31.25% Spaceship And Dragon / Chapter 5: Prelude (Part 2)

Chapter 5: Prelude (Part 2)

Naomi released a breath of exhaustion after the ship finally entered the Emerald galaxy.

For an intern pilot, her job was to go around the bridge and do the manual jobs the pilots are too lazy to do themselves. Press this button, flip that switch, fetch those numbers etc. "People on the ground probably think a modern spaceship will have all the control options neatly presented on a touchscreen or a hologram in front of the pilots." Well, that used to be the case, until the disaster of the Titan.

After the investigation of how a modern, almost fully automated spacecraft could crash into the Twin Tower killing thousands of people during a routine landing, yielded an unexpected result, which was "touch screen fatigue"; control panels of a spacecraft were redesigned to resemble that of an ancient nautical ship, with a lot more manual buttons and switches.

Apparently, using touch screens for a long time can cause mistakes, and having every option on a single screen wasn't a good idea.

"How about 'button fatigue for intern students', have you thought about that?" Naomi knitted her brows in thoughts while drinking water.

Pilot Anton looked at her exhausted face and smiled. Brightly. Charmingly. He gave a glance to pilot Wang, then seemingly shook his head a bit.

"Oh yeah, especially him" Naomi rolled her eyes. Seriously though, Naomi thought the Corporation should ban overweight pilots. Half of the errands she ran in the past two hours was for pilot Wang.

"That recalibration button was in his arm length, he just needed to move his body a bit more to reach it. Instead, he called me from the other side of the bridge to press it for him!" Naomi furiously thought.

From now on the ship would be on automatic cruising. Without the universe-jumping, space-folding shenanigans, there wasn't much for her to do anymore.

She then proceeded to tiptoe away to the engine bay.

***

The engine bay had two very different engine rooms. A tradition fire-and-heat jet engine room, and a space-age dimensional engine room. One is hot, one is cold. When they are in operation, of course.

Emma was standing under a huge sphere with pipes coming from all around it. "Thank you for your work, now let me see if you are alright." She mumbled in a soft voice while opening the computer panel on the machine. Her breath was like white smoke in the freezing temperature.

"Warning, talking to machines is a sign of mental instability. Suggestion, user should meet doctor Emily for a check-up."

"Don't trash talk when I'm working, Alexa."

Seeing rows of green checkmarks on the computer screen, Emma was satisfied. As she was closing the computer panel, the first sign that something was wrong happened.

"Blyat." A cry of pain following a loud "bong" sounded from the other side of the machine.

That sounded like her crewmate, Andrei. "He probably banged his head into something, again." Emma face-palmed. A 2-meter-tall man working as an engineer in a spacecraft with low ceiling in the engine bay is just unfortunate. "That 'bong' was rather loud, though. Hope he didn't get a concussion or something."

"Andrei, you're okay?"

"Yeah, I banged my head into the overhead pipe. Man, it's bleeding."

"Figures. You need some bandages, or do you want me to request the healing magic gun?"

"Healing magic, please. I'm bleeding rather bad. The blood is in my eyes!"

Emma smiled wryly then turned to the requisition panel behind her. A few clicks and teleporter should bring over the dark matter energy manipulator and the healing core from the storage room.

The screen flickered.

Emma was startled.

A quantum computing device should never flicker. It was physically impossible for a full quantum-powered device to flicker.

Then, the light went out. It was the most horrifying 3 seconds of darkness. There is nothing worse for her heart than the loss of power in a spacecraft.

Thankfully, the power came back. But the lights did not turn back on except for the flashing emergency light over her head. The screen of the computer in front of her was also black. She fumbled away to the med kit with her flashlight, while asking her reliable companion.

"Alexa, what's the situation?"

"Answer, Alexa detects a strong field of quantum jamming. All quantum computational devices are no longer operational."

"This is bad, quantum jamming is only possible by a space-faring race with knowledge of the dark matter energy. We are encountering an unknown Type III civilization!" She sweat in realization, despite the surrounding temperature of below zero. She quickly bandaged the injured Andrei, then walked him out of the room. She saw Naomi running at her when she reached the door.

"Sister Emma, we are under attack!"

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