Here is Part 9 of my Describli-prompt inspired story. If you missed the earlier instalment and want to read them, see the link in the menu above. 🙂
And feedback, always welcome.
Part 10 next week.
Lena watched the room brighten with dawn’s light. There was a spaceship beneath her. Why? Who were Jerry and Tina? What were they?
She turned over again. Zinna was still asleep. And Leo’s snoring told her he was as well.
She sat up, unable to lay any longer. Should they leave? Just get out of there? Or stay and confront these people, find out what was going on?
And then there was the spaceship. If she could launch it, it might be able to take them home – at least, out into space. Getting back to their own time might be a bit more tricky. But where there was a will there was a way. One of her father’s sayings.
She got up and wandered over to the basement door. If someone got it in, there must be a way to get it out. Her hand touched the door handle. Jerry and Tina would be up any minute. She could get caught.
She looked over her shoulder. Zinna moved, turning, waking.
Lena went over to her. “Help me wake Leo quietly, and follow me,” she whispered.
Confusion rolled over Zinna’s face like a wave, then, as she had many times before, did as Lena said and saved her questions for later.
Leo grunted as he woke. Lena shushed him sharply, and Zinna glared. Even in his half-awake state of confusion he understood their message enough to stay quiet.
He followed them over to the basement door. Lena led them down the stairs, the light on and the door closed behind them. The only sound was their footsteps on the wooden stairs.
At the bottom, she looked at their faces, and saw the same level of shock she’d experienced only a few hours ago.
“What the…” Leo breathed. He took a single step forward. “How…”
“It’s Airean,” Zinna said. “I’ve read about this, but I didn’t really believe it.”
“Read about what? And what is an Airean?”
“The Aireans are a species that are little known in our corner of the galaxy now. In the times of Old Earth, there were many of them. They are a conquering race, and they wanted Earth, they wanted everything. But nature ran its course. The invaded a planet their immune systems couldn’t handle, and disease spread among them like wildfire. There are a few left, but they hide away now, shamed into living on tiny moons and staying there.”
Lena was always amazed when Zinna came out with these things. She saved asking how she knew until they were safe. “Could we fly it out of here?” she asked, indicating the ship.
Zinna cocked her head. “We could try, but we need an opening first.” She scanned their surroundings, then pointed at the back wall. “There. That wall’s different. I bet there’s a tunnel that leads to the surface.” She walked over to the brick wall.
Lena followed, Leo trailing behind her, still half-staring up at the ship. “Does she mean to say that there were aliens on Old Earth?” he mumbled.
“I think she does,” Lena said. It was a lot to believe.
Zinna was close to the wall, bent down, scanning each brick. “Ha,” she said, and pressed one in. The wall gave a shudder, and with a loud groan, two halves parted and slid to the sides, seemingly disappearing. A tunnel led upwards, just as Zinna had predicted, and a stream of cold air hitting Lena’s face told her it led outside.
“Clever mechanism,” Zinna said when the noise had stopped.
“If that didn’t wake them upstairs, I don’t think anything will have,” Leo said. “We’d best get going.”
No one argued.
They ran to the ship. Zinna, with her sharp eyesight, found the ramp and hatch to board. It also made a noise, and in the silence that followed, Lena was sure she heard movement above them.
The ship was strange. It was round, a bit like the flying saucers Earth people used to believe existed. Inside, it was separated into small corridors and rooms. Through the maze, they found the bridge, with a narrow viewing window and controls labelled with words Lena had never seen before. She glanced at Zinna. “I don’t suppose you can read Airean.”
Zinna shook her head. “Sorry. We’ll have to guess.”
Leo sat down in front of what looked like the main controls. He pressed some buttons, and the craft jolted into life, a high-pitched hum, almost a whine, filled the air. Vibrations ran across the floor, up into Lena’s body. “Let’s see if we can get out of here,” she said.
“Don’t need telling twice.” Leo fiddled with a few more controls, and the ship started to turn.
As it did, Lena saw Jerry and Tina outside through the window. They looked angry, waving their arms and mouthing something. “As fast as you like,” Lena said.
Aimed at the tunnel, the ship lifted off the ground. Steadily, it climbed, until it was out in the cold, frozen landscape of this strange place. The sun shone weakly down on them, but as they sped away and out over the ocean, clouds rolled in.
Lena hoped it wasn’t a bad omen.
This week’s prompt: Watching the clouds roll in.