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Sil Helps Out
Friday 07/05/2094 9 am
As George and Kerstin were having breakfast the following morning Kerstin suddenly froze. George looked at her aghast. She looked terrible. George reached out and touched her hand. He could feel what she was feeling. Marita was having a bad time with Undepoldus and Kerstin was wrapped up in her troubles. George wondered what to say.
Eventually he asked Marita. "What is wrong?"
Marita in Kerstin could not answer. George got up from his chair and wrapped his arms around Kerstin, trying somehow to comfort her.
Then Charlie came to the table.
He said. "Commander McFigg. Undepoldus is in trouble. His launch vehicle is spinning in a low orbit. A thruster is misfiring, he can't control it. I'm getting this through the vidcom net."
George said. "Charlie, call all the others to my cabin now. Kerstin needs help."
Charlie helped George to get Kerstin to their cabin as he called everyone he could reach by vidcom.
George said. "Charlie, when the others come, help me to get through to Marita. You know what she is like. We have to calm the other part of her with Undepoldus. We have to make her feel that we are with her somehow. I don't know what we can do except to let her know we are her friends and we want to help."
Charlie said. "Jennifer is coming. She knows Marita as well as I do. I can sense that Marita feels she is spinning and does not know where she is."
George said. "Charlie, share with Kerstin now. I will share with Jennifer when she gets here. When you are with Kerstin, try to reassure Marita."
Jane arrived and George conveyed to her how Marita was feeling and why.
Jane said. "Sil is on her way. She is an expert pilot and she knows a thing or two about power units. I can sense she is coming. She knows the problem. She is turning male to share with Kerstin."
Charlie moved away as Sil took his place.
Kerstin was totally passive but George felt her willing everyone to help in any way they could.
Jennifer arrived and lay next to Kerstin. George joined with her as they both wished Marita well.
Jane and Charlie joined on the other side of Kerstin and Sil.
As Martha came into the room to see what was happening she did not need to peep to know what was wrong.
Gurprit arrived with Anne-Marie closely followed by Tun Wong and Annie.
Ivan arrived with Eva and then Rachel came in with Lan Fang.
Mike and Sarah joined them a few seconds later.
All of them concentrated on trying to feel Marita to reassure her and help her.
They all felt a flash of mental energy from Kerstin. "Share!"
Some used the remaining space on the bed, others used the floor. They mentally linked with Kerstin helping her to stay free of Marita's panic.
Then Kerstin conveyed: "Thanks, now Marita!"
Kerstin's Marita gradually felt Sil trying to make her connect with Undepoldus while the others helped her to ignore the spin.
Charlie conveyed: "No Sil! Marita must take over the processors! Undepoldus can't do anything, He is transmitting that he feels extreme nausea. He cannot concentrate. His whiskers won't respond. He feels he is sliding uncontrollably."
George: "Marita, stop whiskers like Lagrange Five!"
Kerstin conveyed a mental picture of Undepoldus stopping his whiskers moving in sections as a band progressing along his body.
Marita's presence grew stronger. All willed her to have the strength to stop whiskers moving.
George: "Marita, other brains too. Take control. Use processor feedback to Sil."
Sil: "I've got it. Thruster jettisoned. Stabilising. Come around! Don't wallow! Fire main 0.5! Come around! Fire main 1.5! Fire aux 0.1!"
Charlie conveyed: "Spin is reduced, orbit is increasing altitude."
Marita: "Sil, keep it up, you are winning. All the processor links are yours now."
Sil: "It's enormous. Fire aux 0.2! Come around! Fire main 3.5! Nearly, Nearly, Come around, Come around! Fire aux 0.3! Fire main 4.1! 170 over 80! Come around, come around, come around! Fire main 6.3! Up you come just a bit more. Come around, come around! 190 over 90! Fire aux 2.1! Nicely, come around! Fire main 8.3! Nicely, Nicely. Fire aux 3.1! 210 over 120!"Sil muttered as she conveyed her thoughts. It was pilot talk. Most of them had heard pilots talking to themselves as they dealt with a manoeuvring problem.
Charlie interspersed Sil's mutterings with reports from the vidcom net. He conveyed: "Kicking up! Nearly out of danger now. Magnificent piloting by Undepoldus!"
Kerstin was looking happy and relaxed as she looked down and saw Sil between her breasts. She felt Sil's instinctive movements as she tried to force the ship to achieve a steady status under manual control. She sensed that Sil was almost enjoying the way her skills could discipline the wayward launch vehicle.
Sil's earlier hurried actions became slower and more measured as she continued to convey her mutterings."Almost there. 281 over 278! Fire main 0.2! 281 over 279! 281 over 280! Steady. Fire aux 0.1! Got it! 282 over 282!"
They all felt Sil's exultation and began to realise what she was muttering about. They 'listened' more closely as they waited for Sil to convey complete success."Hold it! Go auto! Holding! Check 282 over 282! Diagnostic! Kill trim 35-7! Main gyro re-spin! Hold! Auxiliary re-spin! Hold! Tertiary re-spin! Hold! Override 21 to 26 starboard down 4%! Keep out Undepoldus! I've got it! Test balance! Auto adjust! Revise re-entry pattern! Set auto descend 2.23 orbits! Get wind data! Check down in 3-14! Revise telemetry! Trim for 13kph drift! Update wind! Check balance! Auto adjust! Check 261 over 261! Stay with it! Auto check! Trim 13kph plus auto! Check 251 over 251! It's holding! Check down in 3-09! Lovely! Stay with it! Check telemetry! Check 245 over 245! Good! Total Auto! All yours Undepoldus! Touch down in three hours six minutes. Even Stevens all the way! 239 over 239!
Thanks for your help Marita. Disconnect me and keep watch. Call Charlie if you need more help. Bye for now. Sil signing off."
Charlie said. "That was brilliant Sil. You deserve a medal! Someone kept saying: "He's kicking it up. " What did she mean?"
Sil looked up from Kerstin and gradually reoriented herself to where she was. She said "That is a mighty big ship. It was like flying a fleet. Charlie, I was waiting until it spun until it was nearly facing upwards then I fired the motors to get more altitude. That is what is called kicking it up. I had to get the ship out of atmosphere drag. It could have held orbit for half a revolution then it would have fallen anywhere. It could have fallen apart if it hit the atmosphere sideways on. It was spinning at 11 rpm in roll and at four rpm in pitch. Undepoldus was being stretched and spun at the same time. When I ditched the dodgy thruster, the roll spin gradually went down. The auxiliary thruster slowed the pitch spin. I got it up to 280 kilometres circular to check the functions in a safe orbit. Then I checked how the stabilisers and thrusters were balancing. The gyros had been toppled and were no longer providing stability. I wasn't spinning so I could use the horizon to see what was happening.
I have never piloted before as a male, sharing, and using someone's brain as a remote link. You all helped me take control. George, you told Marita what to do and she did it. I don't know what you meant but she did. I could feel her getting calmer by the second with all of you linked in. As soon as she realised it was me, she did her best to use her processor link to take overall control. Then she used other brains. It was weird. I felt I was linked to ten different Maritas, all linked to different processors, all responding to my commands. Then I realised how big the ship was. It is nearly 300 metres long and bends like a snake."
Kerstin said. "Sil, you are an angel, although you will be a demon tonight. Marita felt you fighting to control the ship and get it out of danger. Undepoldus passes on his sincere thanks and appreciation."
Sil said. "It was like flying a simulator with the motion off. I forgot where I was and I loved the way I could think the processors into doing what I wanted. In the end I almost felt I was the ship. I kept reading out to a copilot who wasn't there to make my thoughts clearer. I dare not think 'what if this or that fails'. I had to concentrate on making my spoken thoughts the active ones. I am so happy that I was able to help Marita and Undepoldus."

