Chapter 06: Not Alone

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Now he was getting somewhere.

Enzo hauled himself up and out of the tube, into another security center. This one was less ruined and more just dead. Banks of flat monitors occupied the walls to the left and right, each to be manned by two personnel on rolling chairs. The monitors were dead and dark. Two of the chairs had drifted away from the desk. One was overturned, giving hint to the evacuation that must have taken place at some point earlier.

He ignored the chairs, the inert monitors and the open, empty gun lockers. All he had eyes for was the huge, glaringly white thing residing a hundred meters beyond the cracked glass of the security room. Slowly, Enzo walked across the room until he came to stand before the glass. The ship. He knew right away that it was Cyr technology. Enzo had heard about the Cyr, had encountered the scant remnants of their civilization in the form of artifacts and the occasional structure across his long career. But it was damned rare.

The government and (when they could get away with it) the megacorps got their hands on Cyr technology whenever they could, squirreling it away from the rest of the galaxy, attempting to reverse engineer it, distill its secrets. Cyr tech was lightyears ahead of what humanity had, generally. There were even rumors that humanity's sudden ability to travel across the stars via faster-than-light engines was a result of a hidden Cyr cache of technology discovered in the Sol System back at the end of the twenty first century.

There was never anything substantial to back that claim up, and Enzo had never been particularly interested in it. What difference did it make? But he was interested in the Cyr. There was something almost ethereal about them, something otherworldly. Enzo had put up with his shoulder pain for most of his life now. All the money he made, all the doctors and neurosurgeons and specialists he saw...none had been able to help him with his phantom pains. They all said there was nothing actually wrong with him, it was all in his head.

There was a small and desperate part of him that clung to the belief that Cyr tech might be able to help. It might somehow unlock his cure. Ridiculous, he knew, but it made him enjoy seeing the Cyr artifacts in the same way that adults found themselves sometimes captivated by simple things that had once been of significance during childhood. Enzo moved to the door, opened it and stepped through. He took a look around.

The Cyr ship resided in a massive cavern, the roof some three or four hundred feet overhead. Everything was lit up by brilliant, powerful arc-lights. Behind him, Enzo spied a handful of single-story structures lined up, one of them being the security center. They all looked abandoned. Ahead and beyond the ship was what appeared to be an observation platform, half an octagon of glass and steel jutting out from the rock high above, near the ceiling. It was dark and dead. He ignored this for now, turning his attention fully to the vessel.

It wasn't very large, maybe two or three times the size of a jump ship. It was sleek and angular and glaringly white. Nothing marked the flawless skin of the craft. It reminded him of pearls, the ideal of where that phrase 'pearly whites' had come from. There were no windows. The vessel was long and narrow, coming to a tip at one end and a flat expanse at the other. That flat expanse was open, curving down into what seemed to be a cargo ramp, allowing personnel access to the interior.

That would be his point of entry.

Someone had built scaffolding around the entirety of the craft. All manner of equipment was supported by the scaffolding. Enzo saw lasers and drills and monitoring gear. It looked like they were trying everything on the vessel, which made sense. It this technology existed, it was entirely possible someone could have reverse-engineered it, or figured it out. If you didn't know how to defend against Cyr tech, you'd be fucked. Enzo studied the gear closer. It looked very powerful, the kind of stuff you could cut through a starship hull with. And yet the exterior of the smooth white vessel was entirely undamaged. Enzo was impressed.

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