Beyond the DarkSide: 32-6 to 8


“Well I’ll be damned,” Hanse said.

“What? What is it?” Evan asked while frantically looking about.

“It looks like we’re saved.” Hanse picked up his pace, bounding forward with long strides that ate up the distance.

Evan chased after him, but he watched the distance between them grow. He worried that the revolutionary intended to ditch Evan and save himself. Then he saw the shuttle.

The dull mustard yellow shuttle sat between two craters and blended in with the surroundings. A white light blinked twice and went dark. It did so a few seconds later, but stopped once Evan turned in its direction. Hanse got to the shuttle and waved Evan forward. “Come on,” he shouted.

Evan’s breath came in panting gasps by the time he got to the shuttle door. He climbed inside the red lit interior and Hanse closed the hatch. A cheerful, masculine voice announced, “Please keep all safety gear in place.” Air rushed into the bay through a series of vents in the ceiling. After a minute the hissing stopped and the light changed from red to white.

Hanse unlatched his helmet and pulled it off. He sucked in a noisy breath and declared, “Still recycled, but the freshest air I’ve had in thirty minutes.” Evan followed his lead, but kept the helmet in his lap rather than tossing it to the ground.

The metal clank and hiss of an airlock opening turned both of their heads toward the front of the shuttle. A tall, thin woman in grey flights it stepped through the door and glared at the two of them. She opened her mouth to speak, but Hanse cut her off. “Debbie, baby, I’m so glad to see you.” His exuberant greeting and accompanying smile did not elicit the response he hoped for. Debra’s glare grew more pronounced and the silence more palpable.

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