Chapter 10: Trapped, Escaped, and Pirates (again)
“And now, so must you!” Annie mimicked. “That’s overdramatic and a little clichéd.” She’d met the Technomancer a few times before. He’d always come off as a nerdy goof. That wasn’t the air he was projecting today though.
“Don’t mock me child.” The man looked frustrated.
“So… what’s your plan? Are you going to rip us apart atom by atom?” Seren seemed annoyed and more curious than frightened.
“No. Absolutely not. I will turn off this section of the repository and you can die when the sun implodes. It’ll be a little over a day.” With those words he stepped back and the door closed. Annie ran for the door but couldn’t get out. The lights and computer terminal went dark.
The only light was from their headlamps and portable computers.
“So what are you two planning?” Jan asked. When Seren and Annie didn’t say anything Jan scoffed and said, “I’ve known both of you since we were kids. There’s no way you sat through that without thinking of a plan.”
“Well…” Seren said. “Maybe if we can connect with another part of the repository with our computers we can reroute power.”
“I was going to use the battery in my computer to try and power the door,” Annie replied.
“Great, both of you get to work and I’ll take a nap,” Jan said, stretching out on the floor.
It was a few hours before Jan heard a pair of curses. Neither method had worked.
Seren said, “There’s some sort of interference, every time I think I’ve connected, something cuts me off.”
Annie said, “I can power the door but it’s locked somehow and I can’t power it and disable the lock.”
“What if we asked for help?” Jan’s question seemed to surprise the other two. They swung their heads around to stare at them.
“Um… Who are we going to ask?” Annie questioned.
“Isn’t there anyway to ask the repository or Hoku?”
It looked like Annie was going to argue but then she just smiled and said, “Yes. That’s brilliant. You’re brilliant. All we have to do is connect to the repository not the systems.”
“Wouldn’t the Technomancer have thought of that?” asked Annie skeptically.
“That arrogant gas planet wouldn’t think of talking to the repository like it was a person. He still refers to her as an it like the Mother-of-All-Stars was only some sort of computer instead of the spirit of an entire civilization.” Jan started calmly but as they spoke, they became angrier at the thoughtlessness of the Technomancers and their ancestors.
“Okay let’s give it a try,” Seren tapped away at her computer. After what felt like too long a time the same black screen with green text appeared on Seren’s computer.
“Hello again. Why have you disabled terminal 13?”
“We didn’t. The technomancer did.”
“Designation not recognized.”
Seren looked around and wondered how to explain that they were not the same. “There were four of us in this room. Now there are three. The other isn’t our friend, he wants to destroy the mother-of-stars.”
“That is illogical. Can you stop him?”
The three friends looked at each other and shrugged. “I don’t know, but we have to try.”
It must have been the right answer, the doors opened and the floor showed arrows. Jan smilled and said, “Lets follow. Seren, can you keep the link on your computer?”
“I think so. Why?”
As they ran following the arrows, Jan said, “If the Technomancers learned everything from the repository than we, and your Dad, are going to need to study quickly to beat him.”
Laughing, Annie said, “And you say we’re the ones that always have a plan.”
The arrows didn’t lead them back to the transportation room they’d been in. Instead it brought them to a larger but almost identical room. Again, nothing was in the room but a raised circular platform and that’s where the arrows ended.
Shrugging, the three of them stood on the platform and waited. The first time they teleported there was no sound or feeling but this time there was a bright flash of light and a slight feeling of nausea.
When Seren’s eyes adjusted she was in her father’s lab. Her father was looking at her like she’d just appeared out of thin air, which she had. “Matter teleportation is supposed to be impossible. How, where…” he trailed off as he pulled her in for a hug.
“It’s a lot to explain. We need to stop the Technomancer from destroying the planet and the station.” She shoved the computer at him and started to explain. When she was done she looked around and said, “Where are the others?”
“You’re the only one that teleported here.”
Just as she was reaching for her communicator, Jan’s voice came over the intercom, “Seren and Annie, are you there?”
“I’m here but I don’t know where Annie went. I’ve filled my Dad in on what’s happening.” She saw that her Dad was already talking with the repository.
“Great. I’m with the Captain. Apparently teleporting into his office was enough to convince him. Whatever the Technomancer did, his ship is already gone. The captain has no idea what he did.”
Mr. Plentyn interrupted with, “I’m trying to get a more direct link between us, the station’s sun, and the repository. I think the station’s sun is like a toddler and if I can get the repository to help it, it can run a diagnostic.”
The alarms went off and another voice came over the intercom, “Pirates have been spotted. All pilots to fighters, everyone else to your stations.”
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories: