Following the announcement to begin exploration efforts, Galactix can’t resist the chance to flex his exploratory muscles once again and experience open space. Ensuring an adequate supply of fuel, he departs Sol, heading towards the galactic Southwest, and what lies beyond.
“Yezzyezz,” mutters the Lotorian known as Vizgwyr as he lopes down one of the long corridors aboard Galactix. He’s got a PDA in one hand and a battered satchel slung over his shoulder. “Excellent!”
“Welcome aboard.” Galactix voice says.
“Many thankzzz, big talky ship!” Vizgwyr replies, sliding to a stop outside his quarters. “Glad to be here, yezyez!”
“Glad to have you aboard.” Galactix says. “We are on our way, so if there is anything you might require, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re setting course for the Horsehead Nebula”
The Lotorian walks into his small bunk area, shoving his satchel below the cot where he’ll sleep. He ponders what Galactix said, then replies: “I’ve been wondering, yezzyezz. Why is it called Horsehead? I have seen images. What horse on Earth looks like that?”
“A very good question.” Galactix says. “Though from their history humans have a tendency to try to find images in almost anything. Though if I were to compare the shape to an actual creature, the “sea horse” seems to be more fitting.”
“Something tells me it won’t look much like any kind of horse, the closer we get, yezyez,” Vizgwyr muses. He settles onto his cot. Tugs the satchel out from below. Starts rummaging through his meager belongings. “If help you need, just shout, yezyez. Like to earn my keep.”
“Very true. It is, after all, simply a gas cloud in space.” Galactix says.
Vizgwyr finds something that looks like an ancient vacuum tube – the kind of gadget that might be found in one of the old cabinet-style televisions. He cradles it in his slender-fingered hands. “What you think we find out there?”
“A question with potentially infinite answers.” Galactix says. “At a minimum, we may find worlds suitable to colonize. We may meet races and civilizations as of yet unknown to us. Space phenomena that have never been observed before. And given that vile creature that eats ships, potentially hazards we have not even conceived of.”
“Oh, that big chew-chew thing. Very bad, yez-yez,” the Lotorian agrees. He turns the tube over in his hand. “So, what you need doing? Things broken need fixing?”
“At the moment my systems are fully operational, however before we departed I acquired several sensor probes and a used shuttlecraft in case they are needed once we reach our intended destinations.” Galactix says. “They are, however, notably second hand, and likely in need of repair. Would you be able to go over them and ensure they are in working order?”
“Yez-yez!” Vizgwyr tucks the tube back into the satchel and hops to his feet, tail sweeping back and forth. “I do this!”
“Very good. You should find all the materials and tools if you require them.” Galactix says. “They are in the hangar bay secured in berths one and two.”
The Lotorian capers down the corridor toward the hangar bay. “Must get to work, yez-yez!”
The transit to the nebula is long and tedious, at least from Galactix’ point of view. Hour upon hour of hurtling through space at relativistic speeds, sensors watching for errant space debris and other hazards. This monotony, however, is broken by a warning alarm flashing on Galactix’ bridge. In an instant, his consciousness focuses on the warning, and a sense of urgency overcomes him. His voice echoes from above where Vizgwyr is working. “Mr. Vizgwyr, a situation is arising in my engineering section that I will need assistance with. My sensors are indicating that a oscillation is beginning within my propulsion field that will soon lead to an imbalance. We must find the source soon or the drive will become unstable.”
The Lotorian gathers up his tools, stuffs them haphazardly into his satchel, and then scampers down the corridor. “On the way! On the way! Yezyezyez! On the…” His voice trails off as he reaches a junction of five corridors. “Which way?!”
“Turn left, take the turbolift down two decks, turn right, turn left, and take the blast doors.” Galactix says.
Vizgwyr follows the given directions. Eventually he finds himself in the engineering section. “Ok! Where thing need fixing?”
The room pulses with power flowing from the central main reactor to the Spindrive propulsion units on either side. From these, conduits carry the field energy to the nacelles outside the ship. The starboard one pulses regularly, but the port side is pulsing irregularly. “The portside unit is showing an irregularity in the field coils. They may be out of adjustment.” Galactix says.
Vizgwyr hauls his tools to the portside unit and peruses the system, conducting his own analysis to confirm the findings of Galactix. Assuming the findings are confirmed, he’ll look for the best method of adjusting the field coils.
The analysis shows that several of the coils are out of adjustment by up to 12 microns. Not enough to cause collapse of the propulsion field as of yet, but there are indications others are continuing to slip out of adjustment. If they reach a misalignment of 20 microns, the field will become dangerously unstable.
“Oh, not good, not good, no-noz,” the Lotorian says, making a tsk sound as he rummages through the satchel in search of the proper tool. “Realignment not take long.”
“I have engaged the safety interlocks.” Galactix says.
Vizgwyr bobs his snout, then sets to work on the repair. “How often you get standard maintenance?” the Lotorian inquires while fiddling with the settings.
“Not as often as I would like.” Galactix replies. “My repair nanites can handle damage, but situations such as this still require a ‘personal touch’ so to speak.”
“Gonna be important, we out for long time,” the Lotorian chides. His work continues.
“Difficult without an active crew.” Galactix says. “Though I am most appreciative of your assistance.”
“Glad to help, yezyez,” Vizgwyr replies. “Gonna get you set straight! No time!”
“Very good. We are still steady on course, We should be arriving within the next two days.” Galactix says.
The Lotorian finishes his work on Galactix. “Ready to go, yezyez! Not too shabby. How you like? Feel good, yezyez?”
“Ahh.. much better. The field is back within operational limits.” Galactix says. “In fact there is an 8.9 percent increase in efficiency.”
“Excellent! Glad to help, yezyez,” Vizgwyr replies with a smile.
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