Up There so High

What do you get when you have a space fanatic, a runaway princess and a bunch of miscreants? Well, you get the three E's; Explosions, Expletives and Enemies.
You may not laugh along with this story but you may sing (because the main space man is very much fond of that).

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51. The Killing

 

~The Killing~

~Skylar~

 

There was something almost methodical about war. There was etiquette in some battles, but not here, this one was just methodical.

She knew what was best for her and her Collo blades, her father teaching her about them when she was of age, the column of fire being enough to ward and then burn.

She also knew that Everett had a resemblance of what he was doing, his body prepared for punches and close encounters. But he was not good at looking ahead, and predicting future hits. His fists went on the there and now and not the here and then.

When the ground exploded, grass and dirt raining upwards and coating the crowd in mud, they were all flung towards the ground. She eventually stood with a hissing noise in her ear that did not come from the earpiece and her teeth gritted.

“Reese, Reese!” Came over the earpiece, the desperate voice of Fitz echoing around in pants. Skylar couldn’t tell where he was, maybe the goggles were still on him, maybe they weren’t. But he was clearly alright.

“Fitz,” a voice grumbled and Reese sounded exhausted, “They blew a bloody hole in the ground.” She reported that a circular hole had been created by the close range blast.

Within the hole Reese and Fitz planned to draw their enemies to the hole to contain them and to make them an easier target. Few had died but some had survived, battered but alive at least.

Bodies arose on delicate feet and the fighting resumed with bloodied cheeks and broken resolve. They kept going. There was a scrape against her skin, something that Skylar hadn’t accounted for, but she couldn’t dwell on it.

“I’m making my way towards The Miracle now, cover me if you can.” She ordered over battle noise. Everett appeared by her side, knocking a Goon aside with his Switchblade, his fist pounding into the gut of someone else.

“You are not going alone,” he shouted across to her. “The last time you did that you almost died.”

She tried to protest but her attempts to shake him off her trail failed. In some way he always found a way around it, to strategically pick himself away from a fight or a body and they were storming onwards.

“You aren’t going anywhere,” gritted a voice from a Goon behind them, his gun raised towards them. Everett took out his Switchblade and she was prepared to activate her Colo but before she could a bullet marched into the Goons shoulder.

Goggles were pulled off to reveal Fitz, dirtied with more mud than marble skin, but with a smirk on his face. He pistol whipped the Goon with the butt of his gun and turned sharpened eyes on them.

“Go give them hell.”

“You too.” Skylar muttered and they were running towards the lake and through the trees, the battle less obvious here but the Goons more evident.

“On my world that would also be known as Butt-stroking.” Everett laughed, running as he slashed a Goon in front of him, blood clashing with the claws.

“I don’t appreciate your jokes in –“ she paused as she thrusted the blade towards a pair of legs, “–battle.”

Blood spattered. Bruises hit, on both enemies and allies. The ship was meters away and with a grunt Skylar activated the fire on her Collo, the Goon screaming as skin burned.

There was no room for guilt in a war, it was kill or be killed. It was survival of the fittest and she had to take that title. She learned that in the Forests and she had to do it here.

The Miracle was ascending onto the ship with only two Goons, barefoot and confident as she ran away from the battle. Maybe she thought that it was merely a skirmish, maybe she thought that this was not the final battle of the planet.

Another Goon went down with a yell of burnt flesh. The smell was horrendous but she tried to block it out. Then she and Everett were following their enemies into the monster's mouth after one final sprint. 

The ship was as she remembered it; the green light disconcerting. This time it flickered as they both felt the doors close behind them, the ramp folding back up,  with the ship rising already.

Skylar had to hold on to the wall as they ascended quickly, trees scraping against the upholstery. She and Everett quickly looked at one another and the Pantheon weighed heavily in her zipped up pocket.

“Goggles,” she hissed to Everett who nodded, “One Goon will be in the control room, the other with The Miracle.”

