Chapter 2 Prose in Eversea | World Anvil
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Chapter 2

Skye jolted awake to the sound of alarms. I fucking knew it.
“Proximity Alert. Proximity Alert.”
Skye jumped to their feet, a little too fast because they almost fell, but then steadied themselves. They ran out of their office. The window to the outside showed the new planet and orbiting around it was just so much debris from—they didn’t know—something. Skye ran awkwardly to the bridge. Locke and the captain barely beat them there. Locked was frozen in terror staring at the viewscreen.
“What’s going on?” demanded the captain. He was looking at Skye, like they would know.
“I just woke up too. Looks like someone or something got here before us. It looks like we’re going to hit—”
They heard something that sounded like a combination of an explosion and metal tearing apart. Everything lurched. Skye had to grab the pilot’s chair just so they wouldn’t fall. They began to spiral. Skye jumped into the pilot’s chair and looked at the screen to get their status; just to confirm that everything was as bad as they thought it was.
One of the wings was gone.
“Skye, can you fly this thing?” asked Captain Serrano over the sound of their sole engine trying and failing to keep them aloft.
Skye looked up at the captain in surprise and terror. “In theory.”
The captain signalled to Locke, who was still frozen in place. “You, go find me a pilot!” That got Locke out of his trance, and he started jogging back out of the bridge. “Skye, I need you to hold her steady until we get one.”
Skye looked up at him like he was crazy but grabbed the controls. They tried to course-correct the spiral as much as possible with their one engine by going up, and the opposite way they were corkscrewing downward. It wasn’t going great. Skye had only had to fly a handful of vehicles their whole life, but nothing this big, and they’d never been in any simulations with this ship. This was a brand-new type of ship, and it was supposed to be fully automated. The Darwin Project only had some pilots test it in the simulator as a formality, which Skye thought was a bad idea. Yeah, they had written the book on this ship, but the controls for actually flying it manually was based on other ship configurations. They wanted someone to double-check this with an engineer who actually flew large vehicles, but they weren’t present to see if Central actually did it. Knowing Central, they probably didn’t deem it necessary, like everything else.
“Are these legitimate concerns or just an Ioan being overly cautious?” they had overheard time and time before.
Skye hated being right.
Locke came back, out of breath and empty-handed. “Whole pilot division—“he gasped. “All dead. Tubes malfunctioned.”
“Holy mother of God,” exclaimed Skye. Their limbs suddenly felt weak and cold. All dead. They thought. All the pilots are dead.
“Holy hell, Skye! What kind of deathtrap did you put us in?!” demanded Captain Serrano.
Skye, still struggling to keep them up, and failing, said “Sir, I said 600 years is a long time for things to go wrong.” The captain’s expression changed as they continued. “Believe me, I wanted to be wrong more than anyone.”
Skye’s efforts were mostly wasted, and the planet was getting closer in a bad way.
“Warning: unable to maintain minimum speed to maintain orbit. Warning: unable to maintain minimum speed to maintain orbit. Collision with planet’s surface in 5 minutes.”
The captain sat down in a chair behind them defeatedly and buckled up. Locke struggled to the nearest seat and did the same.
They hit the atmosphere. Skye tried to level out the ship so to slow their descent, and level them out so they didn’t just nosedive directly into the planet or burn up in the atmosphere. Now that they were actually hitting something with friction, their efforts were actually doing something, but not much.
As the clouds parted and whizzed behind them, the 3 humans saw it. Just an endless ocean of blue.
“Oh shit! It’s all water!” screamed Locke.
“Yeah, of course it is! Those were the findings years ago. Weren’t you told?” Skye called back. The look on his face told them even if they had told him, he had forgotten. On this tough, cocky, handsome face that had been handed everything in his life, was nothing left but pure terror. Skye decided not to look at him again until they landed because he wasn’t helping their nerves. If they landed. If they didn’t know how to fly this thing, they definitely didn’t know how to land it.
It seemed that Captain Serrano had had the same thought as them and heard him mutter something under his breath. Skye couldn’t hear the words over the roar of the wind and the engines, but they recognized it for what it was: praying. Tough as nails, nearly unshakeable, Captain Fabian Serrano was praying 4 feet behind and to the left behind Skye. Hundreds of tons of steel and about 700 lives (minus the 4 pilots) were in the hands of a small, disabled, anxious Ioan who didn’t even know what they were doing. Skye felt like this was a setup for a joke somewhere. They almost laughed. It would have been funny if it were anyone else but them. That humor is the only thing that kept them calm.
“One minute to impact,” stated the computer coldly.
Just then Skye saw something off in the distance. It wasn’t the right color, but it was unmistakable. Land!
“Look! There are some islands up ahead. I’m going to try to park us near them!” Skye called. The captain grunted, but Locke was silent. To try to make him feel better, Skye did what they did best. “Hey, Locke, when we land, you’ll help me remember where we parked right?”
Locke, however, was too far gone and broke. Locke screamed like a wild animal, unbuckled himself from his seat, walked over towards them, and took out his weapon. The captain started saying some words in protest, but it was too late. Locke pistol-whipped the captain. Skye saw some of this out of the corner of their eye and screamed in surprise.
“Locke! What are you doing?!” they screamed. Locke unbuckled the captain and put him in a fireman’s carry.
“Fuck you, bitch! I’m not dying for nobody!” Locke screamed back. Skye could hear tears and fear more than anything in his voice. They quickly glanced back at him to see what he was doing but couldn’t look for long and keep the ship steady. Locke was heading towards the one escape pod on the bridge.
“Dude, you’re about as likely to die that way as on the ship!”
“I’ll take my chances!” he shouted back.
“30 seconds to impact.”
Skye heard the hatch open to the pod. “The rest of you can burn in hell for all I care,” he screamed over the roar. They heard the hatch close, and the pod eject. In shock, Skye stared blankly at the viewscreen, the land and the water only getting closer by the second.
I already did, sang some part of them in their head. That snapped them out of it. Skye released the parachute in a last-ditch effort to try to slow the ship’s descent. It seemed to slow for a second, and there was a slight lurch as the ship slowed a bit, but Skye felt the parachute detach almost immediately after that, and they continued to fall.
“10 seconds to impact.”
Well, hopefully, we won’t explode when we hit the water now at least.
“9. 8. 7. 6.”
Skye leaned over to the microphone that the captain used to make ship-wide announcements. “To anyone who is awake—”
“4. 3. 2.”
“Hold on.”
“1.”

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