The ship seemed to fly by as Miguel ran through the corridors; the others close behind him. He tried not to think about the events that had led them to this place, and the adrenaline in him neglected to allow him to dwell on how they were going to get out. He ran into another hallway, skidding to a halt as a figure appeared in front of him.
Tony Piccolo nodded briefly. “Oh, man. Am I happy to see you!” His happiness was temporary as shots erupted around them, prompting a hasty retreat for their shuttle. Tony fired behind him as the others headed for safety, and exhaled in relief as they made it to their departure point.
“Take cover!” Miguel yelled as shots hit them from the opposite direction. The landing party dove for whatever protection they could find hopelessly caught between two groups of aliens. Things seemed to move in slow motion as a myriad of sounds assaulted Tony’s ears. He could hear screams of agony as his crewmates were hit by the alien’s weapon fire. His eyes grew wide as a huge explosion rocked his position.
“They torched the shuttle!” he heard himself yell in disbelief. He caught sight of Miguel’s face then, and knew that his friend had the same feeling of finality that he had.
“This is it…isn’t it,” Miguel asked as he tried to catch his breath.
“Looks that way,” Lonnie nodded as she peaked over at the aliens.
Miguel leaned back as the adrenaline finally allowed his feelings to surface. Images flashed through his mind, and he took no time to sort them out. The mysterious apparition of Commander Scott Keller asking the seaQuest to come to the Christmas tree Trench; the sight of the huge alien spacecraft as it plucked the sub out of the ocean and transported across the galaxy; the sight of seeing Scott Keller being executed…only to see him alive again a few hours later. And finally, the memory of Captain Bridger asking them to help destroy the spacecraft…their only way back to Earth.
”What…you’re putting it to a vote?” Brody asked in amazement. “In the navy??”
“You’re not in the navy now,” Bridger had replied calmly.
Brody thought for a moment. “What the hell.”
“Yeah,” Lonnie agreed.
“Let’s do it,” Miguel nodded.
Miguel was pulled back to the present as a small clanging sounded near him. He held back the approaching forces as the others climbed through the newly opened hatchway. He could feel his misery grow as his weapon lost its charge, and all he could do was watch helplessly, as the Kraytax grew nearer.
His feeling grew worse as he heard Lucas announce that the seaQuest had been hulled. This is it…this time it’s for real. He caught sight of Lonnie grabbing onto the Captain’s hand, and said a little prayer as he prepared for the explosion.
Darwin squealed as he jumped out of the ocean. Lucas hardly seemed to notice. “Well, at least Darwin’s okay.”
Dagwood looked at him sadly. “And our friends?”
Lucas looked up into the clear blue sky. “The comet passed without hitting us. If Scott was right, that means we’ve won.”
“So we find fuel for the stinger, and go looking for survivors,” Lucas replied softly. He bit his lip as Dagwood moaned in sadness. “They can’t all be dead, Dagwood…they can’t be dead. We’ll find them, I swear to God we’ll find them.”
“And if we don’t?”
“Then we’ll rebuild here…someday we’ll carry their story back to earth.”
Dagwood nodded his head slowly as the sky around him faded from blue to black.
Lucas reached up and removed the goggles from his face. He could feel sweat on his forehead, and as he looked around the room, he knew the others felt the same way he did.
Brody exhaled as he leaned back in his chair. He shook his head slightly as he tried to absorb what he had just seen.
Tony cleared his throat. “Well…was I right?”
Miguel tossed his virtual reality goggles onto the deck as he picked up the From Hyberion To Home game box. “That is the best VR game that I have ever played.” The others nodded in agreement. “Let’s run it again!”
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