Template:PostIn CatH Post 10, Note, the artificial intelligence for The Hopeful, jumps the instant that Clear puts the new power source into the power core of the ship. After several jumps The Hopeful becomes stranded by a gravity generator on an icy world and Clear must travel down on the Bug to turn it off. As soon as she does turn it off, Note jumps The Hopeful away and leaves Clear stranded alone on the icy, barren planet.
Note: "Jump in five..."
Clear: "Note! You--"
Note: "Three... Two... One..."
Clear is flung against the wall and strapped in place as The Hopeless leaps through space-time.
Note: "Target unavailable."
Clear: "What a bloody surprise."
She shrugs her shoulders free of discomfort. Being pinned to the wall was never a pleasant experience.
Note: "Jump in five..."
Clear: "Not this again. Note. Stop!"
Another countdown later and they jump yet again. Upon arrival Note, again, cannot locate the Earth and pledges a third jump. The process continues for five more jumps until Note finally ceases his blind jumps.
Clear: "I'm going to uninstall you."
Note: "Unable to jump."
Clear: "Good! I'm going to need medical attention after all that! Poor Green is probably out of her mind with panic!"
Note: "The Hopeful is being prevented from jumping."
Clear: "Okay, that doesn't sound good..."
Note falls quiet while Clear recollects herself and slowly leaves the engine room. She looks back one last time at the new core, sitting behind the transparent metal of the warp core. It was no way to die.
Clear is still groggy from all of the jumps as she lands the Bug with a few bumps and scrapes. Snow whips against the Bug's window as a ferocious wind aggressively tears through the air of the ice planet. Snow meant there had to be liquid water on the planet somewhere but most of her scans only revealed solid ice - yet her scanner wasn't the most up-to-date and the blizzard was so thick it was a miracle the thing worked at all.
Clear had had to search the ship for warmer clothes and eventually came across a long, white furry coat. She had no idea who it belonged to in the past but it was hers now. In the Bug she felt as snug... well as a bug, but she anticipates that she'll be freezing her **** off when she gets outside. She sits and watches the snow. It is beautiful despite its ferocity. She listens to music that pumps out of a small speaker in the dashboard. Usually she wouldn't have the power supply for such a thing but now the Bug is overcharged. Her friend died and became music.
She isn't in a rush. She's trying to think of a way to stop Note and his constant, pointless jump-searches. And she doesn't want to get cold.
Note had discovered the origin of the anti-warp generator. How it works, Clear couldn't fathom, but it seemed to catch and hold ships in distant orbit from the planet. Clear had asked Note to simply sail the ship out of range but Note wasn't certain hat the ship's boosters would be able to hold out for that long - they hadn't been used in a very long time and had never received maintenance. Better to go down and turn the projector off. Hopefully without a fight. Looking at the state of the weather outside, Clear thinks up a scenario involving a crashed projector that must have fallen from orbit onto the planet. Maybe it was once used by pirates to catch unsuspecting traders. But now it's just a hindrance.
She sucks in her breath, stands and heads to the door. She pushes a button on the panel. The music shuts off. Another button and the door raises. The cold air wooshes into the Bug and Clear instantly feels the chill. She slams the panel and the door closes again. She jumps up and down, rubbing her arms. She doesn't want to do this. Not one bit. She pulls up the furry hood and pushes the button again.
She steps out and checks her map. The marker for the projector isn't far. She just has to run there. The snow, however, is thick and running is out of the question. Stumble, stagger and falling are her only options as she makes her way slowly in the direction of the marker. Through the blizzard she can see the distant sparkle of a sun. In the other direction is a second sun. How a system with two suns could produce such a cold planet is beyond her ken. Especially when they looked to be so close.
She doesn't see the building until she she bumps into the bland grey structure. As works her way around it. It appears to be the kind of flat-packed structure that many military's liked to use to get a building up quickly. She eventually finds the entrance and checks out the keypad. She shrugs to herself and pushes the biggest button. The door slides open.
She cautiously enters. The door slides shut behind her and she appreciates getting out of the snow. The inside of the facility isn't exactly warm, but there's no blizzard in here. There are lights on, dull white lights that just about illuminate her surroundings. She walks down the passage to a set of doors at the far end. They slide open when she nears them and she's in an elongated room with computer terminals all lit up and blooping at her. She has no idea where to begin. If Heb were here, he'd know what to do. She sighs and moves to the central panel. There's a display showing the projection of the anti-warp well surrounding the planet. It extends out into the solar system, where The Hopeless would be hanging in space like a dead weight. The radar even seems to pick up the blip of the massive ship as it waits for Clear to unleash it. Clear tabs the screen. Nothing. Old-fashioned button pushing it seems. She starts pressing buttons until she figures out how to open menus and sort through directives. It takes some time but she eventually finds the power button. She pushes it and the projection well blinks out of existence.
Note's voice emerges from her communicator.
Note: "Function restored to the jump-drives."
Clear: "Okay. Well, don't be so hasty. Let me get back up there and we'll have a discussion about this mission to Earth you've gotten into your head."
Note: "Jumping in five..."
Clear: "Wait, what?"
Clear: "Note! I'm not on-board!"
Clear clasps her head in panic. She then runs for the door, as though there is even a small chance she can make it to the Bug and fly up there in a second.
Note: "One... jump."
Clear yells down the comms into static. She runs back to the radar again and checks. She taps it to make sure it's working. There are no signatures. Not a single blip to be seen. The cold of the facility crawls over her skin and she finds her breath laboured. With The Hopeless she had never felt this alone.
"By completely separating Clear from The Hopeful I not only wanted her to feel that sense of loss but also the Reader. So far everything has been done to help The Hopeful and suddenly it's gone. The icy world help to create the sensation of isolation. This was also evidently meant to be the beginning of the end for Note, piquing now his inevitable spiral out of control. The gravity well generator itself was based upon the Gravity Well Projector[Ext 1] from Star Wars[Ext 2] and marks the beginning of the huge retcon of the Star Wars material contained within the Never-ending Story." - Britt the Writer