Chapter 20 (Living Past)
A shocked look came over Skylos face as he stared at the planet. Shaking his head he looked closely at his instruments. This wasn’t earth! He’d recently been there the coordinates were entirely wrong. Entering all the information that he knew about earth Skylos waited for the computer to render an explanation.
“I am sorry to disagree with you Queen Twitty!” Skylos told her. “We are at the wrong coordinates for earth.”
Twitty her eyes still wide turned to stare at Skylos. “I don’t care! I spent two quants on that primitive mud ball! I know earth when I see it, though now that you mention it, it does appear to be ... wrong!”
“Wrong my Queen?” Skylos asked a little perplexed. “In what way?”
“I’m not sure.” She said as she stared hard at the image. “It’s like things are missing and a few others are there that I don’t remember being there.”
Skylos held his tongue as he awaited the readout from the computer. Four spectons later he was staring at the readout his mouth hanging open. Dropping like a rock into the command seat he continued to shake his head.
Twitty shook Skylos when he failed to answer her question. “Uh...” He said an almost vacant look in his eyes.
“Damn it Commander!” Reaching back she slapped him across his face. “What is wrong?”
“I can’t believe it! It can’t be possible!” Was all that Skylos could say.
Sighing Twitty reared back slapping Skylos again almost knocking him out of the command chair. “Wake the hell up Commander before I forget and strike you with my claws!” Twitty advised the wire hair clan male.
Blinking a few times the commander reached up rubbing the side of his face. Turning to look at Twitty she could see that the vacant look was all but gone.
“Acor ... according to this,” he said indicating the readout. “This is earth, but...”
“Told you it was earth!” Twitty said with a smug smile.
“Yes but it isn’t the earth we know!” Skylos spoke up.
“What?! What in the hell do you mean?” Twitty asked.
According to this we are in the past. I ran it twice to confirm. This is the earth but it was in this position four hundred forty six and a half quants ago. (One thousand one hundred seventeen years on earth.)
“WHAT!!!!????” Niaco and Glenna heard Twitty shout. “Have you lost your mind!?”
Niaco leaned over to Glenna speaking to her. Rising Glenna nodded walking into the ship’s command.
Glenna could see that Twitty was getting more upset by the moment, poor Skylos was looking lost.
“What in the name of the great feline is going on in here?” Glenna asked.
“I ... he ... it is ... ARGH!” Twitty roared as she ran from the room a look of disbelief on her face.
Skylos was still staring straight ahead shaking his head.
Grasping his face Glenna looked into his eyes, “Explain whatever it was that you did to Queen Twitty, to me.”
Skylos nodded as he held up the readout. Glenna looked it over as Skylos repeated what he had to Twitty. Glenna could only nod as he went through each part again. Looking at the readout she was also shaking her head, the data tended to agree with his assessment.
“I don’t know how we got here. I don’t completely understand it. According to the data it was like time stopped and we were shoved backwards. The thing is? I have absolutely no idea how we are to get back.” A moment later an alarm started on the console.
Glenna looked at it then Skylos as he sprang into action. “What seems to be the problem?” She asked.
“I was afraid of this. All the repairs we did are only temporary. We’re going to have to set down so we can make far better repairs outside as well as inside. The thing is I’m not sure we can land. The power grid is so weak we might crash, if we don’t then we’ll be seriously depleted energy wise.” Skylos told her as he started to begin an approach of the planet.
Running out Glenna advised the others that they had to land, plus they might crash. Twitty upon hearing this ran for the engine room.
Skylos was sweating bullets shaking his head he had to try, they had to survive. On final approach Skylos said a prayer to the great feline when the power increased! “I don’t know what’s going on but we might make it now.” Skylos told all those onboard.
“Though I still can’t believe what you said I am not about to crash either! Another specton and I might have you a little more.” Came the voice of Twitty.
“We are at forty five percent. Another ten we might still have power when we land.” Skylos told her.
“I’m on it!” There was a surge for a moment then the power started to climb another nine percent. “Damn it! That’s it I can’t coax anymore.”
“It’s good, make sure the rest are secured then yourself. I can hold this for two spectons, then we HAVE to land!” Skylos told her.
“Going now!” Twitty shouted then disconnected.
Ambrose felt the deck lurch a bit as he tried to open his eyes. Crap whatever in the hell that was wore him out! Groaning Ambrose tried to sit up finding it was taking all he had just to move! Suddenly he heard Niaco and Glenna’s voices.
“We have to secure him and Adina.” He heard Glenna saying. “Skylos said we have to land to repair the ship. Though I am afraid we might crash.”
“Crash? Are we that damaged?” Niaco asked.
“We appear to be, though I saw Twitty heading for the engine room. Let’s hope there’s more she can do.” Glenna explained.
