Tʜɘ Ƨɒmɘ ⅃iɘ

Tam stared down the barrel of a gun.

Sleek, black, and heavy. Cold in his hands, but the grip warming in his palm. It felt coiled, ready to pounce on the man below. The trigger seemed to twitch with excitement, impatient but waiting.

It was an Acter 85, standard issue for the Ouroboros. Bored for Mark 4 rounds, loaded with soft bullets. Not likely to pierce the delicate hull of the ship, but would expand on impact. An all-metal frame, it now felt warm in his hands.

The sound was deafening. Or, at least, it was to Tam's ears. They had been pricked the whole time, waiting to shield themselves from the noise. But they had been taken by surprise. The sound seemed to shock his whole body.
And as the ringing fell from the room, a new sound took its place: that of silence.

Tam dropped the magazine from the pistol and tossed the gun to one side. It had been done. Beckett was too integrated with the ship systems to safely or quickly pull him out. A blink of an eye and he could have sent the command for ship destruction.

-

But he didn't. He fought to keep them open. The plan had all gone wrong. This wasn't supposed to happen. It hurt. And it hurt so much. All he needed was the information. It was in there. Buried deep u̴̼̼̬̙̾ͣͤ͒͊n̠͇͙̞͉d̦͕̲̠̘̊̐ͯ͑ͯë͓͚̹͕r͓̽͆̈͞ ̍̇҉t͈̱̻͕͖̾ͪͭ̿ͣh̜ͧ͟eͯͩ͂͏̟̦̻̬̻ͅ A̹͔̦̮ͤ͛̅̈̈́͗I̥̫͆. That's what he wanted. He needed to know. That ó̶͈̀n̞̭̟̭͈̈́͂ͮ͗ͬ̓̀ͅė̢͙͚͇̭ͅ ͖͚͚̲̗ͅͅl͓͟í͉͚̤̹̌̊̐ͫ̈n̼̫͙̰̼̝͞e̘͇͇̙̒̌́ ̩̟̝̞͇̄o̲̥͉̖͙͈f̫̮͌ͣ̏̀̚ ͖̪̲̈̍̓́i̟̥͍̫̮̖̥̓̄n̤̩͇̮̒ͫ̓ͭ͊̂̾f͎̬̫͙̄̄͊͒̃͜ỏ̷͗͊̓͑̂̀r̖͙̘̜̞ͨ͠ṁ͛͗ͥ́ͧ͛͘a̱͊̊ͧ̀̚ͅt͇̫̰͐͐͐͗͘i̙̝ͩ̔ͦ̍̾ͨ̀͘ͅo̽͌ͨn̟̱̺̥̟̣̋ͬ̆ͦͣ̄ ̦̪̠̫̓ͪ͆̕ͅţ͈͕̦͔̰͖ͥ̿͛h̸͕̭a̛̮̓̒̀t̹̣̭͌̽̐̽̍͝ ͏͖̤̭̙h̗̖͇̰̜e͉͇̼̯͒͋̃ͬ̍́͝ ͣ̄ͥ̎̕n̒̐͒̒̄͏̻͇ȩ͈͕̩̋̚e̬͚͇͍d̨̆͆ͭ͒ͦe̲̙̮̫͎͚͎̾͟d̻͙͙̘͍͞ ̪͚̺̹̾ͤͩͣ͠t̝̭̳̓ͪ̎̓̋̊̍o͖ͨͯͥ̊̀̽ ̸̝̩̹̾̓ḟ̢̖͓̬̪̳̖͛̊ͫ̈́̓ḯ̳̪͇̞̼ͮn̪̭̮̖̎̀̔ͫ̒d̷̗̻̞̻̟̩̪ͥ. Through the pain that flooded his nerves, he fought to find it.

-

'Okay!' shouted Ophelia, sweat trickling her eyebrow. Two wired goons grabbed her forcefully and forced her to the console. 'I don't even know if this will work.'

