Launch Day (short scene from a game)
Working on the writing team of a Pokemon fangame and although this scene will never be shown on-screen (only through dialogue and characters talking), I couldn't help but write it out.
It's set in a region where there are regular space launches to try and discover spatial anomalies caused by strange Cosmic pokemon/legendaries.
Hope you enjoy reading as much as I had fun writing it...
Michele looked up from her computer, disoriented. She had been so immersed in her preparations that for a moment she wasn’t sure who or what she was looking at. Her thoughts had drifted off into space as they often did the night before a launch.
Equations and symbols danced in the corner of her vision but she willed them away, closing the laptop. She got up from her chair and sat next to her daughter Corin on the couch, stroking her hair, kissing her lightly on the forehead.
“Do you get scared when you go up into space?”
Corin’s face was a mix of emotions. Fear, worry, uncertainty…Michele could read her daughter’s expressions so easily she wondered why she hadn’t seen this coming.
“Have you ever seen me afraid of anything?”
Corin’s face scrunched up in thought.
“I don’t think so…”
Bending down so she could be face-to-face with her daughter, Michele whispered, “Can I tell you a secret?”
Her daughter’s eyes lit up with excitement. She nodded furiously, her hair bobbing.
“I am always scared before a shuttle launch,” Michele said, and waited for the inevitable question to follow.
“But you love going up into space! How can you be scared? How can you love something that you’re afraid of?”
“Sweet pea, do you remember when I took you to the launch site, to see how they build a shuttle?”
“Yeah, there are so many big and little pieces! I used to think they just built it like Lego but it’s so much more complicated than that.”
“That’s right, and because there are so many little things to take care of, it means there are more chances for something to go wrong, get a little loose, or go missing. That’s why we have so many people working at SOSE, to make sure we cover all our bases. That’s why your father, bless him, is still in the office. To make sure tomorrow goes perfect.”
By reflex Michele turned her head towards the door but she knew her husband would be hours coming home, if at all.
“I trust your father and our team,” she continued. “They’re the best we have. And of course, I’ve got Zee with me on the shuttle just in case.”
Corin scrunched her face again, thinking. “But if they’re the best we have, how come you’re still afraid?”
Michele smiled. “Because there’s still always a chance something could go wrong, even if you try your absolute best. That’s the danger with science. We don’t know everything there is to know yet. Many variables can be predicted but life is always unpredictable. But that’s not what really scares me.”
She took her daughter’s hand and squeezed it tight. “What scares me is that something might go wrong and then I wouldn’t see you or your father again. I couldn’t bear to be apart from you. I love you, Corin.”
“I love you, too, mom.”
Zee floated around the cabin, trying to find where the error on the screen was coming from.
They had breached the Earth’s atmosphere and floated into space not ten minutes ago when the error had shown up on the screen. Michele had left all her Pokémon back at home with Corin, with the exception of PorygonZ, who always accompanied her on every mission. She had promised her daughter she’d be back to collect the rest, and dammit, she would!
She pushed a button on the console in front of her.
“Mission Control, this is Aquarius Nine, do you read?”
The response came back slightly muted, as if there was some interference. “We read you A9, over.”
“I have an Amber Alert on my screen, critical error. Trying to fix on my end, can you see anything on yours?”
It was a minute before their response, and this time it was very difficult to make out more than three words out of four. “A9, we …abort…not safe…-ort mission!”
An explosion rocked beneath them.
“Mission Control, can you repeat? I’m getting interference on my end.”
This time there was only static.
“Zee! Please tell me you’ve found something!”
His answer appeared on the screen.
CRITICAL ENGINE FAILURE.
TRYING TO DIVERT POWER BUT SOMETHING
IS INTERFERING WITH MY PROGRAMMING.
Another explosion, this one more powerful. Their shuttle was falling apart in space and there was only static coming from earth.
Michele knew she should be focusing on fixing the issue but if Zee was having trouble… Corin and Pierce’s faces floated in front of her and she had to blink away tears.
Something bright glowed in front of her and for a second she thought the problem had been solved, that Zee had managed to bring the screens back.
But Zee’s error message was still on the screen.
Where was the glow coming from? Was it another explosion? Was this the end?
She thought again of her husband and daughter. Of the last time she had kissed them. The last time she had hugged them.
The brightness became blinding as more things detonated around her, but instead of cold she felt warmth, as if someone or something was hugging her back.
Everything else was darkness.