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Cahir was in excruciating pain.
He gripped the sides of his space seat for dear life as he felt his cells being ripped apart repeatedly. Each time was more painful than the last.
“BEEP BEEP BEEP!!!!!” Was the sound of all the alarms in the ship going off.
“Cahir the ships outer field is gone, shields are severely damaged. The ship can’t continue to take the strain of Hyperdrive. It will break apart any moment now. I believe we have outrun those Bounty Hunters, I suggest we stop Hyperdrive.” Karin’s voice echoed through the speakers.
Cahir grunted, “Then stop the Hyperdrive.”
The Ship came to a creaking halt.
The alarms continued to go “BEEP BEEP BEEP”
Shutters went down all around Cahir and the ship went dark, the inner light was red.
Cahir could feel the air thinning, he grabbed a mask from under his seat and clipped it on.
“Tell me our location, how much oxygen do I have left, and can the ship hold until we find the closest habitable planet?”

“Cahir, we have gone through multiple wormholes, I need ten minutes to discover location. My scanners are also damaged their range is limited and I am not picking up any planets in the nearest 6 thousand zero clicks.”

“Shit” Cahir muttered, “What about oxygen?”
“The ship has entered emergency mode. All power functions are being focused on life support. The back up oxygen is now in use, usually this would be enough for several months but there are several leaks in the ship. I am trying to divert all oxygen to the centre but it is escaping.”
“How long do I have!?” Cahir was getting more and more annoyed with Karin’s long winded answers.
“Less than four hours before dangerously low oxygen levels.”
Shit!!!
Cahir wanted to swear out loud but he knew that that would lead to even less oxygen.
What was he going to do? If he was as strong as the people who lived in the Upper Plains than he could simply fly through space and air wouldn’t even be a problem. But Cahir was a Prince from a planet in the Lower Plains and he wasn’t even twenty, his magic abilities were only at the Sapling stage. Without oxygen he’d die and if he was exposed to the icy depths of space he’d freeze to death, or maybe he’d die from the pressure first.
He could only hope to be rescued by a passing spacecraft, but if no one came in four hours he would die.
“Do you think the ship can survive another hyper-jump, or at least make it to a more populated region, Karin?”
“The ship has sustained too much damage. One more hyper jump will cause it to collapse immediately, and fuel tanks have been damaged, remaining power is being focused on life support. Trying to fly out of this region will cause all life supporting systems to fail faster and we don’t have enough fuel to travel further than 400 zero clicks.”

“Damn it!” Cahir swore, as the words escaped his mouth the ship moaned and began to drop.
“What’s going on?”
“It appears the ship has drifted into a field of gravity and is now being pulled towards the object causing this gravity.” Karin stated.
“Please don’t tell me it’s a blackhole!?” Cahir almost wanted to laugh, could this situation get any worse.
“It is not.” Karin answered. “I will show you images of the outside.”

Projections suddenly appeared on the shutters. It showed images of a thick grey mist.
Cahir groaned, “What the hell is that? Some type of nebulae?”
“I am running checks no-” Karin barely finished it’s sentence before the ship lurched forward and began dropping at an even greater speed. Cahir felt a stomach sickening sensation as he was dropped. He wanted to throw up.
Through the projections he could see that the ship was hurtling through the thick grey mist. As the ship fell deeper into the mist frost appeared on the ship and temperatures began to drop. Cahir shivered.
“The ships temperature modulator is attempting to regulate but temperatures are still dropping.” Karin warned.
Cahir shivered. The temperature only got colder until the ship emerged from the grey mist and a strange planet suddenly came into view.
The planets surface had the colours of black, blue, green and purple. It was pretty large, seeming more than 100,000 km in diameter.
Cahir was confused, he had thought that there were no planets in this section of space. He was about to ask Karin about this, but before the words came out, his ship fell forcefully towards the planet.

He grunted helplessly as he pulled at the control wheel, but nothing was working.

The ship began to heat up as it entered the planet’s Thermosphere.
Karin’s voice echoed in the background. “We have now entered the Thermosphere of this unknown planet….we have now entered the Mesosphere…..We are now in the Stratosphere.”
As Cahir tried to control the ship the A.I said “The left thruster has failed… The left thruster has failed…The right thruster is not reachable, thrusters unavailable”
“Shut up!!” he screamed.
Unable to do anything Cahir watched as the ship nose dived straight through the Troposphere of the planet at a horrific speed.
“90,000 feet from the Planet’s surface.” the A.I spouted.
“Is the escape facilities working, what about the emergency ejection seats!?”
“This space craft model is meant for comfortable cruises around the nebulae and deep space. It was not built for long journeys or made with strong defences. Nor does it have proper escape facilities. There was a single escape pod but it was blown off earlier in your confrontation at the space station. Ejection seats were not installed.”
“Are you telling me there’s no way out of this!!!!!” Cahir yelled.
“Yes.”
“Fuck if I ever get back to Titania I’m gonna strangle Baron and have his friends and family killed for giving me this piece of crap!”
‘Fuck’ thought Cahir whilst looking at his meter, they were dropping 10,000 feet every 5 seconds. This was insane, he’d definitely die when the ship crashed.
“29,000 feet.”
“19,000 feet.”
“9,000 feet.”
Cahir shut his eyes, bracing himself for the inevitable impact when suddenly the ship just stopped.
All motion simply ceased.
Some type of magic had made his ship pause in mid-air.

