TheCarrier by Fledgling Fledgling
SUMMARY: A member of the crew tries to save the Carrier. This story has a twist at the end that will leave you shaking your head.
The carrier was huge. TAS92ZB knew about stars, galaxies and big the universe was, it's kind were insignificant on the scale of creation, but that was out there. The Carrier was where he lived and worked so the immensity of outside seldom intruded. But the Carrier was his only means of survival so all the occupants were dependent upon each other. When something went wrong, they all had to do their part. He just had a hard time imagining 100 trillion cogs in the crew being able to cooperate.
The real problem though was that the Carrier had so many automated systems that the crew had no control over, that it sometimes acted in ways that weren't in its own best interest. And when that happened, the crew was just along for the ride.
The Carrier had originally been designed to repair itself and last forever, but the countless hordes of invaders that were at constant war with them had taken there toll. The procedures and blueprints for repairs had degraded much like the operating system of a computer that had been running for too many years. The errors and junk files had accumulated to the point where it was harder and harder to find the right plans.
For some time, the carrier had been concerned about finding enough fuel. TAS92ZB hadn't the foggiest idea which department had made the decision, but somebody, somewhere thought it was a good idea to put in some stores of extra fuel just in case there was a shortage. The problem was that no one rescinded the order and stored fuel had accumulated until it almost exceeded the Carriers capacity to carry it.
So TAS92ZB had been charged with the task of finding out who initiated the order and persuading them to cancel it. The problem was, how could he find one individual in a bureaucracy of 100 trillion? He'd been looking for a long time and was dismayed by the lack of concern everyone showed. They were all wrapped in their own lives and jobs to the point where then well being of the whole population was no longer something they had time for. Life continued on so they all assumed that things would never change.
In spite of the fact that the carriers systems were slowing degrading, only one individual in 100,000 was making the effort to keep the Carrier running by doing anything more than the bare minimum there jobs required. Ultimately, less efficient systems would become failing systems and the a cascade of failing systems until all was lost.
TAS92ZB felt like a prophet foretelling the end of the world and with good reason, because everyone treated him the way prophets have always been treated. They ignored him until they couldn't anymore and then they tried to kill him.
There was only one think he could think of that might still save the Carrier. He might be able to encode a message to the Carrier itself. When the end was finally inevitable and careening ever closer, TAS92ZB sent the message in the form of a dream.
"George, wake up, you better lose some weight or you are going to have a heart attack!".