Prison of the Mind

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Adventures of Kyle & Mad

Chapter 7: Prison of the Mind

Kyle glanced at the view screen in front of him, and sighed loudly, ”Oh hell, looks like the fuel gauge has dropped considerably during the few hours that we’ve been in hyperspace”.

Mad and Den Kylek raised their heads from the console that they had been repairing: “there’s only one reason why the gauge would look like that, you know” Den replied sternly. “I know. Looks like the Bacterians got our gas tank” Kyle stated. “Alright, we’ve got to pull this bird out of hyperspace for awhile, and someone’s got to put on a spacesuit, and go weld the leak shut” Den explained as he slowly walked to Kyle’s console and visually confirmed that there sure was a leak happening in the fuel compartment of the ship. “Who’s going to go out there?” Mad asked suspiciously. As this imminent question was blurted out, Kyle immediately looked away. So did Den.

“Oh, come on. We’ve got to draw straws?” Mad’s tone of voice raised from careful to a more high-pitched tone. “This is your ship, so don’t look at me, folks” Den immediately washed his hands clean of the whole mess. “Kyle, you’re the one who put us on this cruise” Mad gestured towards Kyle with his hand. “Fine, I’ll go out there and weld that stupid leak shut, then” Kyle replied. “I’m pulling the ship out of hyperspace and shutting down the reactor” Den cut into the conversation as he pressed a few switches on the helm console.

The Hawk of the Galaxy pulled out of hyperspace as smoothly as it had entered it. The darkness of hyperspace was left behind, but as the ship entered a completely new, albeit as dark of a reality as hyperspace was, it hadn’t exactly fared that well at all. The ship had turned up in a thick red stellar cloud somehow.

“Oh, look at the space. It has suddenly changed colours” Den said with a half-sarcastic tone of voice. “Oh hell, this doesn’t look like the place I plotted the course for at all” Kyle replied as he looked out of the main view screen of the bridge. “Well, don’t worry; it’s not your navigational skills here that are poor. I think that our navigational computer didn’t really like all those pretty beam weapons that almost literally shook the ship apart. It must be broken, and thus we’re in a stellar cloud of some sort” Den explained while taking a seat on the navigator’s chair. “This ship is old, so the equipment might be a bit touchy, and thus breaks easily” Den continued. “I’ll try to reconfigure the navigational computer somehow, Kyle, while you do that little spacewalk of yours” Den smirked. “I’ll help you out with the reconfiguration” Mad said. “Sure. And while you’re at it, try to find out where the hell are we, exactly” Kyle replied as he stood up from the helm and walked to the back of the bridge and slid down a pair of ladders that took him to the little airlock. Kyle walked to a small locker, and took out a smudgy orange space suit along with a pair of gravity boots. He put them on, and flicked a switch near the airlock; a red flashing light started blinking on the ceiling of the little compartment along with a siren. “Warning, outer door opening, leave room now for maximum safety distance!” a strange computerized voice warned anyone without proper gear inside the compartment. “Funny, these warning protocols still work, and are actually installed, for that matter” Kyle said to himself from inside the bulky spacesuit. As Kyle exited the airlock, he also attached a long titanium safety wire into the equipment belt of his spacesuit. This precaution was made if the gravity boots decided to malfunction somehow, and thus the wire would stop the wearer of the suit from drifting off into the nothingness of space.

Kyle took a small repair kit with all the necessary tools with him. As he slowly walked the hull of the small freighter, all he could see was extremely thick red stellar matter all around him. No stars or sunlight were visible.

Kyle walked around the ship all the way to the engines, and saw a medium-sized hole right next the left engine; it was slowly dripping a bluish liquid, which formed into bubbles in the vacuum, and floated off into the distance. “Guys, I’ve located the leak, and I’ll start repairing it right now” Kyle explained to a small head set that he was wearing. “Copy that. Be careful out there.” Mad’s voiced boomed back.

