This is part two of a story (Oasis of Mars) I started for our “Oasis” Week 23 #BlogBattle. It ended up coming to an abrupt halt because I ran over on my word count, but I’m enjoying the story and want to see it through. I hope you enjoy this rough draft story as well! Would love your thoughts and feedback as you read. Genre: Scifi
Much Thanks ❤
Oasis of Mars: Minister Sola’s Palace
Zane encountered an earful of distant screams and an undertone of rhythmic thudding before he ever saw anything through the fog of smoke.
Sean stood behind him with his shirt yanked up over his nose and mouth. “What’s that sound?”
“The core generator,” Zane said without missing a beat even while the realization of his words sunk in. “It’s going to blow and wipe out half the city, not to mention Fruitful’s dome shield.”
“We gotta get outta here, Cap.”
Zane shook his head and stepped from the ship. “No. We’re not leaving until we have that water, Sean. Wake Dragon. I’m going to need him.”
Sean tapped the door frame and ran off to do as Zane ordered. Thank God for friends who didn’t ask too many questions.
His eyes watered from the smoke, but Zane moved forward with slow, cautious steps. He could just make out the edges of the platform, and he sure as hell didn’t want to fall off the side.
He was distracted looking down at where his feet were going and missed the light flashing through the thick air in front of him. The beam was wild as it bounced around, growing ever closer. Zane looked up in the nick of time as a middling-height, round man bounded toward him at a speed his size seemed to defy.
“Woah!” Zane said in a rush and stepped back with one foot to brace himself for impact.
The other man saw him a second too late and barreled into Zane, knocking them both to the ground. They landed with the other man half on top of Zane whose head throbbed where the back of it had smacked and bounced off the hard metal.
The big man grunted and sputtered in Zane’s face inducing the captain to cringe as the spittle hit his mouth and eyes. He reached up to wipe it off with the back of his hand and resisted the urge to whack the stranger up-side the head.
Zane was about to push him to the side, but in a quick move, Dragon was there to lift the man off. It always impressed Zane how Dragon could do such things with relative ease. He took a deep breath, wanting to welcome air into his crushed lungs, but ended up with a coughing fit from the smoke-saturated air.
Once he got the episode under control, he sat up and took Sean’s outstretched hand to get back on his feet. The next things Zane said was aimed at the man who’d almost crushed him.
“What’s going on here? Who are you?”
The man was in a panic. His mouth opened and closed several times, like a fish out of water, before any words came out. “Terrible accident! We must escape now. My ship is damaged. Evacuations are underway, but we must leave. Now! Before the Denians arrive.”
“What are you talking about? What accident? What does this have to do with the Denians?”
“I can’t explain now. There’s no time.”
“My father is distressed. You’ll have to excuse him.”
Zane’s head shot around to look at a woman masked in the fog like a hovering spirit.
“And who are you?”
“Serena Sola. And that man your beast is clamped onto is my father, Minister Sola of Mars.”
Zane didn’t like the impetuous tone of her voice, but he knew better than to upbraid a minister’s family member. The Federation of Interstellar Humanity didn’t take lightly the accusations of ministry officials.
She stepped forward, emerging out of the dense smoke to reveal she was a person light-years different from the man she called ‘father.’ Where he was stocky and round, she was tall and willowy but with enough curves under her tight space suit to make it obvious she was no boy. When Zane’s eyes finally came up to rest on her face he was a little embarrassed to realize she’d noticed his rather blatant perusal.
“Evacuations have begun and there’s very little time, Captain—I assume you are the captain—before Fruitful and the oasis are decimated. As my father said, we need a ride off Mars and to be taken to the closest Federation battleship command center.”
“I’m not a ferry service, Ms. Sola.”
“Be that as it may, we would be indebted to you for your service, and with the information I have to relay to the high command, I think you’d be in for a large reward.”
“I’ve got my own business to attend to, and as far as I’m concerned, it outweighs your sketchy intel.”
“You have no idea how important my information is. Now have that behemoth release my father, and take us on board your ship.”
Zane clamped his mouth shut and crossed his arms over his chest. There was no way he was taking orders from this pompous, bossy hell-cat. “We’re not going anywhere until we get what we came for.”
“There’s nothing here, you imbecile, and there will be even less in twenty minutes when the generator blows,” Serena said while she tried to pry Dragon’s fingers off her father’s arm.
It was a losing battle, but Zane had to admire her determination.
“All right, miss, we’ll give you a lift, but first you have to get me seed water.”
“Didn’t you hear a word we said? There’s no time.”
“How far are we from the oasis plantation?”
She growled under her breath and did a quick sweep of the men standing around. Zane watched her expression and assumed she was looking for a way to jump past them and gain control of his ship. Like he’d ever let that happen.
“It’s two minutes by hyperloop. But you’ll never get your seed water and make it back here in time.”
“Why is that?” Zane’s impatience grew with each heartbeat. “You know what? Never mind. We don’t have time for this. What are the coordinates to the plantation’s water renewal system?” She stared at him without answering. “Now!” Zane was losing patience, but it gave him a small sense of satisfaction when she jumped at his raised voice.
“Forty-five dash eleven dash one-hundred forty-six,” Serena said, begrudging every syllable while she glared at Zane.
“Sean, take Minister Sola aboard and lock him in a cabin. Take the ship over to the renewal site. Dragon, you and Miss Doomsday here are coming with me.”
“But, my daughter—,” the minister blurted.
“Will be fine,” Zane said, interrupting him.
The minister didn’t argue or fight when Dragon released his arm and Sean pointed with a gun for the older man to precede him aboard ship.
Oh man! I did it again. Well, if you like the story then you’ve got nothing to fear. I’ll post more on a different day. There’s so much left to the story. I’m not good at this 1000 word stuff, I think.
Stories grow out of the sprinkling of one-thousand words, and like a loving gardener, I want to make them bloom in riotous effusions of color. (poetic, right? 😉 ) haha
So there will be more to come unless I hear and outcry of “this story stinks the big one!”