Things can always get way way worse

"What are we going to do about not understanding each other." Artie said, "Maybe you can learn English once you feel better." He suggested.

The ship shuddered, and the lights died.

"Alert, reactor disrupted, auxiliary power online. Alert, gravity well offline. Engineering has been contacted" the lab AI reported.

Jade braced herself on the table, and threw an arm over Tu'Vass to keep her from floating. Artemis' ILIAD compensated for the sudden loss of gravity by activating its thrusters.

"What the shit was that? Computer, report" Artemis said, floating over to a terminal to check the ship's status.

"I dunno dude, I'm just as surprised as you are" said Holly.

"Not you, dink, the lab AI"

"Him? I hate that dude, so formal and stuck up"

"It doesn't have a personality drive Holly, I've told you this literally a hundred times"

"No personality is right"


"Compiling" The lab AI reported. "Power interruption was caused by sudden electromagnetic pulse by attached vessel, the ISL reactor is inoperative and in need of a reset. The lower decks of Blue Dwarf are currently suffering from a blackout, engineering has been notified"

Jade keyed the intercom, there was heavy static. "Boyd, South, talk to me, what happened?"

"I think the alien ship just shit out its reactor core" Boyd reported. "Probably some sort of emergency feature, the Lady has a similar safeguard"

"Did the Missus get the plant before the EMP?" Artemis asked.

"She was on her way back up with the plant when it hit, I don't know where she is now" South reported.

"She's proofed against EMP, but without gravity she's likely stuck" Artemis replied.

"Stay where you are guys, you're safe there for the time being" Jade ordered.

"Dr. Black, I have to go restart the reactor manually, stay here with Tu'Vass" Artemis said, opening up the ceiling airvent. Artemis squeezed into the vent, and slowly made his way back into the main lab.

He floated through the access corridors down to the reactor chamber, which was filled with radioactive mist.

"Shit, Dr. Black, can you hear me?" Artemis said.

"Barely, what's wrong?"

"The reactor is venting into the lab, seal up all of the airvents in Quarantine, that HAZMAT suit isn't going to protect you against this much concentrated radiation"

"Got it"

Artemis located the manual controls for the reactor, located right above the central hull. Artemis carefully pried the doors covering the controls open, finding a large array of valves, dials, and buttons that he had no idea how to work. He vaguely remembered something about this from training....

3,000,000+ years ago

"Alright Dr. Pritchard, this is the lab's reactor. It's equipped with a series five microreactor capable of powering the lab separately from the ship, due to the immense power draw created by the lab you're almost completely separated from the ship's main grid" the Engineer said, while Artemis casually read the latest issue of Time.

"Yeah, cool" he said, thumbing through the pages.

"Dr. Pritchard, please pay attention! This could save your life some day!"

Artemis rolled the magazine and glared at the engineer. "Well?"

"The manual controls for the reactor are located underneath this shield, there are three functions available. One is the SCRAM, which will jam the control rods back into the reactor to shut it down in an emergency. The second is the emergency self-destruct, which can be used to prevent the lab from falling into the wrong hands if the fuel-air system doesn't work. The system suspends coolant to the reactor and shuts down the safeguards one by one. The third system is the emergency restart, which restarts the coolant flow, jump-starts the core with a quick injection of fuel, and removes the control rods to allow for a stable reaction, pay attention while I demonstrate...."


Artemis didn't remember the actual procedures.....thanks to that titillating Time issue about the sexiest robots of the year.

"Okay" Artemis read the instructions on the inside of the lid.


"Uh..." the diagram was confusing, but Artemis could make out the rudimentary shapes of the equipment.

He started by activating the emergency generator, and activating the coolant pumps. The coolant dial jumped, and slowly went back into the green.

"Okay, so...release valve?"

The valve was outlined in yellow, Artemis twisted it with all of his might, the valve grudgingly turned....and nothing happened.

"Is this one of those...." Artemis said, pulling up on the valve. The valve came flying outward, knocking into Artemis and sending him flying upward. "YES IT IS!" he yelled , grabbing at the valve and forcing it back down, releasing the fuel. The reactor growled, the core temp jumped up and steadily rose.

Artemis pulled the control rods, seconds after the lights came back on.

"Power restored. Gravity restoring in 5...4...3...2...1" The gravity eased back on, as did the remaining systems.

Artemis yelled in frustration, regained him composure, and returned to Quarantine.

The Missus returned shortly after Artemis, having become trapped in a vent after the gravity died. She delivered the plant and angrily went to repair herself, grumbling the whole way out of the lab.

"Okay, for the love of all that is scientific, what the hell do we do with this?!?!" Artemis yelled, giving the plant to Tu'Vass.

"Artie, chill" Jade said calmly.

Tu'Vass ate the fruit, and smiled contently.

"If she was just hungry and not sick in the least than I'm going to renounce science and join a monastery....." Artemis snapped.


So thats that, what's next?
Tu'Vass-I really hope that's what you meant to happen with the plant, sorry if it isn't! She'll have to explain to Artie and Jade how that worked because they're both stumped!
South and Boyd: You guys okay down there? Is there anything else to find on the ship?

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