Chapter 02: Something Amiss

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The suiting up, the landing and docking were all routine.

Through it all, however, Genevieve couldn't shake the atmosphere of dread that seemed to be settling in over her and the team. Genevieve shifted in her pressure suit. She'd made sure to pack it among the other gear she'd grabbed when she'd started up this new, temporary life. It looked cheap but it was actually quite durable. Like the other gear, she'd personally tested it. She didn't like to leave anything to chance if it could be helped.

Around them, the airlock clanged and reverberated.

Genevieve was standing near the front, since security was her job. She had a rifle in hand, pistol on her hip, ready for anything. She hoped. The airlock finished its cycle, though honestly it was useless, given that there was no atmosphere or power within the facility. The doors opened. Darkness lay beyond. Genevieve wished in vain for her vision filter as she activated the flashlight, punching a hole in the black curtain.

There was a receiving bay beyond the airlock. Nothing there but vacant rows of lockers to either side, benches in front of them, another door up ahead that was open. Genevieve moved into the room beyond, scanning it and finding nothing.

"Let's get to the control room," Ostergard said. "Get some air and power in this place, make our job a lot easier."

"On it," Genevieve replied. "We'll need to find a map of the place. Did you remember to bring the battery, Wesley?"

"Yeah, I've got it," the tech replied quietly.

"Good. Come on, we'll find a terminal."

They marched out of the airlock and into the bay, then past it and through the open door at the back. Genevieve took another look around the corridor they came into. It was broad and tall, big enough to move all sorts of things through. The darkness ate up their flashlights after a certain amount of distance, giving them no clues as to what lay at the end of either side of the corridor. A few meters down the way, a terminal came into view. It was a blocky construct, an old, mechanical growth from the passageway wall.

"Here," Genevieve said. "Hook up the battery."

Wesley replied by doing. The others stood guard, waiting and watching as he hooked the portable power cell up to the terminal, briefly bringing it to life. Genevieve stepped up to it and waited for the battery to do its thing. A few seconds later, the little light that indicated there was power flowing to the device turned green. Genevieve hit the on button and waited the irritating two minutes it took the thing to boot up.

"Okay," she murmured as the main menu popped into existence. "I'm in."

The only thing she had access to was what was physically stored on the terminal, given that it wasn't hooked up to anything else, which wasn't much at all. But, luckily, besides some generic information on the company and some old crew rosters, a map was on that list. She studied it for a moment, determining where they were on it in relation to everything else. Finally, she had a route worked out in her head.

"Control's that way," she said, pointing to the left. "Main power is the other direction."

Ostergard seemed to consider it. "We'll split up then. Ross, Jess, with me. The rest of you, get down to main power and get it online."

There were a series of replies and the group split up.

So far, so good.

* * *

The next few hours passed with mundane routine, despite the tension that was slowly continuing to mount in the old facility.

The first order of business had been to get power, atmosphere, and temperature going. That had taken them about an hour. Once Wesley reactivated the generator, Genevieve managed to get everything up and running from the control room pretty easily. The room itself was perched atop a tower, operating a lot like a starport control tower, offering a view of the facility and the gray, stratified surface of the asteroid for miles.

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