Categories > Cartoons > Skyland > Allies of Necessity

Chapter 3

by hyperpsychomaniac 0 reviews

Will Cortes and Diwan escape?

Category: Skyland - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance - Published: 2007-01-25 - Updated: 2007-01-25 - 2383 words

A/n: Reviews make me happy. Enjoy! :P


"We've got to go. This block is in its death throes."

Wayan scooped his gun off one of the dead consoles, and motioned for Mahad and Dahlia to follow him.

"Coming..." Dahlia said. She whipped the memory card out of the console she was working on and followed Wayan. They had managed to retrieve a small amount of information. Not as much as they'd planned, however. It had originally been intended that they'd link up the computers with the Saint Nazaire and get Cheng to pull out whatever he could. But it wouldn't have been fair to try and get him to do that after what had happened to Cortes. At any rate, the explosion had damaged some of the uplink mechanisms, and it would've taken most of the time they had to re-connect it.

But however much more information they may have been able to retrieve, the mission would never have been worth it.

"Hurry up, Mahad," she said, not unkindly, and pushed Mahad out ahead of her before jogging up the corridor behind him and Wayan. She could now clearly feel the vibrations of the block through the floor. And they were getting stronger.


Lena had answered the radio herself. Cheng was too engrossed in his console, and it had seemed like he didn't even hear it. Wayan had told her they were coming back. The block was about to fall apart.

That had been five minutes ago. Since then, the computer had shown the block was becoming more and more unstable. Luckily, Wayan, Dahlia and Mahad hadn't taken that long to get back.

"Okay, Dahlia we need to get this ship moving," Wayan was saying as he came in through the door to the bridge.

Dahlia nodded and moved down to the front of the ship.

Wayan stopped on his way past Cheng. "Cheng..."

"What?" said Cheng. He suddenly seemed to realise what was happening. "Wait... we can't leave..."

"We've got to go. I'm sorry," Wayan replied. Then he moved away down to the front of the ship. Perhaps he didn't want to see Cheng's reaction.

Cheng just looked after him, and then looked back at his console. It hadn't shown a trace of Cortes' radio signal since he'd started.

Lena shared a glance with Mahad before moving next to Cheng. "I'm sorry you couldn't find him, Cheng. At least you tried. You did that for him, at least."

"Yeah..." Cheng sighed. Then he buried his face in his folded arms on top the console.

The Saint Nazaire's engines fired up, and the ship began to drift away from the crumbling block.


The block was really shaking now. Pebbles were starting to rain down from the ceiling. It could have been a good idea to move before anything larger fell. Only there was nowhere better to move to.

"This blocks about to go..." Cortes muttered.

"You think?"

A large chunk of ceiling broke off and nosed into the ground in front of them. Cortes shifted his outstretched leg in closer to him. The rock had only missed it by a few feet. It was a good thing he did, because the rest of the ceiling followed a moment later.

They both managed to get from under it before it crunched all the way into the floor. They were now stuck between it and the slightly older cave in.

Diwan looked at Cortes, then up at the last bit of intact ceiling above them. Cortes followed her gaze.

Then the floor seemed to almost bounce beneath them like they were in an elevator.

"Look out!" Cortes pointed to the floor. A crack had just opened up. The rocks that had broken off around its edge seemed to be jumping as if some creature was pushing its way up from below. Then the ground jerked, and the crack opened to almost a foot wide.

Both Cortes and Diwan moved back against the wall. The ceiling above them was starting to crack through as well.

And the piles of rocks at both ends were also moving apart.

"Come on, hurry!" said Cortes. He grabbed Diwan's arm and dragged her over to the heap that blocked the way out.

"What are you... wait, we can't!" Diwan pulled her arm back.

"That crack is going to suck down those rocks; we might be able to get over the top..."

"It's going to suck us down too."

"Pick one! Sucked down a hole or crushed to death?"

Diwan sighed. "Alright..."

They started climbing up the rocks to the widening gap near the ceiling. It was proving to be a little difficult when the rocks they were using to get there were themselves slipping closer to, and eventually down, the widening crack.

