Later in Dukk and Marr’s evening shift, Dukk entered the cockpit. He was carrying drink containers.
“Here you go,” Dukk said has he handed Marr the hot drink.
“Thank you, Dukk.”
“Actually, yes. There is a yellow warning on internal integrity.”
“Show me”, Dukk replied as he leaned over to see her console.
“See the log here. It says pressure regulation is at risk.”
“Did you check external integrity?”
“Yes, it is showing as one hundred percent.”
“Did you check internal door integrity?”
“No, how do I do that?”
“Navigate to ‘Intermediary Maintenance’. Right, and find ‘Internal Doors’. Yep, and now review the list of doors. Each time a door closes, it should register an integrity reading.”
“The lounge door is showing sixty percent.”
“Looks like you have found the problem. I’ll go down and have a look. It might be something we can sort out ourselves and avoid disturbing Bazzer on his downtime.”
Dukk used the forward ladder shaft. It was the most direct route from the cockpit to the front of the accommodation level. The ladder shaft door on that level was adjacent to the lounge door.
Dukk stepped out of the ladder shaft. The lounge door looked closed, however he could hear voices. That indicated the door hadn’t sealed properly.
Dukk didn’t feel comfortable eavesdropping, but he also wanted to understand the problem before he touched the door. He didn’t want to make the problem worse. He did his best to tune out their voices as he looked for the problem.
“Look, I just feel we need to think it through. You’ve been saying for a while now, that you are over Earth and this type of work. I was talking to those too heavies from Mayfield. They said there is plenty of security work out there and in neighbouring systems. Maybe it is time to retire,” said one of the people in the lounge. The voice was deep, like that of a man. Dukk assume that it was Larony.
“I know, but we made a deal. It is bad form to renege. It will follow us no matter where we end up,” said another person. That voice was higher. A woman. Dukk recognised the second voice. It was Joantyi.
From Dukk’s perspective he could see there was a slight gap in the top corner.
“I need to open the door and inspect the hinges,” Dukk thought to himself.
He was about to open the door and let them know, when something told him to pause.
“We won’t be reneging. We will simply be invalidating the terms. Thumpol made no mention of Mentor being on this crew. If half of what we have heard is true, there is no way we’ll pull this off unscathed or even perhaps alive!” said the man.
Dukk stopped dead.
“Yes, I know this job will call for some creative thinking. I have that already in play.”
“You are insane and you are going to get us both killed. I’m going to get some rest before the next traverse.”
Dukk quickly retreated into the shaft and closed the door as quietly as he could.
He then slid down the ladder to the hold. From there, he dashed back up the stairs and opened the door to the main corridor of the accommodation level. He timed it well. Larony was just coming down the corridor.
“Hi, everything alright?” Dukk asked politely.
“Yes. Everything on track, Captain?” Larony replied coldly.
“Pretty much. I just got a warning about an issue with the lounge door.”
“Interesting. It looked fine to me. I just closed it.”
“I’d better check it all the same.”
“Whatever,” Larony said as he brushed past and continued on towards the cabins.
On entering the lounge, Dukk found Joantyi on the couch. She had next to nothing on as per usual.
“Oh, sorry to disturb you,” Dukk said, doing his best to look surprised.
“Captain, I was just thinking of you. I have a question if you have a moment.”
“Actually, I am kind of in the middle of something. This door is broken and I need to sort it before we do the next traverse,” Dukk answered as he closed the door and inspected the hinges.
“I assume you’ve been to Maple Tower before?” she continued as if she hadn’t heard Dukk’s attempt to end the conversation before it got started.
“Yes, several times,” Dukk answered mindlessly.
“I hear it can get a little rough.”
“Yes, that tends to happen with the isolated hubs.”
“I want to avoid any grief while I am there. Any tips on how I might do that?”
Dukk paused. He had found the problem. The bolts on the top hinge were loose. He tried to move one with his hand and it turned. That shouldn’t happen if they were tensioned correctly. He kept a calm expression.
“Possible, but not probable that these bolts just loosen themselves. Someone wanted my attention,” Dukk thought to himself.
“I am sorry, you are obviously busy, perhaps when you have some time later. After all we’ve got another few days before we get there?”
“Yes we do,” Dukk answered without thinking.
“Great so, I look forward to sitting down with you later.”
“Right,” Dukk replied realising he’d just been suckered into a meeting he didn’t really want to have.
(to be continued...)
[Rule of Twelve, Double Take, Chapter 14 - Troubleshooting (Passage 2 of 5)]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2021 BJ Allen
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Passages will appear here in Locals first, but I can’t put the entire chapter here because of post size limitations. So, I am publishing the chapters via ThinkSpot. You don’t need an account to read the chapters. Just follow the link and scroll down.
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
Rule of Twelve, Double Take - Ch15 (Passage 5/5)
“Hi,” came Luna’s voice as she bounced into the suit locker.
Dukk turned around.
“Are you alright? You are all flushed?”
“Yes, I am fine. I was practicing some yoga in zero-G. I lost track of time. Quite challenging and not what I expected.” Luna replied.
“Yoga?” Marr mouthed silently at Luna from behind Dukk.
Luna smiled cheekily.
Marr held her hands up and looked away as if to say ‘I don't want to know’.
Dukk laughed. He’d been an apprentice too once. He knew what was on his mind the first time he was in zero-g. And, he could tell an intentional lie.
“Are you sure you want to try this now? I can go alone and you can get back to your ‘yoga’?” Dukk asked in gest emphasising the last word.
“Nope, I’m good. Let’s do this.”
Thirty five minutes later, Luna stood at the port outer doorway. She was in awe.
Dukk and Luna had completed the same process Bazzer and Marr had done earlier. Marr, with ...
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