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The narrative of Gordon Arthur of Mars - Chapter 4: Silent Running

"Finding other Humans alive on the ship..."
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I came to the conclusion that the room must contain an Air Vent, after much searching I found it behind my bunk. I was able to wriggle my body inside, it was very tight and dark.

Now that I had dealt with the Droid, I now just had to find a way out of my prison, and that would be easier said than done.

Distant at the top of the air shaft was a faint light. I started to climb upwards. Towards my escape, hopefully towards safety.

Pulling myself hand over hand up the ladder I reached the area of the light. Rather out of breath, as climbing around a Airship in the dark is not usually part of the job description of a ticket clerk.

Pulling myself onto a small ledge, wide enough for a good sleeping space. The light was coming from behind another air-vent. I could hear human voices, engaged in an argument.

“But you're the Captain and a British Officer,” stated a stern male voice, which I recognised as the First Mate.

“Yeah and?” replied the voice of a women. She was a rather plump women wearing the Blue Tunic and trousers and Gold shoulder braid of a captain in the Royal Navy. She had a pair of over-sized optic glasses perched on her nose. Red hair.

“Maybe you can think of a daring plan to get us out of this pickle,” he said obviously very annoyed.

“Oh right you assume just because i'm the Captain and a women that I have all the plans. Well obviously if I had a brilliant idea we wouldn't be locked in this broom cupboard,” replied Captain Tempest.

“If only we could reach that Air Vent in the ceiling,” said the First Mate.

“Oh yeah,” said the Captain in a cool tone, “as if only my Prince would fall from the Sky and rescue us.”

When I looked through the vent it looked down on what was indeed a small broom cupboard below complete with mops and cleaning implements. I believe that our former Colonists in North America call such a room a “Closet”.

I was enthralled to come across other humans and British people at that, I called out with delight. The Captain and the First Mate stopped talking and looked up at the vent.

“Hello, is somebody there?” called Captain Tempest.

“Hello,” I called back “Its me Gordon Arthur,” I was still trying to remove the vent grating but it wouldn't budge. Shoving it with my elbows but it stayed firmly attached.

“Who?” Said a confused captain looking at The First Mate for confirmation.

“One of the boys from the accident,” stated Mr Fleetwood.

“Do you have my friend Edgar with you,” I shouted to the Captain.

“No we haven't seen anybody since the Droids separated us from the rest of the crew a week ago.”

I told the two officers that I was unable to remove the grating and asked them what I should do next.

“If you could find a way to the ships main passageway and let us out of this Cupboard that would be splendid.” Called up Captain Tempest. “Oh and watch out for the Droids they appear to have gone loopy.”

I tried pushing and shoving the grating one last time and concluded that I had to find another exit. My only option was another climb into the unilluminated belly of the ship. I was starting to feeling like Jonah trapped inside the whale.

After a climb of no more than a few minutes, I was able to leave the ladder and enter an access hatch. Finding myself inside the cavernous Gasbag of the Airship.

Stepping onto a metallic gantry that swayed gently with the unfaltering motion of the vessel. Suspended in the middle of the balloon, below only sepia darkness.

As I reached the middle of the walkway I was intensely mindful of my footsteps sending out a pounding rhythmic vibration into the silence of the ship. Moving onwards towards the far exit, I became aware of a rising buzzing coming from below the platform from directly under my feet.

Becoming aware of what ever the noise precipitated it would do me no good, I started to run towards the exit, my feet pounding against the metal sending out further vibrations into the darkness.


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