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Strains of her dark hair floated in front of Mirella’s face as the entered the central tube hub, where gravity was non existent. Surface tension kept the sweat beads on her skin. “I have pressurised the cryogenic chamber tube, we can go.” 

Why am I even here? I hate zero G! “Alright, move on out, people.” I’m the Admiral, I should remain in the command centre, or close to it, instead I’m floating through a tube in the spine of the Destiny. What am I? Insane?

The lights came on as soon as they opened the pressure seal doors. Seemingly infinite the tube stretched out before them, running on until it reached the hub on alpha. It was narrow, as the cryogenic chambers with people from earth took up place on one side of the tunnel. 

“Where are we going?” Justine asked one of the questions that Mirella had dreaded. “Engineering.” Good one. “They cut off our access to the computers, we cut off their power. If possible.”

Sounding way more confident in her plan than she felt, Mirella continued to move on. 
Communication with the Kismet was lost near the center of subalpha, and impossible in the central tube with the cryo chambers. Too much interference, too much stuff in the way for a radio signal to penetrate. 

The thing that Mirella hated the most about their journey to subgamma, were the hubs, with the fast spinning siphons. At the last siphon of the journey Mirella feared to be smashed against a wall, and subsequently falling to her death, but found a rather pleasant surprise waiting. On the other side of the hub was a recess with a maintenance cab in it.

Being as they were manually driven, the computer lockout didn’t have an effect on it. As she entered the open cab she thought she needed to make sure such a cab is always parked at the other end of the spine as well. Just to be sure in the future.
“We have some control over subgamma.” The voice of her chief engineer, a man called Schultz, of german descent, came over the intercom as they left the tube network. Continuously Justine had tried to raise someone, now her efforts were rewarded. “But we are out of contact with the rest of the ship.” Two men in armor and guns turned the corner, raised their weapons. “Linkers?”

“No.” Mirella remained calm, despite having a gun pointed at her face. Uncertain the two men exchanged a look. “How can we be certain?” 

Mirella looked over her shoulder. She wished she knew how to be certain, as far as she knew each of her team could be linked. “Would we be travelling with a maintenance cab after crawling through the cryo tube in zero G if we were linkers? They are in control of everything, remember?” 

Somewhat satisfied with her repkly the two lowered their guns. “Schultz has set up a command base in main engineering.” They waved the Admiral and her entourage to follow. 

Although she had seen main engineering before, Mirella couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the look of it. 

Only half of the displays showed the lockout screen that had crippled her command centre. Subgamma’s barracks must’ve been empty, as all the privates, ensigns and trainees were running around in engineering.

“Greetings Admiral.” The chief engineer approached her, mustered her and her group with an alert eye. Out of nowhere a satisfied grin appeared on his lips. “I hereby transfer command to the Admiral!” All personnel in the room saluted her, and remained standing still. 

“Carry on.” She stammered. “How could you be certain that we’re not linkers?” 

Schultz pointed at the displays in the back of the room, the ones that displayed the fusion reactor stats. “My predecessor from the time the linkers made trouble, kept one of their reprogrammed nodes hidden, and easy to turn back on. He also disconnected engineering from the main computer. Closely linked, but separate. When they showed up and took over the ship, his firewalls kept them from taking engineering, we just severed the physical connections, to keep it that way.” 

Intrigued by that paranoia driven ingenuity that seemed to have paid off, Mirella felt relief. “We need to retake the ship.” She sat down on a console in locked mode.

How had Bill Wallis been able to achieve that level of tinkering with Destiny’s systems without knowledge of the admiralty? Under normal circumstances Mirella would call for an investigation, maybe even a tribunal hearing, but she was actually quite comfortable with those developments.

“I thought so.” Herman Schultz nodded, “Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do with the locked computers.”

Both the chief engineer and the Admiral turned to Justine who was in contact with the Kismet again. An idea came to the Admiral’s mind.

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