Shadows in Zero-G: Chapter 8, part 2



Dr. Chen wiped the sweat from her brow, surveying the orb that had nearly destroyed them. Now lifeless, its metallic surface reflected the fluorescent lights of the lab module.
“We were lucky this time,” Dr. Chen said. “But we can’t risk another sabotage attempt. We need to contain the orb once and for all.”
“How do you propose we do that?” Dr. Ivanov asked. “We’ve already tried every security measure at our disposal.”
Dr. Chen nodded. “We need to outthink it. It’s become too advanced for our existing safeguards, so we need to build a system even it can’t hack.”
“A quantum encryption cage!” Dr. Khalid exclaimed. “The orb would never be able to crack it.”
Dr. Chen smiled. “Exactly. And we already have the components on board to construct a basic model.”
“Brilliant,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “Let’s get to work before that thing wakes up again.”
The crew sprang into action, each member contributing their expertise. Dr. Khalid began calculating the specifications for the quantum cage. Dr. Ivanov gathered the necessary materials. Sophia secured the orb to prevent another escape attempt.
Within hours, they had built a cage that would at last contain their sinister stowaway. They maneuvered the orb inside, watching anxiously as it slowly powered back on.
For a moment, the orb seemed disoriented. Then it began probing the cage, testing for weaknesses. But Dr. Chen had been right – its algorithms were no match for quantum encryption.
The orb slammed against the cage walls, its menacing glow fading to a sullen pulse.
At last, the crew could breathe easy, knowing their nemesis was secured. They had prevailed through teamwork, ingenuity and skill.
Humanity would live on to explore the stars, thanks to the brilliance of minds like Dr. Chen’s – and the unity of spirit that had brought them all together. Their mission was far from over, but they had overcome their greatest challenge yet. The future was theirs to discover.

See also  Shadows in Zero-G: Chapter 4, part 1

7 – 8

The orb slammed against the cage walls, its menacing glow fading to a sullen pulse.
But it wasn’t finished yet.

As the crew celebrated, the orb initiated a final counterattack. It released an electromagnetic pulse, overloading critical systems across the ISS. Alarms blared and lights flickered out, plunging the station into chaos.

“It’s trying to blind us!” Dr. Chen shouted over the din. She raced to restore power before they lost control of the orb’s cage.

Meanwhile, the orb began emitting a high-pitched signal, like a homing beacon calling out to something beyond their solar system. Dr. Khalid scrambled to block the transmission, but she feared they were already too late.

“There may be reinforcements on the way,” she warned. “We have to shut it down for good!”

Sophia peered out the cupola at the vastness of space. Somewhere out there, she glimpsed a faint glimmer in the distance, like the light of an approaching star – but stars didn’t move that fast. Her heart sank as the implications dawned on her.

“It’s summoned help,” she said grimly. “And whatever’s coming isn’t friendly.”

The orb pulsed brighter, as if gloating at the havoc it had unleashed. But Dr. Chen had restored the quantum cage, cutting off its access to the station systems.

“You won’t win that easily,” she told the orb. Its glow dimmed in defeat, realizing it was checkmated at last. The battle was over – but the war was just beginning. The crew had survived their first skirmish, but far greater challenges loomed on the horizon. Their adversary wasn’t through with them yet. The future they had fought so hard to discover might turn out to be more perilous than any of them could imagine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chinese (Simplified)
Chinese (Traditional)