Unfinished Business

JP with Omni and redsword_7

USCSS Cronus > C Deck > C2 Junction

A brief look around the C2 Junction showed some history of what happened here. The forward junction door stood wide open to a catwalk that disappeared into a maw of pitch blackness while the aft door was buckled outward. The panel beside the door was busted and two side doors were streaked with blood.

Looking over the Cronus map on his data pad, the Captain cut in over comms.

“Boys, how’s it goin’ over there? I see you went down to C Deck. Can you tell me just what the hell you guys are thinking about doing? I hope it’s not what I think.”

Paddy ignored the Captain and opened up the starboard side doorway. Still floating in zero-G, he pulled himself through and allowed his mag boots to reconnect with the metal flooring of the maintenance corridor.

Along the floor and walls were more signs of a fight. Rusty stains of blood, scorch marks and spatters of yellowish-green resin pocked the piping and floor. The door to the aft of the ship was open and the hallway came to a T intersection. Poking just around the corner floated some piece of equipment near the floor.

Paddy approached the intersection and kicked at the piece of equipment in the hall. It was an incinerator unit, its frame dented and its fuel spent. The hall was dim with only emergency runner lights flickering on and off along the walls near the floors and ceilings.

"Don't do that. The more noise we make, the less chance we have of surviving this." said Roberts.

"Marshal, Paddy... Do you copy?" said the Captain again.

The men didn’t respond, instead, changed their comms to a different channel and moved as quietly as they could toward the aft, to either side of them ran the maintenance halls.
Roberts checked blind spots as they moved, leading with the M41A.

Toward the end of the hall on the starboard side, Paddy and Roberts saw more trails of freeze dried blood leading to the door with caution strips, the reactor relay and control room was just beyond the door.

From where he was standing, Roberts looked down the opposite side of the corridor. Outside the aft door of the C2 Junction, there was a mass of yellow-white resin on the floor. It looked wet and fresh compared to the blood streaks and there was a small pile of bones floating in the goop.

"Oh great, something else could be here with us." he said.

“Marshal, try the reactor door. I’ll cover you.” Paddy whispered over comms with nervous excitement.

"Ok, let's check it out." Roberts replied. A pale blue light lit the Marshal's face as he looked through the little window of the door, making sure to keep his rifle pointed towards it.

Beams of blue light emitted from an open access port on the reactor relay casting long, deep shadows through a shroud of a thin mist. Near the reactor lay a man in a spacesuit, hunched over a metal case on the floor, his bloody helmet lay nearby and his tattered spacesuit looked like it was torn open at the shoulder.

Roberts looked over the door panel to see if there were any radiation indicators blinking. There was indeed a caution indicator, signifying the presence of radiation, but the threat level was low so long as they didn't spend long periods of time unprotected inside.

Roberts slid the card and the lock indicator turned green but the door did not slide open so the Marshal attempted to force it open manually. He could tell it was wedged shut by something on the other side.

With a little struggle, the Marshal was able to push the door sideways, grinding the other side against the fire ax that was holding it closed.

Roberts scanned the room for anything hiding and determined that the area was clear. Walking over toward the body, he could hear the faint pulsing buzz of an alarm. Cautiously rolling the body over, he could see clearly that the man was still half frozen and had died from blood loss coming from the large gash in his shoulder.

He must have made his last stand here in the Reactor room, bleeding, his eyes never closing. He had died while fervently trying to initiate the overly-complicated Scuttle Procedure which involved shutting off the cooling unit.

The man was Japanese and the name across the chest of his compression suit read, "ROKU".

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