Cahir’s body swung painfully forward and the ship dangerously creaked but that there was no impact.
After all that strenuous motion, this sudden stationary position, left Cahir feeling disorientated.
He caught his breath.
“Karin, what happened?” He asked
“Cannot Compute.” It answered
“Sorry?”
“The ship has stopped descending.”
“I can tell that!” he yelled, “give me visuals on our surroundings.”
“Yes.” Karin turned on the screens, the images projected what was outside, they seemed to be above a forest.

“What made us stop, do you detect essence?”
“I am detecting high levels of essence. I am scanning…I believe there is a force field magic type which stopped the ship. We seem to be caught in an essence made web.”

Cahir was about to comment on this but then the ship suddenly fell again.
It crashed into the forest.
Cahir smashed against the roof of his ship and was dropped roughly onto the floor.
“Why does this thing not come with a damn seatbelt.” he muttered angrily.

“Thanks to that magic field we only fell from 100 feet. Damage sustained is significantly less than previously predicted.” Karin stated.
Cahir groggily raised his head from the floor and cupped his head in his hands, he had a horrifying headache.

“Karin what’s the ships status and tell me where the hell we are?”

“The ship is extremely damaged and now incapable of travel, extensive repairs required. Also I have now discovered our location. My maps tell me we are in the far eastern region of the lowest lower plains, but this quadrant is un-mapped. It shouldn’t exist. This is entirely uncharted territory.”

Cahir sighed.”What is the atmosphere composed of, is the air safe to breathe?”
“The natural gas composition appears similar to that of Titania, there is no immediate signs of dangerous substances, but I do recommend wearing the spacesuit and mask to filter out any toxins.”

10 minutes later…

Cahir kicked open the door of the ship, sending it flying outwards.
As he stepped out he was greeted with a bright red sun in his eyes and an almost suffocating wave of heat that immediately made sweat form on his brow.
In response he casually stroked his glass storage ring and took out a blue chill berry. The moment he swallowed it a refreshing chill spread out through his body and when he exhaled his breath was like cold ice.
“That’s better.” Cahir muttered as he stepped forward, only to realise he was surrounded.

______________________________
PLANET ALPHA
TEN MINUTES EARLIER….

Ironically, the moment the Ancestor nodded, a loud boom came from the sky. It caused the clouds to separate and the ground to shake, rumbling their world.
Ancestor shook, “Something is coming from the sky!”

Many were startled but they remained seated and waited for their King to respond.
Marco was eerily calm.
“Just as I thought, something has come” he muttered to himself and smiled, “Then we should greet our visitor with open arms and pointed weapons.” he declared before heading towards the exit of the hall.
After brief hesitation the elders followed after him, rousing warrior cries. Everyone in the hall brandished spears, swords, fangs and guns before following as well in a thundering procession.
The only one who stayed behind was the Ancestor, who sat in his throne and let out yet another sigh. “Fate has slowly begun moving itself again.” he whispered.

Marco ran at high speed across the rocky plains, gliding and crawling up and above rocky surfaces nimbly until his bare feet were brushing against wet soil and he was whipping through the thick green foliage of the Rainforest. Grabbing onto vines and swinging towards where the clouds were now wide open and he could clearly see a strange object suspended in the sky.

As Marco approached the strange object it suddenly dropped from the air, loudly smashing into the forest floor. The impact caused the demon beasts nesting in the trees to panic and scurry away.

Marco hurriedly ran towards the ship
He didn’t stop until he was right in front of the shiny grey object. It was like nothing he had ever seen before, it was round and reflective, when he hesitantly placed his hand on the surface of it, it felt smooth and cool. He put his face right against it and sniffed it, it had no smell. Just as he was about to lick it, he felt a sudden sense of danger and he abruptly jumped backwards and scurried up the branch of a nearby tree, gazing down tensely.
Barely seconds after he climbed the tree, the part of the object he’d been about to lick burst apart and went flying, crashing roughly onto the flower beds.
Then a strange creature, no a strange man perhaps, walked out of the object.
This person was different from anyone Marco had ever seen before.
Their skin was white, paler than the whitest snow in the season of Aval. Their hair was an alarming array of bright colours that he never thought hair could have. Some parts were golden, others blue, silver, and slightly white. A strange thing covered his body, it seemed like a type of clothing, it was black, however this wasn’t the most unusual part about him. No the most alarming part was his startling blue eyes that were more blue than the oceans the Mer people swam in, they seemed to ominously glow in the red sunshine.The very sight of him sent fearful chills down Marco’s body. He felt the need to be cautious around this person.
Marco remained still whilst perched on the tree, not even daring to breathe as he saw the stranger consume a blue berry.
It was at this moment that the elders and other warriors caught up and surrounded the stranger.

At the sight of the blue-eyed man, Alindor let out a strange growl and jumped backwards. Many of the other Alphas did the same and also growled, warily climbing up trees and retreating the moment they saw Cahir.
“King where are you!” Alindor yelled like a frightened animal.
Marco quickly leapt down from the tree, landing on all fours in front of Alindor. He stood between his people and the stranger.
He glared into those blue eyes.

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Alexia

September 2019
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