The Labour Planet - A Working Title - Part Thirteen - 1073 Words - Updated
The Labour Planet – A Working Title - Part Thirteen – 1174 words
Whittaker, Georgia and Jamie were pushed forward to join the others forming an orderly line ready to move out of the containment area. The Guardsman seemed to have forgotten the moment he had looked at Georgia with sympathy because now he kept pushing them forward by using the butt of his gun.
Jamie wondered how they were going to get back up to the flight deck as he had travelled down in the chute. Just as he was beginning to think there must be a staircase leading up to the flight deck they found themselves in a small area where the chute was.
The guards forced some people to get in the chute and then Jamie was amazed to see one of the guards press something on his belt. This mechanism made the chute run the other way so that now the chute was going down to the flight deck. The people in the chute looked terrified, particularly as the ship was still dropping rapidly.
Soon it would be their turn but from where they were queuing Whittaker could see Black standing to one side looking on at the proceedings. Eric Oldcastle was in the chute, blustering about it being nothing to worry about, and it would be best for all concerned if they complied with everything they were asked to do.
Then Whittaker noticed James Rathbone come to stand next to Black. From where he stood he could see they were having quite an animated conversation. In fact, it looked almost like an argument. Now what could they be arguing about, was his next thought.
Then, once in the chute, it was their turn to be whizzed down only it wasn't down it was up; up to the flight deck. When they finally reached their destination Jamie was astonished to find that the flight deck was enormous; much, much bigger than when he had first boarded the ship.
The Guardsman Templar whose belt he had retrieved was ordering people out of the chute by the now familiar method of poking them with the butt of his gun. When it was their turn to get out it wasn't necessary for the guard to use any coercion. But as soon as he saw Georgia he pulled her to one side motioning Whittaker and Jamie to continue walking away.
‘What are you up to?' ‘I've seen you going round talking to people and I want to know what you were saying?'
‘I…I…am just trying to get to know people that's all. I'm not doing any harm. '
‘You always seem to be hanging around with the boy and that other one, older, dressed smart, like you.'
‘Yes, I've made friends with them, nothing more.'
‘Well, I'll be keeping my eye on you. If the scanners were working I'd use one because I don't trust you. You're different from the rest.'
‘May I go back to my friends now? I don't want to lose sight of them.'
‘Yes, go back, but remember I'll be watching you.'
Georgia hurried away so as not to lose sight of the other two, but she was somewhat alarmed by what the guardsman had said. When she caught up with the others, she quickly gave them the gist.
‘That could be bad,' said Jamie. ‘I was told that if they scanned my brain they would get all the information they needed about what I was doing.'
‘Well, I don't think we can worry about that now,' said Whittaker, ‘we need to use this opportunity to glean as much information as we can before we are sent back to the containment area.'
‘Information? But you don’t have any belief in what I have already told you?’ said Jamie rubbing at his mouth.
‘But you have given us other information that could prove useful and the fact that we are out and are now up on the flight deck as well as having an idea of their numbers we are slowly gathering information that might help us.’
‘I didn’t think the information I had given was of any use seeing as you don’t believe what I have been saying,’ said Jamie, through slightly clenched teeth
‘Don't be offended, Jamie, but we have to take account of the fact that you can provide no evidence of these strange beings, and you have suffered a nasty gash to the head.'
‘Yes, Jamie, Tom's right, we can't afford to take anything at face value. We know that you believe these beings exist but without proof we can't believe as you do.'
‘Okay, let's drop it.' said Jamie, shrugging his shoulders.
Before they could carry on their conversation, they heard a strange whirring noise which made them all look up. A screen had slid into place separating them from the instruments and the control area of the ship. So, where they were became very cramped as there was no room for anyone to move about. People started to feel claustrophobic, and some started screaming, but then another screen moved only this time it removed a wall, and they found themselves once more in a vast area. Everyone present quickly spread themselves out and tried to pretend that they couldn't hear the furious battle that was still raging, but then all of a sudden the ship stopped dropping, and they heard, over the speaker system,
‘All Guardsmen Templars stand down.
All second wave Guardsmen Cadets withdraw and stand down.
All surviving first wave Guardsmen Cadets seal all exits and then retreat. We have repelled our attackers. I repeat we have repelled the attack.'
‘I wonder if this means we'll be sent back now?' said Georgia.
‘I hope not this is the best chance we've had to get some idea of the ship's layout.'
And then as if in answer to Georgia's question over the speaker system they heard,
‘We have repelled the attack but the ship is showing signs of damage All Guardsmen await instructions and do not move the cargo until instructed to do so.'
‘Well, that's a relief. It would have been a pity to get sent back now when we have a sporting chance of discovering the layout of the ship,' said Whittaker.
‘Yes, this is probably our best hope,' said Georgia with Jamie nodding agreement but then they heard,
‘Attention all Guardsmen we will be landing on the nearest planet that can sustain us while repairs are carried out. All Guardsmen Templars take up landing positions in readiness.
While the three of them listened to each new announcement, they hadn't noticed that another wall had slid back to reveal a type of weld-mesh enclosure until an excited Jamie cried out,
‘Look, look, now will you believe me?'
Whittaker and Georgia turned to where Jamie was pointing. They saw the enclosure and behind the wire mesh they could see some strange looking people. Seeing Jamie's reaction was enough to convince Whittaker and Georgia that these odd looking creatures were the Grusaliens he had told them about.