they approached a console near the power core. Both of them pulled out thick, cylinder-type objects from their satchels. One of the objects was attached to the console, another to the base of the large machine. The device attached to the machine was activated first. Lights flashed up and down the large machine until it went dark once more. The console came to life next. Its screens were blank for a few moments until several readouts appeared.

A technician approached the console. “Antimatter injectors,” he read. “Deuterium flux and intake. Intermix ratio. Coolant temperature--”

“This make sense to anyone?” Harvey called out, looking around the room, but keeping at least one of the aliens in his eyesight. It was clear to him at this point that the aliens didn’t know or understand them. What was their purpose? What did they desire? There was something more here, and while he wanted to be apprehensive about the whole thing, it was obvious that there was something more here.

An older man raised his hand in the back of the group, a pair of chevrons highlighting his collar. “I know you don’t arbitrarily mix antimatter and deuterium.” He was waved to the front where he was allowed to look at the console along with the other technician. “These, here,” he said, pointing at a diagram of the large machine. “The alignment is off.”

“Off?” Harvey asked, looking over at the console. He then glanced up at the alien, who gave no indication that he understood what was going on.

“These are supposed to be straight,” said Chevrons. “This is going to take a bit.”

“And then we’ll have power?”

The other technician studied the readouts a bit more. “I don’t know what all it means, but everything seems right.”

Harvey looked at the alien, then back at the techs again. “How long?” he asked. It wasn’t the lack of power that worried him now. It’s what the aliens were capable of in that timeframe. Why was he worried? He couldn’t quite place it, but, somehow he felt responsible for all of this.

Chevrons heaved a sigh, looking up at the machine, which he now knew was called a warp core. “Thirty minutes,” said the technician with a sigh. “Tops.”

Harvey nodded. “Let’s get on it,” he ordered. If they had power back, surely they could find a way to recover their memories. Or, at least, their identities.

As Chevrons selected a few pairs of hands to help him, Harvey’s gaze detected the tallest person in the room; his ganglia still erect. Harvey noticed the man was staring intently up above at the alien who was still on the upper most catwalk. The alien that was still staring down at all of them, watching and waiting.

But for what?

Harvey approached the taller man, and placed a hand on his left shoulder. He gave the taller one a look that said, ”I know.”

“I know,” Harvey muttered to assure his own self. “I know.”

Twenty eight minutes later, Chevrons reappeared, sliding out of a tunnel. “Four,” he said, addressing the man with four circles on his console. “I think we’re aligned.”

For a moment, Harvey wanted to question the man’s judgment. The warp core was a source of impressive energy. If one thing was wrong, the whole system could cause massive damage to the ship. But did they really have much choice, especially if they couldn’t remember anything? He settled for giving Chevrons an affirming nod.

Chevrons accepted the nod for what it was: permission. He approached the console powered up by the aliens and began to work. After a couple minutes of fiddling with the controls, he stated, “Here goes nothing.”

He pressed a single button.

The two translucent tanks to either side of the warp core thrummed to life, shining a dim yellow. The thrum was soon followed by a low hum. Just a few seconds later, the lower rings under the intermix chamber shone a cascading red while the rings above shone a cascading blue. These rings escorted their fuel charges into what was called the dilithium chamber. Its nearly opaque housing flashed a dim white before red rings left through the left and right arms and disappeared outside of the room.

Nearly thirty seconds later, the overhead lights began to flicker back to life. One by one, the consoles flickered on as well. Emergency lighting, when it was no longer needed, began to click off. The warp core continued to pulse. The Black Hawk, however big she was, had a heartbeat once more. Heartbeat or not, Harvey knew this was just but the first step. They still had a long way to go.

“All right,” Harvey said, looking to the center pool table, which was coming alive with a full schematic of the ship. “Let’s see if we can find out who we are.”


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