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The Hypatia - A Puzzling Space Mystery

An interactive puzzle experience with over 25 original hand-crafted challenges and an unfolding mysterious story that you will discover as you solve the puzzles at the end of each chapter.

Kira woke to the jarring sounds of a klaxon alarm. Groggily, she yawned, fishing around in the sheets for her decades out of date flip-comm. The smooth voice of the ship's gentle wake-up alert must have failed—so there she was, stuck with her crude backup, and fifteen minutes behind schedule.

As the ship's cook and all-around errand lackey, she wasn't looking forward to asking Deanna, the tech officer, to look into it. She flipped open the communicator and silenced the alarm by punching OK in response to the pixelated prompt on the screen.

There was a single message waiting on the comm, and there was only one person it could be from. Only two people on the Hypatia had gone against fleet regulations and smuggled the archaic devices onboard.

No alarm this morning, Gary had texted. Shower voice command is down too, used manual.

You're way ahead of me, Kira texted back, yawning. Breakfast is gonna be late.

You're not in the kitchen? Gary chided, anything but serious. For shame.

Yeah yeah, let me check my shower, Kira typed, snapping the comm shut as she crossed the cramped space from bolted-down bed to narrow bathroom entrance.

"Auto preferences," she said loudly, remaining a safe distance from the shower, which comprised half of the tiny, chilly cubicle. "Start."

After about three seconds of waiting, it was obvious nothing was going to happen.

"Water pressure medium," Kira articulated with a bleary sigh, tapping the comm impatiently against her hip. "One hundred and twenty degrees. Start!"

This time, she let the seconds stretch interminably. Three, seven, twelve . . .

Kira whistled and opened the comm again. Good thing we have these gadgets, she texted to Gary. Nonessential tech functions are down.

Whatever, let me get dressed, he replied. You better scrub down quick.

Kira abandoned both her pajamas and comm on the floor just outside the door, closing it securely behind her. She turned on the water using a lever encrusted with disuse. It creaked, but the water hissed and spat to life. She shivered, swiveling the lever until it ran from freezing to the kind of skin-flaying hot that she liked. She stepped under the spray, holding her hand out under one of the three dispensers on the wall. Nothing happened there, either.

"No motion sensors?" Kira asked, punching the button several times with her free hand until some shampoo trickled out. "I swear, this useless tin can . . ."

If Captain Sato heard her talk like that about the Hypatia one more time, she'd get a citation. She swore the man must have bugged the kitchen and the guts of the ship just to catch her and Gary at it. For a Class-V, Hypatia was fairly geriatric. As the sole mechanic, Gary could only do so much.

This tech stuff, though, was Deanna's job. She couldn't help but wonder what was going wrong and if Deanna was already working on it. With the main computer down, there was no way to contact her to find out.

Kira showered swiftly, teeth chattering as she stepped out into the chill air. She yanked one of her thin microfiber towels off the shelf over her tiny toilet and dried herself. Leaving the towel on the floor with her pajamas, she grabbed her comm off the pile and went to get dressed. Standard-issue fleet uniform meant socks, underwear, jumpsuit, and pull-on steel-toed boots.

You still there? she texted to Gary, running her fingers through her short, curly hair without benefit of a mirror. Nothing in the bathroom works.

Got bad news, he responded after a beat. Nothing works.

My lights work, Kira pointed out. Room lights went up the second I got out of bed, bathroom lights when I stepped in there too. Is that the only emergency override?

Yes, Gary replied, after even more of a delay. Major flaw in Class-V design.

"I don't like where this is going," Kira said, making her way over to the door. She jiggled the latch, but it wouldn't budge. "Unlock," she said apprehensively, waiting.

She glanced at the comm, where Gary had texted, Want the bad news or the good news?

This is just like one of those old-earth horror flicks, she thought. Bad first, fire away.

Bad news is, we're locked in, Gary responded. Good news is, we got these comms.

Kira thought about that. It meant everyone else was locked in their quarters with no chance of getting out. It meant that Captain Sato or First Officer Terk, whoever had been on night-shift navigation, was locked on the bridge.

Hey, Gary, she typed. It's us against the glitch. Think we can bust out?


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A Puzzling Space Mystery
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