Chapter Two - Universe Edge

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"There!" Theo shouted. He pointed to a small outrider craft. They run to it as Nyles hurried down the landing board.

"They've sounded an alert!" he threw his hands in the air, shaking his head. "Hurry it up!" 

They enter the outrider, as Nyles yelled, "What took so goddamn long!"

"Officers patrolled every room, and we didn't leave before that first alarm went off, so we had to make do and hide," Theo said cursing under his breath.

"Where did you hide?" Nyles asked placing his hands on his hips, brows raised.

"In the ceiling," Theo shrugged as he pressed for the landing board to seal shut. Ava watched as the last bit of light from the landing center vanished and the lights inside the ship glide on.

"In the ceiling?" Nyles questioned and ran after Theo as he disappeared into one of the hallways.

The body of the outrider was oval, as was the navigation wing on the front of the craft. Glass windows fill the walls of the cockpit, and the operating controls area below it. Glass motioning doors separate them from Ira and Xavier.

The doors slide open and Xavier appeared from outside the cockpit in a stolen pilot uniform. The jacket was a deep ash hue color, with a high neckline, which zipped down the middle, but the fabric hid the zipper from showing. Closable pockets were placed in the front of his jacket and on the top sides of his sleeves. His pants were the same hue, and he paired black boots with the uniform. His hair lied in a mess, a few front strands fall across his forehead. 

"I need you all to buckle in," Xavier announced as he hurried back into the cockpit.

Ava buckled herself next to Theo. In the far distance she heard shouting. The Officers were sure to find them now, for the lights outside the ship blare on.

Swallowing, she shuttered her eyes. She had to trust in Xander and Ira. It was in their hands to get them out of here now. 

"Initiating takeoff, time of departure 30 seconds." Ira spoke into her headpiece, her voice echoing over the speakers. Xavier pushed the ignition switch, then began to pull up on the control handle.

A growing rumble turned into a pressuring roar that they could not only be heard, but felt was the engines. The ship lifted into the air softly almost like a feather. She watched as the ground grew further away.

The shouting grew closer and closer until bullets began to strike.

"Prepare solar speeds for immediate departure!" Xavier shouted to Ira. Ira set the solar speeds on a monitor to the maximum limit. Before pressing commence she looked to him. He didn't even hesitate. 

"Now!" he commanded.

The roaring of the engines grew to a high pitch humming. A great force of flames bursted out the engines and they were seconds from takeoff.

As the engine almost ignited, a large electric explosion rocked the ship slamming Theo and Ava into the back of their seats as the ship lunged to the right. One of the officers must have used a solar missile to try and dismantle the engine but missed, hitting something else. 

"They've hit our air compressors!" Xavier yelled. Flashing lights, and system alerts alarm in the pilot cabin.

"Can we launch?" Ava shouted. With their air compressors damaged they may not even be able to launch. She remembered some learning cases on mechanics as a child and her instructor once told her that in space travel, air compressors were vital to the launch.

"The compressors aren't completely destroyed,  but we will run out of air by the time we reach our destination," Xavier nervously ran his fingers through his hair.

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