Cortes made it to the top and helped Diwan up. "I think we can get through."

"Good. Then we'd better get moving."

Cortes crawled through the crack between the rocks and the ceiling and Diwan followed. The cave in seemed to have covered about ten feet of corridor. They were left with a tight crawl space between the rocks and the ceiling. But it wasn't going to stay that way. The crack was widening, and the rocks were starting to slip down into it, rather than just apart. This was causing the rocks at the sides of the tunnel to slip down to try and fill the space the rocks from the bottom of the pile were leaving. It wasn't a problem now, when it was nothing more than pebbles sliding down. It became a problem when the block jerked again, and the crack snapped open another few feet. And the floor of the tunnel started dropping much faster.

"Are we almost out!?" Diwan shouted.

"Nearly..." Cortes called back. They were slipping downwards, but the end of the tunnel wasn't that far away. Then he felt the rocks underneath him shift, and something punched into his leg from above. "Damn..." he growled. He tried to twist around in the enclosed space, but it was all but impossible. "I could use a little help..." he called back to Diwan.

"I can't move it. There's not enough room..." As she said it the rocks below them shifted down again, bringing more rocks down on top of them.

"You've got to move that rock /now/," Cortes growled back.

Diwan saw a newly opened space to shove it, put as much as her weight into it as she could in the enclosed space, and shoved it off Cortes.

Cortes shifted his leg, and the rock crunched back into the others. Then it slipped downwards.

"Go!" Diwan yelled.

They both tumbled down the other side of the cave in within less than a minute. Diwan had to throw herself to the side at the last minute to avoid going down into the widening crack.

"How much further?" Cortes asked as he picked himself up.

"Not far. If we move fast, we might just make it out of here."

"Good," Cortes replied, running after her up the corridor. "Thanks for helping me out back there."

Diwan glanced back. "No offence. But you were blocking my way out."



"Wayan! Stop the ship!" Cheng shouted jumping up from his seat.

"Cheng, we need to get out of range before the block starts..."

"I'm picking up Cortes' radio! He might still be alive! We have to go back for him!"

Wayan paused. It was possible that as the block was starting to split apart the radio had slipped out to where Cheng could pick up its signal. It was possible that Cortes was not with the radio, or lying somewhere near it, dead. It could also mean exactly what Cheng had said.

"Dahlia, turn this ship around."

"Sure thing!" The Saint Nazaire swung around, back towards the block. Through the front window they could see bits of earth fragmenting off its side; some of it dropping, some drifting off, and some turning straight to dust. The main block appeared to be splitting clean in two.

Then the radio channel came alive with crackling static. "Cortes ... Nazaire ... read me?"

"He is alive!" Cheng exclaimed.

Wayan moved next to Cheng, leaning over him to answer the radio. "Cortes?! We read you. Where are you?"

The radio crackled again. "Thank God, I thought... left already."

"No way!" Cheng shouted before Wayan could say anything.

"Good, lad. I'm on a bit of block that looks stable for the moment. But there's a lot of debris around. I'm not sure if the Saint Nazaire can... through without taking damage."

"Alright..." Wayan replied. "Cheng, you can still trace his radio?"

"Of course I can!"

"Okay. Cortes, I'm going to send Mahad in the Hyperion. Cheng will trace your position."

"I'll be waiting."


Mahad swung the Hyperion around and blasted away from the deck. Cheng was tracing Cortes' radio from the Saint Nazaire, and was sending the information over to the Hyperion's radar. He could simply follow the radar.

Only it wasn't quite that simple. He had to move around the fragmented bits of block that were floating around, and some were still breaking off larger pieces. Well, at least it made it a little bit more exciting.

He finally rounded one large chunk of earth, which was rotating slowly over and over. It looked a little odd, because blocks didn't usually spin. They kind of just drifted.

Then he saw Cortes standing on a piece of block. There couldn't have been more than a few square meters of room to stand on it. But he had chosen where to stand well. The other chunks of earth floating around him were either far too small, or were spinning end over end.

