Challenge #02067-E243: The Trouble With GravysteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction6 years ago (edited)


"Unfortunately, gravity is temporarily out, so we're going to have to deal with it and float." -- TheDragonsFlame

"She's not dead," insisted the Nae'hyn Priest/technician. "She's just resting."

Captain Jarth repeated her question, "How. Long. Will it. Take?"

"I tried to warn you that it was a bad idea to transfer a short-haul gravy drive into a long-hauler," said Knekkit, who was ordinarily the translator. Today, she was being the repeater of known facts. "They get used to patterns of behaviour and get obstinate about doing what they're used to. Like trained elephants."

"Please stop expressing explanations like a human," sighed Captain Jarth. "Can you... encourage the drive to resume operations? We rather need gravity. For... everything."

"She's not a machine," said the Nae'hyn. "Well. Mostly a machine. She's a living spirit and needs to get used to this idea. I'll try soothing her into it. Maybe if we work this like a series of stop-overs, I can get her to only take half-hour breaks in between travel spates. But she'll need a nice holiday, afterwards. Forty-eight hours, minimum." Her nametag said Rishu and she held casually on to handholds with her toes. She dropped her voice to a whisper. "I'm afraid to say she doesn't like your lot, so she may be being stroppy. If you leave, I might have better luck."

It was such a pity that phenomenally useful technology like the artificial gravity drive came with a free and unwanted Human. Captain Jarth could hide her contempt for these balding apes. She could be civil about her interactions with this one named Rishu. But she could not handle this many Human words in a row. Even with Knekkit's translations into more civilised areas of communication.

The worst part was that some of these Human concepts were catching. Their verbal toolbox was as useful as it was confounding.

...Powers help her, she just thought the phrase, verbal toolbox... "We will remove ourselves from your area. However, I will be thankful for any progress updates as milestones occur."

Human Rishu showed her teeth at this and spoke to her pet machine. The translation from Knekkit was, "See, love? They're alright. They don't expect fifteen-minute progress reports that take twenty minutes to fill out. We're good."

Humans were so annoying. From their lexicons to their superstitions to their bizarre expectations of the universe at large and the way they inevitably seemed to come true. If it wasn't for their gravity generators, Captain Jarth would much rather leave them to their own devices.

She pulled herself towards her duty station and turned on the comms. "Having personally investigated the fault, I am sad to announce that, unfortunately, the gravity is temporarily out. Therefore, were are going to have to deal with the situation and float until such time as the flaw is remedied. Those who can, please stabilise yourself to anchored features and do your utmost to maintain Local Up."

Now all she had to do was keep an eye on the drifting furniture.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / rolffimages]

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