We ran towards the dock, our meeting place if ever we were compromised. Most were trying to run out the doors back outside but were getting caught. Jax, Auro, Naiya and I just ran, dodging fallen walls and people running in the opposite direction. Our underground training facility only had about 70 students and some teachers. If we had too many, someone would notice. And we can’t save Earth if we were all killed. That’s why we had to get to the dock. Jax was out front while Auro was just helping Naiya walk. Once we got to the dock doors, Jax put his hand on the glass and the door opened. Inside, students were lining up next to their ship number. We all moved towards number 6, which was ours.
“Hold up!” a worker said to us.
He gave a suspicious look at Auro as he held onto Naiya.
“Physics’ are not permitted on the emergency-“
He was cut off by Jax punching him in the jaw. The worker fell to the ground and dropped his glass board. I took it.
“Come on!” I yelled.
We all ran to our ship and quickly climbed the steps to get in. Three other Elian’s were already there. I recognized them from my classes, except for the girl. Alec was up front playing with the controls, Kale was on the ground leaning into a sort of trapdoor that lead into the engine room and the girl was sifting through the cupboards.
Another explosion shook the dock and the ship. The girl staggered.
“Wendi, find out where Jeremy is! We need the engine code now!” Alec said.
That was when the girl – Wendi – first noticed us standing there. She came over to us and gave us an eye.
I felt Auro shift and put Naiya’s weight into me.
“We don’t have time for names, “Jax said, “We need to get out of here!”
Wendi looked at Naiya.
The door behind us closed hard and Auro, grinning, stood next to it.
“Well this one is.”
“We still need the engine code from our supervisor!” Wendi complained.
I handed her the glass board. “There!” With that, I ran up front and sat in the other pilot seat. Alec took one look at me and smiled.
“Glad you made it out.”
“Same to you.”
Wendi gave the glass board to Alec. He put in some numbers and the engines came to life.
“Boohoo!” Alec yelled as he began to bring the ship off the ground. Suddenly, we were slammed into the ground.
“Whoa,” Alec said to himself before he played with buttons again.
“What happened?” Wendi yelled from her seat.
“Dunno,” Alec replied simply.
That’s when I heard a sort of muffled voice.
“It’s because I’m still down here with the door open. Safety first.”
Kale’s head appeared out the small door in the ground. He quickly closed the door and locked it. “Try now.”
Alec put in numbers and played with buttons until finally we were in the air.
“Easy now…” Alec said to the ship.
I could see other ships just starting to lift off the ground too. I looked up.
“The gateway door is still closed!” It was the door above us that opened up to give us a clear view of the sky so we could fly off. Alec didn’t answer me, he just mumbled to himself.
“Come on, someone. Just one, come on.”
Another explosion that shook the ship.
Just then, the gateway door started to slide over and reveal night sky.
We were the first to fly out of the door, others followed. Stars surrounded us as we flew out into deep space. There were cheers coming through the speakers.
“Earth, here we-“
A huge impact pushed the ship.
“What was that?”
“We took a hit!” Alec yelled. “The rear engine is down!”
“Lila!” Jax yelled from his seat out back. I stood up and walked to the window next to his seat.
There were Government ships everywhere. Lasers were flying from our ships and theirs. It was a battlefield.
“There are Government ships everywhere!”
“What do we do?”
I thought for a moment.
Jax, Wendi and Kale undid their belts.
“Alec, keep flying and dodging. Get us away from those ships!”
Alec nodded and I felt the ship fly to the right slightly. Wendi slipped into the seat that I was in moments ago.
“Jax, get onto the ships gun and fire at will.”
Jax didn’t hesitate and walked out the door on the left without even bothering to put gloves on. I walked over to the safety shuttle. There was only enough room in it for three. When I opened the door, I grabbed Auro and pulled him away from Naiya, who was shaking and moaning with every movement the ship was forced to make.
“I need you and Naiya to get into the safety shuttle.”
He started to shake his head.
