The Crimson Wake iv plans are made.
While Kit was munching on her cereal, Davey sat in the operation’s
room. He Welsh ragged his tar coloured greasy hair to shape his parting and
then slowly drummed his fingers on the table, that clicked, clicked in a
ratchet sound. His eyes shone brightly, and his cheeks narrow and sunken were
covered with a fine lint of stubble itched profusely, that he desperately tried not to scratch.
Operations was a large greasy, grey walled functionally set rectangle.
It was, unlike many other places in the dock refreshingly cool; air being pumped via coolant tubes above rotated the air. It had a wall screen at one end and a metal oval table in the middle; around which, in haphazard intervals
were a series of very comfortable, or so he thought, chairs. One third of the chairs were filled; mostly with people he knew he could trust. To his right and slowly sipping on a hydrated coffee, from a chuck-able cup was O’Raffertey.
His sea green eyes glittered with mirth as he stared at Davey. O’ Rafferty was his onetime drinking buddy, when he had his pilot’s licence. He was now also his mentor on the “dry” scheme. That the proctor had forced him to attend. O’Raffertey's long ginger hair was wrapped up in a bun, and his thick beard matted and greasy had been recently rough combed. His oiled orange and yellow
jump suit attested to his been pulled off his shift to be here.
To his left was Steve Smith a young recruit, just out of army training. His cornflower eyes and cynical smirk was a mask; for Davey had seen his work and considered him solid enough for the team. To his right was Donald Beamish. Beamish, one of the oldest hands on the dock, looked down nervously. His balding head shone with lines of sweat. He could just see his walrus moustache.
Again he had just come off shift.
Its not Not many men. he thought But all I could muster for the job.
He sighed and stared at the middle of the table, where there extended a long, slowly undulating glowing cube. The Bio server known as Gabriel rested.
The room was silent, too silent, each one of the men, perhaps like himself, contemplating why he was there. The door on Davey’s left curled open and Weasley came in with seven black uniformed soldiers with military masks and pulse rifles. They stood at ease along the left hand wall.
Weasley sat next to Davey.
‘Is this all you could get?’ he murmured.
‘I offered like you said: double, treble pay, but there were
‘You didn’t try hard enough.’
‘Yeah, well… people are…are scared.’
‘Ha, that’s true enough. Anyway… I boosted your number’s
with half a division of A-Corp.
Davey scratched his head. Trying to hide his anxiety. A-Corp, were the hybrid. A genetically designed human, though some still thought of them as machines, that were used in hazardous infiltration exercises. If Weasly
considered bringing in A-Corp, then things must be “difficult” as in very
Weasley stood and spoke to the room.
‘Gentlemen, thank you, thank you for volunteering. The arrival of the Crimson Wake has startled many people here. The deck hands in particular are
the most… ‘ At which he paused, as he saw Beamish suddenly look up and
stare Weasley down, with narrow slits for eyes.
Weasley looked away, and down. ‘Yeah, well… Thank you none
the less…This is a typical retrieval mission. We have tried to download the
ships histrogram through docking. However…there seems to be... a problem.’
‘Which is?’ Beamish asked.
‘It doesn’t want to. Was Weasly's weak reply.
'We have tried connecting with it manually, and sent in a robot team to investigate..However.. their power cells were drained the moment they entered the first corridor of the ship. We have some footage. Gabriel?'
The undulating cube in the middle of the room glowed a pale green as it replied
‘Hello, Mr. Weasley,’ came the gentle asexual voice. ‘What can I do for you today.’
‘Gabriel…could you run the zeta footage from inside the
Wake taken at 13:46 OST. Please’
The cube glowed a pale yellow and then projected via its’ holo emitter into the space above it inton the room.
Davey watched the footage. As Weasley commented.
‘We found the empty jumpsuits first. This could be a sign of a massive neutronic radiation surge, caused by the FTL being poorly aligned. The droids picked up no life signs on the human spectrum. In fact, nothing organic
at all. Then, just before they shut down. They saw this.’
A dark shapeless slithering flash zipped passed the droid. Davey jumped. ‘Each droid shit down and shit afterwards.’ Weasley sighed. ‘ So… we tried to uncouple the ship and drift her off… but-’
‘He won’t come loose.’ Muttered Beamish. Weasley nodded.
‘So why not simply blast the coupling loose? Send the ship into the eye.’ O’Rafferty argued.
‘We are in communion with Gideon.’ Gabriel said calmly. ‘We will not tolerate his separation…not without confirmation and a withdrawal from him first.’
‘What the-‘ Davey stared at Weasley.
Weasly looked down.
‘Also...whatever is going on there… on that ship…it’s having an
impact upon environmental systems here. It’s slow, its gradual, but its
‘So a virus?’ Smith stared at Weasley and then at Davey.
‘No… not in the conventional sense of the word.’ Weasley
‘-Nothing is conventional about bioservers.’ Beamish muttered.
‘-So what you want us to do, is to-‘ O’Rafferty was cut short.
‘-We need to proceed with caution. Remember there are armed droids on the Wake now, and Gideon might have infiltrated their system’s as means to defend it. You have to get to the bridge, uncouple the bioserver from the ship, and give us the time we need to back up our own systems. In the meantime… I have THE best data retrieval team I can find, working this end to contain and kill this balls up.’
‘What went wrong in the first place’ Davey asked.
Weasley shrugged. ‘-We simply don’t know.’
‘The problem is Gideon has gone insane, and he needs treatment.’ Beamish seethed. ‘This ship has been lost for twenty years! It’s not like other craft. It needs interaction, If it was reprogrammed by, god’s only knows what, it could see the way station as a threat-‘
‘Your position has been noted.’ Weasley said calmly.
‘We could all end up.-‘ Weasley stared at Beamish coldly.
‘Your position…’ he stated firmly ‘Has been noted!’
Weasley scowled at Beamish and then at Davey. ‘OK mission is a go at 19:45, that’s ten from now.