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Chapter 21

She continues to follow her visions until they reach a wide-open room with gooey, slimey objects on the floor. It’s dark with only brief, flashing lights from the electrical sparks around. “Uhhh, Liv? What are you doing??” he asks her, looking worried. “So the floor’s a little gooey, but we can make it through. We’re here actually.” “Uhhh, that’s not the problem,” he tells her, staring at something with worry. Her vision is restored to normal and she starts to see it too. “Oh, crap.” Standing before them—well not really standing—is a huge alien creature, bigger than the ones they’ve encountered so far, with spikes protruding from most parts of its body, arcing electricity. Its teeth are as sharp as they can be, and ready to crush anything that comes into contact with it. “I think your vision was leading us to a trap, Liv.” All manner of aliens then converge on the location, coming out of every corner and every opening. They’re cornered and surrounded. “Ohhh, we are so fucked,” he says. It moves its neck, slowly, to look at them, creating a little cracking noise as it does. It looks at the two beings in front, containing an abundant amount of energy within them. “So what do we do now?” she asks quietly. “I have no idea. Pray, I think,” he replies bleakly. This huge alien seems to control all the other smaller ones, their leader or queen. It raises its right arm and pulls the energy out of Olivia as she screams for it. She drops Takashi down trying to resist it. The white energy flows from her right arm to the queen, painfully it seems. She falls to the ground weak. Things look very bleak for both of them right now. She sweats and pants as she stares at the gooey floor, surprised that they’ve made it this far. She doesn’t think her body, nor mind for that matter, can take it anymore. In fact, if it weren’t for their powers, they’d probably be dead already. But I guess that’s why they have to succeed…they have to finish this. “You okay, Liv?” he asks her. She laughs and smiles, “You know me… I don’t give up. What do you say we go out with a bang?” He nods and musters all of his strength to heal his leg, screaming as the aliens observe and watch. It’s not complete, but it’ll have to do. She picks him back up; he can still barely stand, but forces himself. The queen lifts her arm and releases the energy to be spread back into the ship and its system. The aliens get closer to them, preparing to attack. “Are you sure you’re okay?” she asks. “Fuck, no. But… it’s just something we have to deal with, right? No matter how much it hurts.” She nods in agreement. They both look at each other seriously, readying themselves.

The queen screams and her army rush them all at once. Takashi quickly retaliates by sending a shockwave to the ones on his right, but that’s not nearly enough to do it. One of them hits him and they both fly back. Olivia dodges a punch and returns with one herself, then grabbing a tentacle, cutting it and pushes the creature away. She then flies away to another one, continuing the fight, crashing through the wall. As it drags him across the floor, getting goo all over his suit, he pushes himself off the ground and slams it to the ceiling. He then connects it with several punches before throwing it across. His leg wound, still a bit exposed, starts leaking blood. But he can’t worry about that now. He hovers above them and slams down with great force, creating a huge shockwave that repels all of them away and wrecking the room. Olivia crashes back through the wall followed by a creature, but she quickly creates a force field in front of her to shield her from its punches. It charges itself up and strikes one more time and shatters the shield, but is charged away by Takashi at the last second. It strikes the far wall, cracking it yet again, but it quickly retaliates by grabbing him and smashing him to the wall next to them. It does so a couple of times before proceeding to electrocute him. He resists as much as he can before the strain becomes too great. Olivia suddenly jumps on its back, looking very disheveled and tired, and pokes both of its eyes out. It roars in pain as it releases him, to which he quickly punches through its chest, killing it. They’re using everything they’ve got for this, ignoring the exhaustion and all the pain, or at least trying to. The queen just sits there, watching it all go down as more and more of her army pour out. No matter how many they kill, more will come out. This is the mothership, there’s no telling how much of them are here. A lot of dead aliens lie on the ground, their blood painting the floor yellow, just as many that’s surrounding them now. They’re starting to run out of steam.

