The trip through Drift Space was supposed to take nineteen days. It still will, as we are twelve days out, and seven from our estimated arrival time at L746, but I feel like a lifetime has passed in the last few hours.
We were all still enjoying the extra space and getting to know the new ship. And, while it is likely a “lightly” used ship, it seems very new. And clean, it seemed nice and clean. So, I was surprised when the engines shut down. I ran down to engineering to see for myself. And, it was just one wire, almost as if the engines were cut just because they weren’t plugged in, somehow. I am a pretty good engineer, and I take pride in knowing how stuff works, so this was a mind-boggling design flaw– the kind that usually keeps me awake at night. And worse, the cable looked like it had been chewed apart. Aren’t too many creatures that we’ve encountered that have a taste for high voltage. Could we have missed seeing an electrovore for two weeks? I stay barefooted on the ship, which usually allows me to know where everyone is. I feel three other life signs (I can tell were all the AIs are too, so am eliminating them from my “life sign” count). Just four of us. But none of us did this. We ask Brock for sensor readings — he and I-9 are great about keeping tabs on those– and he tells us that there are power fluctuations in the cargo hold and recreation suite. I am now getting more life signs, somehow, and there was no way they were hiding from me, but yet, there are two (four?) more creatures on the ship, moving around in the service tunnels. Widget and I go down and triangulate with Lexx, while I can hear Sresaka’s frustration with the tight fit elsewhere. We don’t see anything at first, but suddenly two electrovores are right there! Widget hits one with his pistol, injuring it, and as a result, they retaliate and nearly kill my poor little guy (I had just made real hind feet for him, and he’s now limping badly and making sad “woo” sounds). So, now I’m really angry and hit one with my survival knife. Actually, I don’t just hit it– I impale it right on a power conduit. It’s dead, but the other got away. I tuck Widget in my coveralls and get out of there. I get out in the main hall, and I can feel about seven more life signs, and hear that there is a nest of seven grown electrovores right under the bridge! How did they fit, and how did we not notice them ever? We’ve not seen a single shell. Ash looks about done in, but he and Sresaka are determined to burn the nest out. This leaves Brock to fly, if we ever manage to get power restored. Meanwhile, I-9, with a bit of coaxing, has fixed the power cable thing, so we can fly off, and not a moment too soon, since we see that there is a Necroglider following us, weapons ready. How did the Corpse Fleet find us? And we’re yelling up to Ash to get the ship moving out of Drift quickly as Necroglider fires. . . .
And. . . I’ve been in bed this entire time, and Widget looks fine. The other AIs sound like a cross between amused and worried, as all four of the biological creatures on board have been asleep for some time. We are extremely lucky we’ve attempted to gift the AIs with free will, as they kept us on course while we slept.
We apparently had passed through a fragment of the Dreamlands.
I’m trying to hug two robot bodies and a hologram.