“Auro, just get in. There’s enough fuel to take you to the nearest planet and you can call for help there. If it all goes sour, we’ll set you off.”
With that he grabbed Naiya and pulled her into the shuttle. Naiya and I exchanged one long look before I closed the door. I heard Naiya screaming and crying as I locked it. I leaned against it and held back the tears. At least they would be safe.
The ship shook and I almost lost y balance.
“We’re taking more fire!” Wendi yelled.
I looked back and say Wendi handling the front gun controls. Out the back window I saw some ships gaining on us. A few seconds later, they took some hits and fell.
Way to go Jax, I thought. As I watched the ships go down, I saw where we were struck before. And it didn’t look good.
“Kale!” I yelled. A moment later he was by my side.
“Can you get to the rear engine to fix it?”
“To get into the engine room, I would have to go through the door, but if I open the door, the engines will turn off.”
I thought for a moment.
“Is it possible to turn on the engines in mid-flight?”
“Uh, I don’t think it’s been tried with this model of ship.”
“Well we’re trying it. There’s no way we’re getting to Earth without a rear engine. Get the tools you need and be ready to open that door!”
Some turbulence made me stumble on the way back to the pit.
“Alec, do you think this ship could start up in mid-flight?”
“Hasn’t been tried with this mod-“
“We’re trying it today. I need Kale in that engine room. When you think it’s safe, cut the engines so I can let him. When I close the engine door, I’ll yell, and then you start the engines up. Got it?”
He just nodded, focusing on dodging fire. Before I turned around, I saw Wendi give me a ‘we are so dead’ look. I shook my head and turned and walked back to Kale.
“As I’ll ever be.”
I nodded and yelled back to Alec.
“Ready when you are Alec!”
Those few moments of silence felt like a few hundred years.
The engine cut out and I could feel the ship slow and fall. I quickly opened the door and waited for Kale to climb in. I closed the door hard. “NOW!”
The engines came to life under my feet, but we were still falling. I ran to the speaker. “Buckle up guys!”
I hoped Jax wouldn’t fall off. In the pit, Alec was yelling in frustration.
“Come on baby! Don’t do this to me!”
The ship was still falling into deeper space and we all held on tight. I could hear Naiya’s screams from the shuttle but they were soon cut off by Wendi’s. The engines were obviously on but the ship wouldn’t fly up.
Suddenly, Alec’s knuckles were going white and the ship finally started to go straight. I let go of my death grip on the seat and breathed a little easier.
That’s when I realized how quiet it was.
“Did we lose them?” Wendi asked.
Alec pushed a few buttons. “Looks like we did. It must have been the drop.”
Before we had a chance to smile, another impact hit hard. I fell to the ground with a thump.
“Four Government shuttles in coming!”
I ran for the speaker.
“Take them down. Aim for the shooter’s!”
“You got it!” was the reply from Jax.
“Alec, just keep dodging their bullets until we get them all down.”
I spoke into the speaker again.
“Kale, what’s the situation?”
It was a few moments later before I head a reply.
“The barters shot but replaceable. The rear engine should be running again soon.”
“Keep doing what you’re doing!”
Just then, the outside became silence and the ship was steady.
“We’re clear!” Alec yelled into the speaker. Jax walked out of the door, smiling. Auro and Naiya came out of the safety shuttle and sat down. I took a quick intake of breath.
“Guys…” Alec trailed off and I stood behind him. He was playing with the radio.
“I’m not getting anything from any of the other ships.”
We were silent.
“Well,” Wendi started. “Maybe they’re out of range. They could still be alive.
No one else spoke.
“Rear engines back on,” Alec said with little to no enthusiasm.
“I’ll stay down here and see what other damage is done. How long until we hit Earth?” Kale spoke through the speaker.
“Depends on what speeds the engines can take.”
“Should be okay with full speed.”
“Okay then, about twelve hours.”
“Awesome. Someone can give me food through the hatch right?”
“Just tell us when you want it.”
“Thanks. I better get back to engines. Good job guys.”
I looked around at my team and realized it was time for a sleep.
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