End of Part Three - 31 - Hopper

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"Log entry 477. Kala Acker speaking. I think I am ready to head for Mulsong. This has been on my mind for quite some time. The planet that created and enslaved Hopper. It seems like a gamble, at least more than usual. I found barely any information about the configuration and workings of the mines. I'm going in blind. But I have to see it and do something. It's like an itch at the back of my mind, urging me to do something. This might be my last recording. If I don't make it out alive, I want you to remember me for what I tried to accomplish, and not for the damage I caused. I know that I am like a child playing with fire. But I'd rather play with fire than extinguish it. Log entry over."


Hopper crossed his arms, "I don't like it. Before we start flying this thing, we should at least find the engine room so I could take a look."

The four of them were still in the circular room in the center of the Forebears' ship. When Kala had made clear she wanted to try flying the alien spaceship, the captain had ordered everyone back on the Capricieuse. Hopper had refused to go, and so did Edwin.

"It will be difficult," said Kala, "as the engine room is a sealed tank at the bottom of the ship, filled with water. I can feel it."

Hopper frowned. Edwin let out an admirative sound and started taking notes.

The captain wasn't impressed, "This is getting weirder and weirder...But are we even sure this thing can fly? I mean, it's been here for how long?"

"For approximately 300,000 years," said Edwin.

"...Holy shit."

"It can fly," said Kala. "I can feel it. All the functions are on. I can feel... a kind of protection...a shield maybe. And... weapons?" she frowned. Her hand was still on the black surface.

"Okay, let's not try to fire alien weapons yet. Thank you," cut Allan.

"It's tricky," she continued. "This technology has almost nothing in common with human ones. It's like an entirely new language. But it's also connected to my brain, my emotions. I think I can fly it...I will fly it. You guys should leave." The ship was beckoning her, like a song only she could hear, vibrating in her core.

The captain raised his arms to the sky in exasperation, and Hopper could only agree. But none of them moved.

When it was evident they would all stay with her, Kala closed her eyes and focused. Immediately Hopper felt a small vibration under his feet, then followed by a strong quake. They crouched not to fall.

"I'm lifting the ship off the ground..." explained Kala.

Hopper looked up through the glass ceiling. The clouds were moving faster, or the ship was. Then another jolt and the ship started to tilt on one side. They all slid on the floor, all except Kala who seemed glued to the wall. Hopper just had time to see the black desert beyond, before he hit the glass with his shoulder. Edwin fell on him and the captain on his left. Then a powerful impact reverberated in his bones, so loud he was sure the entire galaxy felt it.

Everything eventually stopped shaking and the silence took hold again.

Hopper heard the captain exhale on his left, "Kala... Did you just crash a thousand-year-old vessel?"

"I'm sorry," she said with a small voice. She was sliding toward them, having let go of the wall.

Edwin was livid. He had lost his glasses during their ordeal. Hopper found them not far away and handed them back to him. He slowly put them back on, hands shaking, "This won't do...We can't go on like this, it's too risky for the Forebears sites."

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