Solar Storage Bay
It was like waking up from a bad dream, except that when she opened her eyes, she was still in the dream.
Ayla looked around in a panic, she recognised where she was, but she hadn’t had any control of how she’d gotten there.
It was like watching a movie, except it was her life. Someone else had been steering her, moving her, making her do terrible things.
He breathing quickened as the memories of what she’d seen flooded her mind. In crystal clear crispness, she saw how her own hands had killed a grown man, stabbing him again and again with a tool she had stolen from the work benches in the safe room.
She shut her eyes but the images were still there.
She opened her eyes again.
Sam wasn’t here. Her mother wasn’t here. There were adults in the bay. She could talk to them.
She wasn’t sure what had happened, but Exo’s control of her had suddenly just shut off. It had been getting weaker and weaker as time had gone on, but it had still been strong enough to keep control.
She tried to turn around, she was in the space between the double hulls. The metal of the hull plates was cold. As she turned around, she saw the space was blocked by an oxygen canister.
She remembered what had happened, and she remembered why. She’d made modifications to the canister to make it a bomb, Exo had wanted to destroy the bay and everyone in it. If she could just get around it, she could warn them. She tried to squeeze by it, but it was too narrow, she wouldn’t fit.
She remembered how far she had crawled, it was only a little ways under the safe room. She remembered that information had been new to Exo, the addition of the safe room, and had caused him to place his makeshift bomb right under the wall to the safe room.
She placed her hands on the round top of the canister and braced her feet against a pipe in the crawl space. She tried to push as hard as she could, but the canister wouldn’t move.
She couldn’t get around, and she couldn’t push it back.
She looked at the bomb’s systems stuck near the top, it was Exo’s design. As she started, the memories in her systems came online, and she knew how it worked. Unfortunately, she didn’t know how to shut it off. She only knew how to put it back together again.
With an edge of panic in her thoughts, she wondered what to do.
She looked down the crawl space. The lighting was dim, but she could see that it was clear.
I have to get this bomb away from the safe room, She thought to herself, then I can warn everyone to stay inside.
She grabbed hold of the top of the canister and pulled it. It slid forward.
She was surprised at first but then became determined. She shuffled down the passageway and pulled again. It continued to move.
The canister moved, inch by inch, and she pulled it down the crawl space, towards the far end of the bay.