Cara Riesling – Impact Imminent
The shuttle shot through the space the door used to be, and Cara relaxed in her seat, letting out a breath of relief.
“You did it.” Raygo said in disbelief, “We’re alive.”
There was a sound like the sky being ripped in two and they looked up, only to see a spot of what looked like fire approaching through the darkness.
“The asteroid.” Cara muttered, “We got out too late. It’s going to crush us.”
Raygo looked at her in alarm.
“Asteroids…it’s got to have some metal in it, right?”
Cara understood what he was about to say and shook her head.
“It’s too big. I don’t have the power to push it.”
“Then push us.” He said, determination glittering in his eyes, “You can do that, can’t you?”
“Even if we manage to scrape out of the way the gravitational pull of the asteroid would drag us down. If we don’t combust before that.”
“Hey.” Raygo said, “You almost sound like Valyria. Don’t you have a responsibility to try at least? Wouldn’t you rather die fighting?”
Cara looked at him for a second and felt something click in her head.
“Raygo, how hot can you get?”
“Um…what?” he asked, stunned.
“Your hands. How much can you heat them?”
“Hot enough to melt through metal.” He shrugged.
“Raygo, I need you to try to burn me” she said hurriedly, rolling up her sleeve.
“I don’t have time to explain. Do it.”
He held up his hands and they started to glow and he looked at her, uncertain.
“Now!” she yelled, bracing herself.
Raygo took her forearm in his hands the same time her eyes flushed silver.
“Why aren’t you burning?” he asked, shocked.
“I can absorb energy. I knew I could absorb electricity, but I wasn’t sure about heat. It was a gamble.”
Her skin crackled with electricity and she started pushing the shuttle, but it didn’t seem to be moving nearly fast enough.
He looked like he was concentrating and the shuttle moved a little faster.
“I…I can’t!” he admitted, gripping her arm tighter.
“Close your eyes.” She ordered, waiting until he complied, “Clear your mind. Relax. Breathe slowly.”
Once he seemed slightly less agitated she continued.
“This is it. We’re so close. We don’t have to die fighting. We can live fighting. It’s in your hands, Raygo.”
After a few moments the shuttle shot suddenly aside, and Cara put her free hand on top of one of Raygo’s.
“Come on. You’re doing it.”
The asteroid screamed closer.
As its expanse filled their vision Cara closed her eyes and felt herself being assailed by emotion.
In all of the time at the station, she had never so strongly felt the overpowering desire to live. To survive. To prove wrong the people who had deserted her. To prove wrong her parents.
After seconds or maybe minutes the shuttle lurched and Cara opened her eyes, only to see the asteroid crashing down.
Away from them.
Cara and Raygo watched it smash into the station, brilliant explosions filling the darkness like fireworks.
“It’s gone.” Cara said, “The only home I ever knew.”
“My home is wherever you are.”
Cara smiled shyly.
It was then that the screen lit up again.
A man with glasses appeared, looking straight at the camera.
“Cara, if you’re watching this you’ve made it out of the station. You probably don’t remember me…actually, I don’t remember myself.”
He cleared his throat before continuing.
“My name is Adam Riesling. I’m the man that should be your father, but I’m ashamed to say that I failed you in that respect. My wife and I led an experiment on you and various other children.”
Adam adjusted his glasses.
“Unfortunately, the majority of them didn’t survive past infancy. You and two others were the exception. Your cells had accepted the ridiculous genetic tampering we’d done with them. The idea was to create a super-powered soldier, if you will. To sell for millions. We trained you like soldiers. We paraded you in front of the buyers we had lined up. There was an…incident and they lost interest. The project was shut down.”
He was quiet for a few moments before he started again.
“I was tasked with ending your life. I couldn’t do it. So I formed a ridiculous plan. I used my authority to make sure the backup generators were left on even after the systems were supposed to be off. I put the three of you into a sleep state. I had these escape pods left here. It was all to try and ease my guilty conscience. But I was selfish.”
Riesling’s voice faltered.
“However slim the chance of your survival was, it posed risk. You couldn’t be traced back to the Ark Corporations, or it would be the end of my career. Maybe my life. So I took away your memories.”
He looked away from the camera.
“I hope you find it within yourself to forgive me. That is, assuming you’re alive.”
He choked on his words and wiped at his eyes.
“I know this may be difficult to believe, Cara, but I love you. And I’m sorry…for everything.”
The screen flicked off and Cara sat still, frozen in shock.
“Cara, are you okay?” Raygo asked in a quiet voice.
“I…” she started, almost gasping for air, “I…I don’t know.”
He took her hand and intertwined his fingers with hers.
“It’s going to be okay.”
The shuttle let out a hissing sound.
Entering light speed.
The world went black shortly afterwards.