Writing Exercises

Silver Pod Part 21: Underestimating the Warden

Link to part 1

Link to previous part: 20

The interlopers did not appreciate Silver Pod. Already they talked of finding another ship on Luna and leaving. They should have been torturing all of the access codes out of Ohnsy. They should have held back nothing as they strove to wrest Silver Pod from her control.

Ohnsy bit her lip until the pain snapped her out of unproductive thoughts. She would have to accept the disrespect of their indifference.

The obsidian-skinned man who shined nearly as brightly as Silver Pod’s polished chrome walls had flicked a switch in her brain. Rather than waiting, she could seek out Silver Pod’s master. She had no clue where to look, but the action of searching felt right. Silver Pod itself would help her. The ship was so much more than intruders realized. It was the embodiment of freedom with style.

True freedom required more than a ship. The ship was merely the center, the work of art held aloft on a dais. A whole museum and staff surrounded it. Support of Silver Pod was the purpose of a system, an infrastructure.

Already Silver Pod had announced its ascent beyond Earth’s atmosphere. In response, autonomous energy harvesting drones began boosting themselves out of the sun’s gravity well, bringing gifts of fuel. Self-sufficient manufacturing facilities strewn throughout the asteroid belt perked up their antennae, waiting for requests for parts as small as microchips or as large as entire ship sections. Anything not available in massive warehouses nestled inside innocuous asteroids would be manufactured with utmost haste. Word would be passed along from star to star far beyond Sol system. Where ever Silver Pod wished to travel, it would be greeted with robotic attendants saying, “at your service.”

Soon the ship would be back in Ohnsy’s control then she would search for Silver Pod’s master and fulfill her duty. She had no choice really. She couldn’t land where they’d come from. The starport had been consumed in a thermonuclear inferno.

There was more than one countdown triggered by the access codes she had given the intruders. Soon they would pay for what they had done. Ohnsy examined the intruders one by one.

The dangerous woman called Fife sat at the pilot’s chair, steering Silver Pod one-handed. The toad, Beryl, hovered anxiously nearby, his oily body odor fighting a silent duel with the air circulators. The engineered human, Besh, explored the bridge with wide eyes and gentle fingertips, except when sudden emotion took him. Then he crouched, hugging knees to chest, letting tears splash and stain the floor.

Ohnsy decided that she hated each of them in a different, special way for trespassing and despoiling her elegant, irreplicable ship. They would pay for underestimating the ship, for underestimating its warden.

The access code she had given was one of thousands, each with its own side effects. She had memorized them all. The countdown that would revert control to her was not the only side effect of the code she had given them.

They were distracted. They assumed she was under their control. A silent countdown reached zero. The locks holding her in the acceleration shell slid open. Ohnsy dropped to the deck, every muscle coiled for action, a smile finally stretching across her face.

Link to next part: 22


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