Stalwart Crest Part 15

Chapter 15

“Scientists and support staff, please make your way onto the evacuation shuttles in an orderly manner.  You will be taken to Platform 14 where you’ll enjoy nice relaxing walks on a beach full of spiders and the setting sun creates a wonderful green sky.  It’s a weird place,” Rafe instructed the workers of Platform 10.  He was walking the shuttle landing pad guiding scientists both frightened and annoyed to the Stalwart Crest’s evacuation shuttle.

Aki was to ferry the Platform 10 crew to safety.  She stood at the shuttle’s entry way and herded employees into the large craft.  She had been through evacuations before and the effect of an alarm on the adult human brain never ceased to amaze her.  She had to warn people to watch their step.  Grown people charged with rebuilding a planet.  She sighed as one of the labrats hit his head on a low hanging cargo shelf.  She missed her drones.

Hudd was busy unloading the explosives that would soon sink Platform 10 to the bottom of the sea.  He tapped his computer a few times, pulled up the Platform’s building plan and ran a program to identify the best spots for effective explosives.  He could not believe he had to write such a program, but it had proven invaluable over his years on the Stalwart Crest.  He loved his job.

The last of the labrats took their seats.  Aki nodded to Rafe and Hudd, closed the hatch and made way for Platform 14.

“You about ready?” Rafe asked Hudd.

Hudd snapped together his last device and rose from the knee high workbench he was working on.  “Let’s make a splash,” Hudd said.

“Nope, no bad puns, Hudd.  Crest rule number 1,” Rafe shook his head, but could not hide his smile.

The pair entered Platform 10.  Large windows in the lobby allowed a spectacularly boring view of blue water moving just enough to give Hudd a queasy feeling in his stomach.

“This is pretty hideous,” Hudd said.

“Oh, just you wait,” Rafe laughed.

He led Hudd into the first corridor visitors rarely saw.

“Oh no, did they paint this to look like a cafeteria on a Fleet cruiser?  Why would anyone do that?  Oh goodness they even have someone slopping gruel from a ladle over.  Reminds me of boot camp.  These poor labrats,” Hudd was shocked by the design choice.

“Plant the charges would you? There are many more floors and many more murals to beat your eyeballs with,” Rafe said.  He moved through the corridor double checking rooms and closets for any labrat that may have remained behind.  His visor indicated only Myra was left in the building, many floors below, but he was not known for his trust in technology.

Floor by floor charges were planted and, floor by floor, Hudd was confronted with more jarring murals.  He was starting to believe demolishing the Platform was the only polite option.

Nearly an hour had passed when they finally arrived at the filtration facility Myra had hidden herself away in.  Rafe stepped inside and called out for Myra.

She appeared from a darkened corner of the room.  Even in the dim light, Hudd and Rafe could see the tilted eyebrows and scornful scowl she was pointing their direction.

“I’ve been sitting between the wall and that boiler for hours.  You couldn’t have called, said ‘hey, we’re in the lobby. Come on up’?”  Myra was displeased.

“We could have,” Rafe said, “but what fun is having a rookie on crew if we can’t annoy you?”

“I’m going to put stuff in your coffee,” Myra warned.

“Let’s blow this thing up first, ok?” Rafe said.

The three made their way back up the Platform.

 

Thanks for reading!
Here’s the rest of the story so far:

Part 14 Part 13 Part 12   Part 11 Part 10   Part Nine  Part Eight   Part Seven   Part Six   Part Five   Part Four   Part Three   Part Two   Part One

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