‘I’ve found the problem and you’re not going to be happy,’ said Franco as I followed his swift and agitated pace to the engine room.
‘Someone’s thrown a spanner in… uhh’
There was only one person who could be responsible for this sabotage.
‘The works?’ I suggested.
‘Yes…’ he replied with hesitation.
We arrived at the expansive engine room where the propulsion of our unfortunate vessel relied upon the four gargantuan thrusters.
‘There sir’ he pointed to an elevated platform.
I climbed to the position and let out a laugh, half in exasperation.
Protruding from the machinery was a 12-inch SpaceX certified spanner.
‘So there’s a literal spanner in the works?’
Franco was busy studying a holographic model of the station.
‘No sir, it is actually the K-It-FWD, it’s required for the…’
I didn’t have time to explain the nuances in figures of speech.
‘Have you touched or moved the spanner in anyway?’
‘No, I was afraid my hand would become pinned if I attempted to remove it. Do you wish me to try?’
‘No.’ I studied the machinery. He was right of course, Franco made up for his naivety with his youthful sharp mind, a piston would have cleaned his arm off had he attempted to remove the spanner.
I hopped down from platform, ‘Franco go to the cockpit study our distance from the event horizon. I want a update every hour.’ My calm exterior left as he did.
I looked around frantically to find some sort of solution.
‘Elise why would you do this?’ I said aloud.
Only silence replied appropriately. There were no reasons to her actions only madness.
I spotted a pair of extended workman-clamps. I wiped my sweaty palms and gripped its carbon-fibre handles. They reminded me of my gardening clippers, my roses would need to be trimmed, I wonder if…
Not now, keep focused.
I couldn’t smack the it out that could damage the equipment. Maybe if I pried it out.
I clamped the spanner, it was wedged in deeply.
‘Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil is rightwise king!’ I shouted with an effort. The spanner budged slightly, the progress filling me with hope.
Franco ran into the room looking concerned.
‘What was that Seth?’
‘We are approximately fifteen light years from the event horizon if it concerns you.’
‘Oh yes I’m concerned.’
We needed to turn around this run away train.
The point of no return, it was frightening. Not even light could escape the confines of the supermassive black hole, the ultimate telos of all matter. We weren’t even authorised to come within thirty light years of the event horizon, a simple research mission and then back for a comfortable retirement.
That bitch had thrown a spanner in those plans.
I wiped the sweat off hands on my overalls and grabbed the clamps again. I started to lever it out when I realised that even if I managed to eject the spanner out the piston would instantly trap the clamps. The carbon fibre would not have the same strength as the steel coated ceramic, it wouldn’t hold be ripped through the entire machinery doing untold damage.
The disheartening news caused me to drop my head. This spanner truly was a sword in a stone, like a blade within a wound it was impossible to remove without causing further harm.
Thank you for the reading
To be continued
Follow if you to dare to venture further into… the Void.
(I am trying to write in a style that it doest necessarily matter where you start, so don’t worry about missing out on anything)