Could be worse. She ran her hand through her close-cut brown hair. Got off easy.
She turned away from the mirror, stepping out into the hallway.
“Wha…wait a minute. What’s going on?”
This section of the ship was close-fitting, cryogenic pods stacked in one atop the other. Over a hundred colonists and crew slept away the journey across the Milky Way in stasis. The electrical activity required to keep the pods running charged the atmosphere in the area, smelling of ozone and iron. She narrowed her eyes.
“There should be more people awake.” Irina moved to the next pod, her eyes scanning over the data readouts—heart rate, oxygen consumption, core body temperature. All indicated deep hibernation.
“Commander.” The voice came from her personal tablet, still in its holder in the cabinet. “You have received an automated message with a priority of Urgent. Are you prepared to receive it?”
Irina stopped, turning, her lips thin. She swallowed, squared her shoulders, and marched toward the tablet, picking it up. “Yes.”
A green light flashed across her eyes, confirming her identity, and then the message appeared on the screen. One of Irina’s hands went to her mouth of its own volition as she read.
Urgent: Captain, ISS Venture
CC: Commander of Security, ISS Venture.
Critical System Failure Log: 12:47 GMT, 10 Jun 2416
Complete Pod Failure
Irina scanned down the list of affected pods. This…this is the entire command crew, from the captain down to the communications tech. She shook her head, checked again. What the hell is going on?