Friday 07/05/2094 10 am
Charlie said. "Kerstin, you did not eat your breakfast in the dining room. Would you like to have some breakfast now?"
Kerstin said. "That would be lovely Charlie, but in a few minutes time. Sil, stay where you are. Marita wants to express her appreciation of your efforts."

All present were almost overwhelmed by the powerful way Marita expressed her gratitude to Sil as they shared. George and Jennifer felt Marita firing thunderbolts of phantom comfort at them as they celebrated her rescue. They were not aware of their own cries of ecstasy but they heard everyone receiving Marita's appreciation in precisely the same way.

Gradually they drifted over to the settees and started to make the most of the breakfast provided. From time to time Charlie would announce the status of the giant launch vehicle. It was following the long descent schedule that Sil had set without problems.
George asked. "Why did you set such a gradual rate of descent Sil?
Sil said. "I set it on auto to land where it took off. I did not know how the ship had been damaged so I gave it a gentle re-entry that could be stabilised with small adjustments by the auxiliary attitude thrusters. One main attitude thruster had failed by failing to switch off on command. I could not trust the others to work reliably for a steeper descent."
George knew as well as any Spacer that an expert in her field was the best person to decide what should be done. The re-entry procedure that Sil had adopted was similar to that used to train novice pilots. All shared in the relief that a terrible accident had been averted. George wanted to know how well the two Marita's could communicate over long distances. He wondered how Charlie had been able to make use of his vidcom facility without using the attributes that Undepoldus had. He also wondered what other powers they may have that had not yet become apparent.
How would people from Earth be able to relate to the civilisation that created Undepoldus? Were the powers that Undepoldus had provided for them designed to be transferred? Had Undepoldus developed new powers for himself because he felt that he had a need for them? As always, the more he knew about Undepoldus, the more mysterious he seemed to be.

As the evening approached there was a mixture of slight apprehension and anticipated excitement among the crew. Tonight was to be a major set piece whereas earlier gift events had been more or less improvised.
Marita conveyed to the crew to probe the new candidates delicately for their worst fears and most erotic fantasies.
Leonov conveyed the warning that all the candidates should be checked for susceptibility to shock before being confronted with horrific images and situations.
George was deputed to greet the councillors with Leonov to will them resilient to shock as he greeted them.

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