He then notices something strange. “Baby?” she asks in worry. “It’s strange,” he tells her, “my oxygen supply should’ve run out by now. I wonder…” “Don’t you even think about it,” she says to him. Fuck it! He then closes his eyes and quickly opens his visor…to find that he can breathe. “Liv…I can breathe,” he says. “What??” she asks, shocked. “Hahaha, I can breathe!!” The creatures then roar to remind them of the situation. She also raises her visor—it makes it harder to see anyway. “What do we do now?” Takashi asks. “Keep fighting,” she replies, “that’s all we can do. To keep fighting, no matter what.” “That’s just the way it is, right?” he asks smiling. “Now you’re getting it.” “I wish I didn’t, but come on!!!” he shouts. The creatures start converting to their electrical form, that static electrical noise can be heard again as they zip around the room. They move so fast, attacking them at what seems like light speed. “ArgH!!!! Owww!!!” they exclaim. They try to fight back, but it’s difficult. Their suit gets damaged a little.

All of a sudden, something drops to the middle of the room and sends out an EMP wave, disabling the creatures. The queen is affected, but is still standing, only weakened. They all convert back to their physical forms and fall to the floor, unconscious. “Guys, run!!!!” a voice screams. They look up to see Sergey and Andrei standing on an opening, looking very beaten up and a little bloody with scratches and wounds. Andrei points his grenade launcher and shoots at the queen. She gives a roar at them before it hits her, slamming her to the ground. “Ruuunnnn!!!! Now!!!” Sergey and Andrei jump down and rejoins them. Olivia picks and carries Takashi, his wound seeping again. They head back out to the corridor and make a break for it.

“Hey, you guys…your visors are not closed,” Sergey states in surprise. “Yeah, the air’s breathable. You can raise yours too. It’s okay,” she replies quickly. They do so, quickly before continuing. They trek once again through the darkness, with nothing but the dying flashlight from the gun to light their path. And with the running, they can barely see what’s in front of them, just brief flashes. “It was a good thing you guys came when you did. Thanks,” she says, “so what is the plan here exactly??” she asks them. “We have planted…a few explosives…on parts of the ship,” Sergey explains exhausted, “but…we need to plant more.” “Where…where are the others?” Takashi asks, “where’s Viktor?” They don’t respond to the question, only looking slightly sad, but stern. Takashi lowers his head in realization of what happened. “They fought bravely,” he tells them. Sergey then stops them for a moment to plant another explosive. “Andrei, give me,” he says. He takes it and sticks it to the pillar structure, readying it. “Is it a countdown??” she asks. “No, remote. We can activate once we are clear,” he explains. Suddenly, a spark of electricity surges through the conduit with speed. “Oh, come on!” It quickly materializes and jumps out, prompting Sergey to shoot at it. Of course, the bullets do very little, as its armor is still intact. It knocks him down to the ground and uses its tentacles to pin Olivia and Andrei to the wall, sending a brief electric shock to weaken them. Andrei drops the grenade launcher down and Takashi falls to the ground, hurting. He holds and covers where his leg wound is. To weak to do anything, he can only watch as it hurts his friends. It grabs Sergey by the face with both hands and electrocutes him, beginning to absorb him. “Noooooooo!!!!!” Andrei screams for his friend. Boom! The alien flies away from an explosion, wounding its armor. Sergey barely makes it out alive and breathes like there’s no tomorrow. Takashi was able to retrieve the grenade launcher, barely, and fire off one round at its back, saving Sergey. Olivia and Andrei also fall down, “Urgh!” they exclaim.

The alien quickly gets back up to finish them off, only to be pelted by another grenade. Again, it recovers quickly from this, but Sergey, in anger, quickly grabs his assault rifle and fires at it, screaming his lungs out. The alien eventually dies from its wounds and falls down right in front of him. He stands up and spits at it, showing his resentment for them. “Now you stay dead,” he says. A very loud roar then rocks the corridor and causes it to rumble. “Okay, time to go.” Andrei gets up and grabs the grenade launcher back, Olivia holsters Takashi back, and they continue their escape. But before doing so, Sergey smashes parts of the conduit in an attempt to try and slow down their progress. He also continues to place explosives on the way, this time just kinda randomly. Eventually they reach another intersection, and again they have to make a choice. “Fuck!! Where do we go??!” she yells. “I have no idea!!!” Sergey replies, shining what little light they have left furiously. They’re all very tired and nervous…and scared. “But you knew where to go last time,” Andrei inquires. “No, that was a trap. That…huge thing lead us there,” she clarifies. “The queen,” he nods. “That was the queen??” she asks. “Seems like it.” “We should go right,” Takashi suddenly speaks. “Baby? Why?” “I don’t know. Gut feeling,” he replies. “We do not have a choice. Let’s go,” Sergey says. They follow his instinct to see where it leads.