“We do not split up, I beg of you,” Everett was adamant and his hand gripped her shoulder from their close proximity to one another.

“Ever…”

“No, we do this together or not at all. You at least have some grasp of this ship whereas I don’t.”

He had a point and she cursed inwardly. Together they made their way to the control room, the directions in Skylar’s mind hazy at best. She had either been drugged or trying to hatch an escape plan two years ago, not plotting the layout to infinite memory.

A Goon sat in one of six chairs near the windscreen of the ship. From the doorway they could see a grey dashboard leading out to the atmosphere of Zeld, they were clearing orbit and glancing out to see the entire planet in the curving glass.

Why would The Miracle want to run away from a battle? What was their plan?

Once they eliminated this Goon as a threat The Miracle would surely know that intruders were on the ship. She had to because the ship would jolt and stop in its course.

The Goon had their back to them and they crept up on him with silent feet, Everett placing his glove over the Goon’s mouth just as Skylar ordered him not to move. His body seized as his hand reached towards a panic button on the dashboard.

One of Everett’s Switchblades stabbed into the Goon's stomach and Skylar couldn’t see Everett's eyes. Had he killed before? Did he know what it was like?

The hand was taken off of him as the Goon spluttered.

“Now tell me where The Miracle is.” She Persuaded.

“The O-Ocean Room,” he gurgled and when he was ordered to tell her where that was he muttered the basement, southern stairs. Then as quickly and as mercifully as she could, she drew her own blade, the one curled like a Scythe for this very purpose, across his neck.

One down, one more Goon to go.

Skylar knew where the southern stairs were, it was the set of stairs that she had been dragged up when she was leaving her assigned room. Her hazy mind recollected some Goon’s conversation but she hadn’t of guessed that they led even further down than the floor she had been on.

The ship jerked as soon as they left the control room, coming to a standstill amongst the galaxy as the green lights dimmed slightly. They couldn’t worry about it and they clattered down the southern stairs, one hand of Everett’s curled around her wrist in comfort as they went down and down and down.

On the floor she remembered well she stopped for a moment and it was there that the voice uttered through their skulls.

“I know you are there Skylar. I can feel the Pantheon pulsing towards me. Have you come to hand it over? That is the only sensible option because we all know that you won’t leave this ship with victory or your life.”

The voice was the same tone that it had been two years ago, and Skylar forced herself to keep going. This wasn’t going to stop her.

“Oh we will see about that,” she whispered to the green bleached air and they continued downwards.

About a flight of stairs left, a section where they curved like a spiral, Skylar could see a set of doors lit with white light instead of green. In front of it stood a Goon, arms folded over a bayonet. A gun was over his back and his eyes surveyed the stairs.

“I’ll distract him, use that to your advantage,” Everett whispered to her.

“Are you sure?” she answered back, knowing that it would quicker if they dispatched of him together.

“The Miracle won’t be expecting anyone but you, we can use that against her,” he was quick to reassure her and he made a lot of awful sense, “I can deal with a Goon more than The Miracle.”

“Don’t put yourself down.” Skylar muttered and was not surprised when Everett took the lead down the rest of the stairs instead of carrying on the short conversation.

 

~Everett~

 

War meant death in some capacity. That was what was required of him and that was what he did. His senses blurred when it came to death now, his body numbing in response to it. One Switchblade was thrown and it hit the Goon’s sternum. He went down on his knees but his gun fired, the bullet bouncing off of the stair railings and ricocheting into a wall. Everett was close to the Goon now, to throw another Switchblade with accuracy and this one went between the Goon’s eyes.

In his peripheral vision he saw the doors swing inwards begrudgingly and he hurried to collect both Switchblades from the fallen body. He didn’t think about the blood seeping from the wounds, the hardening eyes or the dead body in front of him.

War meant death but the war wasn’t finished yet.

 

~

 

 

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