Ascension: An Empty Vessel

“Disengage!” The corporal slammed a fist into it. No reaction: the noncon’s eyes remained tightly closed, its head engaged in the cradle. Enraged, he began to heave it away from the control position. At last it came, jerking and screaming as it left the contacts. He lifted his fist again.

“Corporal – what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Lieutenant Eris stood behind him.

The corporal jerked to attention. “Sir!” He was breathing heavily, blood flecking his knuckles. The noncon sprawled, motionless. “It wouldn’t disengage Sir! Tried everything – all the override codes. Nothing.”

“So you thought you’d physically detach it while it was still in rapport with the hub? Idiot – you’ve probably killed it.”

“Sir, I…”

“No time,” snapped Eris. “Get it to medbay, now.”

He turned away to interrogate the terminal, his plant relaying the activity log. Null-response error codes scrolled across his visual field. He skipped to the last regular item: record of files accessed. His eyes widened as he read the entry.

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