Chong took over the operation of the minidrill on Malinao’s return.  He wanted to insure the hole was properly closed up, so not leaks would occur. It gave Malinao and Hashimoto about a half hour to try to figure out what to do next. They could search for a one-armed British man throughout the UMC fairly easily, but if he stayed in Cana, they would get no help. Still Hashimoto phoned back the description an dbulleting to the UMC police.
When Chong was done he was covered in sweat and Moon grime but satisified that the hole wouldn’t leak and give away their activities there.  They all agreed the shed would probably not be investigated too closely by Canaan authorities.
“Have you puzzled out what happened, Samantha? Chong asked as he toweled off.
Malinao found herself extra charmed not only by this unusual use of her first name, but also the brawny sweaty mand who used it.
“Not really.  There were car tracks in the building, so whatever came, came in a hurry and broke right through the door. There was no sign of Narang’s men, but it didn’t look like they abandoned the place, just left in a hurry.”
Hashimoto ordered the drill to reverse course and begin extracting itself back from whence they came. They had to speak up over the rumbling.
“I wonder why they left the arm?  do you think they discovered the dot?” shouted Chong
“Not likely,” Malinao shouted back. “They probably were in a hurry to clear out of there.  None of the really incriminating stuff was there, and their relationship with Cana probably can’t survive too much scrutiny.”
“”What did you do with the arm?” Chong yelled.
“What did you do with the arm?”
“I left it there,” Malinao was almost screaming now. “Why is the drill running so loud?”
“I don’t know.”
The rumbling that had been growing excessively loud, grew into a groan and a shriek and suddenly the drill went dark. A tearing scream of metal, possibly mixed with the screams of men, died down into the sicekning thuds of rocks falling in from the tunnel ceiling, burying the drill.
“What happened?” Malinao whispered into the eerie silence that followed.
“I don’t know.”
The barest glow of the few working emergency lights lit there way to Hashimoto who lay dead under a fallen spike of metal, impaled almost immediately during the accident. Chong reached over and closed his eyes.
“Dear lord,” he whispered.
Malinao couldn’t speak, but reached out to grab his hand.
“What do we do?”
“Let’s see if anyone else is OK, then check the minidrill.  We might be able to get out in it.”
The other crew were all stationed in the forward compartment of the large drill. Chong wrestled with the mangled cockpit door now partially embedded in rock that had fallen through the ceiling.
“It looks like the whole tunnel roof just fell in. It’s not impossible but extremely unlucky.” Chong finally rested the door far enough apart to move into the dark cockpit.  No emergency lights glowed in there.
“Hello!  Everyone OK?”
They heard nothing but a deadly silence.
“I– I need a light,” Chong said.
“I’ll get one,” Malinao turned and went to the emergency locker thankfully preserved intact and brought back a light.
What Chong found inside was too horrific to describe.  Rock, metal and man were mixed into an indstinguishable pile of rubble. Chong closed the light.
“We’re all that’s left,” he exhaled.
Malinao sighed. “Well, do you think the minidrill’s working.”
Chong admired her resilience.  Granted she didn’t see what he just saw in the cockpit.
“It’ll be a tight fit if it is.’
“Tight fit’s better than nothing.  Let’s go Mr. president,” she grimly patted him on the back as they made their way towards the minidrill.
Chong climbed in and tried to execute a manula start but couldn’t get the engine to fire up. He tried several times, raising Malinao’s hopes each time as she saw lights turn on and engines whine only to have it all sputter out and die.
Chong disembarked shaking his head.
“It’s not sparking the engine on its own. I’m not sure why.  We haven’t run it manually all trip.  Even all my work just now sealing the hole was done connected to the ships energy and control. I’ll have to open up the engine and have a look.
“Can you do that?”
“Well, I’m not an actual mechanic, but I know enough about how these engines are supposed to work I might be able to luck into figuring something out.”
“Won’t they come looking for us, I mean after awhile.  If it takes you too long to get it going.”
Chong knew what she meant.  He had sealed the hole at the Cana end and the rocks in the cockpit looked to have sealed it pretty well in front of them. Even with the grill open, air wouldn’t last forever.
“It’s a covert mission.  If we don’t come out, they’r enot supposed to alert anyone.  That was the risk.”
“That was stupid,” Malinao pointed out.
“Well that’s the only way we could even get this harebrained scheme done.  We had to man it ourselves an dpretty much not tell anyone. Our best bet is to get this drill going. If we can do that, we can at least get far enough to make a phone call and tell them to come get us.  Right now they don’t know if we got captured and killed in Cana or what happened.”
Malinao just shook her head.
Chong decided to keep her mind off it. “I have a job for you too, so don’t feel like you’re left out,” he grinned.
“Oh and what’s that? Moral support?” she was not in the mood for jokes.
“No, the release bar for the minidrill will have to be undone manually once I get the engine going.  It’s pretty badly bent.  I need you to work at it and see if you can get it to move. If i get the engine going and you can undo the release bar, we’ll be golden.
She grudgingly accepted the assignment, marching off to the mangled supply cabinet to look for usable tools.
Chong watched her go and let the wind out of his lungs.  He had no idea how to fix a minidrill engine and no idea if there was enough air to even survive the hour. There was nothing to do but work and hope.