“The green cylinder. On the other side of the room.”
There was significant static on the intercom, however, the instruction was crystal clear.
“Break it open.”
That didn’t seem like the most brilliant idea, especially given the past events at this particular facility.
However, this was no mere suggestion, it was a demand.
“I know what you said, but this is not over. We need you back at the bunker. Now.”
Upon entering, Oliver immediately sees an imposing – unknown – figure standing at the centre console.
“Where is she?!”, bow drawn, and aimed.
“Felicity is fine, she doesn’t even know you’re here. Nor do the others.“
“I am not your enemy Mr Queen,” raising his hand, but still facing away, “believe it or not, we’re a lot alike, you and I.”
“Enough with the riddles! Who are you!”, Oliver lets fly an arrow, striking the screen to the man’s left.
“They said you had trust issues,” the man replies, casually reaching down, plucking the arrow from the screen to examine it. “They also said you don’t miss… You make these yourself?”
“I don’t miss. WHO ARE YOU!“
The figure slowly turning to face Oliver,
“My name is Bruce, and I need your help.”
We both know that you know where they are.
Where can I find Zenith?
It’s been a little over 12 weeks since we undocked and were flung into the vast blackness of space, we’ve got 2 weeks left until we enter the suspended state that will allow us to carry out the mission.
What’s the mission? Good question. When we left they hadn’t exactly worked that out. They’ve pointed us at a distant star, but it will be years, or decades, until we’re told what we’re looking for. Hence the suspended state.
Once in suspension they’ll wake one of us every 500 days or so for routine systems checks. Sam’s up first, so that should be fun for her, running diagnostics solo while everyone else ’sleeps’.
Until then we’re preparing everything for the journey, most importantly the bio-rings which will become our primary food source – but don’t worry we’ve also got a stack of pre-packed meals just in case something goes wrong.
And failing that we’ll just have to start sacrificing crew members to satisfy our protein needs. Kidding. Or am I.
When the first pod of whales beached themselves no one really thought much of it. When, two weeks later, a second pod beached themselves several hundred miles south, again, no one thought much of it.
That was 8 months ago. Now, not only are the beachings a daily – world-wide – occurrence, they aren’t limited just to whales.
There have been several reports of dolphins, sharks, and in some instances giant squid.
Initially scientists had suspected that it was the result of climate change or rising pollution. However, after months of testing and analysis on the deceased sea creatures they found no evidence supporting that theory.
They had come to one conclusion – they weren’t simply beaching themselves they were trying to escape from something…
I’m the only one up, everyone else is still tucked away in ‘bed’. It’s my turn to run the system checks. We only have to do this every 500 days, unless word comes through that they’ve found it — if that happens we all get up.
Because all our communications are pre-recorded we don’t really have to worry about any lengthy lag, the messages are just there ready for us when we get up. The sunlight though, it has diminished entirely. ‘Our’ Sun is now just a star like all others, including the one we are headed for.
Ok, technically, we aren’t headed for a star, but a planet. The catch being that they haven’t actually discovered the planet yet, the technology required for that wasn’t around when we launched, and apparently — 4000 days later — it still isn’t around.
All systems are functional. Back to ‘bed’. Onward to wherever we are headed.
Charles, only five-nine, but built like a tree and dressed head-to-toe in black tactical gear.
Handguns holstered on each leg, a small knife strapped to one ankle, and two of the biggest machetes I’d ever seen – one hanging over each shoulder.
Honestly, given the stories I’d heard, I was expecting more guns, but I had a reasonably strong feeling that the machetes weren’t just for decoration.
We hadn’t been told her first name, and none of us were particularly eager – or game – to ask… so ’Charles’ it was, and Charles meant business.
As the elevator ground to a halt the doors slid open behind them. It had been so dark when they entered they hadn’t noticed the alternate set of doors.
Stepping out into a barely lit corridor the doors swiftly shut behind them, about 20 metres ahead of them a corner that hid an occasional flicker.
The corridor was completely empty – at least leading up the corner – they set off in single file. Those with weapons had them drawn. Just in case.
They landed on April 7, just before dawn. There had been no warning, no hint at all that this was coming. We weren’t prepared, but they were. Coming in from the south-east was the last thing any of us were anticipating.
Since then they’ve moved swiftly along the coast as far west as Texas, and north towards Georgia. They’ve seized control of 5 states, with their efforts currently concentrated on making it to the makeshift capital in Chicago.
Upon arrival they sat, impatiently, in the van as the gates to the compound slowly opened. The journey had been slow, in the same way a long afternoon at work is slow, although in reality it had only taken a little over an hour.
There was still an uncomfortable feeling lingering within the group, unsure if they had been successful. Sure, they heard – and felt – the blast, but the haste with which they had left meant that the charge hadn’t been set in the location that had originally been planned.
It would likely be a couple of days before they knew for certain if it had worked.