I suppose the good news is I don’t have to face Barb today, or ever again. However everything else has gone to shit.
The portal gate failed. I noticed when I checked for a schematic. Connection error. This can happen from time to time. No system is perfect. It usually comes on again after a few minutes, but Lena started whining about it so I had to check the onboard subrouter.
It wasn’t working. It was on, but it wasn’t receiving a signal. Next thing to check would be the control room. I would have expected them to tell us themselves if it was a problem, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to check in anyway.
I was mid-sentence. “Hey guys, is your-” *Wham!* I walked right into the flat polished steel surface of the inactive portal gate. It fucking hurt and confused me for a good half minute. My nose was bleeding. Lena came out of the lab right as I was putting it all together.
“What the hell?” she exclaimed.
“Portal gate’s down. I just walked into it without even looking and smashed my nose!”
“How are we going to get home?”
“I don’t flagging know Lena! Give me a minute. to stop the bleeding and I’ll try to fix it! Okay?”
“You don’t have to be mean!” she retorted while walking away. I dodged a banked bullet when I ‘lost’ her. Of course I couldn’t fix it. Even if it were possible to fix them, I can’t access any schematics without access to the N•Viron system. I do remember that the gate plates needs to be activated next to one another, or there’d be no wormhole. Fairly certain it’s going to take more than just turning it off and back on.
We’re pretty fucked but I’m going to try and figure something out anyway. Lena already activated the emergency portal gates and launched the Pan pod. It’s so much slower than the main ship though. It’ll take over a year to get back to earth. She’s freaking out. She thinks Psy-Man did it.
So I asked her something that bothered me since the start of my shift. Psy-Man wasn’t smirking. In fact he was scowling a little, and didn’t even look at me. “Why didn’t he treat me like shit today?”
“I… told him I was pregnant.” Lena replied
That struck me dumb a little, and then I laughed. It was just so ridiculous. Did Psy-Man really disconnect us both from earth just because Lena is pregnant? Seems unlikely even for him.
Still, there’s no reason the portal gate should have failed. It had power sources on both sides of the gateway, plus the wireless power supply. Precisely because if, it ever lost power, you’d lose the connection to earth.
There had been a theory that the wormhole could only stretch so far before the time-space surface tension simply broke. In which case there’s no way back. Even if the Pan pod does reach earth, the wormhole would still break at the same distance from Hermes as we are from Earth now.
We’re stranded. Unless I can convince Hermes to turn the ship around. I’m not even sure how to communicate with it without the N•Viron system. She’s going to go to another level of crazy when she figures it out, assuming she can without the N•Viron.
I’m going to have to stay positive and trying to find a way to fix it, for her sake. We might be living together for a while.