Cavanaugh Interstellar, Episode 7: The Rescuers


“Mayor Nenshi nodded to Shai’Hara-Lee. “Can I get a selfie with you?”…”

Read the whole story so far here…


The floor of the arrivals bay shimmered and vanished, seemingly leaving nothing between the ship and the Bow tower below it. Vlad and I lunged for the sanctions in the wall.

Shai’Hara-Lee chuckled at our reaction.

It was the same transparent floor we’d seen on the bridge. Completely solid yet completely invisible.

“How do you know when floor is there?” Vlad asked, as we resigned ourselves to the non-floor.

I changed the subject. “How exactly are we going to do this?” I asked Shai’Hara-Lee.

She pulled what looked like a cell phone from a slot in the wall and handed it to me. Seconds after touching it, I could clearly hear the ship’s voice echoing in my head.

“That’s incredible.” I said, staring at the device.

Vlad was handed a similar device as ‘Lana explained. “Thank you Gordon, Vlad. Your world has similar technology to this in development now.” She said. “The device you are holding is a what you might call a nanobot transport and communications device.  The nanobots will assist in verbal and data communication and will relay my instructions to you.”

“Very good.” I said.  “Why do I now think your name is ‘Lana?”

I slid my iphone out from my Wrist Rack and slid the nanobot controller in. “‘Lana is my informal name.You may use it.”

Vlad nodded, adding out loud. “You speak excellent Russian.”

“You hear her in Russian?” I asked him, but a split second later we were standing on the roof of the Bow tower, Shai-Hara-Lee urged to move us aside.

“I will punch a hole through the roof above the elevator shaft.” ‘Lana said in our ears.

“Then we can go floor by floor.” Shai’Hara-Lee added. “And bring people to the shaft. ‘Lana will lift them out.”

“You don’t have transporter?” Vlad asked.

“You are referring to the fictional device from your ’Star Trek’ television series?” ‘Lana considered. “Hmmm. Theoretically possible, but not really practical. We will go in through the shaft.”

A narrow field extended from the ship, neatly cut a circle out of the building’s roof, lifted it, then placed it aside.

“Please stand where the roof was and I will lower you down.” ‘Lana instructed.

Shai’Hara-Lee hopped onto the invisible surface where the roof had been and motioned us to join her.

“I don’t think this will go over so well.” I said, as I watched her standing there… on nothing.

“Maybe we use roof piece?” Vlad said.

I thought for a moment. “I have a better idea.”

A few minutes later the elevator doors opened and we helped the first load of people that we’d rescued from the top floors step out onto the plaza in front of the building.  Everyone was mobile, except for the lady who fainted in my arms when she realized where the elevator had deposited them. I glanced over to the line of waiting ambulances.

“You guys go back and get the next load.” I said to Vlad and Shai’Hara-Lee. “I’ll get these guys organized.”

They nodded and climbed back into the elevator. The doors slid shut as ‘Lana extended the field to pluck the elevator from the plaza. She pulled it up outside the building, then began lowering it back towards the hole in the roof. I carried the girl over to the line of first responders with the other rescuees trailing. Most of them were still trying to take it all in. I grinned.

“We’ll be bringing them down one load at a time.” I announced loudly. “There’s just over 200 of them.” I paused. Nothing. “A little help?”

As one, the wave of Police, Fire and Ambulance personnel surged forward.

By the third load, they were organized and I’d explained our plan. Half a dozen rescuers went back up with us on the next trip and we dropped them two to a floor. Their presence relaxed people as they prepped them for transport and made the whole process much faster. A bit later, two of the ambulance attendants insisted on going to the Aurelana’s sick bay with one badly bashed executive that most of a ceiling had dropped onto. They were deposited on the plaza about 15 minutes later, without the perceived safety of an elevator and with the executive standing shakily between them.

Their eyes were wide as they passed him over to their colleagues, then turned and waited for the next elevator ‘up’.

About an hour later, everyone was out of the building and we were just waiting on the last batch from ship’s sick bay, when a familiar purple-clad figure pushed through the crowd of cell phones and cameras that now ringed the plaza.

“Mayor Nenshi.” I greeted him. “Good to see you again.”

“You are?” He didn’t exactly recognize me.

“Gordon Cavanaugh.  Cavanaugh Trucking?” I extended my hand.

“Yes, Ok. I remember you.” He shook my hand. “But… this?” he pointed above.

“Well, this’d be the new company.” I smiled. “Cavanaugh Interstellar.”

“And how?-“

He was cut short as the elevator reappeared beside us and Shai’Hara-Lee and Vlad helped the last first responders and the last two rescuees offload.

Nenshi was speechless as Shai’Hara-Lee joined us.

“We should go.” Vlad said.

“What about the building?” Shai’Hara-Lee asked me.

“The building?” Nenshi echoed as a number of high-ranking uniforms closed in behind him.

“The building will not stand on its own very long.” ‘Lana added in our ears.

“Um, Mayor Nenshi. This is Shai’Hara-Lee.  She is from the ship and has signed a treaty with us to manage the, uh, field we created that, I’m sorry to say, caused this problem.”

They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.

“The building will not stand without support.” She informed the mayor. “What would you like to do with it?”

“Do with it?” I asked before he could.

“It will be not so good if it falls.” Vlad added.

The murmurs behind Nenshi agreed.

“What can you do with it?” Nenshi asked.

“It can be moved.” I guessed. “Right ‘Lana?’

“Yes, easily.” ‘Lana answered in his ear.

“Who’s Lana?” Nenshi asked.

“Just let us know where you’d like it dropped.” I said.

Nenshi considered for a moment. “We’ll have to figure that out.”  He said. “How do we get back to you?”

The crowd was slowly circling in tighter. I dropped my voice to a whisper. “Just call Cavanaugh Trucking, when you figure it out.”

“Thanks,” He nodded.

We moved away from the crowd.

“Just one more thing?” He asked as we moved away.

“Yes?” I said.

Mayor Nenshi nodded to Shai’Hara-Lee. “Can I get a selfie with you?”