Bazzer and Luna had continued talking and hadn’t noticed Dukk and Marr eavesdropping.
"Yes, it is one of three full consoles outside the cockpit. The other two are located in the crew mess and in a wall locker in the starboard passenger airlock. With the right authorisation you could fly the rig from any of these consoles," Bazzer could be heard saying.
"It is all blank, how does it work?" Luna asked.
"Consoles are activated by Biometrics. As are all the doors, seats and g-juice lines.
Yours will have been made available to the rig when your redesignation was approved. And, it should have been uploaded to the rig when you cleared the ID Gateway. The captain just needs to grant you access. Which he may have already done. Just sit down and put your hands near the panels."
"There you go, the captain has it all configured.”
“What is all this over here? It is disabled,” Luna asked pointing to a series of panels.
“The DMD and reactor controls. The Observers lock us out until we are beyond the outer marker.”
“Who knows really. They are a bunch of suspicious loons. They’d have us believe they are still under threat. They tell us that someone might try to use one of these rigs as a flying bomb. Madness!”
“Madness,” Luna repeated back, half heartedly.
“Now let's get to work. Open up the system gauges. Yep, over there. Now navigate to fuel and supplies gauges."
"Holy cow, why so many?"
“Redundancy but also because we carry everything we need to survive on our own.”
“That make sense.”
"We want to check all the tanks. See over there. Select them all and then click the button labelled Calibration’."
“Done. Now what? Wait, several have gone orange?”
“Perfect. Now select the orange ones, and click the button down there labelled ‘order and replenish’. Great, now click that button there on the rig schematic.”
“Done. Oh! What does that flashing indicate?”
“It means our job is mostly done. You just opened the access panels under the wings, and a request has now been sent to the captain. Once authorised the hoses will emerge from the pad floor, connect to the one-way valves and fill our tanks.”
“We don’t need to connect anything ourselves?”
“Nope, but we still need to go under the rig and monitor it. Things can go wrong and it is best if we are on hand when it does. Let’s continue the tour while we wait for authorisation.”
Realising their quiet moment together enjoying hearing Luna’s orientation was at an end, Dukk turned to Marr saying, “let’s get the nose door open. We’ll use the console in the starboard passenger airlock.”
They headed in the direction of stairs in the forward wall of the hold. Dukk approved the resupply request as he walked across.
Marr was slightly ahead when they reached the other side of the hold. She went to climb the stairs that would take them up to the Mezzanine and starboard passenger airlock.
“Nope, not that way,” Dukk interrupted as he approached an airtight door near the stairs.
“I like to check for any obstructions first. The hold doors are strong, as are the motors on them. The motors will jam the doors into any object in their path. It’s a delay we can’t afford."
The airtight door gave them access to the bottom of the forward ladder shaft.
Marr noticed the tracks that ran up the ladder shaft. “That must be what Annee was referring to by the vertical conveyer,” Marr thought to herself.
An airtight door on the other side of the shaft gave them access to a store room. To their left was another airtight door. In front of them were two larger doors.
“We’ll also open these store room doors as Annee and Mentor will be bringing the supplies in here.”
“Is the hold airlock accessed through there?” Marr suggested pointing to the door to their left.
“Exactly. While I open these, stick your head in there and see that it is clear of obstacles.“
Marr opened the airtight door and stepped into a wide and tall corridor. At either ends were large doors. On the other side was a ladder leading up to what Marr assumed was the external door on the port side. She retreated and closed the airtight door.
“Great. And it is all clear in the forward airlock compartment too. Let’s use the ladder over here to get up to the mezzanine and starboard passenger airlock.”
Marr followed Dukk up a ladder to a landing. Passing through an airtight door on the landing gave them access to a room filled with g-suits. Marr recalled that it was regulation that two spare g-suits be available to every person onboard. One set was to be kept near the main passenger door and the other near escape pods.
Dukk led the way out of the suit locker and onto a landing. That landing gave them access to the starboard passenger airlock and the main door they had entered after climbing the stairs from the pad floor.
“Ok, the console is behind these panels.”
Dukk opened the panels and the console lit up. He swiped the pages to find a schematic of the rig. He also opened up some video feeds of the hold and nose section of the rig. On the schematic he pressed the open buttons on the internal hold doors that Marr had seen moments ago on the level below. Next, he pressed the open button on the nose door. On the video feeds they watched the doors open.
Dukk flicked to further screens and was able to access the pad video feeds. From there they could see the nose lift up and expose the forward airlock compartment where they had climbed the ladder.
The video feed also showed Annee and Mentor on the pad bringing the travel lockers towards the nose of the rig.
With the nose door open, Dukk pressed another button on the schematic. The video feeds then showed a ramp unfolding within the forward airlock compartment and extending out of the open nose section. The moment it touch the pad, Annee and Mentor were onto it, bringing the lockers behind them.
“Job done, now let’s make our way back upstairs and load the navigation while we wait for the load clearance to complete.”
(to be continued...)
[Uplift, Double Take, Chapter 8 - Orientation (Passage 4 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
Chapter 1 - A routine descent
Chapter 2 - Perspective
Chapter 3 - Grounding
Chapter 4 - Cause and effect
Chapter 5 - The first meeting
Chapter 6 - Staying goodbye
Chapter 7- Instability
Chapter 8 - Orientation
Chapter 9 - Loading
Dukk opened up a video feed to the passenger seating and then selected the broadcast channel.
“Welcome to orbit. I hope you had an enjoyable launch,” Dukk announced as he watched the video feed. Annee and Mentor were amongst them helping them unhook from the g-juice. He continued.
“Our flight path to the Mayfield system will take us via the Teegarden, JR18, JR56, JR72 and Maple 12 systems. We’ll have a twenty four hour layover in Maple Tower before continuing on. The 2nd half of the trip taking in the Maple 15, Maple 18, Finch 2, Finch 12 and WZR22 systems. We will likely take a couple of intermediary inspections along the way. All going well, we should reach Mayfield within 9 days. The flight plan and progress is available within the rig information panels in your cabins and living spaces. We have just under twelve hours before our first traverse. I will be around later if you have any questions. To help you prepare, you’ll hear from me and my crew fifteen minutes prior to the first ...
The convergence of two key events gave rise to this space. The first being frustration over the madness of the world and the cliff we are all charging towards. The second being the realisation that time was getting on and I’d better get the stuff out of my head before it was too late. So, I created this community on Locals.com. My plan is to experiment with this format as an alternative to the traditional book publishing path. My plan is to publish stories as they evolve, probably a chapter at a time. The first piece of writing that will unfold here is a story that I am calling Uplift, Double Take. This piece explores life 200 odd years from now, based on the trajectory of the current madness.
Your financial support would be greatly appreciated, but not needed to read the book.
This is because, I am publishing the book one passage at a time via normal posts within my Locals community.
You simply need to join the community and you’ll get book passages delivered directly to you as ...