“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
The amount of superpowers on this planet was incredible. The technology to keep the super-humans-gone-haywire was just as impressive. There was resistance proof, shatter proof, and phase proof containers for a speedster named Allen Peters. He was running around in circles when we passed him.
In another cell was a ‘Dual’ as Caleb called her, or a super-human with two powers. Immediately I recognized one of her powers as being the ability to make things grow since she was making her plants grow insanely large.
“That’s Evelyn Vickers. Don’t let her calm demeanor fool you,” Caleb whispered.
“Why?” I asked.
“Wait for it in three… two… one… now.” Just as he said ‘now’, an electric shock went through every single plant, physically turning them to ash. Evelyn simply laughed and began to regrow her plants.
“I mean besides being… harsh with her plants, I don’t understand why-”
“She used to trap people with her plants and then electrify the plants with said people.”
“Yeah. Like I said, don’t let her calm demeanor fool you. Let’s keep going.” I followed Caleb down the hall where we he showed me another super-human with something on his head similar to what I’d worn when encountering Shane.
“This is Miles McNabb. He has telepathy, he can read minds. Problem is, he can’t shut it off. He’s actually harmless with that contraption on his head but the moment he takes it off, every single thought of every single person in here goes into his head. Some of it is pleasant, most of it’s not. Felicity, my sister-in-law who you’re bound to meet soon, it creating something for him that will allow him to go in public without hearing all the thoughts of the people around him. He was actually going crazy when we figured out what was happening but he was more of a danger to himself than to others.”
“How long will that device take to help him?”
“No idea. We have to keep tweaking it. It’s almost there though.” At that moment, Miles waved at Caleb who waved back.
“Can he not hear us?”
“No, but the guards allow him out whenever he asks just so he can talk to people. The other inmates here are so beyond help that they don’t really care about talking to people.”
“What about Shane?”
“He’s an… interesting case. When he talks, it’s to get under people’s skin and manipulate them into doing what he wants them to. I don’t like the interest he took in you. I knew he’d be intrigued by a new person, not to mention a beautiful girl if you don’t mind me saying, but not to the extent he did. Watch out for him when he’s released, okay? I know Chad will try and keep him at bay but he can’t be everywhere at once and Shane is sneaky which I’m sure you figured that out.”
“What do you say we-” Caleb stopped when his phone started vibrating. He pulled it out and answered it. “Hey… awesome, be there soon!”
“Who was that?” I asked.
“Some friends of mine. Can we stop by your apartment before we head to lunch? I need to show you something.”
“And it’s in my apartment?”
“I swear you’re going to love it. Promise.”
I smiled. “All right, I trust you.”
The two of us left the prison and hopped into our ride which happened to be the craft that had transported me to the planet when Dylan and Chad had kidnapped me. Caleb took the driver’s seat while I sat in the co-pilot’s one, staring at all the buttons and wondering how on earth everyone knew how to fly one of these.
“You want to fly it?” Caleb inquired, flicking some switches that caused the engines to roar to life.
“Do you like living?”
“Then no, I shouldn’t fly this thing. Although I’d like to learn one day.”
“Just give me a day you’re free and I can take you out to the range. You’re actually going to have to learn sooner or later, so is Viv. It’s part of your training. Everyone has to learn how to fly in case of an emergency. You won’t have it for a while though. People need to reach a certain point in their physical training first because that’s more important. When you go on your first mission, about ninety to ninety-five percent of people will know how to fly the ship in case something happens to the main designated pilot so there is a very, very miniscule chance that you’d ever have to fly. But, it’s a good thing to know.”
“When did you learn to fly?”
“I was fifteen. I actually learned to fly sooner than I learned to drive but you have more room for error in the sky. You make a left turn without looking up there and you’re probably not going to hit anything. Make a left turn without looking while driving, chances are you’re going to hit something.”
“That strangely makes sense.”
Caleb took off. We didn’t say much on the ride back to base but that was fine. I was having fun watching the landscape because as similar as it was to Earth, it was also quite different. The trees were green, but then you’d have trees that were massively tall that had white trunks with red or yellow leaves. There were your regular sized birds, then there were ones that were bigger than me that could fly and suspiciously reminded me of pterodactyls. When I brought that point up with Caleb, he said, “They’re related. Before the whole war broke out on our planet, scientists were messing with cloning DNA of extinct animals. They were pretty successful although some of their experiments did wreak some havoc. One of the idiots decided to clone a T-Rex, a Spinosaurus, and a Gigantosaurus.”
