Because… A Comet – That’s Why.

Thea set her notes aside and glanced at the panels once more. The lights flickered regularly, but she was done with practicing for the moment. She let out a sigh and leaned against the wall with shining metal. Pinching the bridge of her nose, she allowed herself a moment to be upset.

The seconds passed…

She opened her eyes and straightened her uniform. “Back to work.” She headed to the clipboard on the opposite side of the room to identify her tasks. Unhooking the clipboard, Thea read through the remaining items on the list.

A few hours passed, and Thea completed the list. As she walked to place the clipboard back on its hook, she noticed an unusual light outside the ship. Slowly, Thea walked toward the intercom and pressed the button for Captain Helios. As it beeped, she suddenly wasn’t sure what to say.

“This is Captain Helios.”

Thea shook her head and focused. “Sir, assistance is needed in the Simulator room.”

Captain Helios sighed but confirmed his presence. Moments seemed to take hours before he arrived and Thea was growing impatient. When the captain finally appeared through the door, she let out the air that she had been holding and rushed to him.

“Sir, it looks like a comet. But…”

As her sentence trailed, she pointed toward the window.

“Indeed, Thea. It is a comet. Though an odd color…”

He walked toward the glass and examined the foreign object. “Hmm…”

While the silence filled the room, Thea began to observe the comet as well. Pink and blue waves of color floated behind the comet’s standard white and yellow flare. She stood in awe as it approached the ship.

Captain Helios rubbed the back of his neck. They were interrupted by a sudden alarm that shot through the intercoms.

“Intruder Alert.”

The computer began to call off different codes of warning as the lights flashed from white to red in a wave of caution.

“Code 7-2-2-1. Please evacuate to the emergency shelters.”

Captain Helios reached for Thea’s arm to grab her attention as he headed toward the monitors. Thea quickly followed, and they attempted to troubleshoot the code. After a few moments of entering their own ciphers to counteract the intrusion, the flashing lights diminished back to a white color, and the sirens ceased.

Captain Helios glanced in Thea’s direction. He watched her slender body exit the main doorframe. “Check every port.” His order was firm but she nodded in agreement.

Thea called the security agents posted at the end of the halls to help aid in the search. They briskly checked each compartment and hallway. When they reached the air tanks, they noticed a distinct smell. “Thea, there seems to be something different in here, do you sense it?”

Thea nodded to Agent Steven, the man who questioned her, as she pressed forward. They headed down the S-shaped hallway cautiously. With guns ready, they continued down to the final bend.

Once there, Thea held a hand up to warn the guards. “I’ll take it from here.” She stepped into the room at the edge and turned on the light. It was foggy inside, but she waited a moment.

“Who’s there?”

Her voice was stern. She felt the harshness and hoped that the intruder understood her intentions.

“Blurp-garble-web-web.”

Thea paused.

“Thea, are you okay in there?”

Thea turned. She could hear the worry in their voices. “I’m fine.” She muttered something to herself and stepped toward the noise.

“Wob-zone-noo-wink.”

As Thea came closer to the sound, she clicked her flashlight on and searched for the culprit. “I won’t hurt you, I promise.”

*¨*

Will Thea befriend the newcomer and take it to the Captain?

(Search for the next Blue Post-It.)

(OR)

Will Thea and the Agents lock up the newcomer?

(Search for the next Red Post-It.)

Try, Try Again

“Ugh!”

Thea tossed her notes aside and wiped her sweaty forehead as irritation resurfaced.

“Why can’t I figure this out?”

She walked toward the panel once more, releasing a sigh. Each button flickered it’s respective color as the machine beneath her functioned flawlessly. Thea removed the manual from the shelf and walked toward the simulator. Flipping through the information, she searched for additional tips and tricks.

After a few moments of reading, her nerves began to settle, and the confidence returned.

“I can do this,” she reasoned as she collected her scattered papers. Taking a slower breath, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to forget the failure of her previous attempt. She opened the book to the correct page and set her notes back in order.

Thea glanced around at her surroundings before stepping toward the monitor. With everything seemingly in place, she decided it was time.

“Computer, restart program from sequence 5-9-3.”

The computer flickered for a moment then the monitor adjusted to the flying mode from before. “Program 5-9-3 initiated. The sequence will begin in 10, 9, 8…”

Thea’s heart began to pound. She could feel each nerve go on edge as the countdown continued.

“5, 4, 3…”

Another breath.

“2, 1.”

She opened her eyes then focused on the panels. Everything read correctly as the numbers on each gauge lit up and after a few more moments, the phase completed. “That wasn’t so hard.” Her voice strengthened as the first phase came and went. With the second phase, she noticed that particles began to appear on the screen. Without hesitation, she guided the ship through them and once more, finished a level. Thea’s concentration enhanced with each step as she finished another set of scales with ease.

Hours past and the asteroid phase began. Thea took a deep breath but pushed through, refusing to let her fear take over. This time, the flashing red lights disappeared, and she successfully passed through the storm.

“I’m impressed.”

The voice came from behind her.

Thea stopped, frozen for a moment as she realized that she was no longer alone. The simulator continued, and she noticed a planet in the far right side of her screen.  “Computer, pause program.”

A whirring sound rang out as the computer confirmed the request. “Program, Sequence 5-9-3 paused on phase 26.”

After confirming that the program was on pause, Thea turned toward the intruder. With a raise of her eyebrow, she considered her words carefully.

“Promethia, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

Promethia’s cardinal red hair billowed down her radiant face as she smirked at Thea. “As if you don’t already know.” Her complacent nature reverberated with her words as she adjusted her stance. Taking a few more steps toward Thea, Promethia positioned herself to watch the simulator. “Shall we continue?”

Thea glanced from the simulator back to Promethia. “We? I believe this is my practice session. Kindly find your way out the same way you came in.”

Promethia threw her head back with a cackle. “My darling Thea. You’ll always practice. Practice, practice, practice.” Lifting a finger to her chin, she frowned at the first mate. “Never to truly run the ship. Wouldn’t it be a shame if I got to take your place?”

*¨*

Will Thea run the simulator with Promethia in the room?

(Search for another Green post-it.)

(OR)

Will Thea leave the room to attend to her other duties passing on a response to Promethia’s taunts?

(Search for the Yellow post-it.)