'Then you better not mess it up!' spat Beckett as he shoved the jack into Ophelia's hands. In his other grip was a pistol, an Acter 85. Beckett was desperate, on edge. He could feel himself losing control. He already had. The Engineering department was lost. Those brought under his command had gone rapid, too many chems for those not used to the effects. In time, they might recover, but there was no certainty. And the ship wasn't moving. It wasn't moving anywhere. It didn't matter. It didn't matter. There was something he needed to know. Because he had been lied to.

-

{{Warning}}
{{Damage Assessment: Critical}}
{{Operational Functioning: 10%}}
Ᵹ:\beckett\systems\failsafe.run
...
...
...
Invalid Cmd, Value <"> not foud
'Ᵹ:\systems\failsafe.run'
Ᵹ:\systems\failsafe.run
...
...
...
Invalid Cmd, Value <"> not foud
'Ᵹ:\systems\failsafe.run'
Ᵹ:\systems\failsafe.run
...
...
...
Invalid Cmd, Value <"> not foud
'Ᵹ:\systems\failsafe.run'
Ᵹ:\systems\emrg.run
...
...
...

F̺̘̥͉̺̂̍̈́̂͒̏̏͝æ̤̻d͂̆̂ē̋r̘̟͚͇̭̝̆ͧ ̝͆ū̝̜̺̾̈́̂̈͂ͩ̐r̳̂̓e̡͍̱͔̻̥̝̾̃ ͬ͠þ̼͔̻̘̤̓ͪ̏ṷ̘͎̞̹̫̄͐ͦ̿̓̄͑̆ ̤̦̯̰̼̦͐ͩ̉þ̱̱̙̟̳̝ͭ̀̔ͣe͔͖͕̞̦̝͚͟ ͔̮̥͓͚͙̮͊͊̽̊̈́e̵̹͚̊̌̾ͫ̈́̌ͦaͥ͌̋͂̇̒̚ȑ͚̯̅ͫt͓̍̀ͯ̎͐̑ ͤ̇͋͐̈ͬͬ͡o̤̦̣ͪͩ̍̓̿n͓͙͈̝͕̬ ̸͈̈̓̾hͬͮ̂̚eͯ́͋͗o̠͕͎͍̦̊̿̐͒̚f̫̹͚̈͞o̦̾ͭͬ̂͑̚n̞̮̹̔ͣ̍͊ṷ͐̇ͫ̿ͮ́͡m̄̃͒̑̃͒̒
͛S͇͎ͯ̃̏͊̾̈́͢ī͔̥̮͑ ̛̙̰͓̮̜̬͌̎þ̺͓̱̯̼͖̆̇ͦ̉͋̀ī̲͐͌̌͆̄n̸ ͓̯̣͛̓̓̋n͙̣͙̘͔̗̎ͫͦ̚ä̫m͑̆̿a̯̳̾̓̌ͬ͜ ̞̰͈͈̠̲̤̎ġ̶̗ͧ̑ͥḙ̴̠̮̍̒ͬ͛̇̾͗h̼̳̯̹̦̓ͤͭ̾̇͑ā̭͙͎̮̐̀ͧ̐̀͑ͣl͕̫̩̐ͯ̅̈́g̹̖̹͐͆ͅo͕̲̙͕͚̫͑̕d̠̱̣̺̓͛̃̇̍̀͜
̝̟̱̩T̖̗͙̝̋̒ͩͅǭ̠͔͍̆̆̀̓̈̚b̉̈̑͜e̶̖̾̈̀͒͊c̶̘͓̝̱̅̋̈̂̅̊̈u̲̘͎̬̼̝̿m̶̼͓͓͍̓̌e̡͓͈̙̗ ̲̙̰̝̙̭̐̽̿ͭ̿þ͎͈̣̩ͨ͆͆ͣ̐̓̕ī͔̇̊̉ͅn͔̼̱̲̤̺̎͗͑ͦͥ͊̔͡ ̵̄͂͑̋̊ͩr̦͉̪̮̳͉͚̋̊̀ī̡͔͑ͩ̊̐ċ͓̖̬̬̘ͪͯ͗ͅe͙ͮ͐
̟̠̦̦̞ͯ͂͋̆̏̅̍ġ̵̣̘̻́̈́̎͐̿ͮ̌ȇ̬̱̗̜w͚͌̉̋̈ṷ̺͉͈̤͐͊͗͜r̷̩̥̲͇̳ͫ̀̇þ̥̤ͧ̔̈̍̀e͙̕ ̟̝͉ͣ͝þ͚͕͒̂ͧͤ̆̑̿ḭ͕̯̥̺̗̄ͥ͌͊̾ͫͪn̺̠̝ͪ ͚̤w̱͍̜̫̥͉͉ͯͪ̿ḯ͕̬̺͔̜̌̆͡lͥͫ̚l̠͓͕̣͕̗̻̓̓͐͋ͯ̅a̫ͨ̎ͮͪ̓ͩ͡ͅ,̬̫̠̪̀ ̣̜̲͗̈́͡o̮̖̬͎̬̝n̙̼͈̿̑ͫ ͕̉̒͑ͥͣe͍͓̩͓̥̳͉ó̹͓̯͉̻͇͗͆̌ͯͅŕ̗̮̿͆̏̉̈̏ð̩̥̣̝̳͔̪ͩ̃a̝̦̲̗͔̍ͦ̌́̉ň̵͇̠̩̬̻̅̑ ̦̠̱ş͐w̵̲̞ͦ͌̎ͩͩā̏ͪ͒̓̑̉͟ ̩̗̠͕̦̼ͭ̉́ͫ͟ṡ̗̝̯̋͊̊͗̈̏w̋͗ā͍͓̻͔̈́ͥ ͖̱̄͋̎̍͐o̰͔͚̱͇͈ͅnͭ̂͛͠ ̨̳ĥ̲̖͎͇̝̆͘e̟͖̜̦̝̟͊ͧͧ̀̓̔͜ö̻̙͡ͅf̧̘̭͇͍͓ͬ̈́́õ̡͈̰͎͖͙̦ͨ͌ͅn͈͖̑̾̊ͤ̐̀u͑ͨ̌͢m̝̭̣̩̙̯̩ͣ
̻̯͇̙͙̦̂ͬ̆Ṵ̞̙̺̄͛̈͊̓̚r͚̠̮͈̭̲ͤe̯̿͐ͥ̿͑͐ ͙̣̱̫ġ̷͉͕͕̞̏ȇ̙̘̝̞͍̹͈̇ͫd̷̥̗̜͖̱̱͒ͧ̈ͥ̽æ̞̘̭̰̂͑͛ͥ͊̚ġ̪̦͇͓̭͎̐́̈ͧ̏ͥͫh̩̲͖͉͓ͫ͑̄ͯ̃w̨͙̫̣̥͔̩ā̸̗ͮ̋͋ͩ͒ͅm̡͖̲̯̭̝ͬͧ̄l͛ͤ͂̄̓̒̑ī̓͏͕͚̮̥̲c̡̪̣͓͐͗ǎ̷͇̎̌̄n̶͖͚͛̔͗̀̇ͅ ̢̜̓ḫ̪͖ͪͯ̈̚l̜̝͂̏̅ͧ̾ͪ͗͞ā̟̗̱͎͍̜ͭ̅͑͌f͈͇̪̏̾͗ͩ̍ ̈̓̀̽̀҉̪͕̜sͤ̓̆ͨ̚y̥͇͒̾̽͗͌ͣl͚̭̠e̵ ̡̖̻̪̜̩̯ͭ̊̄ū̞̍sͤ̓̐ͧͯ҉͉͍̬ ͇̙̪ͩ͂̍̓ͯ́̍t͖̤̤̺́̚ō̠̖̠͞ ̈͑ͫͭ͞d̸̜͕͆̂̅æ̻̖̀ͥ͗͑͟ġ̖̰̣̯̒̇̈́̅͗
