Updated: May 13
"Okay, Soldiers!" A voice coming from my headset screams, as I sit in the front most seat of this 3 seated cockpit with a person on either side. The windows were covered, the only light was the illumination from the tiny lights inside the buttons on the control panels. "3 mins to launch." The voice blurted, finishing the thought.
"Ok boys, you ready?" Said the woman sitting to my left, as she reached out and touched each of our shoulders. Between the dizziness and the darkness, I couldn't see either of the people sitting back there, I could simply feel their presence. There was a sudden bump, simultaneously the metal blinds that covered the windshield ejected upward giving a clear view. This time illuminated by the moonlight we were in a perfectly round room that was like a pringles can without a roof. I could feel us moving toward the sky, but the ship’s engines were off and that’s when I realized the ground was pushing us up.
"Aaaaand now presenting humanity's heroes and the Cap 12!!!" The announcer said as we came to a plateau with the stage. Facing the crowd who had just erupted at our announcement. The announcer was displayed across jumbo screens on every building in view, and almost like a second wave as the crowd erupted louder as a result of the view switching to the ship which looked large even on the screen. This moment felt oddly wonderful, even though I had no clue what was happening, who all these people touching and talking to me are, or even how I got here. None of that mattered in this very second, it’s a feeling of pure bliss to have a crowd erupted as you enter center stage. Not many things can compare. But for real tho,
"Who are you guys? Where the fuck am I? and why are we in the biggest spaceship I've ever seen?" as I said that the coms cut.
"Kid, are you kidding me, he’s kidding me right!?" Said the man sitting behind me to my right. I still couldn't get a good look at either of them.
“Where’d coms go?” said the woman.
"No why would I be kidding? What in Tarrion is going on?" I restated.
"Well to start we're the 3 heroes on Quest Z," said the woman in the most 'stop playing' tone I've ever heard.
"You mean the mission for a new planet!? That Quest Z?" I realized if that’s the case, it had been a little over a month since I was in that battle. "Last I remember was getting hit on the head after a building almost killed me."
"Yeah *haha* it’s not like we just trained for 3 weeks for this shit. Now come on Z, you’re not chickening out now are ya?" Said the man.
"Ok...I don’t know what happened but I don't know you guys, I last remember surviving this horrible battle, and getting hit on the head, then poof like magic I’m here strapped in a chair with y'all." I explained.
"He’s bitchin out I fuckin knew it." He replied extremely quickly.
"No for real! Ugh, let's just ugh, Hi I'm Zander Sozo, I like computers and eating junk food. Now, who are you two?" I said half-jokingly.
"Yeah, we know that, that's why you’re supposed to fucking piolet us to the God damn planet." The woman said.
"Hi I'm Quinton Brown and I think we are screwed" Quinton exclaimed.
"AAAAAALLLLLLLLLRRRRIIGHT! LET’S GET THIS BALL ROLLING, WHOS READY FOR THE COUNTDOWN!!!" The announcer yelled as the crowd somehow got louder. The piece of the stage that the ship was sitting on started to rotate. Just as it did you could hear the ship’s interface say "autopilot engaged"
"Aye, I didn't sign up for nun of dis bullshit! Turn that off!" Said the woman.
"It wasn’t me!" I replied
"Alright enough, say that’s all true and this ship’s bout to take us wherever it wants. Who set that up? Why did I spend the last month preparing to save our entire race? See why your joke has gone too far. Now turn that shit off."
"For real, I didn’t turn it on, I don't know how else to tell you guys. I don't know what’s going on, I’m not fucking joking."
"Kid for real we need you! Not some fucking autopilot," said Quinton.
"Listen kid if you don't fly this thing, the autopilot '8' isn't made for take-offs or landings, all these people will be '7!' so upset if we don't launch on that countdown."
"Like I said, '6!' I didn't put the autopilot on"
"Stop playing '4!' and start the mother fucking engine Z!" Quinton snapped in the most aggressive I've heard him talk, in the last 15 minutes I've known him.
‘3!’, the engines started and this took everyone by surprise, as my hands were clearly off the buttons.
"Nah! That didn't just happen!" The woman exclaimed, she dropped her head, then looked up and said. "Hi, I'm '2' Ellora Ven and '1' I'm sorry." We launched and I could feel myself magnetize to the seat. That was how fast this ship took off into the middle of the ash fields before veering itself upward. That's when I felt myself become the seat, I couldn't talk, hear, and could barely see. Once we hit the atmosphere, and broke the barrier I felt myself start to float up, however, I was so strapped to the seat that my butt was still in contact with the cushion.
"zero-mode activated." said the ship. Allowing us to have slight gravitation inside the ship. We all undid our seat belts, and just kind of stumbled around. They seemed like they knew where they wanted to go, so I just followed behind. We came to a room that almost looked like a conference room but only had 2 sofas facing one another, and a large table in between. We just sat in silence, all in our own disbelief. No one spoke for a while.
Ellora was an African-Asian lady who was short and didn’t look burly but you could tell she had compact muscles. She stood about 5'8 and had an almost Mr. T Mohawk, but just a little more feminine. Her eyes were big and brown, she had a very strong facial structure. But her face was just about the only part of her body not covered by a gadget. She had some black camo pants and some of the most expensive combat boots on the market that made up the rest of the ensemble. Quinton was much taller, he looked about 6'6 310 lb. The guy was big, all muscle. His hand was covered by gloves but he only wore a tank top, some camo pants with a black belt and some black commander combat boots to match. They were both standing, while I had been sitting for what I guessed to be an hour. She was pacing back and forth between the couch and the door. He was leaning on the furthermost wall, obviously lost in thought, using his left hand to hold the bridge between his nose and forehead, while his eyes were closed. As I saw them stressing over this endeavor I couldn’t help but feel some relief. Even if there was unfinished business, I was doing so much all the time just trying to survive. Stealing, lying, stuck in this seemingly endless cycle of survival. I guess you don’t truly know how bad you need to slow down until you're forced to. In some ways, losing these last 3 weeks was perfect for me. I had been consumed with a goal for so long, it was finally nice to just be in the moment, suddenly the silence broke.
"Damn it, I can't believe they did us like that." Said Ellora frustratingly
"So what even happened? Did the kid get his mind wiped?" Ask Quinton.
"Honestly it feels more like it was taken over, then wiped" I replied.
"Whatever it is we need to figure out where this thing is taking us" Ellora stated.
"Once autopilot is on, if you turn it off you lose the destination, the only way to know is simply to wait,” I said
"Well then waiting is what we shall do," Quinton replied
"So fill me in with everything. All the time I’m missing. What were the last 3 weeks like?”