The path leads them to another dark, of course, open room with a huge glowing object in the middle to their right. It’s the ship reactor core, arcing electricity from top to bottom and vice versa. They stare at it in awe, looking at its magnificent lights. At least it lights up the room a little. It has this blue-ish electrical color radiating out to the chamber. It is huge though, with platforms extending…everywhere. They go down the stairs to the platform to officially enter the chamber. “Wait, wait. Can we, can we stop for a bit?” Takashi says. “Sure,” she sets him down against the railing to rest. “This is it, the core. We will plant all the remaining explosives here. Its destruction will destroy the whole ship,” Sergey explains. “Are you sure?” she asks. “Haha, no. But it is the best chance we have.” “We need to hurry, can you walk, my friend?” Andrei says. “Yeah, just give me a minute.” He tries once again to heal his leg, and again it’s painful as fuck. Olivia shares some of her energy with him to help, and they both try together. He holds his scream this time. And they are successful…it isn’t perfect, but it’s healed enough, yet again. “It’s okay, you did it,” she tells him. “We did it,” he replies. They both share a smile. “Listen, Liv. I…I may not get it all…not understand it. But, I know…” “Save it,” she stops him, “I already know. Like I’ve told you many times, you don’t need to explain.” He smiles and nods, and picks himself up. “Let’s finish this.”

They continue along the platform, going down a few more steps, to reach the core, all the while still staring at it. There’s another path from the opposite side and the two converge in the middle, the platform leading to the core. There seems to be no aliens around, the place is completely quiet, and peaceful, with nothing but the sound of the electricity arcing back and forth. It sounds like…kinda like music, actually, with the arcs being seconds apart from each other. It creates tones in the musical range, or somewhat like that. It’s beautiful. The path forks again in front of the core, left and right. Though they lead to the same area, eventually converging again behind it. “So where do we plant the bombs?” Takashi asks, “this thing, I think, would really go off if we detonate one here.” “Yes. Alexandra, come in,” he activates his radio.

She’s still back at the machine deployment area, fixing the shuttle as best as she can, when she hears Sergey’s voice on the radio, getting annoyed. She was working under it, trying to patch the leaking external fuel lines. “Ay ay ay, I am trying to fix ship, he keeps bothering me…” she says to herself. Finally she stops what she’s doing and answers. “What is it??” “We are currently in the reactor core chamber. Is the shuttle ready to go? We will not have much time once we are finished here,” he explains. She sighs, “Well, I am currently still fixing it. I found the leak and have patched it. We lost some fuel, but we still have enough to make it back to Earth.” “Okay, that is good.” She gets frustrated, “But…there is something else. The navigation systems got a little damaged during the station explosion. It will make flying harder…” “Look, can we fly or not?! That’s all we need to know,” Olivia suddenly asks her. “Technically, yes. But I cannot guarantee our safety.” “That’s good enough. Keep fixing it as best you can. We’ll be there soon.” “Okay,” she replies.

