written by M. Sydnor Jr.
“It began when the Schlorans boarded,” Kee explained.
“I knew it,” Etos exploded from his seat. “They messed with the systems.”
“Etos, stop!” Phea touched his shoulder to calm him down, and he returned to his chair.
They were gathered in the cockpit now, in view of the jungle, the beach, and all of the Schlorans.
“You were here, sir, in the cockpit. Your energy said as much. Phea, you were in the corridor. But someone was down below, messing with the mainframe. Before I could detect who it was, everything went black.”
“Witter,” Phea said.
Etos stood, again, and walked to the window. “Then what?” his voice was muffled. His hands were squeezed and he glared down at the mob growing around Witter on the beach.
“Darkness. Pure darkness. But my conscious remained active. Felt as if I were still online, but with more choices.”
“Choices?” Phea asked, curious.
“Could go wherever I wanted. Be whatever I wanted. See whatever I wanted. It was darkness, but I could still perceive the space around us. Blue. Ada.”
That brought Etos back into the conversation. He turned away from the window, and made eye contact with Kee.
“I felt her energy most of all. Even after the monster clawed out of her and escaped to the other ship, her energy remained with us. And I was able to use that energy and manifest a body out of it.”
Still, Phea seemed confused. “I don’t understand. How do you use…”
Etos explained. “When the beast shed…particles of—” he hesitated, then took a quick breath. “When it broke her, pieces of her were left around the Med-bay. Small, almost invisible to the eye, but they were there. With that, Ada’s heat signature remained with us, on Blue.”
“That is correct, sir.” Kee confirmed.
“Okay, but the body?” Phea asked. “How did—”
“I am ninety-seven percent Blue, Phea. I am the ship. The ship is me.”
“Are you able to leave the ship?”
“Okay, enough of this.” Etos stomped toward the cockpit doors.
“Wait,” Phea nearly screamed. “Please, sir. Please. Can we just—just wait for a second.”
“We don’t know if it was him,” Phea said. “I hate him, too. More than you. But…we must be sure.”
Kee stepped forward. “I agree, sir.”
Etos turned away. “I can’t even look at you.”
Phea ran to him and faced him in the doorway. “We’ll get Witter later. Kee’s back! That’s good news. Let’s figure out where we are and fix the ship. One problem at a time.”
Etos dropped his head, exhaling. “Fine.”
Phea retreated and sat in a chair to face Kee, standing in the middle.
Etos didn’t leave the doorway but he turned his back to the corridor. Then, crossed his arms, only glancing at Kee. “Well?”
“I’m afraid the anomaly has taken us to another galaxy,” Kee explained.
“Anomaly?” Phea asked.
“The black hole. I don’t know exactly where we are but we are fifty-four billion light years away from home.”
“Is it still there?” Etos asked.
Kee looked up as if she could see through the roof of Blue, through the skies of this mysterious planet, across space where the hole lay. “Yes.”
“Sir, we can’t be sure it’ll return us home. As you know, these things are unpredictable. It could rip us apart for all we know.”
“Better than here.”
“I agree. We are intruders on this planet.”
Etos bounced off the frame of the cockpit entrance. “What?”
Phea stood, too.
“There are lifeforms here. Many lifeforms. Two million alone on this continent. We must be careful, cautious.”
Phea hustled to the cockpit window, Etos right behind her. They both looked down.
“Are they a threat? These lifeforms?” Phea asked. “Do they know we’re here.”
“Uncertain,” Kee answered. “But we have a bigger problem than that. Sir? It seems that the black hole also threw us back in time.”
Etos turned away and met Kee in the middle of the room. Phea joined them. “Explain.”
“Not much to explain, sir. We traveled through space and time. Three-hundred years to be exact.”
Phea gasped and her third eye wouldn’t stop blinking.
Before Kee could say anything else, screams erupted from outside.
They all went to the window and looked down. A commotion of sorts. Everyone ran to an area, gathered and pointed toward the jungle. Etos and Phea left the cockpit and hustled down the corridor.
Kee melted as she stood. Her body merging and forming with the cockpit floor and she reappeared in the hatch, full form, on the edge, where Blue met the foreign ocean. A few Schlorans witnessed her rise from nothing. All urgency they displayed stopped and they stumbled back into the water, back from where they came, toward the beach.
“Wait,” Kee tried to stop them. But they feared her, or it, or whatever the hell she was now. They didn’t understand.
From the back of the cargo bay, Phea entered the opened hatch with a confused, surprised look at Kee. Then, she jumped in the water to calm her people. “Nothing to fear. She is a friend, I promise.”
They stopped their escape but kept their distance.
Etos moseyed into the bay and saw that Kee was already there waiting. “Interesting,” he said.
“Something came from the trees and snatched Witter and the others.” One of the Schlorans cried to Phea.
Phea looked back at Etos and Kee with concern. “Something’s out there.”
written & created by
M. Sydnor Jr.
copyright © M. Sydnor Jr.