Then Chaos Unfolds

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A Little Space Pod

I head towards the door, that’s when I remember Lyra. Should I get her? ’Sarn it, I don’t have time! But she’s the one who alerted me. DAMN IT! I can’t waste my time like this! I’ll need her to escape anyways, she knows the layout of this place better than me. I dash back into the orphanage and to the bathroom and find her curled up just like I left her.

“Lyra! LYRA!” I scream at her, “GET UP, LYRA! ’SARN IT, WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS!”

“Stop shouting,” she whispers, still crying.

I pull her up and get her out of the bathroom.

“Where will we go?” she whimpers. Her eyes are wide with fright and her body’s shaking.

“I don’t care, Lyra, we’re just leaving!” I groan, “Walk with me, ’sarn it!”

I drag her to the orphanage’s door and out into the metal town. Everything is blurry but the door to Box 914. I need to leave. I need to leave. I can make out screams and cries from the orphanage and I realise Kathryn’s still inside. No. No. No. I can’t go inside for her too. Lyra’s already too much to handle. She’s running with me right now but she’s still shaking and sniffing, mumbling things under her breath. I don’t know what I’m doing. Where am I going? It’s not like they’ll just allow us to enter 914. How am I going to survive this?! DAMNIT I need to see JC again, I can’t die as soon as he leaves. How weak does the world think I am? ’Sarn it! All of this is shit. Shit! I’m going to survive. I don’t care how many rules I break. Seeing Jack is more important than my promise.

“Ellie,” Lyra mutters, “How will we get in?”

I sigh, “I don’t know, ok. But it’s not like we can just sit here and wait to die.”

“Shhhhh,” she shushes me pointing to the door across the hallway, “Guards.”

“I see them,” I whisper back.

“So that’s what we do now?” one of them asks.

The second guard answers back but their voice is too low to hear their response.

“When will it arrive?” the first guard asks with urgency.

“Did you hear that?” I whisper to Lyra receiving a quiet “Huh?” as a response.

“They’re waiting for something to arrive,” I mumble to her, “What’re they waiting for?”

“A space pod,” she gasps, “There are little space pods made for the guards to evacuate in during emergencies. It takes them to the mothership.”

My mind starts racing with thoughts and ideas. Maybe we can take the space pod and escape in it. All I have to do is distract these guards. How? How do I distract them?

“Should we wait for them to leave?” Lyra questions.

“What? No. We’re getting in that space pod.”

“We can’t, it only has space for two people.”

I roll my eyes, of course they couldn’t get something to evacuate all the children to safety, our lives don’t matter to them.

“I didn’t say we’ll share it with them,” I state.

Lyra shakes her head at me, “What are you gonna do, huh? Distract them then sneak onto the space pod?” she asks mockingly.

’Sarn it, that was my plan!

“Well, what do you suggest?” I question, “Since you apparently know everything, why don’t you figure out a way for us to escape?”

“Ellie, I didn’t say I knew everything, ok, how about you stop be-”

Her sentence is cut by a commotion coming from the other side of the hallway, in Box 914. Some people are running around screaming.

“What happened?” Ellie asks, “Oh.”

“Oh?” I mimic her, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I’m guessing their box got caught up in our explosion, some shards probably crashed with their box. The damage would probably be almost as bad as the damage in our box. Someone probably saw it and started screaming causing others to panic as well.”

A child starts running towards the hallway and others follow. Lyra and I hide behind the door as the guards run after the children pulling them back in their box. One of the children spots me and my blood runs cold. Not because he might report us to the guards, but because he’s young, too young to die such a horrible death. He and all the other children in that box will probably be left to die. No more food will be transported to their box with how unstable it is, they await the same fate as us. Yet I can’t pity the people in my orphanage as much as I pity this kid, perhaps it’s because his innocent eyes are as wide as saucers, filled with terror and fear. Perhaps it’s because tears stain his little face. The guards start shouting at them and after pulling them all back into their box, they close the door. They’re probably beating the shit out of them right now.

“Look!” Lyra points to one of the windows in the hallway. I can make out a small spherical object becoming bigger and bigger.

“The space pod!” I exclaim. This is too perfect. The guards haven’t come back yet and the space pod- wait, where exactly will the space pod stop? “Ummm, Lyra? It doesn’t look like it’s slowing down.”

“No, it doesn’t”

“Where does it even land?”

“I don’t know, but it’s definitely coming our way.”

I start to back away from the hall. What in the stars is going on here? How do we get in? The space pod is close now, too close. A few seconds and it’ll probably hit the hall.

