“Are we going to die?” Fry asked me for the third time since we entered the Robinson’s airlock.
“Shut up, man,” Hoff sighed as she double checked her gun.
“I saw myself dying on a dark space ship and this ship is dark.”
I tried not to say anything. As the prophet of Sol, the deific entity that lives in the sun, I often had visions of the future. More so since I was injected with a serum that should make me live forever.
“What did you see, Hal?” Fry asked sounding less like the walking arsenal of death that he was and more like a scared child.
“The less I say, the better for all of us.” I hadn’t seen anything. I couldn’t see anything. This part of the solar system was beyond Sol’s influence. I felt naked and blind. The only reason I was here was that I’d heard there was something floating past Xanthus from their local Precog, Caro. All they’d tell me was that there was something there and I needed to go look. Even their amazing abilities couldn’t tell me anything more.
“I hate it when you’re cryptic,” Teddy said over the coms.
I had brought a team of six people. Somehow, with the solar system in the midst of a civil war, or three, my ship had gone from echoing lonely hallways to loud and tight. I liked it cramped; it meant I was never alone with my own future. The things I saw when I slept haunted me and for the past two years I’ve wondered when they’d come to pass.
“Can we stay on mission, please?” Adric said over the coms. He was a brilliant engineer and computer hacker; young enough that he still couldn’t drink on most worlds and not fond of chatter when we were exploring ghost ships.
The six person team was me, Teddy our second engineer, Fry head of security, Hoff our bioscience expert, Travis our secondary pilot and swordsman, and Suzie my ex-assassin personal bodyguard.
Just over two years ago, Suzie had told me she loved me. I hadn’t said anything at the time and then I’d been resurrected and we were trying to stop a solar system-wide war and unite the people of Sol in order to face a greater threat… Yeah, I chickened out.
“Team two, this is team one, we’ve reached engineering. Ship’s completely abandoned but everything is still in working order. We’ll try to get the lights on.” That was Suzie; she was with Travis and Teddy.
The lights stayed off. As we approached the doors to the ship’s bridge, I heard a sound that haunts my dreams, a soft clicking noise. It’s the sound of two dried bones tapping each other, the sound of death, and the sound of my nightmares.
In general, I’m a pacifist and don’t like killing or hitting things. I did spend some time in a gladiator Arena so I learnt how to punch.
The piece of the ship’s ceiling that fell next to me didn’t know what hit it. Probably because it was inanimate and because it was disintegrated by my fiery punch.
“What was that?” Suzie asked.
“Hal’s teaching the ship whose boss,” Hoff said dryly.
“Ok. Anyone recognize this ship’s design?”
“Looks Earthen; maybe five hundred years old. From just before they went all luddite.” Adric said over the coms.
“Could it be one of the system jumpers?” I asked. The last fleet from earth was comprised of over a hundred ships. They were escaping the rise of technophobia that had gripped earth and the xenophobia of the other planetary empires. Using extra powerful faster-than-light drives, they jumped into the unknown, never to be heard from again. With a bad calculation, the ships could have appeared in a sun or black hole. They used supercomputers back then and those are extremely unreliable compared to Precogs.
“That would explain the engines,” Suzie said. “They’re absolutely amazing. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. Is this what Earth tech was like before?” The Fall was the name for what happened when half the population of the earth rebelled against the corporate government and demolished the factories that had been destroying the planet. They returned to an agrarian lifestyle. Most of their tech was lost.
“Has anyone seen any sign of life?” I asked, hoping no one had. This whole situation terrified me and I didn’t know why.
“I saw a few escape pods still in their bay. No one bailed.” Suzie said over the coms.
“So where’s the crew?” I asked, jumping as the lights came on.
In the distant future humanity has spread to the other planets in our solar system. These stories follow Hal (a prophet for a godlike entity that lives in the sun), and his friends, as they try to make the solar system a better place.