“Alright, give me one,” she says. “One what?” the soldier asks. “An explosive. I’m gonna plant it there. Like Takashi said, it’ll blow up this thing good, and this thing will blow up everything else.” “Well, that was just a thought, actually. You sure about this?” “Sweetie, right now, I’m really not sure about anything. But we don’t have a lot of explosives nor a lot of time. So Sergey, give me one.” “My friend, she is right,” he says grabbing one from his friend and handing it to her. “You just remove the tape at the back to stick, and then flip this switch to activate it,” he explains to her. “Okay, got it.” She takes it from him and levitates towards the core. “Ummmm, I don’t think you should get too close, just a suggestion. Maybe you should levitate it there,” Takashi suggests, worried. “Right,” she says, also worried. She removes the tape, releases it from her hand, and floats it to the bottom part of the reactor. It swirls around as it floats gently, reaching the reactor wall. She uses both of her hands to mimic carefully sticking it, and then flips the switch. The lights on it turn on signaling that it’s good to go. Everyone breathes out a sigh of relief and she smiles and gives them a ‘thumbs up’ before floating back down. “Alright, three more. One for each side.” They head left first, cause why not? As they reach the middle point, she grabs another one and gets ready to do it again. “Uhh, maybe this time I’ll do it,” he tells her. He grabs the explosive from her hand and levitates towards the reactor. As he levitates the bomb to the wall, a big electrical arc shoots out surprising him, almost causing him to drop it down to the seemingly infinite abyss. The darkness does make the drop seem endless, not being able to see the floor. He starts to sweat, as does everyone, but was able to catch it mid-fall. He then continues, sticking it carefully and flipping the switch. The lights turn on and he returns. “Still think you should do it?” she asks him. “That’s not fair. If you were up there when that happened, you would’ve jumped too,” he replies trying to explain himself. “Just let me do it.” “Okay, haha.”

She grabs another one and proceeds further down the platform where it converges. To their surprise, the platform leads further down beyond that. Olivia looks at it, pondering what’s down there. Takashi then grabs one as well to place it on the final side. “It’ll be faster if we both do it right now,” he says. He jumps and flies to the final side and they both put the explosives in place. They flip the switch and they’re done. “Finally. Let’s get out of here,” he says. “Wait, what’s down there?” she says. “Who cares, we’re gonna blow it all up anyway.” She stares down for a while, the platform ends with stairs leading downwards into the abyss, but then shakes it off. “Alright, let’s go.” “Alexandra, we are on our way…” Sergey stops his sentence in the middle. The queen stands before them, she looks angry. “Oh, shit,” Andrei exclaims. All the other aliens are standing behind her and in the entryway after the corridor ends. But her majesty wants them all to herself and signals to her army to stand down and back off. She stares at them. To her they’re nothing but energy ready to be absorbed. Sure Sergey and Andrei, but mostly Takashi and Olivia…their powers making them a beacon of energy that calls out to all energy parasites. “I think it’s looking at us, Liv,” he says to her. “Fuck then.” They step back slowly. “Why is it looking at you?” Andrei asks. “Our powers, we’re full of energy,” Olivia replies. “These things are attracted by energy,” Takashi continues. It suddenly rushes and lunges towards them, roaring. Andrei quickly unleashes a barrage of grenades to it and Sergey fires a hail of bullets, but it doesn’t slow her down that much. It’s tougher and stronger than the others—guess that’s why she’s the queen. He’s looking quite scared this time, as are they all. It slams him to the railing, knocking the others down. The queen jumps back and brings him along with her and prepares to absorb him. “Andrei!!!!!” Sergey screams for his friend. Little does her majesty know, he brought one of the explosives with him and activated it manually. He pulls out his sidearm and shoots it point blank into her eye. Bang!!! Rooooaaaarrrrrrrr!!!!! It drops him down as it screams in pain. He then drops the counting down explosive and runs back. “Ruuunnn!!!” he yells. They all run as fast as they can from him, heading down the back path. Boom! The explosion was enough to stop the queen for a while as it knocks her back, and rock the chamber a little. The aliens stand in surprise as they watch their queen get knocked down. Thankfully, the explosives on the reactor are unharmed, though they were a bit “shocked”, almost detonating. The rocking knocks the gang down too as they climb down the stairs. Dizzy from it, they take a few seconds to regain themselves, though finding it difficult to do so. “Sergey!!! Sergey!!! We gotta go!!” Takashi shouts to him, “Sergey!!!” His friend comes up and quickly grabs and lifts him up, “Go!!” he shouts, and carries him to the darkness below.
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