Mahad pulled the Hyperion up next to the block, making sure he kept his hand lightly on the control stick so he could match the small block's drift. He popped open the hatch. "Need a ride?"

Cortes jumped down onto the deck and climbed into the cockpit. "Thanks, Mahad." He pulled the hatch shut.

Mahad just looked at him for a few seconds. "We thought you were dead. What happened?"

Cortes sighed. "Short story? We survived that fall. Then we made our way out."

Mahad had started to navigate the Hyperion through the debris of the slowly shattering block. "So Diwan got out too? How come you didn't..."

"It's a Sphere base. I needed her help to get out."

"That must've been annoying..."


Then Mahad thought he saw a flash of something which didn't look like a piece of block. And it wasn't the Saint Nazaire either. "Wait! That's Diwan's patroller! We can still get her!" He pushed the control stick and the Hyperion leapt forward.


"She's only got one ship; I can take her down..."

Cortes reached across and pulled back on the throttle.

"Wait? What are you doing?"

"We need to get back to the Saint Nazaire, Mahad. Now."

"But..." he looked across at Cortes, suddenly curious. "What happened down there?"

Cortes almost looked like he was lost for an answer, but then the Hyperion bleeped out a warning. One that told them they were too close to an enemy ship.

Diwan's patroller had turned towards them.

"Cortes..." said Mahad, gripping the control stick tighter.

"If she fires, you can blast her out of the sky, Mahad."

The patroller suddenly accelerated over the bow of the Hyperion, and continued away from it. It didn't look like it was planning on stopping anytime soon.

Mahad looked over his shoulder. "Why..."

"You want to move before something hits us?"

Mahad turned back, and quickly made sure the Hyperion was following a safe path. Then he turned back to Cortes. "So why didn't she fire on us? And why didn't we fire on her?"

"I told her I'd let her get off the block safely if she helped me get out."

"But she still didn't fire?"

"I think she knows it was null if she opened fire herself."

"Okay..." Mahad didn't seem entirely happy with that answer. "So... is it okay if I ask why you bothered keeping up your end of the deal?"

"It's not."

Mahad blinked.

"... because I'm not entirely sure I know the answer. Now if you can just get us back to the Saint Nazaire so we can move it before any of this debris ends up putting dents in its hull, I'd appreciate it."

"Yes, /sir/," grumbled Mahad.

Cortes almost pulled him up on it, but then he thought it might have been his way of saying that he didn't really like having his question avoided. Especially that in avoiding it Cortes had growled at him for no reason.

"I'm glad you got out anyway," Mahad added.


It didn't take long to reach the Saint Nazaire. Mahad landed the Hyperion and they made their way up to the bridge.

"Cortes!" The minute they stepped through the door, Cheng ran into Cortes and threw his arms around his middle.


"I'm glad you're okay..." said Cheng, his voice muffled against Cortes' jacket.

Wayan grinned. "You know he kept on trying to find your radio signal? Even when it looked hopeless."

"Of course I did!" exclaimed Cheng, finally letting go of Cortes.

Cortes smiled. "Thanks, Cheng."

"It's good to have you back, sir," Dahlia added.

Lena nodded in agreement.

Cortes suddenly realised everyone was looking at him. It was making him uncomfortable. "Alright. I'm fine, okay? Let's get this ship moving."

Wayan grinned again. "Yes, sir!"

Cortes ended up having to explain what had happened down in the Sphere base. But he left out a lot of the arguing... as well as a few other things. He didn't leave out the bit about seeing Diwan's ship; he'd explained they made a deal anyway. And Mahad was looking at him. He already seemed sure Cortes was leaving something out. It was none of his business anyway.

At any rate, what had happened down in the compound didn't matter. Cortes knew the next time he saw Diwan she would have no problem with blasting him out of the sky. The thing that really weighted on him the most was some of the things she'd said down there.

He would have no problem blasting her out of the sky either.
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