Dun Ringill, Chapter 27

Chapter 27

 

Aberdeen Hospital was once a state-of-the-art facility, and though the next closest hospital that could still make that claim was several light years away, it was still a whole lot better than field medicine. Lord William hadn’t set foot in the building in months, and being a relatively heathy man, rarely for his own benefit. He had only been there once to visit a patient, which was the purpose of his visit today. He had received a call about a man that had wandered into town, and rather than try to comprehend the situation over the phone, he decided to go there himself. It was a twenty minute walk, but he had the time. The man was in no immediate danger.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 26

“All clear.”

Upon this announcement from Carthage, he and Siobhan clambered out of the hatch from the elevator shaft and onto the roof of the main building. Immediately they could hear gunshots from the east side, as well as the bizarre chirping made by the creatures they had encountered at Abernathy. Skye’s moon had risen in the east, adding enough light to their infrared overlays to make the terrain light up like daytime. The pair rushed to the edge of the roof, and stood in awe of the scene before them.

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Dun Ringill Chapter 25

Despite the poor condition of the kitchen, the rest of the main building at Dun Ringill was in remarkably good shape.  Though appearing as though they expected to meet death incarnate around every corner, Siobhan and Iain dutifully, if timidly, followed Carthage as they explored the floors above ground.  There wasn’t much to see so far other than empty desks, disused computers, and a reception area that attempted to perpetuate the facility’s false mission of studying cosmic background radiation.  If the facility had been truly abandoned, it couldn’t have been that long ago, as only a thin layer of dust had settled on surfaces.  However, Carthage had noticed that a path had been worn through the dust from the main entrance to the elevators, indicating recent foot traffic.  Iain pointed at the elevator on the left.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 24

The conference room of the Calypso was packed, and almost everyone there was taking advantage of a fresh cup of coffee from a pot in the corner. Carthage was waiting for the room to settle down before beginning the mission briefing that he, Iain, and Velez, the Calypso’s security officer, had prepared.  The caffeine was most appreciated by the crew of the host ship, as from their perspective they had been awake for over 16 hours.  Once all the seats at the conference table were taken, and the others standing on the periphery had stopped talking, Carthage activated the large screen on the wall and brought up the first slide, a photo from low orbit.  Visible on the west side was the main building and some support structures, and toward the southeast was a large circular object.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 23

The bridge of the Calypso was cramped with six people there, but work needed to be done. Carthage and Iain were working with Ulbrecht and Weber on modifying the ship’s sensors to detect anomalies, while Logan and Marston attempted to repair the SRC system.  Siobhan and Rebecca were on board the Afternoon Buzz, parked nearby, and were in the process of topping off its weapons.

The mood among the crew of the Calypso was somber, after learning that four years had passed back home. It was difficult for them to think about their friends and family, knowing that they likely had no idea what had happened to them.  Most of the crew had expressed a desire to head home immediately, but the ship was not a democracy.  Captain Logan was committed to helping Carthage, although she was keenly aware that time was of the essence.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 22

The bridge of the Calypso was thrown into sudden and violent chaos. One moment they were on a leisurely descent from orbit to Edinburgh, and the next moment the crew was picked up and tossed toward the bow, slamming into either the forward consoles or into the back of the pilot’s chair. The captain’s mug of tea shattered against the viewscreen. Only the pilot herself was spared injury as she was strapped snugly into her seat. For the captain, navigator, and communications officer, it was a much more painful experience. Still reeling on the deck, Captain Logan spoke.

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Dun Ringill, Chapter 21

It was a clear, cold morning south of Edinburgh.  Iain and his new friends had enjoyed a satisfying breakfast of homemade bread, goat cheese, and fried tomatoes, before venturing out to where Carthage had parked the dropship.  Iain had put out extra food for his livestock and packed a bag, but he wasn’t interested in accompanying the mission for more than two days.  Though Carthage wanted him to go with them to Dun Ringill, now that they knew where it was, he hadn’t yet asked him directly.  For now, getting the Calypso out of limbo would be enough of a contribution for the scientist turned farmer.

Siobhan was in a good mood as the group made the short trip through the woods to the dropship.  She had been offered a bed in one of Iain’s many guest rooms, and once she shook the dust off of the blankets, she found it quite serviceable.  Rebecca and Carthage also reported feeling refreshed, though this might also have been due to their renewed sense of hope.

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