“They obviously haven’t seen Jurassic Park,” I muttered.
“We had our own version of that movie believe it or not, and they saw which is what gave them the idea.”
“Glad to know there are idiots on this planet too.” Caleb chuckled as the conversation died and while I continued to marvel at my surroundings.
Thirty minutes later, we reached the city. We were almost to the base when suddenly an alarm started sounding.
“What is that?” I asked anxiously.
“Not good. Hold on, I think we’re under attack.” Caleb flicked some more switches on before radioing to the base saying, “Stark Fort, this is Caleb Queen. My alarms are going off and think we might be under attack.”
“Roger Mr. Queen, we’re sending up fighters now to assess the situation. We’re picking up unidentified aircraft on our radar so please take evasive action. Do you have anyone else on the craft with you?”
“Did you just-”
“Yes I did. Now please get those fighters up!” Turning to me, he added, “You strapped in?”
“Oh yeah,” I said, gripping onto the side of the seat. With that said, Caleb swerved the ship to the left and up. The alarms stopped going but as we went upside down, we got a good look at what, or should I say who, was behind us. Five fighter jets were on our tail and were rapidly gaining.
“How the hell did they get this far inland?” Caleb muttered, turning the ship to the right. “And where is backup?”
“Caleb Queen, this is Enja Moralez. We’re here to help you,” a voice came on over the mic. “Please veer downwards and we’ll get the enemy crafts in our sights.”
“If I go down they’ll have a clear shot at me and this ship isn’t as agile as the rest of yours,” he argued, taking evasive maneuvers to get his alarms to shut up just enough to save our sanity.
“That’s a risk you’re going to have to take!”
“Damn it! Hold on!” Caleb warned. He put the ship into a nosedive, heading straight for the ground. I watched on our radar as three of the five enemy ships disappeared which I assumed they’d been shot down by our allies. Caleb pulled the ship back up, bringing us farther away from the buildings and the ground which I sincerely appreciated. It was much more nerve-wracking being close to the ground than being in open air.
“Three of the bogeys are down. There are two remaining and they’re right on top of you. You need to- Caleb look out!” Enja yelled. Before either me or my friend could react, an enemy plane came down at us, firing two projectiles at us, hitting the top of our ship. The electrical circuits started going haywire as Caleb frantically tried to regain control of the ship which was quickly losing altitude. We were flipping over repeatedly and I knew deep down that no matter what my friend did, nothing was going to stop this hunk of metal from crashing into the ground. To say I was terrified was putting it mildly because I could not think of any way Caleb and I were going to get out of this alive. If and when we inevitably crashed into the ground, the ship were collapse around us. I wasn’t ready to die yet. I wasn’t ready to leave Vivienne or my family or my pets or even Caleb and Dylan for that matter.
“Brace for impact!” Caleb shouted. That’s when a piece of debris flew the windshield and that was the last thing I saw.
I was eating lunch in the hospital with Dylan when I saw the first ship zip past the window. Most of the people ignored it but my friend wasn’t one of them.
“That’s weird,” Dylan said, getting up to go to the window.
“What?” I inquired, following him.
“That was Caleb’s ship. What is he doing flying this low in the city?” His question was answered when five more ships, smaller and more agile, flew after him. Somehow I knew that they didn’t belong to our military.
“Get the shields up!” Dylan yelled immediately. “We’re under attack!”
People scrambled up from their chairs, rushing to wherever they needed to be. Dylan through open the window. When I asked what he was doing, he said, “I need to get down there and help Caleb!”
He fired up and shot into the sky. I’d never realized he could use his firepower to actually help him fly. If we hadn’t been under attack, I would’ve found it much cooler than I was.
“Where’s Dylan?” Iris demanded, sliding into the room.
