Here’s the exciting continuation of Mia’s story, which won last month’s Dream Weaver Challenge.
I feel as if I’ve stepped into another world. Electric lighting lines the ceiling, but the room is darkly lit. There is a enormous view port in the front of the bridge, allowing me to see most everything. Systems of higher tech than the ones we use for training are at each station. The crew hovers over them, trying out their controls. In the center sits the captain’s chair, black and larger than the rest of the small, red ones. A kind of nervous energy fills me, and I walk over to the chair. I sit down in it as if black tendrils might escape it, come out, and surround me. All of a sudden, I feel better. Admiral Starblayze, the highest of the high in the Training Academy, thinks I’m ready for this. Maybe, just maybe, I am.
A great rumbling fills the room as the engines turn on. Everyone seems prepared. The pilot glances at me, waiting for orders. I stand up and say, “Portal to the Koan star system.” Jean Luc taps the screen, and suddenly there is blue steam from the engines. The smoke changes to a blue, purple, and pink tunnel of something that looks like smoke. I cringe, unsure of what’s happening, then jump when someone lays a hand on my shoulder. It’s Rosie. At fourteen, she’s been on more missions than me. Two more, to be exact. “Don’t worry.” she says. “This is supposed to happen.” She shoots a quick grin at my dumbfounded look. Suddenly, the blue smoke stops. I look up. I beautiful sun lays before us. I shake my head in stunned disbelief.
“Captain Augustine?” Lizzy shakes me out of my daze. “Lun is straight ahead, Ruath is to our right, and Mura is farther back, but between them. Where do you want me to go?”
I take a deep breath. “Er… Lun. Let’s try to find out some information about the whole problem before we do anything.”
“Got it, Captain. I’ll tell the pilot.” Lizzy mutters something to Jean Luc, who changes our course. We will arrive soon. In the meantime, I need to think. What’s happening there? What will I find? The orb grows closer and closer as Jean Luc guides us towards it. Then I see a ship fly straight towards us.
“Jean!” I cry, pointing at the ship. Most of the crew jumps to their feet or ducks as the ship zooms toward us. Jean Luc tugs the yoke and we narrowly miss the ship. Jean Luc clenches his teeth. “Captain, I prefer to be called by my full first name, Jean Luc, if it’s not to much trouble.” He says it quite coolly, but I can tell he’s frustrated. Between the worried shouts of the crew and the stress of being pilot, he doesn’t want any complications, no matter how small. I give a quick nod in response. I head over to the engineers. A girl named Ellen and a boy named Felix are controlling repairs mechanically from their screens.
“How are things?” I ask.
“Fine, but we’re worried about the sensors. We’re trying as hard as we can, but every time we get it back up, it goes back down. I think we might have been hacked.” Ellen tells me.
“Alright, I’ll talk to the security chief.”
“Thanks.” Having been trained in this situation, I know what to do. I stand up and walk over to the security chief, whose name I think is Emma Ruthworth, but I wasn’t really listening, so I’m not positive. “Um, we’re going to need to put an up on security. The engineers are having trouble and they need your help. Can you set up some more defenses?”
“I’m on it.” she replies. I head over to Lizzie, one of the only crew members I know personally. She’s staring at the screen. I look at it, and she’s hovering over Lun, running a bio scan. She shakes her head in confusion as she notices me.
“Look,” she murmurs. I take closer look at her screen, and I understand what’s wrong. The ship that had just passed us couldn’t be more than a few kilometers away, yet it wasn’t showing up on our sensors at all. The hacking of our sensors seems odd, too. I tell Lizzie about how we’ve been hacked.
“That’s curious, David. My bio scan isn’t coming up with anything, either. I wonder if they’re hacking us. Talk to Jake about it, he’s communications officer. See if he can contact the High Council.” She inclines her head to her right, where Jake is sitting. I am still mulling over her last comment. What’s the High Council? I don’t think that Admiral Rigorious mentioned it to us during training. I tell Lizzy this, and she replies quickly, “Admiral told us when you were out for an, as he said it, ‘illness absence’. It’s basically made up of the higher and more powerful people in Koan. They make major decisions about what’s to come in the next few years.” I understand, finally. I turn to Jake, who’s staring into the Lun’s craters and facilities.
“Er, Jake?” I mumble. “Jake?” A little louder this time. “Jake! I, um, need you to, er, contact the, what’s it called, um, oh yeah! High Council. I need you to contact the High Council.” He looks at me with obvious disapproval. I can tell he’s thinking, Admiral Starblayze thinks you’re going to be good at captain? Please. He doesn’t move or respond. I look him in the eye, and slowly say, “Mr. Carlows, please call the High Council. Now, preferably.” He sighs and rolls his eyes, but does as I ask. I move closer to the pilot, as our main communication receiver is in front of that station. There’s a crackle, and a voice comes over the speakers.
“This is Mason Sile of the High Council of Koan. Who is this, and what are you doing?” I stand up tall and feel a rush of adrenaline. At least that is lucky, because I’m going to need it if I’m going to get this conversation anywhere. I take one more deep breath, and begin. “Greetings. I’m David Augustine, mission captain of the I.K.S. Titan. I request to know two things. However, to answer what I’m doing, you- I mean, Ruath’s government has asked me and my crew to look into any issues regarding either a possible rebellion or issues in the transportation of slaves. As for my requests, they are the following. Firstly, I ask three things from each of the three planets in this trade. May I meet and discuss with a crafts worker from Mura, see a Lun facility, and speak to an official from Ruath? If you could do this, I would be greatly obliged. Secondly, I must ask if you yourself have heard any of these rumors. That is all.”
I have said my piece. The next part of this lies completely on the High Council’s choice. Both the I.K.S. Titan and the the High Council lays in silence for a few moments. Lizzie gives me an encouraging grin. I hear Mason Sile conversing with the other council members in whispered tones. Finally, his voice comes back on, and this time its edged with hostility and suspicion. “Who are you really, Mr. David Augustine, boy captain?”