Part 4: Elemental Stone
“So where is it?” Rei asked as the four of us made our way to Tammy’s work station where the tracker was set up.
“About two day’s travel from here, on a planet called Fargon,” she replied.
Kiko examined the planet’s hologram. “Fargon? Never heard of it.”
“It’s not a planet that’s often visited.”
Cashel sat next to Tammy, “Fargon huh? Tell us everything you know about it, Tammy.”
Tammy pulled up some holograms of the planet which looked different from other planets. “This planet is located on top of a black hole,” everyone’s eyes widened while looking at the hologram.
She continued, “The only reason why the planet can survive outside of the black hole, is because of a natural-made substance that seeps off of the planet and into the atmosphere. This substance is called Sage. The Sage creates two protective layers that act as a shield, blocking the suction of the planet into the black hole.”
The diagram showed the planet along with two smaller planets inside of a larger bubble, and at the bottom of that large bubble was a cone shaped spiral which I took to be the black hole.
“What are these smaller planets?” I asked, pointing to the two small balls next to the planet.
“Moons to the planet,” she answered.
Cashel stood up again. “Set our course for Fargon,” he ordered as he left the room.
I spent the rest of the two days mentally preparing myself for our arrival on a new planet. Tammy said that the planet was nearly uninhabited, and that the main species was humans. Since it was supposed to be mostly unoccupied, I was expecting it to be almost like Dezner. There was only one way to find out though.
The rest of the crew prepared for the journey in their own way. There was little talk or social interaction those two days. I found Rei and Kiko practically living in the training room, as well as Tammy in her workroom and Cashel on the flight deck.
I was getting anxious as the two days dwindled down to a few hours. My eyes wandered the ceiling in my room as I lay on my bed. What does being in this race mean? Were we going to risk our lives to try and rule the galaxy? No– we were trying to protect it. There was no denying that that man…Ozias was also trying to win the race, and he seemed highly capable of doing just that. Seeking power is what seems to be the only thing he lives for, but why does he want Kiko’s power so badly? She must be pretty strong if he’s been searching for her as well.
Tammy’s image popped up on the ceiling, “Meet on the flight deck. Rei, stop daydreaming and get out of the shower, you’re wasting all the hot water.”
We all met on the flight deck wondering what the meeting was about. Rei gave Tammy a sour look when she saw her.
“You didn’t have to blast the cold water,” she grumbled while drying her hair.
Tammy ignored her and explained the situation.
“We received a message from the main space port on the planet. It seems that the planet will be destroyed.”
“Destroyed?” asked Cashel.
“Apparently the Vo stone was able to penetrate the two protective layers as it entered the planet’s atmosphere. Usually objects are able to pass through the atmosphere without breaking the layers if they pass through at a slower speed. My guess is that the stone was traveling at an unnatural speed, as well as containing unknown power that could have disrupted and destroyed parts of the layers as it entered.”
Kiko crossed her arms, “Well, what does that mean?”
“It means that they’re evacuating the planet, so we’ll have to enter the planet secretly and illegally.”
“Tell us something we don’t usually do,” said Rei.
“We’ll have approximately two Fargon weeks before the hole in the planet’s layers rotate enough to face the black hole, destroying the planet.”
Cashel thought aloud, “We’re on a time limit to find the stone…two weeks…” he went to his chair on the flight deck and ordered, “Tammy, get us on that planet quickly and discreetly.”
Tammy joined him on the flight deck. “Yes sir, I’ve already calculated the trajectory of the stone and its approximate location on the planet. We should be entering the atmosphere shortly.”
“Why don’t we just let the stone get sucked into the black hole?” I asked from behind Tammy and Cashel, watching them set the Jago’s new course.
“Someone could be on the planet right now searching for it, we can’t risk losing this chance if no one has found it yet,” Cashel responded.
That made sense.
Through the sun-shield, we approached the see-through, protective, light-greenish screen. We saw on the other side of that screen, an unstirred planet. It was absolutely beautiful, full of different colors. It was hard to imagine the planet would be gone in two weeks.
