• Published 25th Apr 2018
  • 320 Views, 18 Comments

Equestrian Space: Short Stories - Shirlendra

These are a collection of short stories chronicling a series of events in the Equestrian home system.

  • ...

The Bright Spark

The following is a set of audio logs recovered from the adrift wreck of the trade ship "Brilliant Night".
The voice on the recording has been positively identified as The Captain of the "Brilliant Night".
No other logs from the rest of the crew have been located.

Log: 3124
"Y'know... They always called me 'Bright Spark'. Ironic, I suppose. Because that's exactly what killed us."

Log: 3125
"I know it seems bleak, but this is what you sign up for when you start your own shipping route. I should've listened to Ma' and gone into the Navy, Last I heard they were finding some pretty cool shit out in the reaches. Damage is uh... significant. Lost most of the ships systems, Engines, Comms, most of C deck, The Shrink. We uh... couldn't recover a body, the whole area is in vacuum and we don't have any functional suits to head out and assess. That's going to be priority one. Life support and rations appear okay for now. I'll update as I know more."

Log: 3129
"Oxygen is dwindling, Only about 72 percent left now. We had picked up just enough to reach Kollam Four. I suppose... I suppose we shouldn't of cheaped out on that refit. Might of even made it with that oxygen."

Log: 3132
"You ever notice how bright it is in space? You never really notice it planetside. Been staring at that speck out in the distance for a bit now. It's just, always there. I know we ponies are supposed to like sunlight, but it's... just odd, y'know? It's just a huge ball of burning gas, and it's been close to us... well... forever. Update on the suit situation, we think one of the emergency suits may be suitable for vacuum if we cannibalize the rest. Too bad they are damn uncomfortable. "

Log: 3146
"The Engineer shot himself today. One round, straight through the temple. He left a audio log to his family, it's under 3139. We left his body in his cabin, not much use jettisoning it. Might as well keep everyone together, it's not like we are going anywhere."

Log: 3151
"Update on the suit situation, turns out the Engineer had a whole list of little problems he kept to himself. Including, you guessed it. A little fluctuation in junction E-318, That's right on C deck just under cargo bay 2. We still aren't sure what caused the explosion exactly, but we are thinking it had something to do with that junction."

Log: 3155
"We took a look at the damaged section in bay 2 today... Tonight? Ship's clock got taken out in the explosion with the rest of the electronics. The Cook had one of those old mechanical watches, too bad she never wound... winded... it up. Damage is as we already knew, too significant to repair even with the Engineer. Still drifting at speed, The Navigator says we will probably miss Kollum IV. If we don't get trapped in the gravity well of Kollum or slam into some uncharted hunk of debris that is. Couldn't find The Shrink's body, must of been sucked out into space."

Log: 3158
"I was thinking about the sun today, as I dug through the debris in bay 2. I can't help it, the whole section is exposed, it's just... hanging there, can't even see the planets with the naked eye. But that great big burning ball, you can see that. I've never felt fear in the vacuum. It's almost... comforting, y'know? It's cold, and dark and just... there."

Log: 3161
"We ran out of my favorite bars today, the oat and honey ones. They always made your mouth feel just a little sticky, but not gross sticky just... sticky. I don't think anyone is sleeping very well, The Pilot says he could of sworn he saw something out in the dark. I told him if anything were going this fast and he could still see it than we might be rescued by dinner time. I'm thinking about having some soup, maybe a piece of cold bread."

Log: 3164
"Oxygen is now down to 45 percent. The Navigator assumes, from last recorded position and at current speed we might be in visual distance of Kollum in about two weeks. We are hoping long range planetary scans will pick us up, at least we got The Cooks old watch working so now we have an idea of time. Next thing on the agenda is that we are going to try on communications again here soon."

"I uh... also found something odd today when I was going through The Shrinks notes on the crew. I'm going to dig a little deeper before reporting anything."

Log: 3166
"Still looking at The Shrinks notes, but The Pilot said he saw something again. This time it was in a hallway. I know the lights have been acting a little off since the explosion and I'm going to maybe give him something out of The Shrinks stash. Hopefully it will help him relax a bit, can't have the rest of the crew getting jittery."

Log: 3168
"The Pilots gone. First he was muttering about seeing things and now he's just gone. How does someone disappear on a ship? We checked the functioning airlocks, the last cycle was during the last time The Cook went out to check the communications array. Apparently she took a course in communications repair at some point, who knew?"

Log: 3171
"I had a weird dream last night. It's uh... hard to explain. You know when something feels off and even after you wake up that feeling just doesn't go away? It was like that. I spent some time just watching the sun, I just... I wanted to make sure it was still there. The repaired suit sprung a small leak, we were able to get it patched. Work on the communications relay is going slow, Cook says we should take a look at the shipping inventory. See if there's anything we could salvage to speed up the work."

Log: 3175
"We have listed The Pilot as missing. I checked oxygen consumption, It tracks with what would be used by three ponies. Not sure why I thought it might be any different... just never hurts to check. We are going to scour bay 1 today, see if we can't turn up anything. We ship a lot of corporate crates, you know. The kinds of ones we get a chunk of bits not to open? Yeah... Here's hoping none of them have any anti tampering devices."

Log: 3177
"Well, bay 1 was a bust. Who even ships a bunch of hard copy files anyway? You see one file as thick as your hoof you've seen em all I say. Going to have a talk with The Navigator and The Cook. See if we can get some of the lights in the main corridors replaced, they are giving me the creeps."

