Helly

Location - Orbiting unknown planet - Sandre System - Vead Expanse

"Control, this is Adeki Qurinth, Requesting down link of repair module 40-21d.
Experiencing lag in software update 2.002 for ship kelner 997, Possible system malfunction."

Adeki released the thrusters and slowed his ship to a pedestrian 5 km/s, keeping it centred away from the dim planet he was trying to navigate around. It was an opportune time to inspect the hardware as the sparse, quiet expanse meant he had no reason to worry about pirates intercepting him and making off with the few valuables he had stored in the moderately sized hull of the kelner explorer.
He pressed the commlink, watched for the blinking red light to signal connection and spoke again.

"Control. Do you copy?" He waited for a message to read across the computer hub telling him diagnostics had figured the issue and maintenance would be an easy fix, but nothing. Message had been delivered through subspace as the computer revealed but was not relaying any information back towards him. He let a thick exhale escape him and clenched his fists.
"Fricking pile of junk..."

He stood up from his seat, banging his head for the umpteenth time on the small catch that perturbed from the ceiling manifold and cursed himself for forgetting about it. He was no engineer, nor any being grasped with the knowledge of mechanics and apart from blowing inside some of the vents and dusting off the pipes he felt helplessly stupid in the face of this debacle.

"If it's the damn software installation that's having problems there's nothing i can do about it, it's up to you Helly, tell me why the system won't update?"

Helly was the name he had given to the quasi-AI Interface that monitored both the craft and the network grid which maintained the connection with Control. It had a mind of its own, one that Adeki had grown to love and hate, although recently it had been growing more towards the latter.
"You know I'm sorry about what I said the other day, right? I mean, come on, like I would actually shut off your mainframe capabilities. Sometimes I get angry, I say things I don't mean. The silent treatment has run its course. Don't you think?"

He really had meant to limit her control over the ship, there had been some incidents in the recent past that forced him into some dangerous positions and he had his suspicion's Helly was responsible for a majority, if not all of them. What he wanted the most was to reach the next trade station and have the maintenance teams purge her completely from the system, start afresh and head back out amongst the stars. A journey which was initially estimated to take a few weeks was now stretching into months, as if she knew his intentions and was trying everything prevent her fate.

"When we get to the next trade station, I promise I'll have you spruced up good, give the ol' processor a nice upgrade and whatever else needs doing. We're a team remember, you need me, I need you."

His patience began to wear thin as the deafening silence continued. He fell back into the cockpit chair and stared off into the terrifying immensity of the cosmic scene. Stars light years away dancing to the rhythm of the galaxies. He knew very little of the history of his people, they were so few and scattered thin across the expanse, he only remembered what his father had told him the day he came of age.

'We are sky wardens of the old Order, star chasers of the golden spheres and the embodiment of the Word itself. This is our journey and the journey is ours alone.'

Adeki liked to ponder on those words often. They filled him with a sense of inspiration, urging him to delve further and further into the unknown, seeking answers to life's most pivotal questions.

Adeki probably would have lost himself in thought for a couple of hours had the commlink not buzzed, alerting him that Control had finally replied. He pressed the touchscreen monitor and read the message aloud.
"Inital scan shows no core malfunction despite outdated software mainframe, blah blah blah.. Attached is down link of mod stabiliser needed to run update 2.002 at optimal capacity."

Adeki ran the mod application and stored it in the background whilst scrolling through his main applications until he found the update and began the installation, never taking his eyes off the percentage bar that showed how much data had been processed and how long it would take to finish.

"Only 2 minutes and we're good to go." he said to himself, feeling ever more optimistic the more the bar filled. 50% jumped to 70% and when it reached it 90% he breathed a sigh of relief and took his eyes off the screen chuckling at the paranoia that had gripped him, he began to stand up from his seat so he could stretch when her voice spoke.

"file corrupt, installation incomplete."

"WHAT!? No, no, NO!"

She wasn't, mainframe had frozen with the percentage bar at 99%, a tiny box had popped up repeating the exact doomed words Helly had said.
" How dare you interfere with my work, witch! all this time I knew something wasn't right, you had some motive to keep me reliant upon you." Adeki let out a maniacal laugh before punching his hand through the monitor ripping out all the wires and chucking every loose item around the cockpit.

"We are over! I'm going to enjoy watching you ripped from this system and forgotten forever!"
At that moment the ship jolted sporadically and began thrusting forward throwing Adeki to the metal floor.
"What the hell was that?" Initally it felt like something had crashed into the kelner but Adeki quickly realised Helly had taken control of the ship.

"Oh no you don't, what do you think you're playing at? Turn this ship around now!" the ship was being steered towards the planet Adeki had wished to stay away from and the side they were facing was covered in darkness.
All he could make out was a faint green hue emanating from the atmosphere. He stood up regaining his balance and jumped into the cockpit seat grabbing the joystick and wrenching it in the direction away from the planet but it made no effect, either his moment of madness had disabled manual control or Helly had corrupted the system for her own devices. The ship was gathering speed.

" We are sky wardens of the old Order, star chasers of the golden spheres and the embodiment of the Word itself. This is our journey and the journey is ours alone." he whispered as the ship plummeted through the planet's atmosphere towards it's surface...

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