Day 01: ‘Hot Liquid Stimulant’ or ‘The Sciffy Dictionary’

First Deputy Officer Jen­son walked down Cor­ridor Section-9802 of Space Sta­tion HN2Z, cur­rently in orbit around the planet Primer-B12, clas­si­fic­a­tion U. He’d just woken up from his Company-Mandated Sched­uled Re-Energising Time (never abbre­vi­ated to CMSRET), and was mak­ing his way to the Primary Nutri­tional Recep­tion Facil­ity. God, he thought, as he meandered sleepily through Cor­ridor Section-9802, why can’t any­thing just be simple?

Upon enter­ing the Primary Nutri­tional Recep­tion Facil­ity, First Deputy Officer Jen­son slid him­self into a Humanoid Sup­port and Com­fort Unit next to one of the many Stable and Even Sur­face Devices that the PNRF was equipped with. “Greet­ings, First Deputy Officer Jen­son,” came a smooth, sex­less voice from a speaker in the Stable and Even Sur­face Device, “can I get you a -”

Please just call me Jen­son,” inter­rup­ted First Deputy Officer Jen­son. There was silence for a moment.

You know I can’t do that, First Deputy Officer Jenson.”

I know, I know.”

Can I get you a Hot Liquid Stim­u­lant to begin your day, First Deputy Officer Jenson?”

A cof­fee?”

Again, a moment of silence. “A Hot Liquid Stimulant.”

Jen­son sighed, resig­na­tion play­ing upon his face like a Series of Pro­jec­ted Images Accom­pan­ied By Sound. “Yes, please,” he said. The Hot Liquid Stim­u­lant arrived a few seconds later, along with a Nutri­tional Intake Selec­tion Card.

Per­haps,” said the voice from the speaker, “you would care to make a Nutri­tional Intake Selec­tion from your Nutri­tional Intake Selec­tion Card?”

Jen­son crumpled the Nutri­onal Intake Selec­tion Card into a ball and threw it into a corner. The voice didn’t say anything.

As Jen­son drained the last of his Hot Liquid Stim­u­lant, the Rail Guided Entrance Sys­tem glided gently along its rail guides with a hiss. Chief Sci­entific Exper­i­ment Officer Dans walked in, his Reg­u­la­tion Sci­entific Exper­i­ment Pro­tect­ive Exter­ior Uni­form lightly singed. “Ah!” he exclaimed upon see­ing First Deputy Officer Jen­son, “First Deputy Officer Jen­son, I don’t sup­pose you could help me with a small incid­ent that has occurred within the Chem­ical Reac­tion Exper­i­ment and Obser­va­tion Area?”

The lab?”

The what?”

Something’s happened in the lab?”

Chief Sci­entific Exper­i­ment Officer Dans looked at First Deputy Officer Jen­son with a blank stare. “A small incid­ent that has occurred within the Chem­ical Reac­tion Exper­i­ment and Obser­va­tion Area,” he repeated.

First Deputy Officer Jen­son sighed. “What’s the prob­lem?” he said, drop­ping his Hot Liquid Stim­u­lant Recept­acle into a Super­flu­ous Mater­i­als Removal Facil­ity that stood next to the Stable and Even Sur­face Device.

Well, three of my Sci­entific Exper­i­ment Col­leagues were con­duct­ing an Atom-to-Atom Mesh Exper­i­ment within the Obser­va­tional Stage of the Chem­ical Reac­tion Exper­i­ment and Obser­va­tion Area and man­aged to start a Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event, which quickly spread to the sur­round­ing area.”

A hydrogen-oxygen… a fire?”

He was greeted with the blank stare once again. “A Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event.”

Well, has it spread?”

To the sur­round­ing area, as I said.”

Christ! What happened to them?”

Unfor­tu­nately, my Sci­entific Exper­i­ment Col­leagues have been incin­er­ated by said Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event. I’ll be con­tact­ing Sub-Quadrant Mani­fest Hand­ler Axk­lah as soon as the Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event has been dealt with.”

First Deputy Officer Jen­son stood up, push­ing his Humanoid Sup­port and Com­fort Unit away from the Stable and Even Sur­face Device so quickly it fell over. “It’s not out?!”

No, and whilst it con­tin­ues I’m unable to con­duct any more research. I need you to find a way to end it.”

Jen­son had already begun run­ning out of the Primary Nutri­onal Recep­tion Facil­ity, through the Rail Guided Entrance Sys­tem and along Cor­ridor Section-9802, which con­nec­ted to Cor­ridor Section-1360, which itself led dir­ectly to the Chem­ical Reac­tion Exper­i­ment and Obser­va­tion Area.

