Part 7: An Emu Falls in Love
The trip to the crashed ship took them ten hours. It was the perfect time to get some sleep, so obviously Sophia spent most of the time reading the fanfiction of the Prince and watching his videos. Most were him talking to the camera and making witty or insightful comments. He was extremely charismatic and she found herself fantasising about him.
“Isn’t it ridiculous Hagrid? I’m sitting here watching him and obsessing about him and he’s sleeping on the other side of this wall.”
Hagrid made a snuffling sound and hid his head under his wing.
“You think love is ridiculous?” she said, but Hagrid didn’t reply. “I can’t be in love… I barely know him… Other than the hours of his show and thousands of stories about him.”
The computer interrupted her muttering to let them know that they were approaching planet Dowsett, where the crashed Imperial Battleship was supposed to be.
The planet was once a hub and destination place for writers of all sorts. Unfortunately, a civil war between a group that believed fiction wasn’t real literature and a group that believed non-fiction was boring caused the planet to become unlivable. Little Sister hadn’t explained why there was a crashed warship on the planet.
Prince Phil was already in a protective suit when she reached the airlock. It was the same airlock she’d hidden from a winter storm, so many years ago. Phil helped her suit up as the ship landed itself not far from the crash site on the back side of the ship.
She had already packed any tools she thought she might need, including a hover pallet that would carry the gravity generator from the crash.
Giving each other the thumbs up they activated the door and walked out onto a planet that could have been pulled from the original Star Trek; a bright, colourful desert. She half expected to see a Gorn hiding behind a large foam boulder.
She’d only seen an Imperial Battleship once, and it had been from a view screen. The full size of the ship impressed her. It was taller than most buildings she’d seen and so long that she couldn’t see one end.
The schematics of the ship told her she needed to get to the aft portion near the engines. It was a good thirty minute walk before she saw the entrance to the ship. At this point it filled her entire view.
The sun must have been hot but their suits were air-conditioned. The sun, however, was extremely bright and she was constantly trying to adjust the polarization of the helmet. It was almost like something was reflecting the sun back into her eyes.
Looking around, she saw that was exactly what was happening. There was a small point of light being reflected at them from not far away.
Activating her com, she said, “Someone else is down here,” and pointed towards the light.
“I’ll go check. You get the thing we need.”
They split up there and she headed into the crashed ship. It was in surprisingly good condition considering it had crashed. The same couldn’t be said for what was left of the crew; mostly bones and pieces of material. She was thankful for the suit. It gave her a comfortable barrier between herself and the dead.
Getting the gravity generator wasn’t easy and took her over three hours to take out of the ship carefully. As she was working, she wondered if Phil had found the person flashing them and who it could be. The coms in the suits were short range and she couldn’t contact him.
The battleship wasn’t salvageable without a lot more equipment and work but she was able to get part of the computer working. The ship’s internal diagnostics told her that some of the shuttles and fighters were still in the ship. She was tempted to go check them out, but decided to head back to their ship.
The walk back took a lot longer than the original thirty minutes. Even with the hover pallet, she had to go slowly and push the minivan sized gravity generator.
At the ship, she stowed the gravity generator in a hold, took off her helmet and pressed the internal com button. “Phil, are you back?”
“Sophia. We’re back and in the kitchen. Come join us.” He sounded relaxed and happy; more so than any other point since she’d met him.
When she walked into the kitchen, Phil was sitting at the table. On the table, with her legs dangling next to Phil, was a petite blonde. The woman was strikingly beautiful in a Hollywood type of way. The woman saw Sophia enter and smiled coyly before brushing one of Phil’s stray hairs behind his ear.
Blushing, Phil stood up, almost falling over the chair and said, “Sophia, this is Dove.” Of course it was. She should have realized right away that this was his ex-girlfriend. She’d read a lot about the woman, but she knew she couldn’t trust anything because the fan community had hated Dove and always made her the villain.
Jumping off the table and managing to make it look like a long fall, Dove walked over to Sophia and held out her hand. “Nice to meet you. Philly hasn’t stopped talking about you.”
“Um. Thanks. Nice to meet you.” Sophia wanted to ask all kinds of questions, but that’s when she noticed that Hagrid was quietly standing right next to Dove. When Sophia gave him a funny look, he bent his head down and nuzzled Dove.
“Ah, what a sweetie. I think he likes me.”
If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?