͖ͧͬͮ̽ͨͪ͟a̮̲̦ͦ́̋̾̊́n̝̥̩ͯ̿̕d̺̜ ͑ͥ̌̓̅̒̌́f͚̰̦̺̮͓͂̋ͪ͒̓ͪoͯ̎ͥͮͫ͊r͉̲͉ͯ̿̉̓̑͛ġͭ̏̉̿ͧ̔̽҉̝̫̞͕͔̖̬y̴̞̤̾ͨf̣̪̹̜̮̓̒̑ͯ̾ͅͅ ̑ū̮̭͕̼̦͗ͣ͛̂s͕̙͛̏̏̀̆ ̨̩̂͛ū̟̭̟̯ͮ̀̎̍̎̚͢r̥̹͓͉̟̝̪͆̂ě̷̩͎͈̻ͨ ̛͚͖͊̂ͣ́g̛̻̱͚͉̈̔ͣ̿̎ͨ̚y̬̲̲͔̻͑l̷͍̘̰̦̠̟͍̚t͙̺̝̹̜̦ͤͧ̋a̩̲̿̆̚͢s̘̪̩̝ͮ͛,͈̮͉̎̈ͦ̈́͒ ̴̭͛̅͂ͣ̀̑̌š̨̝͙͎̹̺w̬̝ͨͩ̄ā͓͋ ̼̲̘̻̙̍̐ͧͧs̭̠̲̯̣̞͗͑ͨ͒ͪ̓ŵ̘͕̃͜ā̭̣͖͎̽͒͐̉̂̽̈ ̰̙ͬ̽̇̕w͕̣͈̹̝ͩ̀ͪ̅͜ē̱̖͎͓̖͙̐ͩ͆̅̚ ̝̞̰̮͙̮ͥ̉f̵̫͓͍̩͎̎o͝r͍͚̀̐̈́ͬ̄͑̒́ġ̬̦̼͉̝̞͎͆͠ẏ̻͕̫̔̿̿ͫf̭̮̗ͦ͂̀̚a̩͍̠͚͎̬͑́ð̝͇͔ ̜̻ͧ͑ͪ͂ū̺͈̣ͫͤͩͨr̤̙̤̬̲͎̔̀ȕ̡̺̗̣͕̊̈́ͨͪm̟̺̲̎ ͈͛̒̍͟ǧ̭͕͎̲͂͘y̿̉ͦͤͨ̂͋l̫ͩ͋ͥṱ̥̻͋e̯̻͖̯ͦ̑̓̾͞n͙̻ͯ̃̽dͫ͑ͭ̌̓ͪ̀҉u͇̩͎͖̬̫̦̅̒̓̓ͪ̚m̲̥̜̼̿̽̽͐͒̓̓ͅ
̲̰̮̟̾̊ͣA̸̙͇͍̬̮̯̗ͩͧͪͯͤ̒̀ṇ̱̥̝͙̾̒ͦd̻̣̖͍̿̎ ̪̙̞͔̙̠̪̐ͪ͂͗̀͢n̪̙̗̰̪̽͐͋̄̿e̳͚͍̤̙̲͗ͅ ̲̲̰͈̪̭̓͊̓ͨͨ̇͑ġ̤͖͍͝e̼̭͕̬̞̤̞͋͒ͦ̏̉͐̄l̨͖̈ͥ͐ͯ̍ǣ̲͗̓ͨd̗̭̜͊͊ ͊͒̏̅̋͠þ̢̪͔͛ū̗̪̗̲͡ͅ ̰̣͙̦̹̉ū̡͇́̀͊s̠̤͎̬̳ ͉̠̘͇̖ͪ͋ͭ́ͅo̝̘͔̩͍̦̞ͤ̿̑ͭ͒̅n̮̯̺̟̦ͪ́͜ ̛̼̯̤̬̝̦̭̀cͦ̽̾oͧ̒̚s͍̖͔͓̜̟͉t͕͎̗͌ͮ͐n͕̮̘̙̤uͩͫ҉̻͍͇̭͍̞n͈̯͎̐̐͋ͮ̅ͯ͒g̶͈͚̞̘ͧ̂ͨe̟̻̘͈̰͈͑̅ͥ̍̿͞,̮͖̯̝̼̆ͩ̽̓ ̢͊̍̍̓a̷̯̟̱̞͓ͦ̑̿͗̓c̵̝̫̈͗ ̥̫̹͎̟̐ā̐́͒͗ͬͬ҉̰̜̺̺l̠͍͊̀ȳ̐̋̐s̠͐̅ ̈́̇̌͏̗ū̡̓̌͂͂̎̐̚ṣ͚̜̙͍̣̘̋ͬ̅̓̑ ̬̞̖̳͖̞͕ͬͫ̊ͧͣ̚o̝͇͋ͪ̇͟f̶̲̤́ ̝̂̄̏͊ͨ̽̕y̷͇̗͓̻̠̫ͥ̇͑f̡̼̗͎͌ͦ̊̂̅e͏̱̙̰͓̖̮l̤̪̮̾eͪͧ̿
͞Ś̜̱͎ō̌þ̣̳̯̫̰̮̙̅̊̅ͪͨ̎́͟l̛̐ͤ̒̌̽ͭī̸̫̰ͫ͋̍̚ċ̩͖̠͉̼̲̎̃̄̊e̺̠̩̯̖͇̺

