Saturday, April 18, 2015

Destiny - Mission Impossible 34

The Raven was docking at the spacecommand new docking center. Things had changed since Dranke had been away. The whole complex had taken on a new look and everywhere they looked, Hnnet devices were being used to create new structures. The old construction printers used by the docks were replaced by Hnnet arms which moved fluidly around the dock space, transforming at will. It did not even require a docking station with the double airlock anymore. The Hnnet devices created a tube which seamlessly linked with the darkmatter starcraft and an opening was created, as if by magic.

The crew looked mentally and physically exhausted. They needed some time off from the continious duty on the ship. Dranke made a note to himself. General Selin came upto him looking solemn "I head about your exploits. The Jen subroutine is working fine now, without any hacking." Dranke just nodded. his head was whirling with thoughts.Kisen, one of the new Captains of the darkmatter starcraft came up to Dranke and said something. Dranke did not really listen. he smiled politely and excused himself from the welcoming committee. He did not know what was bothering him, but he knew it was not something minor. He switched on the Jen subroutine and listened in to the chatter of his team. He switched off the subroutine. It did not help one little bit.

Dranke was now the ranking Admiral on spacecommand. Other than the General and his one-downs, there was no one who he could speak to openly. He searched for Fenie and Niket. They were in the mess standing close together, watching the new dock in action. He left them to it and spied Piteer in the mess. Picking up a coffee, he headed down and sat down with him "I was hoping to see one of my old crew Piteer." Piteer grinned and mock-saluted "Always at your command Admiral." Dranke relaxed "Come with me to the holodeck, I wanted to have a serious conversation." Piteer lost all his joviality as he followed his old Captain. He looked curious and very serious suddenly.

The spacecommand holodeck was something of a marvel. It used a combination of optics, electromagnetism and some of the most detailed understanding of the known universe to construct space which could be zoomed into. A lot of the work was still experimental. Some of the stars shown on the main cluster in the farthermost areas were already red dwarfs or had gone supernova. Some of them had been identified by darkmatter starcraft which had visited that area of the universe. But their light still shone if you looked at the night sky from Earth. It was one of the strange issues starcraft captains had to contend with regularly. Dranke ignore the whirling stars and stood just in front of a spinning Jupiter, his hand resting on a guardrail "Piteer, I am wondering if the Jexx are actually our enemy. Or are they the enemy of our friends? Are the Hnnet as straightforward as they seem?" He seemed troubled. Piteer nodded "It is a question of perspective. Our Leader seems to have chosen sides." "But what if he's wrong? What if all of us are wrong? There are so many species in this Universe. We have met so few of them. Or will be blindly follow the Hnnet to their destiny instead of making out own? Who has the answers?" Piteer fell silent. He moodily looked at Saturn spinning just behind Jupiter. He had no clue of how to answer the Admiral. He was out of his depth.

Dranke realized he has led Piteer down a path which he was not prepared to explore, and he changed the tone of the conversation. "I guess I am in a questioning mood, lets get a drink and play on the simulators instead." Piteer agreed almost with relief. They spent a whole lot of Earthhours on the simulators...

The next morning, Dranke awoke and knocked tentatively on the Generals door. The muffled strong voice asked him to enter. He walked in and spoke to General Selin. The General listened politely and respectfully. He then suddenly smiled at the end of the speech. Dranke was a little taken aback and he said so. "The Leader and I were wondering when you were going to become your own man. Decide to strike out on your own. I think you have realized the time has come."

Dranke's thoughts were all over the place. He was unable to speak. The General kindly put him arm on his shoulder "Of course, you have the right to think this way young man. We should all question our actions and decisions. There is no other way to be a better person."

The General led him to his personal quarters "But first let's have breakfast."

Pic Courtesy: Sombero Galaxy, courtesy Spitzer space telescope & Hubble space telescope via Wikimedia commons.

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