"Charge" is the second part in our five part finale for this season of Station Keeping, we'll be posting a new part of this story every day for this week. I hope you enjoy, and `stay tuned <http://tychoish.com/hanm/>`_ for the rest of the week. As always we `encourage your participation <http://tychoish.com/partcipate/>`_, and stay tuned to `TealArt <http://tychoish.com>`_ for news of the second season of Station Keeping (in a month or so) and all the other great TealArt content. Cheers--tycho
"Josh, do you think we could get those refinements processed by the end of the day, or we looking at tomorrow?" Talia said walking slowly from her office to her station on the command deck with a dark cup of very caffeine laced hot liquid.
"At least!" The younger officer balked. "I should think, at any rate."
"Of course, of course, I was just being hopeful. It never hurts. I mean what's a few days out here?" Talia chuckled, there weren't deadlines this far from the core.
"Well, anyway," Sian said after a moment, "Have a good shift,"
"You going somewhere?" Talia asked after fighting back a yawn.
"Yeah, looks like you have things under control here," Josh stretched out his hand noting the general calm of the command deck. "I was going to look over the--"
Josh was cut off when he was thrown to the deck by some explosion. Everything hurt, "Wait, there wasn't an explosion here," Josh thought in the next instant, "Just the noise,"
"What was that?" Talia asked in the next moment, sounding about as dazed as Josh felt. The deck was louder now, but no one had answers, and most people seemed pretty dazed.
"What was that?!" Talia demanded when it was clear that people weren't going to offer her an answer.
"No reports... yet" a young officer wearing Hanmish insigina said, her hands continued to work her controls, but she was having little success.
"Get the commander up here and get me an idea of whats happening," Talia's orders were directed at the entire deck. But they were clearly all doing their job, and Talia knew that this aimless strategy wasn't going to help much. She turned to Sian who had made it to his feet. "Josh? Anything?"
"Lifts are down, Commander was scheduled to be up here by now, and this terminal isn't telling me anything," Sian looked over at Julia who was hooked up at her station in the computer's system. She looked to be breathing within normal ranges, "Julia could probably tell us something when she comes out."
"Can't you wake her up or ping her out of it?"
"Yes," Josh said shaking his head quickly, ashamed that he hadn't thought of this. He sent the ping. The terminal sounded in protest, but the noise was almost drowned out by the rest of the bustle on the command deck. People were starting to report data to Talia, but there still wasn't much.
"What now?" Talia asked Sian, without turning to face him, apparently having heard the alarm.
"Seems she denied the ping, she's staying in."
"God, this better be good. Any news of the commander?"
"Nothing yet. It's your show."
"Great." Talia's words were quick, but she clearly didn't have a clue what to say next. "Well, Keep me posted," she said quickly, but that was of course an obvious order.
Talia focused on her controls and tried to see if she could learn anything new, get any more information or response out of the system. Something. Anything "How can I direct these people what if I don't know what's going on?" She thought as she begain to work with the uncooperative system. "What a time to be stuck in command!"
"Ok, folks, can we contact maintenance squads with the intercoms at least?"
"I think so," a young officer said. Talia didn't know her name. Damn.
"Ok, we need comms and we need the lifts back on, no matter what's wrong. Can you put people on it? Just core function, not regular service."
"Yes, I'm on it."
"Good. You," Talia said, indicating another crew hand, get in touch with Doctor Perrin or Reese, they might no something, and they should be kept up to speed in any case." Without stopping Talia turned to another crewman, "Anyone willing to link in a see if you can get in touch with Julia?" Talia asked
The color on all of their faces faded. "Ok, hard sell, I wouldn't go in there," before she had a chance to respond though, Josh interrupted.
"I got the commander on the line. I gave him an update, but he's trapped on the other side of an out-of-service lift. The crew's are on their way."
Talia took a deep breath. "Ok, guess we'll have to make do," she said as she turned back to the crew and her station to see what more could be done.
"12.2: Charge" was written by, `tycho <http://tychoish.com/tycho>`_, the creator of `TealArt <http://tychoish.com>`_ and [Station Keeping](http://tychoish.com/hanm"). He is a student and knitter by day and a science fiction writer by night, you can read his work elsewhere on `TealArt <http://tychoish.com>`_ and at `~/tychoish <http://tychoish.com>`_.