So here is part 2 of my Orion 83 short story. Please click here for part 1.
Orion 83 rebooted and his internal chronometer reported that he had been offline for fours hours. He was busy verifying that he had not been damaged, when he noticed that the cube had disappeared. There was not even an imprint left on the ground to show it had ever been there. He remembered the draw of the cube, and was certain this was no data ghost in his systems. What could it have been? It was certainly powerful if it could cause him to offline for hours.
This put him in an awkward position. Standing orders were that any unknown technology was to be recovered and brought back for study, but Orion had no idea where the cube had vanished to, nor how to approach it should he find it. He suspected the ships scanning equipment would not be able to find it either, but checked anyway and confirmed that none of the survey drones had detected anything remotely like the cube. They had found an anomaly though – 200 miles south there was a void on the scans – something was blocking the scans of the drones.
With nothing happening within the standard parameters Orion 83 decided now was the time to contact his supervisor and update his orders. He powered up the communications array and waited whilst the encryption circuits established a secure connection to his supervisor – a mainframe back on Earth. He reported the strange phenomena he had observed and was surprised to find that the server did not return an error. This meant that the phenomena had been encountered before.
A message flashed up on the screen:
–##STAND BY FOR ORDERS##–
With a clock underneath counting down from 30 mins. He would have to wait it out whilst the mainframe analysed the data and updated his orders. He crossed the cramp cockpit and started the process of verifying the drones’ scans. The initial results were good – Oblatium deposits could be seen spread throughout the crust of the planet. As the countdown reached five minutes left a new message appeared on the screen:
–##EXTREME ZENO-CONTAMINATION DETECTED – PURIFICATION INITIATED##–
Purification initiated? He had not heard the phrase once in his 200 years of service. Alarms starting sounding and red lights appeared all over the dashboard – someone had remotely activated the self destruct on his ship. He grabbed his personal effects and dashed out of the hatch. The nearest cover, a rocky outcrop, was about 100 meters away which he pelted for immediately. As he cleared the rocks the explosion threw him from his feet. He glanced back as burning wreckage fell around him to see the crater that had been his ship. Why had they destroyed it? And why had they not given him any warning? It was almost as if they intended him to be caught in the explosion…
Let me know what you think guys and where it could go from here.