After a few hours of work, the leak had been repaired with a few strategically welded plates of additional armour. Kyle returned back to the airlock, and gently floated inside after releasing the gravity lock on his boots. He shut the door from the same little control pad on the wall, and took off his spacesuit. As Kyle hurried back to the bridge, and saw Mad on the helm of the vessel. “Kyle, take a seat, we’re going to put the reactor back on again.” Den explained. After a few seconds the main console on the helm informed the three that the reactor was running, and Mad ignited the engines. The ship’s engines ignited a bit slowly, and took almost twelve seconds to achieve full glow, but at the end all of the consoles showed a green light. “Alright, I’ve plotted a new course for the same system. It should take us twelve hours to reach” Mad stated as he was preparing the jump engines for another duty. “Good. I’m going to go to the little couch on the crew compartment and have a nap” Den patted the two on the backs as he rose off from the chair. Mad and Kyle were left alone on the bridge.

The Hawk of the Galaxy jumped back into the depths of hyperspace again as it left the red stellar cloud behind. “Smooth sailing through the winds of hyperspace”, Kyle blurted out after a little pause. Mad chuckled for awhile, and then looked at Kyle: “Yeah, I remember that captain saying it every time we managed to enter hyperspace back in the academy”. “He would look over the entire crew on the bridge, and like a poet, he would let out those words out” Mad said with a smirk as Kyle nodded. “I’m sure she would’ve made an excellent poet, rather than captain instructing us cadets” Kyle continued. “You know, I’m a little worried about those Bacterians being here.” Mad said quietly. “We actually saw them in combat only twice after that HemmoCruiser incident, and then the politicians were busy on negotiating a peace between us and them. The Bacterians are sneaky alright.” Kyle replied grudgingly. “I know Den doesn’t see this as a big deal, but I’d say that there’s definitely something going on” Mad pondered calmly. “Even if we inform our own government about this, there’s still no way we can touch this. The Beta Quadrant Free Zone is under no jurisdiction whatsoever from any of the major or minor star powers. And besides, we’d be violating the independence of these systems if we’d come over here with guns blazing” Kyle replied quickly. “Potentially innocent people are still dead, and we know who killed them” Mad said quietly. Kyle looked at Mad for awhile, and shook his head.

As suddenly as the relative calmness before this little conversation had started, it also ended. A large explosion shook the ship again, and the engines of the vessel shut down. Kyle and Mad looked at each other again. “What is it this time?” Mad yelled while the ship’s engines suddenly glared up again. Den Kylek quickly rose up the ladder and ran to the helm: “What’s going on!?” he also demanded to know. Just as Kyle was about to open his mouth, the ship suddenly pulled out of hyperspace. This turn of events wasn’t, yet again, a positive thing, since the ship found itself inside the atmosphere of a planet. “Holy crap! The navigational computer broke again!” Den yelled in panic as he strapped himself into the navigator’s seat next to Mad. Kyle attempted to maneuver the ship with the best of his abilities, but it seemed evident, that one of the engines had blown up. All of the ship’s consoles were showing strange numbers and letters, and one had blacked out completely. The Hawk of the Galaxy was on a crash course and going down on a completely alien world.

“Prepare for a crash! I think this ship is going down real fast!” Kyle shouted as Mad and Den tried to push and slam the various buttons on their consoles for no apparent effect. The ship slid through the various layers of the atmosphere as fast as greased lightning, and the three unfortunate travellers inside could see the surface of this swampy world reveal itself with all of its’ wet glory.

As The Hawk of the Galaxy was only a few hundred meters away from the ground, Kyle managed to get the brakes operational again. These “brakes” (for the lack of a better term) were to be used in situations like these, where one had to land on a planet but had no means of controlling the ship. Kyle pulled the lever that released the brake, and the ship slid to the ground with great speed, while cutting trees and brush emerging on its’ landing route. Kyle, Mad and Den held to whatever solid surfaces they could find as the ship slid into a small lake after the tree line had vanished. The Hawk of the Galaxy came to a sudden halt as it collided with a small sandy beachhead with it’s’ engines gleaming red hot. For awhile after the landing, the entire crash site was completely quiet. Moments later the muffled sounds of some distant, indigenous birds could be heard. Kyle, Mad and Den all arose from their chairs after unbuckling their safety harnesses, and quietly looked at the interior of the ship. The airlock a few decks down was now under water, so it was of no use as an exit. “Open the top hatch” Den instructed Kyle, who immediately climbed to the ladder, and opened the small hatch at the upper end of the ladder. Fresh, breathable oxygen immediately flowed in as the three climbed out of the ship.