Chapter 6: Escape from Hokulua Station
Annie tensed as Alpha 4 plummeted towards the station. A ship that size would destroy a large chunk of the ring. Without coms, there was no way to evacuate the area. When one of the ships shaped like stars swooped in and caught Alpha 4 in a beam of light, she let go a large sigh. Not only did the ships save the station and Alpha 4, they also proved they weren’t hostile.
“Echo 2 and 3, go get Alpha 4 from our… guests? Sir, can we stand down?”
Annie and Echo 3 got Alpha 4 with their tethers and they heard the captains voice, “This is the captain. Give me a full report, Echo leader.”
“Yes sir. Nice to hear your voice.” Echo leader told the captain about the ships shaped like stars and the mysterious planet in Voidspace with its own star. How one of the ships saved one of their own and hadn’t attacked. They just sat waiting. When he was finished, he paused and said, “Wait a second. We have movement. The ships are leaving and taking orbit around the planet.”
“Come home, fighters. Looks like we have a mystery to discover on that planet.”
The fighters were exhausted. Keeping that level of focus for so long was draining, especially without the adrenalin of combat.
Annie was exhausted, stinky, and wanted nothing more than to go for a swim. Her brother met her at her docking spot. “Thank the stars, you’re okay.” He hugged her and added, “Scratch that; I think you’ve gone bad!” and comicly plugged his nose.
They walked towards the exit and passed Echo leader, they nodded at him and kept going. The captain passed by nodded and stopped to talk with Echo leader. Their voices carried.
“What do you mean, no?” Echo leader was a calm person and to hear him yell was weird.
He stormed towards them and Annie couldn’t help herself. “What happened?”
Giving her a confused look and sighing, he said, “The spineless sludge is refusing to send anyone to the planet.”
“Orders from the head of the techno-mages. How could they even get orders without our coms working?” He made a rude noise towards the Captain and continued on his way.
Annie activated her ear piece and asked Hoku where Seren Plentyn was. When it told her a docking bay, Annie told her brother, “I got to go. Love you.”
Her brother nodded and let her go. The docking bay wasn’t too far away and when Annie got there she saw that Seren, Jan, and Seren’s dad were talking about something.
Not wanting to bother them, she went to the control station and started procedures to launch a small shuttle. She made sure it wasn’t the same one that was patched into coms. While they were running, she took a backpack with survival equipment and food rations. On whim she grabbed three more.
Sneaking towards the ships, she put the backpacks away and started keying in her access codes and authorisation. She knew Tower was going to question her and she hoped she could get the docking doors open fast enough to get out.
As the ship was powering up, she heard footsteps. “Annie, what are you doing?” Seren smiled; somehow that girl knew exactly what Annie was thinking.
“I’m going to see what’s on that planet. Want to come?”
Jan’s eyes went wide and said, “I’m not sure-”
Seren cut them off saying, “Absolutely!” She walked over to one of the co-pilots seats and started to help. “Let me guess, the Captain refuses to go investigate?”
“Yeah. How’d you know?” Annie was amazed. Seren was great at logic and deduction but this seemed like a leap.
“Long story. Let’s get out of the station and I’ll tell you on the way.”
Annie turned away from flight prep and said, “You coming?”
With a dramatic sigh, Jan went and sat in the second co-pilot seat. The shuttle flew easier with three, but could be flown with one if necessary. Annie was glad there were three of them.
“Shuttlecraft Roddenberry. You are not cleared for launch. No one is to leave the station.”
Annie was going to say something but Seren replied instead, “This is shuttle Roddenberry. If you think I’m not going down there, you need to check the oxygen levels over there, Tower.”
“Seren. I should have known. Orders are from the head of the tecno-mages. No one goes down there. Tower has locked the doors, please power down.”
Turning off the coms, Seren said, “I think I have an idea. Get ready to punch it.” She opened a text com to Hoku, hoping the AI assistant was part of or in contact with the micro-sun. “Please,” she typed, “We want to help you. Let us get down there and find a way.”
There was no change and just as they were all about to give up, the bay doors opened. A quick move by Annie and they were rushing through space with a lot to talk about.
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