7. Runaway Princess? (part 1)

          The princess ran to his small body as his lungs screamed to be relieved of the water that was filling them. Sinking to her knees beside the boy, she began pushing on his chest, desperately trying to pump the fluids out. How did he get here? she wondered as she took a deep breath and removed her air mask. She strapped it to Zephyr’s face as if she had rehearsed it a thousand times, and he gratefully began breathing again. Out of nowhere, Levi materialized beside Hataru and offered his mask to her. They shared it, passing it back and forth in silence for a few minutes until she said, “We can’t keep sharing it like this. There was a third mask under my seat; I’ll go retrieve it.”

          “You’re sure? I’ll go get it. You stay here,” he replied strictly.

          “I can do this,” she whispered. Taking one last breath of the filtered air, she swiftly took the mask, threw it to the captain, and then dashed off into the dark hallway.

          “NO!” he screamed, trying to stop her, but she was already gone, just like that. He wanted to run after her, but Firious, and many others, held him back.

          “I’m sorry, Levi,” he said gravely, “but if I let you go, I know what will happen. You’ll save the lass, and die yourself. And, as much as I hate to admit it, we don’t know what we’d do without you. We need you, Levi. She’ll drown in a few minutes anyway; then it will be all over for her.” Silent tears collected in the bottom of Levi's mask.

The End

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