Breakfast Serial is a serialized collection of short stories. We will post an episodic entry each week.
“What do you think, Bey?”
“I don’t know what I think, but it feels like a ghost ship.”
The captain glared at the junior officer. “I see a ship functioning almost entirely on auto-pilot, with a terilliac-powered fission engine that’s producing five-times the energy needed to fly this ship. Why?”
The first officer looked around, knowing full well that it’s not wise to have no answer for the Captain Wzro’s questions.
“There’s a large-scale simulation running on the…”
“That would hardly require such power levels…what is it, Bey? Where is this simulation running?”
“Over the entire ship,” she replied, looking up from one of the abandoned consoles.
Looking around the empty bridge, the captain’s frustration grew. “That makes no sense. How can a simulation be running across the entire ship? I don’t see anything!”
“You wouldn’t, not without a powered visor. A cruiser this old doesn’t have power to create heavy holograms.”
“Is there anyway to determine what simulation is running?”
The first office looked from her own forearm computer to the ship’s console. “There’s a simulation of the ship’s crew at their stations under normal conditions.”
The captain leaned against an empty chair that should have been used by the cruiser’s own captain. “So, this ship is on autopilot, headed for the Treaty Zone, while running a ship-wide simulation of the crew being on the ship?”
“You left out the party where the engines were working overtime and are likely to fail soon, resulting in a massive explosion.”
“Did I miss that? Or did you just realize it?” asked the wearied old man.
“Does that matter?” was the young woman’s reply just before both of their forearm computers beeped so loudly that they both jumped slightly.
“ENGINE FAILURE EMINENT. PROBABILITY OF BLAST SHIELDING CONTAINING THE EXPLOSION: 27%. DEATH OF ALL CREW MEMBERS ABOARD IS ASSURED. APPROXIMATE TIME UNTIL ENGINE FAILURE: TEN MINUTES.”