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Chapter 22

The stairs seem endless, the darkness not helping at all. In their exhausted state, their minds begin to falter as well, playing tricks and whatnot. Amazingly, the flashlight on Sergey’s gun is still running, giving them some illumination, but it doesn’t help much. Takashi tries to point it in front of them, the place where they’re going and stepping. After a while and what seems like a long trek, they appear to reach the bottom. Though they still can’t see what’s below that. It leads them to another corridor, a wider one. Except it isn’t… It’s a chamber of sorts. Well, they can’t really make out anything in the low lighting, and Sergey’s out of commission for a while, so it’s just guesswork at this point. Unfortunately for them, there’s no way out…just a bunch of monitors and computers? that’s set in an alien language even, no idea what any of it says. For a species that’s seemingly feral and instinctual, they actually have some form of civilization and understanding beyond that of just animalistic instincts. “Oh fuck, Liv! What the hell are we supposed to do now?!” he catches his breath. “We finish the mission,” Andrei speaks, “for all our fallen comrades”. Takashi leans against the wall and slides down to rest. Everything’s still going through his mind, and it has been through the fights and battles. But like Olivia said, it’s just something he has to shake off. There’s no getting rid of it, only dealing with it.

“You alright, babe?” He smiles at her and chuckles, “Just need a little rest.” “Not feeling it anymore?” “Oh, I’m definitely feeling it. But, you know… Hey, where are you going?” Andrei heads to one of the screens, wanting to try something, anything. Takashi picks himself back up, barely, and heads over to him—he’s still limping a bit. They leave Sergey there to rest for a while. He stares at the screen and at the strange keyboard thing, trying to figure it out. “Ummm, don’t wanna rush anyone, but we don’t have a lot of time. They’re all still up there,” she tells them. That said, they don’t seem to be coming down yet. Maybe the queen’s still out of can’t be because they don’t know. It’s their ship after all. Or maybe they really don’t know. “Andrei, what do we do now?” he asks him. “Maybe we can overload system.” He starts pressing buttons, doing random things. The monitor screen starts changing randomly as he does so. “Are you sure we should be doing that?” she asks. “Well, if you wanna overload something, pressing things randomly would be a good idea,” Takashi says. “I will be right back,” Andrei speaks quickly, running back to the entrance. Takashi takes his place and starts pressing buttons too. The ship then quickly starts rumbling and shaking, and some sorta alarm system activates. “Looks like you did it,” she tells him. Andrei runs back, bringing with him a now conscious Sergey, though he’s still shaking his head. “Okay they are coming.” “What??” Do not worry,” he says, telling them his plan. The aliens’ loud thump can be heard as they reach their level. He points the flashlight, having retrieved Sergey’s gun, towards the entrance to see that they’re actually there…and yep, they’re showing their ugly, and quite frightening, faces. “Come get us,” Andrei holds the detonator in his other hand…and presses it. Boom! The two explosives he placed on the platform goes off killing some of them and sending them falling downward. “Now!!!” he shouts.

Olivia grabs him while Takashi takes Sergey and they fly out and back up to the top. Noticing the grenade launcher Andrei left behind, Sergey suggests retrieving it, and they swoop down quickly to grab it. They then carve a way through the remaining aliens and head into the corridors. “Alexandra, do you hear me?? You need to start the shuttle, now!! We are heading your way!!” he screams to his radio. Realizing what’s going on, the cosmonaut quickly rushes to initiate the start-up sequence and finish up what she can. The queen and her army are right behind them, catching up, following them like insects bundled together in a chase. The would-be heroes zip around and fly randomly through the corridors, trying to avoid them. Two of the aliens zip in their direction from the front through the conduits and quickly materialize, to which Takashi tries to quickly respond by ramming them, dropping Sergey down, and sending out a an energy blast, but only succeeds in getting one. The other successfully clings to Olivia and Andrei and they fall down. Olivia repels it backwards towards the rest and Sergey quickly fires a grenade launcher at it, slowing all of them down. She then quickly picks him back up, and Takashi Andrei, and they continue their escape. “We still don’t know how to get around here!! How the hell are we supposed to find our way back to the shuttle???” she asks him. At least they seem to have lost them for a while, and they stop at another intersection to rest for a bit, leaning against the right wall. “So what she asked…how the hell do we find the shuttle??” Takashi asks tired. “Easy, we just follow the ping,” Sergey answers randomly. “The what??” they both ask at the same time. “Trust me. Let’s go!” They pick them up and fly off again following his directions. They spend a good few minutes going around and around, turning left and right through the darkness and the corridor maze. “Are you sure we’re going the right way??” “We are almost there. Alexandra, what is the status of the shuttle?” “It is as ready as it will ever be,” she sighs, “I have done what I can to fix it. Now I am waiting for you,” she explains. “Good. I am following the beacon from it to find our way back. Do not turn it off,” he says, “and find a way to open the gate. One more thing, arm yourself. If those things come for you, you have to weaken their shell first using grenades or explosives…then shoot them. Do you understand?” “Da, understood. Find a way to open… How does he expect me to do that??” She grabs an assault rifle from the cabinet armed with an underslung grenade launcher and heads out to find the control panels.
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