Grady fell to one knee, holding his right shoulder with agony written all over his face. I ran over to my friend’s aid immediately. The wound in Grady’s shoulder looked gruesome. Basically, a big chunk of Grady’s right shoulder was missing.
“Grady, are you going to make it? Can you walk?” I asked urgently.
Grady looked up at me and attempted to smile. “Never been better.” Said Grady who immediately started coughing in pain.
“Ezzy you got to fly us out of here. It’s your only chance. I’ll stay here by the door to lay down some cover fire if any of Rocco’s thugs show up.” Grady counseled.
I didn’t like how Grady made it sound like I was the only one that had a chance to make it out of here alive. “Grady you’re going to be fine. I’m going to get us out of here and then I’m going to find you some help.” I desperately explained to Grady.
Grady gave me a smirk, then reached into one of his pockets and got out a piece of scratch paper. “Take this. Those are the codes to get us out of here in one piece.” Grady added, as he handed me the scratch paper.
I put the codes into my pocket and stood up from my kneeling position. “Hang in there bub, I’ll be right back.” I reassured Grady.
As I was about to turn away from Grady and find my way to the cockpit, my friend gave me one last piece of advice. “Oh and Ez, try and not let Eps kill you.”
I had no words for Grady. All I could muster up was a nod. Oh Eps, how I forgot about Eps. Well, looks like I was a dead man for sure, I thought to myself. I couldn’t imagine Eps was going to be too happy when he found out his boss was now his dead boss.
With that nice image of Eps cutting my throat in my head, I began running to the cockpit. After taking only a few wrong turns, finally I found my destination.
When you first walk into the cockpit, you enter a decently big square room. At the end of the room was a much smaller space that was the control room. with two main chairs. I took a seat in the left chair and buckled myself in tightly.
I had to tell myself to calm down. This was it. I was finally crossing this bridge. Just breathe I told myself. One step at a time. Step one, turn on the main power to the ship.
“Where is Emry?” Challenged Eps loudly. I nearly fell out of my seat, I was so startled. Certainly, Eps was going to kill me.
“I shot Eps when I caught her off guard.” I blurted out without really thinking. If Grady had a shot at surviving his wound, I didn’t want Eps killing him too.
Eps had no response. I could feel him floating somewhere behind me. “I had no choice! Emry shot Grady! What would you have done?” I begged.
As I worked up my nerve, I turned my chair around to face Eps head on. Sure enough, he was floating right in front of my face. “Fair enough. Now I hope you really know how to fly this freighter, because it would seem to me you are having a hard time finding the main power switch.” Eps remarked.
I was honestly dumbfounded. No words came to mind. “What? You’re not going to off me?” I asked with a puzzled look on my face.
“Kid, we don’t have time for this. Rocco’s going to have more reinforcements soon when they get their tails untucked from in-between their legs.” Remarked Eps. The little guy flew towards the control panel and hit a button with the bottoms of his feet.
The main engine exploded to life. It was the most powerful yet eloquent sound I’ve ever heard. The lights all throughout the control room snapped on. I couldn’t help but to look over at Eps and smile. The sounds of gun fire came echoing through some speakers somewhere close.
“We need to close that ramp off now! Look to your right!” Eps yelled as he was hitting another switch on the control panel.
While looking to my right, I saw many different live video recordings of various parts of the freighter. Including the ramp, in which Grady was now protecting by firing shots towards Rocco’s guys off in the distance. He wasn’t having much luck, being on the brink of death and all. Luckily for Grady, Eps knew what he was doing. The ramp was retracting and the door above it was lowering.
“Hey kid, turn on the rest of the thrusters for me! They are on the top left corner on the panel! I’m turning on our defensive shields now!” Eps barked out.
“You got it! ” I shouted. This go around I actually knew where something was. I switched all the thrusters on. The purr of the engine multiplied. After about ten seconds or so, the sound of the engine eased to a low and quiet purr.
Eps looked over at me with his little purple lit eyes. “Well what are you waiting for, pilot?” Challenged Eps.
I looked straight ahead. I took a deep breath. Nothing else to do now but to try. I pulled down slowly, with both hands on the steering controls. The freighter gracefully lifted up into the air. However, the freighter picked up some speed going upwards. I quickly pulled up on controls but was too late. We banged into the ceiling of the hangar. Immediately, we dropped back down and crashed into the floor of the hangar, before finally leveling out just above the ground.
I looked back over at Eps who was still looking at me with his electronical jaw dropped practically to the floor. Eps then began shaking his head side to side in disappointment. I gave Eps a smile and laughed awkwardly.
On the cameras I could see Rocco’s guys shooting at us with no success. Looks like those shields come in handy. I very gently pulled back on the controls and we gradually started moving forward out of the hangar. Once we were out of the hanger I shot out towards the bright blue sky.
“Quick, turn the shields to full power since we are leaving the planet.” Commented Eps.
“I know. I got this.” I said defensively. I wasn’t a fan of looking stupid.
Eps crackled with laughter. “Oh clearly. I don’t know why I’m so worried. By your takeoff I should know you are indeed a professional.” Laughed Eps.
“Freighter, please announce yourself and your proper routing and passcodes.” Instructed a man’s voice coming over the transmitter.
My hand was trembling as I reached into my pocket and pulled out the codes Grady had given me earlier. “The routing code is …” I began to say before I was interrupted by more of Ep’s laughter.
“Kid, you crack me up. Let me take over before you do anything else hilarious.” Bellowed Eps.
Eps pressed something on his control panel and gave the man the codes in a much more professional manner. Once again, I appeared like an idiot. Eps definitely knew by now I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. At least I was still alive for the time being.
We blasted through the atmosphere and broke into space in no time at all. All of a sudden everything else seemed to fade. Ever since I was a small child I had always dreamt of flying amongst the infinite stars and planets. Everything from my past came boiling back to the surface. Many emotions hit me all at once while gazing out at the stars. My eyes began to swell and I had tears in my eyes.
The noise of Ep’s yelling shook me back into reality. “Your friend Grady needs our help! Are you having a stroke or something?” Yelled Eps.
I instinctively looked over at the cameras. Grady was sprawled out flat on the floor and wasn’t moving a muscle.
To be continued…