Copyright 2013 Rob Morgan
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The light was blinding as Dave opened his eyes. The return from deep sleep during the hyperspace jump always hit back hard. After a couple of seconds his eyes became adjusted to the light of the pilot deck on board the space barge Pearl. He moved himself into a sitting position on the flight couch and became aware of a hum from the awaiting instruments.
He was the sole person on board, but he was not alone. The barge was the body and the electronics were the nervous system of the other crew member. This was Delta-Seven-Phi, the computer and heart of the ship.
"Where are we Phi?" murmured the still sleepy Dave
"We are positioned at holding point twenty-one awaiting final clearance to land at lunar base Haven. We will begin final approach within twenty minutes." The soft, female voice seemed to come from a point just above Dave's head. As he turned to look up at the monitor, showing the usual vague outline of a human face on top of a swirling vortex of colour, he noticed a red light flashing on the nearby console.
"Thanks Phi. Can you give me a status check?"
"The main reactor has a loose cooling pipe which is causing a slight temperature increase. I suggest we get it seen to when we land at Haven."