Chapter 11: Just a little walk...

'The Ettins have done a good job. Breathing is much easier that way.' They had only needed a few moments to adjust the pressure of the space suit's life systems. Douglas was walking over the hull of the 'Albian Explorer'. Slowly he did one step after the other.

"What's the hull made of?"

"Skin." The communication system was excellent. Just as Rain stood next to him.

"It's made of WHAT?"

"It isn't made of skin. It is skin. It's an organic life form."

"Oh, I forgot that... Everything's clear out here." 'What did they say about the boots? They use a gravity field to attach to the ground?' He looked at the gun in his hands.

"Just push the button and point it into the direction your target is. Better you point there before you push the button." Rain had told him.

"Problems with the suit?"

"Problems? What problems?"


"This lie even I can spot. What is it?"

"There's absolutly nothing."

"What is it?" He pronounced every single word.

"Well, you see, it's just, the spacesuits haven't been tested yet."


"Calm down..."


"Yes, calm down. Theoretically they should work. But it was never really tested, the Shee just invented them and put them in storage room. They never intended to use them, you see. And we could never test them because nobody would fit into them. I told you you are the only one to fit in, didn't I?"

"But I could have been vapourized..."

"Hey, if we don't find out what's going on we all will die."

"That's no excuse for..."

"Shut up. You have a task. And if you don't start being careful instead of arguing with me you can as well start dictating me your will."

'I should have never agreed to do this. I've dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a child. As every child did. But I'd feel much better if I wasn't here. But this isn't the time to argue. I should save my breath.' The ship was really large. And additionally he wasn't very fast in his spacesuit. Therefore the Shee engineers had installed some kind of railway around the ships to transport workers. Not that the ship would have ever need repair. As a life form it was able to repair itself. It was just another example for the Shee's way of thinking.

Something like, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a fast transportation system on the outside of the hull?"

"Why not, let's add it to the genome. Could look funny." Of course inside the ship they only installed a number of lifts connecting the different levels. No way the Shee could have thought of an equivalent transportation system inside. Of course there were a few teleporters but those constantly shut themselfes down and therefore it was impossible to have 2 working at the same time.

"There's a large violet circle on the hull."

"That's it. Can you see an arrow inside the the circle?"

"I see it."

"There must be a button."

"Found it. There is a plate next to it reading 'HULL ELEVATOR - DON'T PUSH'."

"Push it."

"But it clearly says 'DON'T PUSH'."

"Push it anyway. Trust me."

"Trust you? You gave me a theoretically working spacesuit..."

"Push that damn button."

"OK, the circle opens. Must be an iris door. ... There's a platform coming out of the hole."

"Go onto it."

"All right, I'm on it. There's a keypad attached to the handrail."

"I'll give you the destination code. It's 101010. Wait a moment, Erik says it's 1120 because it has to be a four digit number. Stand by, we have to discuss that out. Someone is just telling me it must be either 0222 or 0132. Or 0110..."

"Are you just telling me that you have no idea how the codes work?"

"No, just a problem with the ship's mathematical interface. You can't imagine how little the Shee cared about using the same interface. You see the keypads aren't integrated in the ship. They were added after the Shee found out there was no way to control the elevators... that's it: 0046."

"It isn't moving."

"Perhaps 6400?"

"It's moving now. Hey, that thing is fast..."

Chapter 12