Chapter 2: If Someone Had Been Awake

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Part 1

After landing we had a difficult few minutes. We couldn’t see a damn thing, Mr. Military was swearing up a storm, I was having a little panic attack of my own, and then finally my finger found a manual switch that brought our terminal back to life. The tiny screen lit the room just enough to be comforting. We are alive, that much is good to know.

“Turn on some fucking lights,” Mr. Military shouts at me. If there was a moment for gratitude, it’s gone now. I’m not saying my efforts did anything positive for sure, but they definitely didn’t do anything negative. Probably…

I turn on some lights, basic stuff. I also turn on most of the systems I turned off. The thrusters don’t need to fire, and life support still needs to keep us alive, but at least the radiators now have it easy since they can transfer heat to an actual atmosphere. An atmosphere made of what exactly? I don’t know, but maybe The Dreamer does. A question I file away for another time. For now, and for the foreseeable future, my world is not Warlock 4. My world is The Dreamer.

Mr. Military makes a show of stowing a jump seat, turning on his own terminal, and then eventually storming off to some unknown bowel of the ship. Speaking of bowels, I take a quick inventory of my body. I have to pee. I’m hot. I feel like I just ran a marathon. And my back hurts from where I yanked wires out less than an hour ago.

My brain, on the other hand, is curious. I want to know what happened and how it happened. I want to know more about our situation, our survivability, and the other people aboard The Dreamer still sleeping. Between brain and body, my brain almost always wins. Even the urge to pee subsides along with any notions of using the first aid kit on my back wounds. I dive head first into the logs.

I can’t say how much time passes for certain, but all I am able to confirm from recent power logs is more of the same. I’d have to go back further, but something tugs at my own innate curiosity. I pull myself from the power logs and I start getting curious about my Mr. Military friend.

I give a cautionary look around the bridge, making sure that I was alone. Making sure that Mr. Military wasn’t lurking around a corner. Seeing things as all clear, I amble over to his terminal, legs still unsteady in the gravity, and I take a peek at whatever he was looking at. First, I just spare a glance but then I can only stare. It’s atmosphere numbers, external. It’s a report he must have asked the ship to run. A report that in normal circumstances, I would run, every day, for many days.

The bottom of the report simply read, “Breathable.”

“Fuck,” I say to myself before begging my legs to work. I push off the terminal and work my way out of the bridge.

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