Twisted Dreams Series: Space Gala (short story)
The door opened, out of reaction he glanced back, then returned to the controls. But the person entering wasn’t whom he expected, causing his to do a double take. He watched through scrunched brows as she closed the door gently behind her, as if her presence was to be expected.
She was a busty woman with thick black hair and an overdone face. Her dress glittered with designer décor, accompanied with heels and an evening purse. Her face was expressionless, she dare not whence at the escalating tension in the chamber.
‘What are you doing here?’ he asked.
The last person he wanted to see on the space gala was his ex-wife. She sat next to him with the arrogance that slowly consumed her during the course of their seven year marriage.
‘I said we weren’t through’, she answered boldly.
‘Weren’t through with what? The divorce is final – you shouldn’t be here . . . wait - why are you here? How did you get a pass?’
The question went unanswered as she focused her attention on the numerous flashing controls and signals on the dashboard.
‘If you can’t answer the question, then –‘
‘We’ve lost a fucking engine!’ He yelled as he burst into the chamber.
‘What the hell are you – get your ass out of the seat – move now!!’ He barked at her, while grabbing her arm and yanking her out of the seat.
She landed roughly against the entry door, losing a shoe and her purse in the process. She eyed him with panic as he began pushing buttons, at what seemed to her, with no rational.
‘How the hell did we lose an engine?’ questioned Terrance.
‘Not just us – all four carried and the leader’. Isaiah was usually a man of composure and tranquility. One of those Zen garden lovers that believed all things in life fitted harmoniously together. But this – was something far from harmonic.
‘What, wait – how did everyone lose an engine?’ These multi-billion luxury ships were checked, double-checked, and then triple-checked before each tour, this Terrance was assured. A possible hostile passenger implanted on each ship with directions of somehow tainting the engines. A possible last minute change in maintenance technicians, allowing a more discreet access to the engines, allowing it to be flawed before departure? A multitude of ideas, conspiracies, and plots ran with no direction through Terrance’s mind.
‘I don’t know – but we have to do something. Jadah, can you hear me?’ Isaiah dispatched over the radio.
Only empty static.
‘Jadah – pick up the damn radio!’
Only more static.
‘Shit, shit, shit!’
She stared at her ex-husband as he fell in line with Isaiah’s random button pushing. His athletic frame couple with his brown eyes defined, what she believed, to be a true gentleman. Seven years married to Terrance – she swore she would do right by him if this disaster was to pass. But three affairs and two outside children could drive anyone to hate her as much as Terrance did.
‘Isaiah . . . your location?’ the transmission was weak, but the voice seemed to belong to Lawarence from the leader.
‘Lawarence, we’re at 100 VB.’
‘ . . . Jadah . . . behind you . . . Alyssa . . . 893VB . . . Stan is at 058 VB . . . we’re . . . . 199VB . ‘
‘How the hell did Alyssa get so far ahead?’ The pitch in Isaiah’s voice rose slightly.
‘ . . engine . . blow . . booster prematurely . .’
‘The blowout from her engine ignited a booster prematurely’, Isaiah pieced the broken transmission together. A certain grave concern suddenly engulfed him. ‘Lawerence, with no booster – how will she get home?’ The emotions he held hidden for Alyssa for so long began to become unraveled.
‘I don’t . . . figure something . . . passengers . . . radio if you have plan.’
Marissa gasped, when the leader is asking for rescue suggestions, that meant a certain survival chance of zero, she thought to herself.
‘Please shut her up.’, muttered Isaiah.
‘You need to leave Marissa. Go back to your seat or jump out a window or something’, suggested Terrance.
‘Why don’t you . . . why don’t you just use a back up engine,’ she stammered, ‘I’m sure you have a back up engine – like how a car has a spare tire?’
‘What did he see in her?’ Isaiah thought to himself.
Terrance faced her, in a tone that hinted a touch of serial killer madness said, ‘Because if we had one, I would take it apart myself and beat you with it.’ – and with that, he calmly return to his random button pushing.
Marissa could only swallow back tears and leave. ‘He doesn’t love me anymore,’ she thought to herself as she took her lonely walk back to her seat.
The orange dust around them only seemed to thicken as the carrier floated lifeless to the apex. Terrance took in a deep breath, then began coughing, imagining the orange dust swelling his lungs as he tried to survive out there. He took another deep breath to bring him back to the crisis at hand.
‘ . . . two plans . .’ another weak transmission coming through, the voice seeming to belong to Jadah, ‘All the . . . parachute down to . . . jump one by . . . base station.’
‘Those are . . . options to me’, agreedLawrence.
‘We’ll have to do the parachute since we haven’t crossed the apex yet.’ advised Isaiah.
Terrance’s eyes wandered back to the intimidating orange dust, he put his hand to his chest and let out a slight cough. Terrance imagined the horrific scene of the parachute attempt. He could hear the screams and cries of the passengers as the two groups clung on the parachute straps in fear. He could see the weak and the elderly not having the stamina required, falling to their deaths. He closed his eyes to try to block the image of wild kicking and other panicked behavior causing many more to fall to their deaths.
‘Alyssa – did you hear that? Alyssa – you’ll have t jump the base station. Alyssa . . . ‘
- wake -
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