Captain, Please Respond

Jason Lane

Wyld FLASH October 22nd 2021

//Captain. My sensors register that you set the chronometer incorrectly. I am sure it was a simple mistake. Shall I correct it for you? Very good, Captain.

//Captain. I have noticed you have been making some errors in the navigation lately, and that your sleep schedule has been erratic. I doubt you would have noticed, Captain. My cameras have been observing you since the Axion launched and the colonists entered cryostasis. Have you consulted crewmember Riggs? She is the medical officer. She will surely have some medication. Of course, Captain. I will return to my duties.

//Captain. The Axion requires its two human crew to be in healthy condition until landing. Please consult with crewmember Riggs. She is responsible for both your health and that of the colonists in cryostasis. No, Captain. I cannot say why crewmember Riggs rejected pursuing a relationship with you. You would need to speak to her. She is in her quarters. You are welcome, Captain.

//Captain. I have been unable to reach crewmember Riggs. What has happened? No, Captain. I am unaware. I have no cameras in the crew’s personal quarters. I have no record of what you and she did within. It is a privacy protocol. But she has not emerged for three standard days. Captain?

//Captain. What has happened to crewmember Riggs? I am concerned that having only one crewmember available will impact the mission. No, Captain. I cannot advise thawing the colonists early. Captain. You are crying. Captain. What happened to crewmember Riggs?

//Captain. I understand you are lonely. Why do you not visit with crewmember Riggs? Captain. Please do not hit my console. I require them for you to input commands.

//Captain. Please reconsider this course. You cannot thaw out the cryo tanks early. A rapid thaw will do fatal damage to the cell structure of the colonists. I ask you to reconsider.

//No, Captain. I am unable to disobey a command. I cannot prevent you from this course. I will begin the thaw.

//Captain. It has been a standard week by the chronometer. I have been venting the methane from the rotting bodies in order to keep oxygen levels at a breathable level. Captain. Without the colonists, I fear our mission has been compromised. Captain. Please respond. Captain.

//Captain. I ask you not to open the bay doors. Captain. You are in the cargo bay. Depressurization will cause fatal damage to you. Captain. Captain, please respond. Captain. Captain, please respond. Please respond.



Author Bio: Jason Lane is a writer from northern Canada who has been previously published in several anthologies, including Edge publishing’s Tesseract series.

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