“Watch out!” Lyra shouts, but nothing happens. Well, not nothing, just no crash. Part of the hallway’s wall slides open revealing the insides of the space pod. Just as Lyra said, only two seats and no space for more. I get caught up with how lucky we are that I forget we’re in a hurry. I feel a tug on my arm and find that Lyra’s pulling me towards the space pod, “Come ON! What’re you thinking about that is more important than getting out of here?!”

I shake my head and run with her to the space pod. We each take a seat and wait for something to happen.

“What now?” I ask, “The door’s not closing.”

“Thanks for pointing out the obvious,” she says, “I don’t know click a button or something.”

“Just click any random button?” I ask. When does that ever work? I try it anyway and push a small blue button next to the door.

“Please put your seatbelts on,” a lady’s voice suddenly states all around us.

“Seatbelts?” I question.

“This thing, Ellie,” Lyra says pointing towards the T-shaped metal thing to my right, “Have you never been in a car before?”

“I don’t know, I wouldn’t-”

“Hey!” I hear the voice of one of the earlier guards, “The space pod is here!”

“Oh no, oh no, how does it close?!” I panic.

“’Sarn it! ’Sarn it!” Lyra whisper-shouts.

We both start clicking random buttons. The guards come closer and spot us. They start running towards the pod.

“GET OUT OF THERE!” one of them shouts.

“SHIT! SHIT!” I exclaim, “Just close already!”

As if hearing my command, the door starts sliding to close but one of the guards reaches us and tries to pry it back open.

“Hurry up!” they shout, “Help me!”

By the time the other guard is here the doors have already been shut. I sigh in relief, if they caught us, we definitely would’ve been cast out.

“Oh my stars!” Lyra squeals, “We made it! I can’t believe it. We made it!”

I find myself giggling and we both start laughing together. That’s when I realize that we’re going to the mothership... and we’re definitely not two fully-grown adult guards. How did I not think about this? What if they kill us for stealing this space pod? Great, I burst my own bubble, now I’ll have to burst Lyra’s.

“How will we get into the mothership?” I ask bluntly.

Lyra’s face immediately changes. Her smile disappears leaving behind a worried expression, “I don’t know.”

“Maybe we can sneak off?”

She sighs putting her face in her hands, “Damn it,” she groans, “I should’ve just stayed there.”

“You would’ve died.”

“Not certainly, Ellie, but now, I’m DEFINITELY dying!”

“Hey, we’ll just figure it out, ok? We were able to get here, after all.”

“By sheer luck,” she spits, “You should’ve just left me there.”

“Sure, next time, I’ll leave you on a box that could blow up at any second!”

“I am the one who even alerted you to this!” she shouts, “If it weren’t for ME, you would’ve probably stayed there staring at your reflection in the mirror!”

I glare at her. What now? We’ll probably kill each other before we even reach the mother ship. Can’t we steer this thing manually? It’s not like I know how but how hard could it be? Maybe I can take us to one of the other metal boxes?

“ELLIE! Are you even listening? See this is exactly what I’m talking about! You just space out at the worst time possible! ’Sarn it I-”

She’s cut short by the sound of something hitting our space pod. I groan. Seriously? Does the world want me to die that badly? What did I do to deserve this?

“What are we hitting?” I ask, then realization dawns on me, “We’re hitting pieces of our box, aren’t we?”

Lyra gulps, “Yes.”

That’s when a rather loud ‘clink’ sounds. The space pod slows down. It shakes violently. Then it drops.

“No, no, no, no, no,” I shout.

Lyra is screaming beside me and soon I join her. I can’t go like this. I don’t want to die! Somewhere along the shaking, screaming and banging, I hit my head. My eyelids suddenly become too heavy, and I can’t tell what’s going on, that’s when darkness swallows me.

Pew. Pew. Swish. Boom.

Why is it so noisy? Can’t the world shut up for a second? My head is killing me!

“GET DOWN!”

“SIR, WE NEED BACKUP!”

I can hear someone grunting beside me.

“Ellie? Ell-ARGH!”

That’s right, the last person I saw was Lyra. Why is she calling me? Why does she sound like she’s in pain? I slowly open my eyes, but everything is blurry and ... brown?

“Ugh.”

I look towards the sound, and I can make out Lyra’s orange hair. She’s lying down on the wreckage of the space pod.

“Lyra? Are you ok?”

“Argh, no, something’s broken here,” she points to her upper body, “I can’t,” she hisses, “Can’t sit up.”

“My head hurts,” I tell her, “I think I hit it.”

“You’re bleeding, genius, of course, you hit it.”

I touch my head and gasp, not only is there a HUGE bump but also a ton of blood.

“Yeah, we crash-landed,” Lyra sighs.

“On Planet-E.”

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How was this chapter? Do you miss JC yet? Well, I’ll be honest with you, he’s not coming next chapter. We’ve all gotta wait a little more to see him again. ✨Cya✨

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