By Joelle Ramond
The hallway branched out into 2 paths, neither were labeled.
Oscar followed Oliver down the left hall. The walls were sheets of cool grey metal, cut by stripes of purple lights. The hallway stretched on for a little while before turning into a room.
“Clear,” Oliver said in a sharp voice.
Oscar turned the corner, and a gasp escaped his body.
“Woah.” He didn't blink for the next few seconds, as if he never wanted to close his eyes on the sight.
He stood in front of a tall window, through which he could see the planet he once called home. In that moment, everything became small to him. All his debts, his broken promises, his local shops and former lovers - they all became futile and unseen. Now he only knew shimmery dots against the midnight darkness of the sky. The city that once shunned him became nothing but a myriad of glittery lights. They appeared dismal compared to the celestial masses of fire that burned all around them.
“Pretty neat, isn’t it?” Oliver said.
Oscar said nothing, his mind both racing and at an ease he has never felt before.
“Have you never seen space before?” Oliver asked, watching Oscar’s reaction in confusion.
Oscar slowly shook his head no, his eyes stayed glued.
“Ah, well. It’s pretty nice I guess. I think Earth would be cooler. I’ve never been but I’ve seen photos.” Oliver looked out the window, not nearly as entertained.
Oscar was too consumed by his thoughts to even question him.
Then, Oscar’s eyes grew like a balloon being blown. The head of a ship swam through the air in a graceful stroke. The entire craft slowly came into view. The hull was made out of a glowly wood, and exhausts spat out electric blue fire by the back. Sitting atop of each of the masts were glowing blue lights, like a beacon, or perhaps a newly birthed star. But most miraculous of all, were the men who riddled the ship. Men were hanging off the masts, they were cheering happily on the deck, they danced with ladies and ladies gossiped by the quarterdeck.
By some miracle, they weren’t wearing space suits. The women donned chiffon skirts corseted by tight brown leather, the men wore loose pants in jewel toned fabrics and mangly white shirts. They all wore the same leather clogs as Oliver. They each had space helmets connected to a small backpack, a thin glass globe protecting them from the deadly radiation and pressure, though it seemed to be no threat to them.
Oscar squinted. By the crow’s nest a man posed broadly, his shoulders pushed back in triumph. His outfit was far more pompous than the other men. He wore a pristine leather vest fastened around a crisp white top. Many men cheered up at him from below, and he would give the occasional nod to them at which they almost swooned. Resting on his dirty blonde hair, was a leather pirate hat.
“That’s Daya, if you were wondering.” Oliver pointed to the man.
Oscar followed him with his gaze as the ship exited their view, although before it left completely Oscar noticed the ship’s slight turn in direction; the ship seemed to be coming towards them now.
“Is this who sent you? You’re with them?”
Oliver nodded, “Yes. Daya sent me.”
“Is he your leader?”
“In some sorts.” Oliver shrugged.
“You guys are… space pirates?”
“Well, duh.” Oliver smirked, “Do you find that cool?”
“I find that quite ridiculous. Why are you guys helping me?”
“I’m not sure. I have better matters to tend to but-” his voice trailed off.
“Well if you’re so-” Oscar couldn’t finish before Oliver shushed him, “Hey man-”
“Shut up for a sec, will ya? Do you hear that?”
Footsteps approached them from the end of the hallway.
Oliver switched to an aggressive whisper, “Go down the end of that hallway and make a left by the end and enter the washroom. Lock the door behind you. I will run by them and lead them away. Got it?”
“But what about-” the footsteps became dangerously close.
“Go!” Oscar darted towards the hall, looking back he saw Oliver dash down the other, lightning fast. His body just a stripe moving past them, a simple blur of light. Oscar could hear the guards yell something at the hologram, as the footsteps turned away to follow Oliver.
Alone again, he made his way to the end of the hall. His breath was heavier now. Before it felt almost like a game- in solitude, it became real.
Oscar’s steps were driven and quick, each pace forward carried a burning passion- for what, it was also unknown to him.
He made a left at the end of the hall, and was confronted with a door displaying a glowing purple sign of a toilet
What now? He thought to himself inside the washroom. He paced around aimlessly and thunk himself into a panic.
Suddenly, the hairs on the back of his neck stood straight up at the sound of a toilet’s flush. Pure fear flooded all of his senses. He quickly turned on a sink and began to wash nothing off of his hands, holding his face as low as he could figure in an attempt to blend in.
The man took the sink next to Oscar. Sweat began to form on Oscar’s forehead as his stomach churned. He had been washing his hands for a strange amount of time, especially considering there was nothing on them to begin with, he went to dry his hands still hiding his eyes on the floor.
The stranger turned to use the hand dryer right next to Oscar. In his peripheral vision he could see the man turn his head to look at him curiously, he felt his gaze burn into him. The man looked back to his hands.
He opened his mouth to speak.
“Some way of greeting a friend, eh?”
To be Continued…