Insula – Chapter 4: Update

Please state your name and access ID, an automated voice said.

“Ven.  1-1-0-4,” he stated.

Acknowledged, it replied.

The panel on the wall lit up, ready to accept authentication.

Please, place your hand for print recognition, it requested next.

He complied, placing his hand flatly on the panel. A blue light traced around the outline of it before turning green.

Acknowledged. Ven, Chief Director, you are authorized to enter Captain’s Quarters, the voice concluded.

The doors before him parted to the sides, allowing him entry to the room ahead. The Captain’s Quarters were on the upper deck of the Main Bridge and could only be accessed through a small Ascender in the back. He entered a clean, white room similar to the Bridge below but smaller. It displayed a large holographic map that floated above him, which showcased the current solar system and Hale’s Eye at its center. The projection continuously rotated, passing through him occasionally. A grid pattern was among the displays with the planets shown as small dots with their associated names. One dot in particular flashed with the PL-0490 as its label. Next to it was another smaller, flashing dot indicating the ship.

“Captain Insula,” Ven spoke up, “we were informed that a Docker is on route to unload our collection from PL-0490,” he stated, standing at parade rest – his legs shoulder width apart with arms behind his back. “They should reach us in a few hours, before the end of today’s Rev.”

The room was empty of another person. Instead a large sphere roughly the size of a head hung from the ceiling. Wires and cables dangled from above connecting to the device like tangled ropes. The surface of the sphere was chrome, reflecting the colors emanating from the projected map. Its exterior was decorated with a variety of lights that flashed in incoherent patterns as if in cadence to a silent beat.

Good, an automated female voice replied with an airy, metallic ring in its pitch, we’re ahead of schedule.

The ship was named after its captain.

All ships were piloted by automated navigation systems. It was a smart move considering the vastness of space. A Chief was truly the captain of a ship since they actually interacted with the crew. The automated captain, however, was linked back to the Head Docking Port, a Board of Officials where all ships inevitably reported back to.

I’ve already received confirmation for our next mission, she continued, her voice fluctuated between a soothing tone and a flat metallic one. RE-12 on PL-0716. Coordinates have been received from H.D.P.

RE-12? That was Nitrogen. he thought. They needed more so soon? “Sounds good, Ma’am,” Ven replied.

The holographic projection animated a line traversing from their current planet forward to another planet closer to the sun. Judging from the data, it appeared it would take several days to reach – at least a week.

“I’ll send these updates to the Docker to ensure were resupplied respectfully for this mission,” he stated. “We should be good-to-go in a few hours then. I’ll send an update when were ready to head out.”

Is that all?

“There is one last thing, Ma’am: On behalf of the crew, I wanted to submit for 48 hours of leave; Rev-time of New Spes, of course. We’ve been ahead on all our quotas and haven’t missed a deadline on any pulls. I think my crew deserves a little break from the scene. ”

There was a moment of silence, longer than Ven was expecting.

Noted, she finally said. The Insula has shown great efforts. Leave time will be authorized… permitting its approval through the Board. 

Ven gave a small nod. “That’s all I needed to hear, Ma’am. I have nothing else.” He turned to leave.

Chief Ven? she said, prompting him to stop.


What of the reports for PL-0490? My records show I have yet to see any for Rev three.

He sighed. “There was an abnormality sighted in the report, and possibly others, that needed to be checked-out first,” he answered. “As soon as we clear that up–”

An abnormality? she interrupted. Elucidate, please.

“It’s nothing serious, Ma’am,” he answered, “the readings were off showing an exaggeration in the data; it happens sometimes. I got my Corporal looking into now though. Once she clears everything up we’ll have it sent it up.”

The voice didn’t initially respond. Ven was hesitant to leave though, not formally being excused. To his dismay, he was left to another awkward minute of silence. Chief Ven, she said suddenly in more stern tone, you are to update immediately upon re-analyzing the data. Any and all information is to be signed off by you prior to being sent forward – no exceptions. Reanalyze this ‘abnormality’ and if still present, include all traces of your findings with the report. Is this understood?

Ven winced at this command, but nodded softy. “Yes, Ma’am. I’ll see to it.”