-

No-one was looking.

I ̨c̵ould́n'͞t ̢se̴e.͞

I grabbed the gun.

H͘e͘ t҉ook ̴m̶y g͢ưn.̴

Grab the other.
̢
̛Na̧v͢a̴r̴ra įs fi̸g͘ht͝in҉g.̸

I fire a few rounds, incapacitate the hostiles.
̀
͟I͝ a͠m lo͡o҉s҉i͏n͡g.

Ophelia explains the situation.

Ţh͜ey ͢ar͜e̶ t͟a͞l͜k͞i̴ǹg, b̢u͝t I ͢a͏m ͟s҉ear͡chin̡g.
̀
What do I do?
̵
I am͡ l̵oşt̛.

He can't be pulled out?
̶
̵I̴ ̢can͟'t̵ ҉b͝e ͢p̸u͢l̡le͢d ͜o̸ut.

It would trigger failsafes, a chain reaction.

f̵̸̸͠ą̨įļ̵͝s͜a̶͟͞͏̴f͡ę̴̀s̸̀̕͟

It could destroy the whole ship.

O͔̲͆̆͠͝ṳ̯̼͆͑̓͠͞r̴͉̜͗̍ͨ̋ͬ͊ͭͩ́o̅ͫ̽̉ͣͨ̆̇҉̦̬͞b͐ͤͣ̀̎҉̺̥͠o̸̠̮̱̝̼̣̤̟̒̓ͯ̋̏͡r̵̢̡͉͈̺͔̟͒o͕̹̺̥͍̦̓̾̋ͥͪ̀̊ͣͅͅṡ̢̝̠̰̞̪̾̑͋̚

I've got to kill him.

I ͞ąm ͜dead.
҉
That's the only way?

̸I am de̷a̡d.̢

Stop the failsafes before they cause a chain reaction.
͞
͝I̕ am̶ ̕de̡ad̡.҉
̀
One bullet behind the left eye.
͏
̀w͜ai̷t͜
̛
There should have been another way.

̕i̡ ͝f͢ou͠n̢d̛ ͠i̡t̕

Pull the trigger.

it's͢-

-

There was a new signal on the scanners. In the direction of Earth- a blip of life. The next system over. Would they go?

-

Oliver was dead.

The ship was without command. Drifting in the traverse. It wanted to go home. The Ouroboros.

but where was it

-

Tam found the code.

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