I always wanted to see the planets – Episode 3

Meanwhile, space is still waiting…

Back on the spaceship, after a last glance at the screen that had the same planets, just in a different perspective, and representing what we’re heading to:

It’s still debatable whether we’re going to get out of the dock.

The Captain requested me to go down and personally find out what was happening down in the bowels of the ship, and I’d just risked life and limb in the elevator that wasn’t working properly not 24 hours before. Now, the doors having opened, and after a huge sigh of relief, I step into the maelstrom.

The engine room, if it could be called that, looks like a shopping mall at Christmas, with the centre piece looking like a set of constantly strobing lights, and around it, people with computer pads, looking for answers.

I doubt whether any or all of the information they required was going to be in the central computer system because it was too new.

Whatever happened to paper manuals? Oh, sorry, that was so twenty first century.

I felt like I was walking against the tide until I see the Chief Engineer, hands in pockets, not look in the least perturbed.

No, he’s not Scottish. To be honest, I’m not sure where he comes from, I hadn’t got acquainted in the short time we’ve all been aboard.

He sees me coming, and I’m surprised he knows who I am.

“Captain send you?”

He broke away from one of his assistants, and turned towards me.

“He could have just asked you himself,” I said.

He shook his head. “He doesn’t work like that. Prefers the personal touch.”

“What’s happening?”

“Everything and nothing. New modifications are not infallible, but it appears to be just a glitch. The builders are on it, so we’ll have an answer soon.”

“Your opinion?”

“Doesn’t pay to have opinions, only answers.”

A wave from the other side of the room was accompanied by a change in the strobing lights, and a different sound.

“Good news,” he said. “By the time you get back to the bridge, everything will be fine.”

The activity hadn’t lessened given the resolution. “You sure?”

“Nothing’s written in stone. Try crossing your fingers.” With that he left me, and I headed towards to the lift.

© Charles Heath 2021

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