Red Wire, Blue Wire, Yellow Button, Smash
Sirens blared. Lights flashed. And my head hit the console. Something was wrong and I didn’t know what. Hitting my helmet on the thing didn’t seem to help, but it didn’t seem to hurt either. And when you’re in a stressful situation like this - and what isn’t stressful about hijacking an alien ship - you need to be able to vent.
“Press the button!” screamed Raheeba. Or I thought she was probably screaming. The beauty of comms systems is they automatically adjust for variations in sound level and quality. Right then that was the only thing I was glad to be in my suit, otherwise the thing was really hindering me.
“They’re all buttons! It’s nothing but buttons as far as the eye can see!”
Raheeba came up and pushed me out of the way. “There’s got to be one that looks different.”
“Maybe this isn’t an alarm,” I offered. Standing beside her I could tell she was just as dumbfounded as me by the array of colors and flashing lights on the panel. “This could be an alien discotheque.”
She turned bodily towards me, “Discotheque? Who uses that?”
“Right, cause they’re all about EDM at speeds inpercetable to us.” Raheeba did not look amused.
I started pressing buttons randomly. Turned knobs. Flicked switches. Anything to get an effect that was at least something other than the cacophony currently playing throughout the ship.
“Don’t!” Raheeba shouted and shoved me aside. “You’ll make it worse.”
“Or… I’ll make it better,” I said with a smile. It was lost on her. It generally is when we’re working. She’s all business.
“What did you do?”
“Nothing? Just what you saw,” I replied.
Raheeba shook her head and said, “No, how did you set the ship off in the first place?”
“Nothing, I didn’t push any buttons, nothing.”
A ringing sound echoed through my helmet. Raheeba was tapping it, her sign to concentrate. “I only rested my hand on the console. Along the top. But there are no buttons there.”
“Did you check.”
“Yes I’ve checked.”
I stepped around Raheeba and placed my gloved hand atop the console. “See. Nothing.”
The bulkhead door slammed shut then, sealing us in and increasing the noise as it began to echo and reverberate around the smaller space. For all the noise dampening aspects of our comms systems the suits could do nothing for environmental stuff.
“Clearly it’s not nothing.”
“And what if it’s not us.”
“Oh it isn’t us. It’s you.”
“You’re a real team player today,” I said as I got on my knees to look under the console. But like the rest it was sealed, with no indication of a maintenance hatch or anything else that would have allowed access to its innards.
“I’d say we hotwire this thing but…”
“Get out from under there,” she said grabbing my tool belt and pulling me up.
“Not like I could make it worse down there.”
“I’m sure you could,” Raheeba retorted, “now stand back.”
She hefted her crowbar and brought it down on the console with a crack.
Today’s art is courtesy of Davison Carvalho from Bellevue, Washington.