As he clicked through to the screen, the hangar went dark….
Above, he could hear the deck alarms going wild and the ominous sound of something grinding against the bay. Steel gave way with the sound of whales humping.
Unlike his old cockpit, the hangar bay layout wasn’t imprinted in his memory. Vin couldn’t remember which way the emergency ladder was and didn’t have a clue as to why the backup lighting wasn’t working either.
His voice echoed through the hangar. What a dumb thing to shout.
He could see the slow blink from the maintenance robot at the open canopy of the sidewinder and walked, hands outstretched toward it.
As he reached it, he heard it scuttle back into the hull and the blue light – his only source of light – lit the interior up.
Feeling his way around the sidewinder, he found the middle rungs of the ladder and climbed slowly up.
“Fornicate it…” he cursed as his head hit the handle. Opening the hatch, he could see the carnage above.
The drones did one thing perfectly – that was landing. Right up until he saw a commander’s flight suit being craned out of the cockpit of the crashed Anaconda, he was convinced that had broken as well….
The face looked familiar. Last night at the Thargoid, Noctivagus had brought a couple of blurry snaps of someone in a commander’s flight suit heading back from one of the drone Anacondas in the bay.
Bar rumour had it that someone had been jacking in to the code for the flight testing rigs and was in the process of re-wiring the auto controls on one of the mining drones. A bit of digging later, they’d turned up the name “Blackley”, along with a copy of his pilot’s registration form and a video of an Anaconda shaped fireball in the docking entrance.
Looking at the stretcher – he could see a thumbs up…
“Lucky ******.” Vin shouted to the medical team