Log: 3180
"Took a few pills out of The Shrinks stash today. I can't sleep, every time I close my eyes all I can see is that big burning ball. It's been in our rear view since we set out from Equestria... but every night it's getting closer. I don't know why I keep seeing it, but I've closed all rear facing blast shields. Don't need to see any more of that than I absolutely need to. No progress to report on the communications array. Still haven't located any replacement parts in bay 1, Thinking about searching bay 2 again."

Log: 3183
"Damn lights, first we can't get them to stay on. Now we can't get them to turn off, they are running full power all the time. If we still had mainframe control maybe we could look at the environmental settings and see what's going on. I'm thinking we remove half the physical connections, that way even at full blast there's only half of them."

"At least they stopped flickering."

Log: 3184
"I can't make heads or tails of these notes. On the surface they look like totally normal personal files, but they have these weird little scribbles in the margins. They just... maybe they are personal notes? Can't decipher any of them. It's like The Shrink wrote random bits of information in here. Paragraphs from works, quotes, ramblings maybe? I honestly don't know much about The Shrink, Government contractor and all that. Any ship with a large enough crew warrants one, I just never heard anything about one of them ever writing notes like this. I'm going to put these away, there's nothing I can get from them."

Log: 3186
"Funny thing, Staying out here too long. It makes you dream about all sorts of weird shit. I just had a conversation with my sister. She's been dead some five years now, burned up over Azar..."

"She always did love the sun."

Log: 3189
"Oxygen is down to 21 percent, We are still about four days out. Started digging around in bay 2 today, can't get a lot of these crates open. They have some kind of magnetic locks on them, high grade military shit. On a... uh... note. We were able to remove some of the lights, now maybe we can actually get some real sleep."

Log: 3191
"I was in bay 2 today, and I caught myself staring at the sun again. I'm not quite sure how long, but I only realized once my oxygen level got to low and the alarm started going off. I'm going to take a few more of those pills out of The Shrinks stash. I think The Navigator has been as well, there were less the last time I grabbed a few."

Log: 3195
"So I was talking to The Navigator today over breakfast and she asked me if I had seen the watch. I thought The Cook had it but when we asked her she said she hadn't seen it and thought that I had it. We can't be that far out now, we should have the Oxygen and Rations to last us the last few days."

Log: 3196
"I've never been scared of the dark. The Vacuum dosn't scare me. I grew up on ships like this, I was born on a ship like this. I've known the cold and the darkness a long time and I accepted that if I were lost to space that would just be part of life. But the Light... The light scares me, flames, sparks, all those things which could catch and burn. I saw the crew of my first ship burned alive. It was a simple oxygen malfunction, mix got too high. A dropped fork, that's all it took. They never even made it out of the mess hall, Automatic doors and what not. We were in port on a refit, the fire suppression system never even came on..."

"I can still see their faces."

Log: 3199
"I... We... found The Navigator this morning. She didn't make it to breakfast, Slipped and fell in the doorway to her quarters. The doors are automated, the sensors must not of registered her in time..."

"She never stood a chance... At least it didn't shut all the way. There was hardly any blood. I thought maybe she took a nap in the hall with... her tea cup."

"The only thing I can think about, was how many times... I had put off replacement of those sensors."

Log: 3200
"We decided to move her body in with the Engineer. The smell was... overwhelming."

"When we moved her, I broke her tea cup. She..."

"She loved that teacup and the last thing I did for her was break it."

"I had the cook weld the door shut, while I took a cold shower."

Log: 3201
"I can't find any adhesive that will do the trick. I've been trying for hours to piece it back together but nothing on this ship works with porcelain."

"I have to fix it. I need to find a way. She loved that teacup."

"It was the one thing she ever loved on this ship."

Log: 3203
"We should be able to see Kollum, but all we can see is empty space. I even opened the blast screens at the back. That damn sun is still there of course, just that one big ball of light in a sea of stars. I'm going to take the last of the pills. Maybe after a good nights sleep we can get communications back up and running. The suit only has a few more uses left in it's frame I think, gotta make them count."

Log: 3206
"The Cook says there's nothing we can do. She's looked at the problem every which way and there's just no way she can find to get comms up and running. Still can't see Kollum. Maybe The Navigator got it wrong, maybe we are still a few days out. Even if we can't see it, we should run into it at some point. With just Me and The Cook we have a few days left of oxygen. But..."

"We may want to start looking at how many rounds that pistol has left."

Log: 3208
"Eleven. One magazine, minus the one round the Engineer used to take himself out. But we aren't there yet, I think we are going to make it. I can feel it."

log: 3211
"I saw my Sister again last night."

"She wanted me to join her, I told her I wasn't ready. Not like that, not by fire."

Log: 3213
"Fuck! The Cook locked herself in the galley and doused herself in oil. The whole section is an inferno, I've sealed the blast doors but I know it's burning through the lights and the insulation. It's only a matter of time before the whole ship is on fire. But I won't go out like that, I won't let the flames take me. This will be my final log before I seal myself in the cockpit and depressurize the ship, I'll try to siphon as much oxygen as I can."

Log: 3214
"The safeties won't let me depressurize the ship."

"The fire is burning through the hull, I can smell it."

"I won't let it have me."

"I've never had a fear of the dark. I've never felt afraid of the cold, of the vacuum."

"I think it's time to take a walk."

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