Space Opera

Into The Unknown Campaign
Chapter 2

In fact, it wasn't until the next day, after a fairly comfortable night in Buck's ship, that they found a hatch. By then, they had decided that it was a ship of some kind with a slightly curving hull. A little after noon, they found an airlock door. Buck frowned, "I've never seen this design before, and the language doesn't look familiar. Still, form follows function." He shifted and almost unconsciously adjusted his sidearm in its holster.

Aggie picked up pack and rifle. "Well, I still don't see a doorbell, so let's just take a peek."

"Right. Let's see. This looks like a manual override and ... ah," Buck stepped back as the hatch irised open. Beyond was a roughly two meter square room with doors on all sides. The door opposite was set in a slightly curved wall, to the left and right the walls were straight. Dim emergency lights illuminated the space, which was quite clearly an airlock. "Hmm," Buck looked around." Left, right or straight ahead?"

"An airlock with four doors? In and out aren't good enough?" Aggie stepped into the room and peered up at the lights. "Lights on means power's still on." Aggie glanced back at Buck's radiation detector, "but I guess we already knew that." Aggie looked at the doors- but for a simple control panel, each was unmarked. "Control room should be toward the center of the ship, right? So straight in, I'd say. Will these doors open with the outer hatch popped, or do we jimmy them"?

"If they do open, then the atmosphere in and out is more or less the same. If they don't ... so step on out." Buck set his scanner down and typed in a few commands. "Alright." He flipped a switch on the door and leapt back out to join Aggie. After a short pause, the inner door began to iris open. Buck pulled Aggie back another few steps, checking a wrist readout as he did. "Just to be safe," he said. "Alright, the scanner says we're OK." He shrugged, "The ships scanners could be malfunctioning or something."

They returned and Buck retrieved his scanner. The new space revealed was circular, with a door on the far side and no ceiling. Rather, there was no ceiling for seven or eight meters. "Two more decks, look. Automatic lift with ladders in case powers out." Buck pointed to the access hatches above them and the other items he'd noticed. "Nothing below us, we're on the bottom."

"So our choice is to check out the rest of this deck, or head up." Aggie peered up the shaft. "I vote up." Aggie looked around for any other signs of whose ship this might be. "Nothing in here looks familiar?"

"Nope. Well, it all looks sort of familiar, but kind of off." He looked around. "Up it is." The pair worked their way up the ladders to the top level where they found two doors. Picking one they went through and found themselves in an observatory of sorts. "Probably real nice when you're in space," said Buck shining his flashlight around. "Looks like shutters over windows. Slick."

Back out through the lift shaft they found a wide corridor with a few side doors, but a large and inviting one at the opposite end. That door led to what both men recognized as a bridge. "Maximum running crew of three," Buck noted. "Roughly our shape and size, judging from the chairs."

"Still not familiar. But still ..." he shook his head.

Aggie looked back at his shaggy partner. "'Our' covers a lot more ground than I had thought earlier this week. But I suppose that rules out a few "thems", too." Aggie walked around the banks of controls, looking for any signs of life on the various screens and dials. "At least we might find something here to identify them. I suppose finding the owner's manual in the glove compartment is too much to ask, but I'm hesitant to start pressing buttons. Maybe we can find the captain's quarters -- a log would be useful. Well -- provided it had lots of pictures, I guess." Buck nodded absently. He pointed at the screens, "I can make out a little of this.

"You can read some of the language? Or do the dials just look familiar? Anything look like a map of the ship?"

That looks like a power gauge and it's running very low, which fits with what I was getting on the monitors. Cold starting an AMC unit is usually annoying so all the ones I know have a 'trickle' mode and that might be what that means. There are fewer controls than I would have expected here."

"So what's missing? Other than the crew, that is."

Buck shrugged. "Not very many controls, so a computer interface of some kind, maybe?"

"And no big red "on", button, eh?" Aggie ran his fingers over the darkened screens on the consoles in front of the three seats. "But we're getting ahead of ourselves. We found the observatory, and now the bridge. But no accommodations -- quarters, galley, sick bay. Let's make sure the crew isn't just napping, shall we?"

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Jeff Berry, nexus (AT)
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Last updated: 17 July 2009