A Chapter by DB Heinemann

Things are heating up


Ruihi and Ryan exited the spacecraft with their bags and returned to Zenon ground for the first time in a week. The port was bustling with oblivious patrons. “I can’t believe it’s over already,” Ryan told Ruihi softly.

“I know, after all that and now it’s just suddenly all over,” Ruihi agreed.

The corner of Ryan’s lips went into his cheeks. “I’m going to miss you, Ruihi. It really was a pleasure working with you.” Ryan held out his hand.

Ruihi dropped his bag and embraced Ryan. It surprised Ryan for a moment but he immediately hugged him back. After a few tender seconds, Ruihi released Ryan and sniffed.

“I’m gonna miss you, brosif,” Ruihi patted him on the shoulder.

Ryan shook his head. “I never knew,” he sighed. “that I could grow so close, so dependent on someone. In so short of a time.”

Ruihi shrugged, holding back tears. “Being held captive together by the Yungins can do that to a person.”

“No,” Ryan protested. “It’s more than that.” He clasped his hand on Ruihi’s shoulder and looked him right in the eye. “You are the coolest guy in the world. And I hope you open that apple fritter shop soon and that it’s the most successful apple fritter shop on the planet. No, in the universe!”

“Thanks, man,” Ruihi stood a little taller. “And I hope that trip works out with you. Stop being such a kayhe to your gunon, too. Or I’ll have to step in and replace you.”

Ryan laughed. “Ha-ha. I’ll kill you.”

Ruihi smirked. “After I saved your life from those Yungins? You owe me.”

Ryan looked to the side thoughtfully. “I kind of recall a volcano that was about to burn you alive had I not stepped in.”

Ruihi scowled playfully. “We’ll call it even for now.”

Ryan nodded. “I’ll see you around, Ruihi.”

“Right back at ya, brosif,” Ruihi fist bumped his pal. Ryan watched as his bestest friend ever in the whole world walked away into the crowd.

What a crazy week. He ought to fly out of atmo more often. He usually prefered aircrafts because the trips were short and they didn’t go far from home. But after his time spent with Ruihi, he would fly into space again in a heartbeat. The vastness of it usually made him queasy but now, he felt like a space prince flying through the stars. He was sad to be back on the ground again. Wait, Ryan thought to himself. I’m going to be flying again with Shoky soon. Ryan was filled with a new vigor. He picked up his pace to get home quicker.

For once, he was excited to travel with Shoky, even if it meant smuggling a human back to Earth. It was exhilarating, even. Who knew such a simple trip could change him so? Never before had he been so willing to step out of his comfort zone. He wanted so desperately to prove to Shoky that he was the man that would go the distance both with and for her. He had the indifferent energy and fearlessness of the Sun. He felt he could do anything. Was this how Shoky felt in the face of new things? No wonder she was so brazen. Oh Shoky, Ryan couldn’t wait to see her ag-

“Ah!” Ryan’s upbeat thoughts and fast pace kept him from noticing the woman with a large red suitcase he had just bumped into.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Ryan stammered, his mojo interrupted. He helped the woman up. She looked like something from a 1970s Earth movie. She wore sunglasses and a head scarf that covered most of her head and a short jacket-dress combo with heels.

“No, it was me, I’m not used to heels,” the slightly irritated woman replied.

Ryan recognized that voice,”Shoky?!”

The woman looked at him. She gasped, “Ryan!” She threw herself into his arms which caused him to take a couple steps back to steady himself.

“What are you doing here? We were supposed to meet at my house. And what are you wearing?” he managed to ask.

“You like it?” Shoky stepped off him proudly and twirled. “They were selling it at the American festival.”

“The Am-?” Ryan stopped. Realizing: “You went to the Earth Food Festival!”

Shoky’s eyes suddenly widened in fear. “Nalie made me!”

“Oh, way to blame everything on me,” Shoky’s suitcase retorted.

Every part of Ryan stood up to its end. He tried very hard not to yell in the crowded port. It came out as a high pitched whisper. “Is that Nalie in there?”

Shoky put her hands up. “I can explain.” In the distance behind Shoky, there was the sound much shuffling and shouting. “No, there’s too much. I’ll explain later. All you need to know is that the Zenon Police are looking for us and we need to leave now.” Shoky began walking past him.

“What?!” Ryan couldn’t help but to screech now. Shoky stumbled.

“Damn these heels!” Shoky took them off and threw them on the ground. “Come on, no time for thinking,” she ushered towards Ryan. “We gotta go! Grab Nalie.”

“Go where?” Ryan picked up the suitcase. “Ooph, geez, Nalie, put on some weight?”

“I been at a food festival all day. What do you think?” Nalie shot back.

You went to the food festival?!” Ryan shouted at Shoky.

“Yell at me later,” Shoky shouted back, losing patience.

“Shoky, wait, stop,” Ryan put down the suitcase.

Even though she was wearing sunglasses, Ryan could tell he was receiving a death stare. “I just need to know,” he put out a calming hand. “Where we are going.”

“We need a spaceship.”

“What about the rental?!”

“They’re too slow. We need a real one. Plus, we’re here already and the cops are right on our tail.”

“Cops are our friends, though,” Ryan told her slowly. “Maybe they want to send Nalie back to Earth as much as we do.”

“No!” Shoky protested. “They’re evil. Trust me, we gotta go or Nalie’s screwed!”

“Ok, human cops are evil. I’d run from them. They don’t know what’s up. But our cops do. They’re reasonable. I just got back from the craziest week and now you’re asking me to run from the police and steal a spaceship. I need a 100% on this. Are you absolutely sure they mean Nalie harm?”

