All Systems GO

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Taddeo, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. (Chell's people have brownish greenish skin, strong brow ridges, dark hair (brown to black), lime green eyes, a large brain, a humanoid appearance and very, very sensitive, large, four-fingered hands with an extra long thumb. The skin of their nailbeds is slightly more purple and lighter. Their feet are pretty big too, with long, wide toes. They’re mostly hairless, but their hair runs from a widow's peak that tucks behind their small, circular ears (which are more like deer's than human, but the same size as ours) to the back of the head and runs down their necks gracefully to the middle of the back. Their spines are pronounced along the entirety of their backs.)

    Deep in interplanetary space, in a part of the galaxy with which the human species is utterly unaware of, the great fleet of Sector Phi-64-Banana-Plix prepared to make the jump to faster-than-light travel. The void of space would have thrummed with the preparations of the fleet, if it were anything more than void. From the smallest ship came a smaller signal, broadcast weakly to the surrounding vessels. It was the voice of a young female, running through pre-jump checklists. The Captain of this ship stood behind her, leaning on his chair. Finishing her checklist, the navigator paused before speaking once more.

    “All systems go, Captain. Preparing to enter hyperspace. Wait! What… AUGH! The left flank has malfunctioned!”
    “Zarquon! Captain? Are you okay?”
    The computer screamed at her. The ship trembled slightly, and in another room things fell to the floor. It became unsettlingly quiet.
    The Captain of her ship waddled forward.
    “Chell, do you know what this means?”
    “We are the last of our kind, General Chell. Our race is extinct, with just us excepting.”
    “What? But that’s impossible! The home pla—”
    “Nothing is impossible, General. Nothing besides making fried chicken sing. It always manages to get eaten first.”
    General Chell stared at him with a fleeting mixture of wonder, dumbfoundment and annoyance showing in her lime-green eyes. She turned around and brought up the visual for the home planet coordinates up on her semiscreen, but it was empty. She stared emptily into it, looking for the speck that might indicate that the screen was too far zoomed out. Nothing. She toggled the zoom switch. Nothing. A cold, dead feeling settled in her belly. The semiscreen winked out as her hands slid off the control panel’s power level indicator.
    Captain Commander Jalsan stood where he had been standing the whole time, an eerily calm expression over his dark and rounded face. He stared out into the debris-filled space where the rest of the fleet had been just moments ago, his mouth turned down and thick hands behind his back.
    Chell assumed that his many years in the navy fleet would have hardened him enough, but there was something strange about him in this situation. His eyebrow ridge, rough and worn from too many too-small helmets, his prominent cheekbones paled with scars, his smallish nose with the chunk missing… not one piece of him spoke of anything beneath the cool, strange calm.
    She ran a thin, shaking finger over her deep temples and through her pitch-black hair, cropped short for convenience. The Captain-Commander never made any sense, but why, in such a dire time, did he still not show any emotion?
    Jalsan tipped his head in her direction and his eyeglasses fell off.
    “Oh dear,” he muttered, trying to bend but instead falling miserably onto his stomach and rolling away.
    For a man of such military experience, he was remarkably well rounded.
    Chell picked up his glasses and helped the Captain-Commander to his feet, still shaking.
    “Chell, set a course for the nearest hospitable system. I think I’ll go take a nap- er, meditate on this.”
    She sighed as he trundled off in a stiff way, and slid back into her seat to work the semiscreen again.