complete surrender

“I never knew the clouds looked exactly like this,” I whispered to myself as I observed all around me from the dome. Ophelia and Calum had taken us up above the clouds as a precaution against the troops who still hadn’t shown up yet, and it was a small price to pay for the privilege of finally being able to see some of what Maxine, Constance, and Emma were able to experience firsthand whenever they flew around.
“Yeah, May, this is what you get to see when you aren’t grounded.” Maxine was standing beside me, her hands behind her back as she watched the fluff painted by the dying sunset be passed by the lazily gliding skyskipper. “Yo! Ophelia! What’s the status on the radar?”
“They’re still approaching from the north,” Ophelia answered, coming into the dome from the opening towards which Maxine had turned to shout. “Oh, hey there, May. Sorry we kept this away from you.”
“No, go on, Ophelia. I love being kept away from information. Just keep talking and pretend I’m not here.” I slid down to the floor, my eyes still on the clouds. This was the exact spot that I’d caught Calum and Constance on the floor last night, and I left immediately in order to respect their privacy as a couple… I mean, I’d almost gone down that road with Constance, and I would have wanted the circumstances to be the same.
She rolled her eyes. “Anyways… Calum’s working on any evasive maneuvers that we might need to do, and-” The ship accelerated sharply and lurched right, and I grabbed a pullout handle from the floor to keep from sliding onto the glass roof of the dome, not knowing how strong the glass was- although it had to be pretty strong to withstand the vacuum of space. Maxine landed right on top of me, and Ophelia was thrown against the ladder leading up into the dome, spewing profanities- some exclusive to Zorphia that I’d never heard before- until we both heard her land on the floor below. “Dammit, Calum, the ship isn’t built for turning that hard!”
“Well, they’re still onto us, Miss Ophelia, so I guess you can keep cursing me, then.” The ship righted itself, and Maxine and I scrambled for the hatch that would lead us down to the main floor, where Ophelia was still dazed and soundlessly mouthing things she’d do to Calum later. “Anyways, get ready for this-”
My stomach felt like it had dropped onto the floor as the front end of the skyskipper dipped forward. I couldn’t see out any Windows, but judging from how Maxine was having a hard getting down the ladder and Ophelia kept stumbling around the hallway, we were losing altitude immediately. “They’re on our tail, so get to somewhere stable. I’m going to try to lose them.”
If we had been on a level floor and been moving around the same way that we were in the next few minutes, we would have been classified by any sane person as some godawful combination of completely stoned and drunk at the same time. Everybody was shouting as we were thrown all kinds of directions on our way towards the closet, the safest place that we could think of in our personal chaos, and the muffled sounds of some kind of bullets ringing on the shell of the skyskipper didn’t help assault our fears of being accosted by someone possibly under the influence of Allaketo at all. When we finally did get the closet door open and piled in, we found that Emma had already holed up inside, curled up in the back with her earbuds in and pretending to be asleep. “Hey, Emma, wake up; you’ve got to move to make room for us.”
I poked her, and she shot me what I assumed was a death stare since I still couldn’t see her eyes because of all the bandages the doctor hadn’t had time to assess if they were still necessary. I’m sure that some were just there so that we wouldn’t have to see the scanned and scarred mess around her eyes, but surely some of the wounds would have healed enough in order to be cleaned up and debandaged.
The ship righted itself, and we had a few more moments of peace before everybody was jolted up like someone had bounced on a trampoline, Calum shrieking “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” the whole time.
“Calum! Why’s the ship slowing down?” Ophelia yelled, daring to open the closet door a tiny bit in order to reciprocate Calum’s shrieking.
“I’m sorry! You can’t see it, but the damage- I didn’t want to die- they’re going to get us- I’m sorry-”
I couldn’t see it from where I was wedged in between Maxine and Emma, but there were heavy footsteps sounding through the hallways, making orders in languages I didn’t understand. Emma and Maxine knew what they were saying, though, and I could see both of their faces visibly pale as the closet door was forcibly pulled open. The soldier was clothed from head to toe in pure white, a material not unlike that found in sunglasses covering their whole face as to not be identifiable. Their face- assuming they had one behind the sun-shield- was pointed down at us.”
“We’ve found this one in the storage area and the other in the pilot’s seat,” another guard said in English- thank goodness!- dropping a disheveled and visibly exhausted Constance and Calum by our closet door. “I’d say round them up, but they’re already in one place. Don’t harm them; Abbey wants them whole.”


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