Chapter 25

Sir Ton sat with his head in his hands, the world still spun, to a fashion, his life had not ended, and yet he was certain something like his present situation would have been his undoing, or at least he had always imagined such. Here was his friends mother, and what she had told him had shook him to his very core. Not only had she proclaimed that Mordred had a noble father, she also proclaimed that it was her fault he had not been raised a prince, that she had hidden her son from her husband out of fear, that Arthur himself had never known he had a son! The implications were staggering. And yet Morgana treated it like just another tidbit to carelessly be thrown into a conversation.

He wearily lifted his head as he heard the footsteps coming round the corner, Morgana had fallen silent as well, seemingly not deeming the people rounding the corner worthy of her knowledge, or feeling like they were not a part of the conversation. Slowly Sir Ton rose to his feet, smiling as he saw Chirurgeon Tyelin bounding up to him.”You do not look wel sir Ton not wel at all, no. Perhaps you should sit down, yes.” Definitely Tyelin. “Of course he isn’t well, he fell down the depth we just climbed, he does not need to be told his state now, just treat him.” Dame Krim seemed unduly grim in her demeanor today. “I thought the order of the road believed that as long as you can smile you should, so why the long face Krim?” His words were slurring and it annoyed him greatly.”That is one of the reasons we work repairs Sir, no gruesome injuries beside the ones we cause ourselves.” The following silence was awkward, to say the least. “This should help, with the pain, yes, otherwise I advise rest, yes, and have someone wake you every half hour.”  Sir Ton merely groaned and indicated Morgana’s tomb before finally passing out.

Sir Ingles chuckled to himself as he observed his most recent weld, a small work of art if he did say so himself. “Status report ? ” All around Knights secured their tools, before making their reports to Dame Spriggot. “We are once again void secure Sir, but don’t remove those helmets just yet boys, the atmos organ is still out for the count, Dunhain will be working on it for now, so we all know what that means.” Engineer Dunhain was notoriously meticulous, and everyone who could work with that was on the wrong side of the void doors, so everyone including Dunhain cheered: “More engineers to work on the actual engines!” Sir Ingles set his hands to his sides, and made a show of looking everyone over. “Well you all still look fit as fiddles my friends, and we sure aren’t getting any younger, nor do these things fix themselves, so what are we waiting for? Lets build that engine!” His fellow Knights laughed heartily and set to work, not noticing Sir Ingles as he double checked the welds on the walls, triple checked the nuts and bolts, and did his third walk across the room in order to asses the structural integrity yet again, allowing decades of training and learning to take control of him as he did.

Carefully Jeremy Dunhain aligned the filter within the defective atmos organ, something large had brutalized the poor device’s insides, an asteroid by the looks of it. Without looking he reached behind himself and carefully picked up his pressure regulating tweezers, the device’s undamaged components were sensitive and squeezing or banging one as he tried to work around it, could potentially only cause his workload to increase. Not that he minded, he rather enjoyed working with atmos organs, they were intricate machines, and elegant in their design, if only because their inventor, a earth-born noble that went by the name of Nakaoka, believed in the philosophy that beauty should always go hand in hand with functionality, hence when it came to a star ship’s on board atmospheric controls he had chosen a pipe organ as a basic shape, since just a box with a screen and a bunch of different pipes sticking out was clumsy, inelegant and overal less accessible. To Dunhain the reasoning made a measure of sense, if you were going to be forced to look at something for say the rest of your life, you might as well have something pretty to look at after all. Still even with the extra space the organ frame provided it remained a delicate piece of machinery, and the internal components remained fiddly.

Of course the more Dunhain worked on the organ, the more stress related markings he discovered, some of the sturdier metal components that held the frame bolted to the wall for instance, showed signs of early onset metal fatigue, something he did not expect in a stationary organ, located on a deck where there was very little crew, left alone vehicles capable of causing such stress. Naturally he considered the recent exposure to the void of space, and the weight of time, yet those did not nearly fit the amount of damage he was witnessing. Not to mention his earlier idea of a asteroid slamming around the insides, after all how would one have even gotten in? He was starting to consider sabotage when a angular yellowed beige object sticking from one of the pipes caught his eye. At first he believed it might have been a scrap of paper, the older star ships had a few poorly placed inlet pipes when it came to the recycling of the air, often causing them to function somewhat like vacuum cleaners, allowing all sorts of rubbish to clog the pipes. Until he touched it, the object felt disturbingly solid.
Carefully Dunhain stepped back from the organ, an action that to the others did not seem out of place, as the man often did so when he wanted to take in the scope of his work. All in all he did not act odd, and in a way he was doing just what he always did, he stepped back, and took a moment. For his own peace of mind he had decided to treat his latest discovery as if it was just another mechanical surprise.He would have to remove the organ proper, then check each pipe separately, possibly use a camera snake to check for further ‘obstructions’. Unbidden a chill ran it’s course along his spine, and he stared at the small skull in the palm of his hand, his gut wrenched, and he could taste the bile in the back of his throat. This was the reason he had joined the order of the road, so he could avoid surprises like these.

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