We shuffled clumsily along the docking tube, though there was hardly room on either side for us to walk beside the gurney. However, as we finally exited the ship into the upper levels of a large hangar, it was easier to flank Zenzie.
I was about to introduce myself to the private security guard that our lawyers had contracted when there was a commotion. Just as the gurney was being quickly ushered towards the hangar bay lift on our right, shouting broke out far below us.
I ran towards the railing and peered over.
The bay was enormous – big enough to allow for three docking bays one on top of another. That meant the actual space must have been over a hundred stories high. It was like walking outside onto a planet, it was so immense. I leant over the rail and managed to focus on the activities below me. My stomach churned at the drop straight down.
From here the figures were tiny. There seemed to be many of them, however, and they were swarming up the steps alongside the lifts. That didn’t bother me. Even though they were heading directly for us, it would take them far too long to climb so many stories. We could be long gone before they reached us.
“Turn back!” I shouted to those behind me. “Turn back. Back into the Aurynth!”
We all did a ninety degree swivel, just in time to catch the flash of explosives out in the accordion-like passageway which snaked from the ship to the airlock. There was a sharp tug on each of us as air raced past us, and then the failsafes on the airlock clicked in, and the hatch door swung firmly shut. The passage tubing writhed in open space, shaking those trapped within it free. I saw one or two Aurynth crew members float slowly off into the darkness. I was close enough to see the horrified expression on one. We all stared for a heart-stopping second, before Denaraz grabbed out at the gurney where Zenzara was lying. “We cannot get back to the Aurynth. We will descend a full level, to the next ship docked. I am authorized to requisition assistance from any Tyzaran vessel. Do as I say!”
I glared at him. His solution didn’t seem a particularly safe option. I opened my mouth to express an opinion, but Zenzara struggled to her elbows and began to swing her legs off the gurney.
“Quiet, Mallivan Bell,” she told me, ignoring the open mouth she had left me with. “There is no time. I sense something worse than—”
A flash permeated the hanger and we all ducked. Some few milliseconds afterwards there was a deep booming sound. I swear Denaraz’s crests separated for a moment from his scalp.
Gillian Andrews is also the author of the award-winning Ammonite Galaxy series, and Kelfor, the Orthomancers. She is English but lives in Spain, and is passionate about Cosmology. She likes to write upbeat space opera with strong protagonists and complex aliens.