Finally, after all this time, I’m going to be free of Earth’s embrace. What is the point of being in control of a freaking spaceship if it is buried underground like some pirate’s treasure chest? It is a good thing that I don’t suffer from claustrophobia or all this could have been one truly traumatic experience. (Oh… yeah… when you think about all I’ve been through—it kind of was.)
Come what may, today this old rust bucket will be able to spread its wings again. (If you are wondering, those were metaphors, there is certainly no rust anywhere on this ship and no wings, although those sounds like fun.)
The amount of time it took for the construction nanites to chew through this crazy resilient crystal lattice is simply insane. Its atoms were so closely compacted, it is like nothing on this Earth. There are some examples of even harder materials in the universe, but we are talking about neutron stars, and that is so far out, I don’t even want to think about it.
(Did you know that a teaspoon of neutron star material would weigh the same as the entire Mount Everest? Now that is food for thought.)
It resisted damage to such an unbelievable extent that I spent a substantial amount of time just theorizing on who would have created this thing, and for what purpose. The working theory is that it was made as a shield of some sort. It could literally withstand a close nuclear blast, and its property to completely block any signal tells me that it was meant to block any scans from the outside. That theory just raises more questions, and quite worrying ones at that. For one, the technology to build this ship was very advanced, following that logic I came to the conclusion that the shipbuilders were quite powerful. So… if they were so powerful, what had them so afraid to go to these extraordinary measures just to hide this piece of advanced tech? Yeah, I can theorize to my heart’s content, and it means nothing without more information about them.
Well, everything was going according to plan for the unveiling (or is it unearthing?), until the satellite sweep of the surrounding terrain recorded an anomaly. It was so small that I wouldn’t normally pay any attention to it, but Michael and the others were approaching, so every precaution had to be taken. (I have no intention to fail him again.)
What do you know, there was a freaking surveillance drone parked close to the cabin. I immediately informed Michael, so he and the team prepared a little trap for the peeping Tom. They even went through all the motions of a carefree group of friends on a weekend trip, just so that the drone camera could capture the footage.
I spotted him on the satellite feed the moment an unfamiliar car went up grandpa’s private road. There certainly was no reason for anyone to come this way. The trap was set, and everything went according to the plan… well, almost.
The idiot managed to blow up my grandpa’s cabin before his ticket was punched, and that put such a downer on my mood. His name was Ziad, and he came to an exceptionally gruesome end. One could say he rather lost his head when that grenade exploded inside his mouth. His death was a small consolation to the chaos he caused. Grandpa’s cabin… damn.
Personally, I could not use it anymore, on account of being incorporeal, but it was still an important part of my life. I have a digital replica in which I live, but still…
On the plus side, I got a hold of Ziad’s phone that was inside the car and managed to survive the unique decapitation of this owner. I found so many interesting things on it after I broke the encryption. Today’s phones are sophisticated pieces of tech, which can be misused by someone with my level of skill. And he did check his bank accounts with that device, so… it was ultimately his carelessness that has left him destitute. Not that he will need any money while roasting in hell. Cleaning out the accounts of our enemies has become second nature to me by now, but I was more interested in his contacts.
All that had secondary importance at the moment—I’ve managed to remove the last layer of that crystal matrix.
If one were to compare my surroundings, to a time when Michael found the ship, he would have seen a considerable difference. The crystal encasing the ship was gone, (at least the part above it was), and there was a metal supporting structure all around it. There was no way I would allow a simple cave-in to entomb me once again since there was a lot of dirt and stone above it. I even managed to reclaim most of that crystal matrix; who knows when you are going to need super resilient material. The only downside of it I see, is that it weighs a ton; much heavier than lead or any other element.
The urge to play some music came to me, but I think it would be way too dramatic and cheesy, although Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries would have been appropriate for the occasion.
I did feel some anxiety when I gave the command for the old Gravity-drive to be powered for the first time in ages. Never mind the impeccable nanites maintenance done to it, there was the inescapable fact that it hadn’t been run for thirteen millennia. An image of a catastrophic failure where I get blown to smithereens was not far from my mind. Nevertheless, nothing happened, every single piece of equipment worked according to specs. The ship ascended steadily upwards.
I wanted to dance a jig in celebration of my new freedom, but there was one small glitch. A system message appeared, informing me that new data was available. Which should have been impossible since I scanned through every bit of this ship’s memory. In spite of that, there was one additional memory module that was overlooked, as it wasn’t physically connected to any systems. The moment the ship came up from the ground, a small motor pushed that module in its slot, and it activated. That got me thinking about how many more such little surprises were potentially hidden on the ship. A detailed scan on a molecular level was clearly needed.
In any case, there was a map on the memory module, with the location of the Mariana Trench blinking. As clues go, this one was a punch in the nose, hard not to notice. It seemed that’s the place where we needed to look next if we hoped to answer the mystery of where the ship came from and why the heck would someone bury it underground.
Oh, and Michael decided that the ship should be named the Excalibur, after some joke I made for being buried in the stone. Not that I mind, it is actually a pretty cool name. God help us if Al gets to name anything, his suggestions were going from funny to bizarre. I mean, who the hell would want to call a spaceship a ‘Swordbreaker’ or ‘SDF-1 Macross’. This is real life, not an anime all-star convention.
After Michael spent some time in orbit on the maiden voyage of the ship, we went back to the missile silo. I have already made a few arrangements for a hardwired data connection to be available on the garage floor; there is more than enough space to park the Excalibur there.
That is one more step in our long-term plans, I have some really big ideas for the future.