Providence Ch. 08bytruman11883©
“Well? Are you done?” Will asked, impatiently.
“I don’t know. If it starts, then yeah, I’m done. If it doesn’t then … then it doesn’t.” Alec pulled himself from the hole in the floor panel, placing the missing board back into place, and stood to wipe his oily hands on a rag.
“But, you think you fixed it?” Will trailed him as Alec walked around the ship, and entered through the open gate.
Inside the ship, the air was stale and musty. It was obvious the Rumigan hadn’t been active in quite some time. Hopefully that doesn’t work against us, Alec hoped. The thrusters, engine cells, and boosters all had looked intact and in relatively good condition. The only thing that had given him trouble was the wiring. There were … or rather had been quite a few faulty cables connecting the three components.
“We’ll see,” Alec responded noncommittally, as he took the captain seat. He heard Will exasperated sigh behind him, and smiled secretively. “Why don’t you call Nic up here? I’m sure he’s done by now. He’s probably playing with the pressure globes.”
“Yeah,” Will said absently, as pulled the comlink from his pocket. “Dominic!”
“What?” he yelled back through his speaker rather annoyed.
“Get the hell up here. Alec is done.”
“Yeah, be there in a sec.”
“No, right now!” Alec snickered at their behavior and bickering, as he keyed in certain access codes, and overrode the security lock that had been placed on the engine.
“What the hell is up your ass? Jesus, chill Willie.”
“Just get in here. We’re going to try and start her.”
There was a pause of silence. “Oh,” came Nic’s surprised response. There were several scrambling, clanging noises as Nic made haste to enter the cockpit to join the two of them.
“Are you sure you can get her started? There wasn’t too much damage –” Will asked.
The humming of the boosters cut off his questioning. His eyebrows rose and he turned to Alec, who was now twisted in his seat, facing Will, with a grin on his face.
“I guess that answers that,” Will said under his breath.
Nic entered soon after, and said, “Alright, I’m here. Let’s get this show on the road.” The ship rattled once, and then twice, as the thrusters came to life for the first time in months. Nic reached out to steady himself, “Whoa.”
“You boys ready?”
Will took the seat next to him, and answered, “Show us what she’s got, Alec.”
Alec continued to click buttons, switching keys, turning knobs, all to maximize its controllability. He didn’t want the ship crashing fifty feet outside the hangar because a setting was ninety degrees off center. It wouldn’t just be embarrassing, but devastating as well. The control board in front of him came to life, lights blinked and blared.
Nic moved to stand behind William, one hand above him holding onto a cable for stability, the other on the back of the seat. He watched Alec’s hands and fingers fly with certainty, making adjustments and calculating coordinates. Impressive, he thought, that he could do this so effortlessly. Like Alec had said, its all math. Nic snorted in mockery. Math my ass.
“Here we go,” he said, clicking the large red button above his head, and crossing his fingers at the same time. Slowly, the Rumigan lifted from the concrete floor.
“Yes,” Will hissed with excitement.
“Don’t get excited yet. We still have to get nine more people in here. How’s the cargo bay, Nic?”
“Huh?” he asked, as he came out of his stupor. He shook his head, and answered, “Oh, yeah its good. Everything’s out. Even those little cone, smokey things.”
Alec’s eyebrows rose in amusement. “You mean the preservation rods?”
“Yeah those. What do they do anyway?”
Alec shook his head. “They help preserve supplies, like food, while you’re in space. The constant gravity and pressure changes can spoil produce faster. The rods help stabilize that.”
Nic gave him a blank look, but said, “Oh, okay,” nonetheless.
“Ready to get out of here?” Alec asked William and Nic.
“Definitely,” came Will’s enthusiastic reply. He reached over to his right, and disengaged the locks on the landing gear. They heard the sounds of the retracting device, and the small doors shut with a thud. Nic took his seat behind Will, and was sure to fasten his safety belt tightly … just in case.
Alec grasped the control bars in front of him and, after steadying his shaking hand, pushed slightly. The ship moved forward as Alec maneuvered them through the open hangar gate, and into the surrounding open area. They all squinted in the change of light, and soon Alec was accelerating the ship towards the cave that rested no more than ten minutes away.
The tall, overweight soldier seated in the undetected hovercraft watched as the Rumigan ship passed them. The cloaking devices he had installed on their ships no more than a week ago had definitely come in handy. “Do we proceed?”
“No,” came Lamar’s reply. “Let them lead us to the Prince.”
The soldier nodded, and turned the hovercraft to the Neroan ship that rested quietly behind them.