Categories
Mars

Sooner than at once

2014.02.14

[An approximate translation]

Xhi
Where is my CHILD?!!!

Ni
I checked his communication logs. He was talking to Si and Gi about children on Blue Star. He said he wanted to appear to his friend there. I don’t understand the meaning of this red glyph.

Xhi
Do not show that to me. If you are suggesting he physically went to Blue Star, he cannot commandeer a ship without anyone alerting us.

Ni
He’s highly capable. He is highly self reliant.

Xhi
He is still a child, who was in your care.

Ni
You’re angry with me. You blame me.

Xhi
I am not ready to be angry with you or anyone. Teleport me to the Docking Station. Ro?

Ro
Commander.

Xhi
Ki is missing. His nurse, Ni, thinks he might be on a transport ship headed to Blue Star. It is highly unlikely, but can you search every vehicle that’s been logged out in the last cycle?

Ro
I’ve found him, Commander. It appears that he has forged your authorisation codes.

Xhi
Normally, I would be proud of him, but I need him back at once. Tractor beams from the Friga Orbiter. Full power.

Ro
No effect, Commander. The ship is accelerating at an unpredictable rate.

Xhi
Override the console. Turn it around.

Ro
No effect.

Xhi
Open comms.

Ro
At this speed, there is a time delay, Commander. One half cycle. Send message anyway?

Xhi
Yes!

Ro
Commander, there’s a problem.

Xhi
What is it?

Ro
The transport ship Ki took… It was at the docking station for major repairs to … communication systems and … forward thrust adjusters. We cannot do a remote patch.

Xhi
How much time to intercept?

Ro
Unpredictable, Commander. He’s travelling at maximum velocity and will continue to accelerate due to the faulty adjusters. He cannot slow it down and neither can we. The transport ship is a projectile, Commander.

Xhi
He does not have the skill to fix it manually, assuming he even knows there is a problem. Ni, you know how he struggles to work on his own. He takes on too many tasks and does not accept help easily. He does not know his own limitations.

Ni
I know. I am sorry.

Ro
He’s had a quarter cycle head start, Commander. You might just be able to overtake him and use the tractor beams to slow him down. As long as he doesn’t get separated from the vehicle on entry into Blue Star’s atmosphere, he should be retrievable without incident.

Xhi
Ro, send this communication imprint to the Offworld Exploration Committee. My son is in danger and we have no time for resolutions.

Ro
Understood, Commander. Transport type?

Xhi
Right now, he’s a trusting [prepubescent boy], on his way to a star whose sentient inhabitants are extremely hostile to each other and especially cruel to offworld species. To rescue him, I am taking an armada. Our guests from the Ulura System are obliged to cooperate. Cancel their mining mission for Frá scheduled for later this cycle. I’ll need their advanced traction technology and the sheer size of their fleet to make a definitive show of force.

Ro
Yes, Commander. Preparing your core crew sooner than at once.

Ni
Should I come with you?

Xhi
Should you? Do you have somewhere else to be?!!!

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.