Everyone watched intently and quietly as we crept closer to the sage protective layers. As soon as the ship made contact, we were flying through greenish liquid. Out of nowhere, an alarm sounded, then another, then suddenly everything in the ship was flashing and making noise.
Tammy quickly worked the panels. “We’re losing power, the layers must be disrupting our power source. The backup generator needs to be turned on manually.”
Cashel jumped out of his chair, “I’m on it,” he said as he ran out of the flight deck.
The alarms continued to ring and flash as we made our way through the light-green, liquid screen. As soon as we broke through the first layer, everything, including us, began to float.
I hesitated and grasped Tammy’s chair, “Wh-what’s going on?”
“The gravity binder must’ve died,” said Rei, hovering near me.
Gravity binder? I forgot space had no gravity. I was weary at first, but I have to admit it was really fun being able to float around so freely. Kiko and Rei didn’t seem as amused and they were more controlled while floating then I was. I wondered how many times they floated around freely before I came along.
The ship began passing through the second layer, than Cashel’s voice came on through the speakers.
“I almost have it, but it needs some-” the power died inside the entire ship and everything but the sun-shield went dark. We watched through it as we were almost through the second layer.
“Brace yourselves,” Tammy warned before Rei, Kiko and I were slammed to the ground as gravity in the ship came back. We all groaned, slowly getting back on our feet when we felt our weight leave the safety of the steel floor again. This time it wasn’t the gravity binder, we were crashing down toward the planet.
Floor, wall, roof, wall, everything was spinning. I gave up trying to grab hold of anything and tucked myself into a protective cocoon with my head in the center. We lost complete control of the ship. You shouldn’t feel anything with a quick impact death right? I felt flesh slam against me with a quick grunt. I couldn’t tell who it was quick enough because my thoughts suddenly turned to a pain in my arm where I crashed into a protruding switch. The cycle of body and object impacts happened a few more times before the lights throughout the flight deck suddenly flickered back on and Tammy was able to regain control. With a precise snap, the Jago regained composure and the engines sputtered to full-throttle.
My body had finally stopped moving, but my mind was still reeling as I stammered up the empty pilot’s chair. That was probably a bad idea because I saw how close we were to the surface of the planet and we were approaching it rapidly.
“Is that land?” Rei nearly screeched.
“Prepare for a crash landing,” said Tammy just as the three of us were finally able to stand up straight again.
The ship shuddered and gave a hard jolt as soon as we made contact with the ground. Soon enough the three of us were flying in the air again before being hurled back onto the steel-grated floor. I didn’t need to see out the sun-shield to know we had bounced off the ground of the planet, based off the impact that had us rolling around again.
Finally, with one final stopping jolt, we stopped moving. It was all quiet as everyone tried to regain their bearings again.
“Are we done crashing?” asked Rei weakly. The three of us were now a tangled mess of limbs and bodies, crammed at the foot of the flight panels.
“I hope so,” answered Kiko.
No one moved, then Tammy, who was in her seat the entire time, unbuckled her seatbelt and stood up to check the ship’s condition.
We were thrown at her feet from the final stopping jolt, “The only smart one,” I said wearily.
Rei rubbed her head, “Is Cashel still alive down there?”
“Yes,” said Tammy, checking the panels around the flight deck. “He made it into an empty cargo bin just in time.”
The three of us stood up once again.
“I think I’m gonna be sick…” I mumbled before stumbling down the hall to the nearest bathroom.
Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten before that whole ordeal.
My head was throbbing so I splashed some cold water on my face to clear my senses. I never knew how much I took standing still for granted. All I knew was that I was done with anything spinning for a while.
When I finally dragged myself out of the bathroom, I heard a faint knock coming from the cargo bay door. It sounded like it was coming from outside.
That was odd.
I walked over to the large bay door and pressed an ear on it.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
I nearly fell backwards.
Abruptly, the bay doors creaked and jarred open, revealing someone I did not expect to see in the far reaches of the galaxy.
© Copyright 2016 Anon Amous. All rights reserved.
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