Bridge, Magellan Disrupter Ship: 25th Cycle, 3:50 PM AVT — 9 hours, 31 minutes post-Breach
Alarms from all over the ship were ringing in my ears as I stepped onto the bridge. Blue screens throughout the room were flashing red warnings. The smell of smoke burned my nostrils as frayed wires sparked against the ceiling. Multiple control panels along the wall smoldered. ANDI’s were frantically attempting to contain the breach.
I headed towards the helm. Maybe Commander Bowen could explain to me what I had just walked into.
He was rapidly typing commands into a control screen as I approached. Sensing my presence, his head snapped up in that weird ANDI way, and he stared at me for a second with his light purple eyes. There was an expression of pure disbelief on his face, as if he didn’t trust his own neural network. After a moment, he turned back and yelled, “When did you get here?”
“Just now,” I confirmed. “What’s going on?”
Cmdr. Bowen kept his eyes fixed on his task as he barked, “We’ve been breached! The self-destruct has been set, but it’s not us. Somehow, whoever got in has managed to take over the ship’s controls. Every last one of the computer systems has been corrupted! We still have access to manual controls, but even those can be overridden by the digital control sequences if they find them.”
He looked back over to me and took a step closer. He seemed almost out of breath. Odd for an ANDI. “I’ve tried in vain to regain access. It’s just not working, and we’re running out of time. There’s another way. A manual override for the entire computer control system. Eight crew members carry keys that must be used together to override the system from the Control Room. You are the only one who can save the ship. Can you do it?”
“Me? But I don’t even — ”
“Good!” He cut me off. “Hurry. Go see the Doc in the Med Lab, I know he has one of the keys. If you succeed, if you’re able to reset the controls, you’ll be a legend!”
I took a split-second to respond. It felt like the weight of the world was sitting on my chest. Sheer terror seeped into my veins. The fear paralyzed me until it occurred to me that if the self-destruct engaged, we’d all be dead instantly. Strange, a suicide mission was actually my best shot at survival. It was everyone’s best shot at survival.
“Alright, I’m on it!”
I suddenly remembered I had no weapons. But, I had to go. The clock was ticking. Hopefully I could find some as I went. Where the hell was the Med Lab again? I pulled up the map of the ship.
As I headed for the door, Cmdr. Bowen shouted out to me, “Good luck, and Godspeed.”
I was going to need it…
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