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Creation Date: July 10th, 2007 07:26 PM
Bruce Bruce is offline
The Man Behind the Curtain
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Status: Public
Entries: 9
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In Moot Member Blogs On the Edge of Darkness Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #6 New July 17th, 2007 08:55 AM
He sat.
The bridge was dark, just the tell tale glow from the programs running on the computer's monitor in front of him. He sat. The chronometer on the monitor clicked over, seemingly in slow motion as the minutes seemed to crawl away into the darkness. He sat and he could hear the sound of the air handler blowing what was considered fresh air. He waited for the clunk of the machinery in the air handler to make it's turn through it's pattern. He wiped his hand across his face and he waited. The blast shutters on the ship's windows gave no clue as to what was going on outside. He knew, or he knew what they said was happening during a jump through space. He wondered if it would be worse to see the wild cacophony of colors and patterns or wait for the air re cycler to continue it's relentless march towards that clunk.
He did not realize until a few minutes later, if it had actually been that long, that he had missed the sound. He shook his head and reached out his hand to grabbed his drink bulb and squeezed a healthy splash of water into his mouth. He swished the water around and swallowed the stale water. He looked down and watched the chronometer clicking down towards the time when the jump program would bring him out of his flight through jump space. He sighed. The chronometer read 157.33 hours. He blinked. He looked around the cabin as a dull clunk sound came from behind the vent for the air handler with it's small metallic ribbons showing the air was still moving. He moved his arms to try and shake off the lethargy that seemed to set in. The jump program showed all green on the grid that surrounded the ship, helping to protect it from the ravages of jump space. It glowed confidently. He knew if it faltered he would misjump and come out who knows where. The worst case he thought would be someplace where he could get no fuel to replenish what he had used. He stood, and looked around the bridge again and saw some empty packets that had contained some seemingly benign food like substance. He rubbed his jaw and felt the stubble. He thought he must have went and got something to eat during some point of when he blanked out. He thought it was strange that he didn't remember, the last thing he remembered was being at the jump limit and starting the program to implement the jump. He walked with a plodding step through the door to the bridge and into a narrow companionway and soon, sooner than he would prefer he was at the only four way intersect in his ship. Looking left he saw a short section of hall that lead to the cramped and small room that contained most of the ship's electronics and computer equipment. He looked right and saw the longer hall leading to the airlock. He took a moment and noted the green line saying the seal was good on the door and he grunted. He walked forward and came into a small kitchenette with four seats molded to posts coming from the bulkhead. He looked around and saw one of the two cabins doors where open. He moved forward and peered into the room and saw that it was in total disarray. He stared. There where clothes and empty food containers and other debris all around the room. He didn't really want to think about having to clean it. In the distance, he heard the clunk from the air handler. He shook his head and moved to a closed iris-valve sealing the back bulkhead of the kitchenette. He pressed several buttons until one worked and the iris valved grated open and he stepped through into what was called a cargo bay on his ship. He stumbled past large plastic bins full of mail. He moved by the big bins of mail and ran his hand along the cool plastic. How many lives where in these crates he thought. He looked back and he estimated that he probably had 5 tons of mail. He was always amazed at how much space mail could take up. He saw some other smaller crates and he smiled knowing that these cargo's, computer parts he thought they might be would help him fix his air handler and maybe even fix one of the anti-gravity modules that always seemed to lose power at the worst time. He continued across the hold and opened another iris valve and he could hear the thrum of the power plant. He looked around and took in all the lights to make sure they were all green. The power plants sub-assembly converter hummed quietly. The Lights blinked in a friendly green way as he moved towards the large monitor and chair in front of the power plant and jump drive. He took a few moments to summon up a mirror of the bridge monitors output and checked the jump grid for any variations that might have crept in. He plopped into the chair and brought up the fuel flow and power generation sub-programs and watched as the figures continuously updated as the ship slipped onwards into the darkness of space. He was not sure when he heard it first, but he knew it crept into his dream he was having of the last time he was home, 16 years ago. He knew the sound should not be there, he also knew that he should wake up. He stirred and looked up as he rubbed his eyes and looked at the monitor in the engine room. He saw the ripple of orange along the jump grid. He even saw the momentary shading of red as it seemed the jump grid would go down. Then he heard it. The loud CRUNCH from somewhere outside the hull's bulkhead and then, just as soon as the sound had come and the jump grid monitor had showed red it was green again. He looked around and he ran his diagnostic programs and found nothing. He was just starting to relax again, thinking it was just a odd programming glitch and that the crunch was just his tired brain pulling tricks on him when he heard a different sound. A sound he'd never heard from his ship and a sound he had never heard while in jump space, a loud thumping clank from somewhere above him. That somewhere could only be outside the ship...
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RSS Feed 2 Responses to "On the Edge of Darkness"
#2 January 16th, 2008 09:04 AM
Bruce Says:
I need to rewrite this and clean it up. With suggestions madeby others.
#1 January 16th, 2008 12:33 AM
chshrkt Says:
Very good atmosphere. Very creepy. Have you read the short story "A walk in the dark"? Very similar feel to it. Things going bump and scrape where they should not be...
 


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