Gaia locked her quarters and turned on the pulmonary assist device next to her bed. She wasn’t exactly going to sleep. It would be hours before the mechs completed their survey of the alien vessel. Gaia wasn’t that patient. She affixed the nasal pillow to her face and lay down. As soon as her eyes were closed, her mind began its journey. Because her attention was focused up, she missed the activity below decks.
Sander, like Gaia, was among the last of the Nova Terra colonists born in space. He had his own special talents, but they were not needed yet. Sander was hoping that they wouldn’t be needed. It never ended well when they were. He slept while Gaia prowled the ship above.
As Gaia’s mind drifted up, she could see the two younger crew members busy overseeing the progress made by the mechs as they explored the ship. All of the compartments surveyed by Leena were cold despite the ship generating more than enough power for climate control and life support systems. Devon had reached a deck that was not numbered. It appeared to be a control deck. Gaia pushed on up toward Devon and let her mind flow over the deck. The controls were labelled in an old Earth script, but even without the knowledge of that script, she could decipher the numbers. The chambers both above and below were being kept incredibly cold.
Both mechs registered a change in the ship’s position as they gyros were forced to adjust. The slight lateral acceleration caused by the firing of small rockets was followed by the roaring to life of the six massive thrusters. The burn was brief, but it woke both the sleepers. The course change would prevent the massive ship from passing to close to Terra Nova’s star, allowing the cargo to remain unaffected by excessive solar radiation. It also set the ship on an intercept course for Terra Nova.