“Meep, meeerp”, the alarm screamed on the starship Iceberg.
“What’s going on?”, the captain asked the technician.
“I don’t know!”, the technician was desperately looking for an error message that made sense on his screen. “Something has gone wrong with the controls! I can’t power off the nozzle! Neither steer!”
“Not even manually?”
“I have no data from the engine room.”
“So what? What can go wrong if you take a look?”
“It could be that we have a leak there and lose all the oxygen in the ship.”
“And you’d rather not die.”
“Good mindset.” The captain remained eerily calm. “But you do know that we’re on collision course with the Mars colony ship Elysium?”
“WHAT?! I will immediately…”
“Don’t worry about it. The difference of us colliding with them as-is or doing it space-cooled is that the latter would fit our name better.”
“So what should we do?”
“Well, for starters, you might turn off that alarm thingy. Then I’ll talk to the Elysium so they know what’s up, and then we’ll evacuate this ship with our passengers. Once you’re done with the alarm, you might just go, actually.”
Cutting the cord to the alarm was easy.
“Oh man”, the technician said. “We’ll enter history as the Iceberg that sank Elysium.”
“That would be ironic, wouldn’t it? Similarly to the Titanic, Elysium is filled with rich assholes anyways.”
“Hey! They raffled a third of the seats to the general public.”
“And you think that’s fair?”
“Are you referring to the hacking accusations? I don’t think that those are true, probably just some people upset they didn’t get in.
“I didn’t mean that, but really, now isn’t the time to discuss the morals and ethics of socialist lotteries. Go ahead and evacuate, I’ll take care of the rest. Null island would be a good evacuation target.”
“Isn’t that in the middle of the ocean?”
“Precisely. But we don’t know what’s not working and how accurate our catapults are right now. So there would be quite safe. I’ll ask via comms to send rescue to the place.”
“Aye-aye, captain! Setting sail to Null Island.”
“Maydaymaydaymayday, Iceberg to Elysium, please come in.”
“Mayday received, Elysium to Iceberg, please continue.”
“Iceberg to Elysium, our controls are defect and we’re on collision course with you. We’re evacuating and propose you do the same.”
“Iceberg, can we evade you?”
“Negative. Elysium is the travel target of the computer.”
“Elysium to Iceberg, we have mostly evacuated. Please name your company or insurance number for police reasons.
The captain coughed and breathed heavily. “Iceberg to … Elysium. Fire is spreading! We’re evacuating to Null Island immediately, you’ll find us there.”
The Iceberg in the meantime was in view of the Elysium. The captain saw how the window-less escape pods flitted towards earth, followed by a capsule, that looked more like a futuristic villa. Without a doubt, the elysian captain was on bord of that, as well as some other big shots. While the escape-villa did have large panorama windows, they currently were covered due to the upcoming reentry into the atmosphere.
The captain put the USB cable of the control system back into place and steered to the landing bay. The pirates on the Iceberg greeted the lottery hackers on the Elysium whole-heartedly. The arm of the law wouldn’t reach them on Mars.