Short Story: Hope Against Hope (Part I)
Sitting on the edge of Platform 11, Sky tried her best to forget about the nightmare that was about to come to life on the very airship she called her home. She felt the pull of air as her legs danced freely outside the massive metal frame. A friendly technician called out her name, warning her about the dangers of relaxing so close to an open gate. Others would stop by to cheerfully say hello to their favorite pilot, then scurry back to their jobs.
‘As if they didn’t know.’ she thought bitterly.
Sky sighed heavily, slowly getting up to her feet. She looked down at herself and realized she hadn’t changed from her oil splattered uniform. ‘It’s not like it matters anymore, right?’ she thought. Regardless of how hopeless she felt, there was no time to idle anymore. Her cabin was three floors down, located in the pilots’ quarters and it takes at least ten minutes to get there on foot.
Sky was halfway to her room when a piercing voice coming from the airship’s rusty speakers, made her come to a halt. ‘Attention all crew members and civilians. This is your Captain speaking. We are entering enemy airspace. All civilians are to return to their quarters. All personnel are to return to their battle stations to await further orders. All Officers are to meet on the deck in five. I repeat…’ Sky didn’t wait for the distorted voice of Sosha to finish the announcement. Dark thoughts were racing through her mind as she ran down the rest of the way. A mix of anger, fear, and desperation seemed to claw at her chest, making each breath more difficult than the former. She made a sharp turn into one of her shortcuts through the narrow corridors filled with brass pipelines, normally only accessible to the maintenance crew. Distracted, Sky almost trampled over a little boy sitting on the ground, playing with his toy planes.
‘What are you doing here Calo? Didn’t you hear the Captain’s orders?’ Sky almost yelled. Calo was the six year old boy of Katarina and Charlie, two of her closest friends. ‘Of all times, why now?!’ she screamed in her head. She had no other choice, but to take him with her. Before Calo could answer any of her questions, Sky grasped his waist and swung his little body over her shoulder. Calo let out a small cry of surprise, yet remained silent the rest of the way to Sky’s cabin.
Once there, Sky gently put him down on the bed. ‘You’re going to stay here until someone comes for you. Can you promise me that, Calo?’ Sky looked straight into the boy’s eyes.
‘I promise, Auntie Sky.’ Calo replied with an cheerful grin across his face. As fast as his smile appeared, it vanished replaced by a worried expression. ‘But why do you look so upset, Auntie?’ he asked, while nervously tugging at his shirt. Sky looked at Calo, not sure what to say. ‘I’m afraid that everything dear to me will be destroyed, because of an idiotic war…’ she wanted to say, but the words wouldn’t come out.
‘It’s okay if you don’t want to say it. No matter what happens, you’re the best pilot out there, Auntie! So shoot them all for me, okay?’ Calo said in his chirpy little voice. With these simple words, the boy managed to wipe all of Sky’s fears. His fierce look and unwavering trust in her, awakened her hidden strength that was suppressed by all the anxiety. She realized that at this moment, nothing mattered more to her than protecting the people on this ship.
‘Thank you, Calo’ she whispered tearfully. She slowly stood up, shaking off any leftover doubts. A crazy and potentially deadly idea began to shape in her mind and it was time to confront Captain Sosha and the Officers.
‘They definitely won’t like this’ Sky mumbled to herself and smirked at the thought of Sosha’s reaction when she tells him she will destroy all of the enemy airships single-handedly.