After battling through various technical difficulties, I bring you Part 12 of my Describli-prompt inspired story.
Part 13 here next week. (Possibly the final part!)
Static crackled into the room.
Lena looked around for the source. A red light was flashing on the wall by the door. And next to it a mic.
She went over to it and pressed a button. Leo’s voice came through, patchy and barely understandable. “…up…now…problem…Lena, Zinna…me…”
She released the button and spoke, hoping she was doing the right thing. “Leo, I can barely hear you, is something wrong?”
Her heart gave a painful thump. The word asteroid in space was never a good one.
She turned back to Zinna. “I think we’ve got a problem. How are you doing?”
“I’m getting there.” She was surrounded by wires and teleporter parts. “I still need time though.”
“Okay. I’ll go up to Leo and see what the problem is, radio me on this thing,” she tapped the mic, “if you need me.”
Zinna didn’t look up. “Mm-hm,”
Lena’s shoulders sagged. Zinna would figure it out if she needed to.
She left the room and made her way back to the bridge. Leo was fiddling with some of the buttons on the console, cycling through different images on the slim screen before him. One of them was that worrying asteroid. “What’s going on?” she asked, as she came up beside him.
“We’re on a collision course, with that.” He pointed at the screen, at the picture of the asteroid.
“Can’t we alter course?”
“No. The controls are a bit jammed. We’re close, like about fifteen minutes away from collision.” He was pale, and restrained panic tightened his voice.
“Don’t worry,” she said, for his sake and hers. A lump of dread settled in her stomach. “Zinna’s working on a way to get us out of here and back to our own time. We’ll be fine.”
“I don’t entirely know. You’ll have to ask her. Now where’s the radio you used to talk to me?”
She grabbed the mic and radioed down to Zinna. “Zinna, can you hear me?”
A few seconds of silence.
Lena repeated the question. Though, all Zinna was probably getting was static.
Lena dropped the mic. “I’ll go down to her. She wasn’t really listening when I said about the radio. Keep trying to alter our course. Just in case.”
Leo let out a large breath and looked down at the console again. “I’ll try.”
He was scared, but he was controlling the fear. She admired that.
She made her way back down to Zinna, who was still knee-deep in dismantled transporter. “How’s it going?” Lena asked.
“I’m getting there. Was something wrong?”
“We’re about to hit an asteroid. So if you could get this working in the next, about ten minutes, that would be great.”
Now Zinna did look up. “An asteroid? Can’t we alter course?”
“Turns out the controls are a bit dodgy. Leo’s trying.”
“Oh.” She scanned the mess around her. “If you give me a hand, I think I can be done in time.”
Lena dropped to her knees beside her. “Ready and willing.”
She did as Zinna told her, understanding some of what she was doing, and remembering it all. She wanted to ask a thousand questions about how Zinna knew what she was doing, but it would have to wait. There were more pressing matters. Like not getting blown to pieces by a lump of space rock and ice.
Lena got up and went to the radio. One word came to her from Leo. “One…”
She assumed minute.
Zinna was attaching the last few wires to a transporter that no longer really looked like a transporter. “Ready?” Lena asked. “Because I think we’re about out of time.”
Her palms were sweating.
Zinna stood up. “Let’s just hope it works.”
“I really don’t like that word,” Lena said. She stood beside Zinna, her heart racing faster than the ship was travelling. “Okay, do it.”
Zinna leaned forward, and flipped a switch, connecting metal with metal, completing the circuit.
Lena closed her eyes, that lump of dread turning into a wave of hopelessness. “We’re going to-”
A flash.. Brighter than any other. A loud piercing noise cut into her ears. A wave of dizziness.
Then silence, and everything just as it was.
Lena met Zinna’s gaze, and her own questioning disbelief came back at her.
They both left and ran to the bridge, to see if it had worked.
Leo was staring at the screen. At the stars on the screen.
Lena took the map in in an instant, and relief spread her lips in the widest grin she’d known in a while. They were home. This was her sky, her home, her view.
Zinna had done it.
This week’s prompt: An approaching asteroid