Part One - 07 - Kala

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"Log entry 604. Hammond Sylvain speaking. Our scientific team is down to 13 members. We now accepted the fact that none of us will ever leave R-607 alive. None except, I hope, Kala. She is growing up, already nine years old, and getting stronger every day. We now know for certain that the planet doesn't affect her the way it affects us. She is safe. It's a great relief and at the same time, my worst worry. What will happen to that wonderful child once we're all buried under the red soil of R-607? Will she survive here, forever alone? We have no ways to escape this place. The ship in which we arrived is now anchored to the planet. And Europa, our great nation, decided to pretend we don't exist. We're a failed experiment. We are slowly dying and cannot guaranty Kala's future. But we can give her the tools she might need, the knowledge. I will train her; she will learn to use her abilities. I will teach her all I know. She is a smart kid. I trust that she will be fine. Log entry over."


Kala looked in horror as the Capricieuse slowly fell from the sky, leaving behind a dark trail of smoke and flames. Time seemed to have slowed down as her home crashed farther in the city. That's when the thought hit her. Home. She felt like the ship was her home, with its cramped yet comfy quarters. The kitchen always warm and smelling good, with Min-Hee humming behind the stove. The laughs of the twins resonating in its passageways. Lucas giving quiet grumpy comments as he cleaned their weapons sprawled on the wooden table. Jessie's stories and colors. Hopper working in the engine room, eyes glinting behind his soot darkened face, and the captain, showing his best smile, the real one, when he watched his crew, not knowing that Kala was watching him. Three weeks with them felt more real than all the years she spent on R-607. If fate existed, how cruel it was, to make her realize where she belonged, right when this special place was falling from the sky like an asteroid, burning and then crashing.

A terrible silence fell on the crew. Around them, the noise of the falling city was deafening. Then without saying a word, the captain started running down the stairs, taking the direction where they last saw the Capricieuse before it disappeared behind buildings. They all followed in less than a heartbeat.

Jessie had been on the ship. Kala couldn't help but remembering over and over again how the rocket had hit, and she hoped with all her might that the pilot was alive and safe. Was the shield intact? She didn't know. She quickened her pace, not thinking about pretending she was a simple little girl anymore. She caught the captain up with ease.

As they ran farther down a street, a five-story building underwent the explosion from a missile and started to crumble, taking with it the floating road on which they all stood. Kala felt the ground disappear under her feet. Gravity took hold of her body and she fell. When she broke the surface of the ocean, a scream escaped her lips in bubbles. The water was colder than she expected. A second thought wormed its way down her already startled brain: she didn't know how to swim. Her body was a dead weight being dragged to the bottom of the sea by the current created by the falling structure. She opened her eyes, but the world was made of blurry colors and shadows. She flailed her arms, trying to fight her way back to the air. But it was useless; she kept sinking, and soon her lungs were starting to burn.

Kala focused, thinking about her abilities, trying to think about how to use them to get out of this aquatic trap. She started building up a massive amount of energy in her body, ready to unleash it when suddenly, arms grabbed her. She contained with difficulty the electricity that was already pricking her skin. Her savior must have felt it, but they didn't let go. They tugged her out to the surface, and she took an avid breath. A strong arm was around her neck, dragging her across the water, before pulling her safely to shore.

Kala coughed liquid out of her lungs and raised her eyes to her rescuer. Hopper was crouching beside her. Vapor was escaping his skin; his whole body was smoking. Her power did touch him.

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