Shoky sighed. She took off her sunglasses and stepped towards Ryan. He was surprised to see a bruise forming under her eye. Before he could ask, she took his face and told him, “Yes Ryan, I am sure. I need to you to help me to escape from the bad people. Please. Trust me on this.” Her eyes pleaded like never before.

Ryan’s twisted his face. His newfound bravado had suddenly faded, replaced by his old cynical ways. He looked down and pinched his nose. “Goddamnit, Shoky, I really trusted you not to screw up while I was gone and now-” Ryan stopped himself and looked up, his hand moving to clasp the side of his jaw. “I said before if this went too far, I was going to back out and turn Nalie in.”

Shoky’s lip trembled. Ryan rolled his eyes. “God, you’re so dramatic.” Trying to remember his new daring, he grabbed her wrist. “C’mon, let’s find a ship.”

Shoky smiled brightly as he took her to a Pilots Only door. It fell as Ryan opened the door. “Oh,” she put her hand to her lips. “Don’t forget Nalie.” She turned and ran back to the red suitcase.

“Oh right,” Ryan bit his lip as he held the door open. “You know, for someone that causes so much stress in our lives, we sure do forget about her a lot.”

“Right?” Shoky agreed as she went through the door with suitcase in arms.

“Thanks,” Nalie muttered.

Nalie continued to be ignored, however. “As my friend Ruihi would say, on to this grand adventure we call life!” Ryan called, pointing to the ceiling.

“What?” Shoky screwed her face at him.

Ryan shook his head, “Forget it, I’ll tell you later.”

“I think I heard that wrong. Did Ryan say he had friends?” Nalie asked Shoky from the suitcase.

Ryan ignored them both and led them through the lounge area of the pilot’s zone and to the boarding area. “Yo Ryan, who’s the chick?”someone shouted before he made it to the hallway. Ryan’s heart stopped. He turned to see Tarangi, a previously introduced fellow pilot, peer over a couch that was across the room and facing away from them.

Thinking fast, he swung an arm around Shoky who still had a head scarf and glasses on. “This is my girl’s, Shoky, sister, Teka. They haven’t seen each in years and I wanted to surprise Shoky when she comes to pick me up. I figured I could safely hide her in here till she shows up. Don’t tell anyone, ok? I don’t want to get in trouble for bringing a haukie back here.”

Tarangi p’shawed. “Don’t worry. I don’t think anyone even cares. The amount of times I’ve brought guys back here just to show em the ol’ arohana, so to speak, is quite ridiculous and no one ever says anything. Just keep it quiet.”

Ryan blinked. “Thanks. I really didn’t need that image in my head but thanks.”

Tarangi gave a toothy grin. “Anytime, sweet cheeks.” She gave a wave to Shoky. “Nice meeting you, honey. Pardon me for not getting up but I gotta rest before the next flight. Tell Shoky I said hi.”

Shoky timidly waved back. “I will,” she replied in a ridiculous falsetto. Ryan gave her a look which Shoky defensively shrugged at.

Ryan sighed. “Come on, let’s go.” He led them to the back of a hallway connected to the lounge- the sleeping quarters. In each small room that was about the size of a deluxe jail cell there was a bed, bathroom, a closet of spare uniforms, and a TV screen that also conveniently displayed flight information. Ryan closed the door behind him and went to the closet. Shoky put the suitcase on the bed and promptly opened it. Nalie sprang out.

“Goddamn, hallelujah!” she gasped. “I was almost sure I was going to break my neck in there.” Nalie climbed out to stretch her legs and such.

Ryan stopped himself from yelping. “Nalie, what the hell are you wearing?!” Nalie was in a black morph suit with a bright dress over it with startling contacts and sharpened teeth.

“Calm down,” Nalie assured him as she stretched. “It was the disguise Shoky helped me put together. I wasn’t just walking around the festival. You think we’re stupid?”

Ryan huffed. “Just try to be quiet. I don’t need people overhearing us,” he told her. “Here, put this on.” He gave Shoky a uniform. “You’ll be less noticeable in a uniform.”

As Shoky resigned to the bathroom, Ryan scanned the flight information. “Ok, right here,” Ryan pointed to the TV. “This one just got back from Pluto so it’s good for long distances. It’s getting cleaned and refueled right now before the next flight which just so happens to be for Mars. Lucky day. If I can maybe switch shifts with the pilot, we might have a chance of leaving undetected.”

“Well I’m ready for take-off,” said a sultry voice behind him. He turned around to see Shoky leaning in a very cliche way against the bathroom doorway behind him, now wearing a partially zippered flight attendant uniform with her eyes peeking over her sunglasses ravenously.

Ryan half heartedly grinned. “As sexy and mysterious as you look, flight attendants don’t wear sunglasses. There should be some community make up somewhere in the bathroom to cover up the bruise. I think there’s even some hair dye in there for the crew members that are into changing their hair color ever 5 minutes.” Shoky grimaced before returning to the bathroom mirror. “How’d you get that bruise anyways?” Ryan dared to ask.

From inside the bathroom, Shoky sighed, “I might as well tell you what happened while you were away. After you left, Nalie and I got kind of restless…”

© 2016 DB Heinemann

Author's Note

DB Heinemann
Yes, some amazing, bonding, character growing adventure happened between Ruihi and Ryan in between chapters. No, I wasn't planning on delving into the details of that trip. It's better this way. But at least you get to hear about Nalie's and Shoky's week in the chapter and how it escalated thusly.

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Added on November 6, 2016
Last Updated on November 11, 2016


DB Heinemann
DB Heinemann


Just a super awesome person looking to hone the craft. I mostly do fantasy but I occasionally get science fiction-y or some artsy fartsy soul searching writing. But fantasy's my main go to because the.. more..

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A Chapter by DB Heinemann