“Time to go,” Odessa said. She looked up from his wristlet to the rag-tag crew of semi-rebels Milton had assembled: a civilian cyborg, a hostage soldier, a Europan branded as a traitor and a young street-fighter. They looked up at her.
“So,” Adira whispered, “We’re already leaving.” She stood from her position in the command chair. With a curt nod, she passed by Odessa. “I will stay in the back with that soldier. You’ll clear our exit. Ciel’s steering.”
“Of course,” Ciel said. She took a seat in the command chair, glancing over the buttons, familiarizing herself with the set up.
“Wait. That’s it?” Jasper asked. “I’m just following you, to where, exactly? You seem to forget that I have no idea what’s going on.”
“Ciel, that’s on you,” Adira declared. She stepped down from the front of the ship and went around to the back, closing the back hatch. Odessa simply nodded in Ciel’s direction, and turned to jog up the stairs towards the control room. They did not know how much time they had. Ciel groaned. She closed the automatic door. With a bit of tinkering, she had managed to replace the glass Jasper had shattered and the locking mechanism.
“Take a seat, tin man,” she commanded. Her fingers danced over the buttons, powering on the ship. “Damn, Milton is better with exposition,” she muttered, “but you are right. It’s time you knew what you have become a part of.” She held down a button that allowed her to speak directly to the prisoner section of the transport. “Adira, are you prepared for take-off?”
“Yeah,” Adira’s voice returned, laced with static. “And our soldier friend is finally awake- not to happy that Odessa didn’t use that healing aids on him, but he’s-“
“You bet I’m no happy about that you-“
Ciel muted the connection and the soldiers curses with a quick press of a button.
“Ciel, are you ready for me to open the air lock?” It was Odessa’s voice from the control room.
“One moment,” Ciel replied. She looked back at Jasper. “Sit down. We have a lot to talk about.” Jasper did so bitterly, sitting down in a row of seats against the ship’s wall, as Ciel turned the transport around so to face the exit to the hangar.
“As of right now, the entire system is under the protection of one military order- the Military Alliance,” Ciel began. She slowed the ship, pressing buttons and making final arrangements for taking off. “That order has been in place, unchallenged, for 200 years. We believe that after being in power for so long, the order has ceased to represent the interests of the people. After all the people have changed, generations of passed, causing the interests to change as well.”
“It’s the systems job to adapt to fit the needs of the people,” Jasper commented. “Though, we haven’t heard any discussion against the current system.”
Ciel smiled. “And why do you think that is? The Military Alliance has censored any criticism to keep their own power.” She pressed a button, and spoke to the control room. “We are ready to leave, Odessa.”
“What proof do you have of that, anyway?” Jasper cut in.
“Roger that,” Odessa replied over the communications line. Ciel ignored his remark. “I’ll open the doors, but know that when I do, the rest of the Library will know about it. Get away from here as fast as you can. Be safe.”
“Of course,” Ciel replied.
“Be safe? Do you think the Military Alliance will shoot us down?” Jasper asked, uneasiness rising in his voice. “Their protocol dictates that they apprehend suspects all suspect alive to stand against proper trial.”
Ciel snorted. “Maybe that was the protocol thirty years ago, but things have changed. They don’t play by the rules. Why do you think Adira and that soldier fellow were so badly hurt?” She revved the engines as the doors slowly opened. “Upon escape, they starting shooting lethal electrical surges at the ship, not the ones that were disable the systems.”
Jasper gripped the arm of the seat he was in. “You mean, not only am I fraternizing with traitors but I am also walking the line nearest death by lethal charge?” His eyes watched as the doors of the hangar opened more. “This is kidnapping. This is evading authority. This is wrong. If you want to be better than a corrupt system decades in the making, then you need to stop acting like one.”
Ciel stiffened. A green light appeared on the one of the controls, signaling it was safe to leave the hangar. She heaved in a deep breath. “As the old saying goes, you must fight fire with fire.”
“Isn’t it easier to fight a fire with water? Or by removing air? There are better ways to do that,” Jasper pleaded.
She glanced back at him. “Stop talking,” she commanded. She pulled a lever, sending the transport down the running as quickly as possible. Soon, they were in the openness of space, unprotected from the Military’s might. “We have to find the American.”