Niaco nodded then Roth and the other Knights lifted Ambrose to get him secured. Wrena and the other Paladins carefully lifted Adina getting her into a more secure position. Quickly they all secured themselves as Twitty ran for the control room.
Skylos looked up as soon as Twitty entered. “You need to get secured...” He started.
Growling Twitty told him, “There is no way you can land alone and you know it! I may only have fundamental navigation and piloting, I do know when a pilot needs help.” Skylos started to protest Twitty growled again quickly quieting him.
Sighing Skylos nodded then concentrated on the task at hand. “Damn it! The stabilizers are sluggish! Even with the boost you got this is still going to be rough. See if you can plot a course to an open area,” Skylos instructed her.
Twitty nodded as she started to scan the topography, suddenly a gasp came from her. “I know that building!” She said. “It’s called Acropolis! It looks almost new!” Turning to look at Skylos she nodded. “I accept now what you said.”
Skylos nodded barely paying her attention as the planet was quickly approaching. “I’m afraid I am going to have to hold off on the retros until the last moment to save power.”
“Alright, I have adjusted aero fins to help compensate when we enter the atmosphere.” Twitty responded. She just hoped that they didn’t come in too fast or the fins would be gone in mere tintons!
“I’ll attempt to glide in as soon as we hit the Ionosphere. There’s barely enough there for the fins to have an effect.” Skylos informed Twitty. “Four hundred maclons to the exosphere, hang on it’s going to be a little bumpy with the stabilizers at half!”
Rapidly approaching the planet they were having to fight the entire time to maintain control. Suddenly with a lurch they hit the first layer. “Entering the exosphere, make sure the shields are up or we’re cooked!” Skylos told her.
“Speed four maclons a half tinton and starting to slow!” Twitty informed Skylos.
“Good, keep an eye on it, make sure we are at that, or lower!” Skylos replied.
Twitty nodded as she started to adjust the aero fins more and more. “I’m reading the thermosphere rapidly approaching!” Twitty advised as the ship shook a bit then settled. “Shields are up but straining.”
“Damn it! We need them almost all the way to the surface! Compensating now.” Skylos said as the shaking lessened then the ship was still. “I think that should help.”
Twitty was nodding when the ship lurched again. “Contact with the ionosphere! Trying to adjust, the aero fins are starting to heat up!” Twitty’s hands were flying across the attitude controls of the fins. “Ah! Better temperature dropping!”
“Keep an eye on then. We’re only halfway, I’d say we’ve got another thirty two hecksons (about fifty miles) until the surface. If we can make twenty two hecksons we should be ok.” Skylos told Twitty.
Looking over at him Twitty saw that he was sweating as he had a near death grip on the controls.
Almost ten spectons later they broke through the clouds. Twitty had a course plotted not too far from the huge pyramid building she’d seen earlier.
“Landing site ahead,” Twitty advised Skylos as she also applied pressure to the controls.
“Damn it! The power is almost gone we have to land now! Or we might not make it!” With that Skylos pointed almost straight toward the ground then pulled up as he sighed when the retros came on.
“Coming in a little fast Skylos!” Twitty yelled above the straining ship.
“Yes I know!” There was a sudden shaking as the ship started to skip, its shields barely keeping the ship off the ground. Cursing under his breath Skylos tapped into the last of the power. Shaking the ship stopped, half buried not far from the large pyramid.
Getting up Twitty ran to check the others. Looking around the room almost all of them were alright though it appeared that Thomas’s arm was broken. Checking the male they had captured, Twitty looked at Thomas shaking her head. She found the male’s neck had been snapped when something heavy had collided with him. Again she looked at Thomas and his broken arm.
“I’ve got him my queen,” Mileen told her a moment later. “He tried to secure the prisoner. He was thrown against the bulk head.” Here Mileen growled low. “I should break the other just to teach him a lesson!”
Twitty’s eyes went wide then she whispered to Mileen. “If you did then you’d have to take care of him. Are you really prepared for that? Now?”
Mileen thought a moment then shook her head no bowing to Twitty.
Skylos came stumbling out of the command running back to the engine room. Twitty on his paws. Looking around Skylos nodded then sighed. “Thank the great feline! We still have power. Though it is going to take a lot of work to fix everything. First thing we need to find the metal, then we’ll need liquid taak’in to re-power the engines.”
Twitty was nodding the whole time. “What is the first thing we need to do?”
“I’ve got barely enough left to scan the ship but we’ll have to get the taak’in soon. I am not wanting to try and restart the engines manually. We have to keep at least one engine online.”
Sighing Twitty left as Skylos set about scanning the ship. Walking to where the others were Twitty revealed their almost desperate situation.