The Fire Retard­a­tion Seal­ant that coated the Trans­par­ent View­ing Mater­ial between Cor­ridor Section-1360 and the Chem­ical Reac­tion Exper­i­ment and Obser­va­tion Area was already begin­ning to blister. First Deputy Officer Jen­son shiel­ded his eyes from the blaze within. It was already white hot, and when he looked away he could still see the square of light imprin­ted on his ret­inas. The atmo­sphere of the cor­ridor was heat­ing up too. The Primary Con­duct­ive Seg­ments of the Uni­ver­sal Struc­tural Bulk­heads should divert most of the heat, but they couldn’t cope with an Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event of this mag­nitude (at least a twelve, Jen­son reckoned) for long.

Jen­son ran to the Oper­a­tional Over­view and Con­trol Room, fur­ther down Cor­ridor Segment-1360. It con­tained access to the Emer­gency Sub­sys­tems of the Chem­ical Reac­tion Exper­i­ment and Obser­va­tion Area, Emer­gency Sub­sys­tems which included the Vacuum Expos­ure Engage­ment Solution.

He angrily hammered on the Rail Guided Entrance Sys­tem as it moved apart at what seemed like an agon­isingly slow pace, then slipped through as soon as the gap was wide enough. The Emer­gency Sub­sys­tems Lights were all still on, indic­at­ing they were oper­a­tional. He quickly began the pro­ced­ure to activ­ate the Vacuum Expos­ure Engage­ment Solu­tion. As he leant across the Emer­gency Sub­sys­tems Con­trol and Oper­a­tion Panel to flick the final switch in the Vacuum Expos­ure Engage­ment Solu­tion, the Emer­gency Sub­sys­tems Lights blinked out. He stared at the Emer­gency Sub­sys­tems Con­trol and Oper­a­tion Panel, his jaw drop­ping. He flicked the switch a few times but noth­ing happened. Step­ping out into Cor­ridor Section-1360, he could see the Trans­par­ent View­ing Mater­ial start­ing to thin and drip down. The Uni­ver­sal Struc­tural Bulk­heads were turn­ing red hot them­selves. “Fuck,” he muttered.

He went back into the Oper­a­tional Over­view and Con­trol Room, grabbed the Pneu­matic Systems-Failure-Alternative Access Device and pulled. A sec­tion of wall slid out at the same time as the Rail Guided Entrance Sys­tem slid shut, seal­ing itself with a hiss. He stepped into the newly exposed area, the Systems-Failure-Alternative Oper­a­tions Suite, and eyed the Vacuum Expos­ure Sur­vival Suit hanging on a Ver­tic­ally Situ­ated Curved Appar­atus. He reached out for it, then heard a creak. Space Sta­tion HN2Z had never creaked before.

He left the suit and rushed to the end of the Systems-Failure-Alternative Oper­a­tions Suite. The Vacuum Expos­ure Engage­ment Solu­tion Mech­an­ism lay spread out on the wall in front of him. He grabbed the Pivot and Grip Enabling Tool from the wall above it and jammed it into the Vacuum Expos­ure Engage­ment Solu­tion Mech­an­ism. He heaved. He strained and grunted with the effort. A sweat broke out on his fore­head and, finally, mer­ci­fully, the Uni­ver­sal Struc­tural Bulk­heads behind him blas­ted away, reveal­ing a star-filled sky. He felt a rush­ing sen­sa­tion and was pulled from his feet out into the eternal night. He watched as Space Sta­tion HN2Z became smal­ler and smal­ler, a trail of white hot Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event drift­ing lan­guidly after it. He shut his eyes.

‘Inten­ded for Recep­tion by Ms. Mary Tyler, Marital-Sharer with First Deputy Officer Jen­son, serving aboard Space Sta­tion HN2Z.

Ms. Mary Tyler,

We find ourselves hav­ing to take upon us Action Y-TZ9 and inform you that your Marital-Sharer, First Deputy Officer Jen­son, will not be return­ing from his Nego­ti­ated Employ­ment Duties aboard Space Sta­tion HN2Z.

Due to an unfore­see­able Hydrogen-Oxygen Reac­tion Event, First Deputy Officer Jen­son dis­played a full adher­ence to Duty-Honour Pro­ced­ure 508, trig­ger­ing the Vacuum Expos­ure Engage­ment Solu­tion Mech­an­ism manu­ally. His efforts have been recor­ded in the Per­son­nel and Recruit­ment Database.

As with all Marital-Sharers involved in an Action Y-TZ9, you will receive Remu­ner­a­tion Pack­age Delta, which has been care­fully cal­cu­lated to match the Estim­ated Emo­tional Pro­file that a fail­ure to return from Nego­ti­ated Employ­ment Duties entails.

Should you have any fur­ther ques­tions, please con­sult the Digi­pe­dia included in your Remu­ner­a­tion Pack­age Delta.

Action Y-TZ9 Concluded.’

Bas­tards,” sobbed Mary Tyler, crump­ling up the let­ter, “why couldn’t they just tell me he was dead?”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

One thought on “Day 01: ‘Hot Liquid Stimulant’ or ‘The Sciffy Dictionary’

  1. Pingback: Let's See If I Can Keep It Up | Fingerwords