Part 9: An Emu Proves Dangerous
“Did you change the administrative passwords on the ship?” Phil asked. Sophia couldn’t see him since he was sitting behind her in the fighter ship, but his voice sounded worried.
“Sorry. I had to do a fresh restart and that wiped the original codes.”
“Oh, thank the Gods.” She could hear him relaxing. “Dove knew all the codes and she can’t change them without knowing them. Connect to the ship and have it open the airlock.”
“I have a better idea.” Sophia sent a lockdown command to the ship and then had it open the airlock. It was barely big enough for the fighter ship and she squished some cleaning supplies. “I didn’t think I’d ever need this room so I used it as a closet.”
Between the tight quarters and the abundance of cleaning supplies, even with the sensors shut down, there was no way Dove could not have heard them.
Despite the certainty of discovery, they tried to be quiet as they exited the fighter ship, stripped off the suits, and moved towards the bridge.
The lights flickered on and off, in the way Sophia had only ever seen in horror movies.
Whispering, Phil asked, “Did you do something to the lights?”
Sophia shook her head as they entered the hub of the ship, the dining area. It connected to each part of the ship. It was disaster. There was food everywhere, her favourite cereal was scattered around, and there seemed to be thick green goo on the walls.
“Oh no!” Phil was white and he sat down on the nearest chair. Sophia cringed at the smooshing sound the chair made as he sat. He jumped up and looked at the seat, smelled it, and finally sat back down. “I just sat in milk…” He sounded relieved and just stared at the wall with the green goo. “I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry? Phil… What’s going on?” Sophia was worried. He’d reacted better to certain death by bomb, twice, than he was now. Whatever he was thinking it must be scary.
“Dove is dead.”
“How do you know?”
“The blood. It’s from a Crimbils.” He gestured at the goo, indicating it was blood.
“Dove is a Crimbils?” Sophia asked, confused.
“No. Yes.” He gave a big sigh. “The Crimbils are a shape shifting race that eat their victim’s brains and change into them. They know everything their victim did and can mimic them almost perfectly. On top of that, they can manipulate others into liking or lusting after them.”
The full meaning of what he said hit her, and all she could think of saying was, “Sorry.”
Taking a deep breath he stood up and said, “This means she’s probably an assassin. I guess this means we can kill her.” He sounded sad, but his brow was crinkled determinedly. He walked over to the wall and pressed a place that looked like everything else. A panel opened showing a gun and what looked like a fencing sword. Seeing her surprise, he said, “This ship and I were together for years before you. We still have a few secrets.” He tossed her the gun, “Point and click. The button on the side prevents accidental discharge; tap it once to set it to stun, twice to kill, and three times to disintegrate.”
They walked down the still creepily flickering corridors in silence. As they walked, they started hearing a loud rhythmic banging sound. It got louder as they got closer.
All kinds of things could have been making that noise and Sophia imagined all the more farfetched and scariest possibilities. The absolute last thing she expected was what they found.
With a dented metal mixing bowl on his head, Hagrid was ramming the door to the bridge. Every time he hit the door he’d jump back and run back at it.
“Hagrid. Please stop,” she pleaded. The sound of her voice made him stop, but instead of reacting like the lovable, if mischievous, Emu that she’d grown to tolerate… and love, he turned and ran towards her.
She tapped the button on the side of the gun once and barely managed to get a shot off before he hit her. A line of energy flew out of the gun and stopped him in his tracks. He didn’t fall, however, and started moving towards her again. It took three more shots before he gingerly curled up and went to sleep. Loud snoring and all.
It wasn’t until she was stepping over him that she saw the green blood on his wings.
They walked to the door and released the lock. Phil opened the door and went in first. It was a good thing; as he walked in an identical blade to his, glowing green, sliced down in front of the door. He blocked it as if it was nothing and turned to face the person on the other side of the door. Since he was still in the doorway, Sophia couldn’t see Dove.
“Who sent you?” he asked.
A soft chuckle answered him and Sophia watched as he defended himself against more attacks. She tried to squeeze around and fire but couldn’t get a good shot.
“Who sent you?” he repeated.
She was tempted to pull him out or push him in but was worried that he’d get hit. She didn’t know what the glowing, humming swords could do but she didn’t want to get him killed.
The chuckling stopped and a voice that sounded like Dove, but without any of the bounciness or false joy, said, “The Queen, your sister, sends her regards!” The statement was followed by a series of beeping sounds.
“Amazing,” Phil said, sounding both tired and annoyed. “Another bomb.”
If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?