“He went to go help Caleb. He’s being chased by-”
“Come on!” Iris ordered, running back out of the room. I tried my hardest to keep up with her but she had some serious speed on her. We ran to the elevator which seemed forever to get to us and to bring us down to the lobby. The two of us ran outside to find Caleb’s ship heading up into the sky. Iris continued running towards the battle though. She only stopped when two missiles hit Caleb’s ship on the top of it. Even from the ground I could tell the hit was bad, and I didn’t need the electrical sparks coming off the ship to tell me that. The ship’s engine died, causing it to go into freefall. Iris thrust out her hands, concentrating on the ship and trying to slow it down with everything she had. I watched in horror as the ship crashed into the ground upside down, creating a massive crater in the ground.
“Caleb!” a man shouted, darting past us.
“David, wait!” Iris yelled, chasing after him. Taking a deep breath, I ran after them, only catching up them when they reached the wreck. The man named David was still frantically calling for Caleb even though people were restraining him from reaching the wreck.
“Hold him!” Dylan directed, hopping onto the ship. He put out the fires that were beginning to engulf the ride, and only allowed David to come with him once they were out.
“Wait here,” Iris said, following the two boys. Reluctantly I did so.
I blacked out for a few moments, that much I knew. When I came to, Lilly, along with her seat, was completely MIA. I started calling out for her, asking her where she was, but I knew that she was probably unconscious wherever she was. I hoped that was all that had happened to her…
“Caleb?! Where are you?!” my brother’s voice reached my ears despite how dazed I was from the whole ordeal. “Caleb!”
Suddenly David was in my line of sight with Dylan behind him. Both were a shade of white I’d never seen before, making me wonder if they were really that horrified by my situation or if dust from outside had settled on their faces, or maybe both.
“Are okay?” David asked as he began unstrapping me from my seat.
“Where’s Lilly?” I replied immediately.
“What do you mean where’s Lilly?” Dylan queried.
“Lilly went to the prison with me to help with Shane and-” I stopped talking as a wave of dizziness hit me as my brother flipped me over into standing position. Having all the blood drain to your head from being upside down, and then have it all drain back down into your body is not a pleasant experience whatsoever.
“We’ve already searched the ship. You’re the only one we’ve found. She must’ve been ejected from the ship before it crashed. Let’s get you out of here and then we’ll search for her,” David said.
“Dylan, go find her. She could be seriously injured,” I said.
“You got him?” Dylan asked.
“Yeah, go,” my brother replied. So, while my friend dashed off to find Lilly, my brother got stuck with the laborious task of getting a very dazed and confused me back outside to safety.
“What happened?” He queried.
“I don’t know. Everything was fine until we reached the city. Then these fighters came out of nowhere and began attacking us. Some debris hit us when we were in freefall which is why the windshield was broken. If Lilly got ejected-”
“She’ll be fine. With the times I’ve had training her, I can assure you she’s a fighter. Come on, let’s get you up above ground and then I’ll go help Dylan search for her okay?” Afterwards the two of us fell silent while David helped me up onto the wreckage of my precious ship. How I was going to salvage this I had no idea…
“Lay down and rest until a Healer comes over to you,” David said. For once, I didn’t argue with my brother. I lay on my back, attempting to catch my breath and stop myself from thinking about the terrible things that could’ve happened to Lilly. I jumped when an explosion sounded to my right, causing me to look to see what happened. It was just one of our fighters taking down an enemy but it was what I saw in the corner of my eye that caused me to roll over in shock and anger.
Shane Calhoun was sitting with Lilly, talking quietly to her. By the looks of it she was replying back. Shane had a smirk on his face and I was praying it was because Lilly was being snarky to him rather than him smiling because he was getting to her and he knew it… whatever it was, I wasn’t going to put up with it. Ankle bracelet or not, he needed to stay away from her. Injured or not, I was going to stop him.
However, before I could reach him, a Healer approached me, leading me away from the scene without even listening to my arguing. When I realized that protests were going unheard, I bit my tongue, allowing myself a little bit of relief of at least knowing that Lilly was okay; and knowing that if Shane was there, Chad wouldn’t be far behind, and I knew my friend would prevent his brother from going anywhere near Lilly.
Whatever injuries I had, I wanted them to be easy fixes because I still wanted to show Lilly her surprise in her apartment, one I knew she would love.