Fallen Angel, Part 16

Day 59. 25 pages, 7,524 words. Didn’t obviously do all that overnight – this just shows the notes I’d already collected and moved to the next part.


 

Day 725 (Centre / Mind standard). Reactor at 98% efficiency. Batteries at 100% and stable. Recycling systems condition green (sustainable). Air supply condition green (sustainable). Sleep chamber effective durability at 36%. Estimated depletion of raw materials for nutrient fabricator 492,000 days.

Further study of the Category 9 Convoy Defence Platform internal security measure, code-named ‘Flesh-Eater’, has revealed primary cause of deactivation to have been heavy impact against a spinal node that acted as a universal regulator. This almost certainly occurred when the Flesh-Eater was ejected forcibly from the platform, backwards, through the hull plating.

Destruction of the regulator simultaneously deactivated the platform’s main centralised control functions and also rendered the Flesh-Eater inert. It is hypothesised that the unit is designed to be rendered inert upon disconnect in any case, to avoid the risk of independent military actions or subversion. The regulator is completely destroyed although as stated in previous entries, limited internal functionality (logs) has been restored by use of interfaces.

Bypassing the regulator to establish any form of communication with the platform must first deal with the security measures set in place to prevent exactly this.

No further communications received. Investigation of Flesh-Eater ongoing. Investigation of possible planetary bodies deeper in-system on hold pending ship repair and sensor overhaul. Ship repair and sensor overhaul on hold pending location of suitable raw materials. Drill project for water collection is on hold due to recent developments.

Researcher Predericon Ti Akmet, Lelhmak’s Moon.

Log ends.

Predericon sat back from the interface and sighed. She felt weary, and no amount of lulltime study and reflection or regenerative exercise seemed to help.

She’d spent more time with the sculpture – far more than she’d planned. It was a distant secondary priority at this point, and she shuddered to think what Lelhmak would say if he knew the full extent of her fascination with the abstract project … and yet she felt drawn to it.

The benefits of taking one’s mind off an immediate problem were well-established, but it had proven misguided in this case. She’d spent several hours staring, tweaking, reviewing, and making minute adjustments, but not really getting any closer to a solution. She told herself that once they established their location and got a better idea of what had happened in the hours immediately surrounding their crash, the project would gain more merit. And then instead of going back to the Flesh-Eater, she’d continued to stare at the middle of her impossible work-in-progress.

When Lelhmak and Gyden had knocked on her door to find out what the status of the Flesh-Eater research was, she’d been jolted. And she’d been forced to cobble together a series of elementary findings into a highly dubious set of secondary conclusions and an action plan scarcely justified by the information in her possession. Writing it into the ship’s log had seemed fraudulent.

Lelhmak had almost certainly seen through it anyway, but she’d made enough progress before ‘taking a break’ to work on the sculpture that they were satisfied with her intermediate conclusions. The Flesh-Eater did deactivate on severance from the platform for a reason, and circumventing that measure without reestablishing the connection was a bad idea. If, however, they could reconnect it to the platform while at the same time keeping it safely disconnected from its horrifying knife-hands, that would be a great benefit.

It was just a difficult thing to achieve when the mechanism actually designed to facilitate that connection was the thing that had been obliterated.

She’d succeeded in extending Old Man Lelhmak’s deadline by a day, and had little to show for it. Sooner or later he was going to press for some sort of decision, or cantankerously demand that they put him back in the sleeper.

Actively resisting the urge to return to her cabin, Predericon made her way back to the comms / examination station where the Flesh-Eater’s head lay face-down and open on the table.

 


– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

This entry was posted in Astro Tramp 400, IACM, Oræl Rides To War, The Book of Pinian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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