Monday July 6th, 2015

The exercise:

It's time for our monthly visit to The Colony. Sorry for the lack of heads up, I'd really meant to mention it yesterday.

I spent the morning weeding around our blackberry bushes. It's tiring work when the weeds get that big, but it's almost finished - of our three sections I only have the middle of one section remaining at this point.

Which is good, because we're going to be picking them (along with a few vegetables and raspberries) tomorrow morning for our local orders.


I guess that self-defense class I took back in university wasn't a complete waste of time after all. I mean, sure, it helped that Robbie was on my side. And that Melina was caught completely off-guard by my arrival. And the fire was a pretty good distraction as well.

But still, I was the one that took her down and kept her that way until Robbie could hogtie her. So that counts for something. I think my brothers would be proud of me.

Of course Commander Vassily was more concerned with the equipment that had been uncovered than with congratulating me on my work. And that's okay. I mean, it's understandable. We unhooked all the extra cables but I noticed he was so rattled that he didn't fully disconnect a couple boxes and I had to help him out with those.

He's mad, I can tell that much. Melina wouldn't say a word when we questioned her and Vassily said he'd take her back to his quarters to interrogate her further. I didn't like the way he said that, but what could I do? This is serious and maybe... whatever methods he's using are necessary for our survival.

That doesn't mean I have to be okay with it though.

At least I can't hear any screaming coming from down the hall. Then again, I've never heard anything coming from in there, even when I've walked past during one of his conference calls with Earth. So maybe his room is soundproofed.

I'm not sure I want to think about that right now.

It's not like I can do anything anyway. I've got to keep Robbie under control. He's so excited about his little adventure that he wants to broadcast it back to his waiting audience and we can't have that. I think our team needs to know something is amiss out here but Vassily didn't want even that much leaking out until he'd had a chance to... question Melina. Hell, he didn't want us to so much as mention it to anybody else on the crew - that's why me and Robbie are holed up in my quarters, twiddling our thumbs and driving each other crazy.

They've been in there a while now. How long should I let this go on before I at least knock?

God, this is not what I signed up for.


Greg said...

Is the middle the bit that's remaining because the edges are easiest and you were doing them first? Still, with only a little bit remaining it can't feel too daunting for tomorrow!
Oh wow, so I liked Morganna's computer-depiction of the scene as it finally played out, with the computer's attention on the boxes and the reprogramming voices; I thought that was excellent. And you've taken that and run with it magnificently with some delicate little hints about what might be going on and where our culprits might lie. And how far the rot might have spread....
There's a sense of foreboding now that I don't think was quite there earlier, so well done for introducing that. Our poor hero(in)es are starting to feel the pressure and the distance from home :)

Melina and Vassily have gone to Vassily's cabin together, which I assume means they're having sex. Dad used to tell me something about assumptions and donkeys but I can't really remember it (and he used to forget it too after a while. Stupid Alzheimers) but he used to tell me so it makes me sad I can't remember it. But I don't really get why Vassily wants to have sex with meanie Melina. I hope she ties him up too!
I'm bored, I'm sitting here in Eliza's quarters and she looks like she's fed up with me already. She's told me to stop fidgeting twice and the second time I just had an itch in my nose and wasn't picking it at all! I want to go and tell everybody back on earth what's happened and how we found a major criminal mastermind, meanie Melina, and how I helped stop her by pulling that cable out. Well, almost pulling that cable out. And then getting yelled at by Patrick because fires are dangerous here. Like they're not dangerous everywhere. And I need to sort my hair out as well, because I can see myself in the shiny metal table that Eliza has in her quarters and I hadn't realised what hanging upside would do to it! I look like a gonk!
"Robbie, must you –. Robbie, why do you keep sighing?"
Eliza sounded ticked off at first, but then she sounds more patient, a bit like the producers on the show when I was trying to get here. I must be annoying her again.
"I dunno," I said. Her lips tighten and I realise that that's annoying her too, so I try harder. "Um, it's like, it's not that easy to breathe in here. Like." That last like is just nerves, honest. I try smiling, but she's scary. And now she's glaring at me like she found me standing next to Vassily's favourite nephew just after he broke his arm. Which, come to think about it, she did, so maybe that's not such a good ana... analo... analogue-thingy.
"Say that again," she says, but the tightness around her eyes relaxes a little.
"It's just that it's a bit hard to breathe," I say. "Like when we did the high bar press chamber thing."
"Hypobaric pressure chamber...," she says, and starts chewing her bottom lip. "Oh crap, Vassily's got back-up controls in his quarters. He's got access to the atmosphere and climate controls."
"Yeah, but he's shagging Melina, isn't he?" I say. Eliza gives me a look that makes me close my mouth and get back to thinking about how I should do something about my hair. She gets up and walks to the door of her quarters and tries the handle.
"Locked." she says, and there's something toneless about her voice now. "Oh crap. Computer? I don't suppose you can hear me can you?"

morganna said...

Of course I can hear Alpha Female 2. /computing It must want my attention. /end_computing

/Alpha_Female_2-chamber external_speaker_on I can hear you. /external_speaker_off

"Computer, please reset the atmospheric controls for this chamber to normal."

/Alpha_Female_2-chamber controls-reset

/Alpha_Female_2-chamber external_speaker_on Command completed. /external_speaker_off

"Computer, please route sound from Commander Vassily's chamber to this chamber. One-way only, please."

/Alpha_Female_2-chamber external_speaker_on One-way sound routed from commander's chamber. /external_speaker_off

Vassily's voice filled the room. "I'm not blaming you, Melina. I really don't understand why that idiot went down that way anyway, and after that it was just a series of bad coincidences. What we need to focus on now is salvaging our true mission. Have you been able to reach the Russian base camp at all?"

"No, I haven't at all. I don't understand. They seem to have gone radio-quiet, even for us."

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, pretty much. Why do what's hard to do today when I can do the easier stuff first? :P

Thanks! Glad you liked what I've done with things :)

Ah jeez, Vassily with backup controls in his quarter, where he can safely do whatever he wants completely out of sight? That's not good. Thankfully we have the computer on our side... right Morganna?

Morganna - right! Hurray!

That's some smooth work, especially the idea to get the one-way audio from Vassily's quarters. So now we know what we're up against, or at least have a better idea of it.

And... I still have a couple weeks to think about what comes next. Phew.