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Chapter 3
Published 4 months ago
Drag & Drop

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Okay, I wanted to have a cool build with each chapter... but this one had come late enough, and I couldn't really make anything satisfying without spend a lot of time on it. Anyways, not really satisfied... but oh well. Hope you like it, things get heated in the next chapter

When Nicholas and Clayton stepped back on board the ship Dragon and the two others had already arrived. As the ramp closed in for the last time behind them, Clayton removed his helmet, revealing his face and neatly cut dark hair. He appeared to be in his mid to late twenties, but experiences lined every facet of his face. The other men did the same, each person unique in his own way. Drogan was the last to do this, seeming to be almost hesitant to reveal dark, thick, and unevenly cut brown hair. His face, though younger and more keen than Clayton’s, revealed just as much if not more wisdom and depth. He gave Nicholas an expressionless glance, and then turned his attention to the captain.

“What’s this?” He asked their leader.

“A new recruit, welcome aboard,” he stopped and looked at the lad for a second. “I’m sorry, but I actually don’t know you name.”

“I’m Nicholas Turner,” he responded quickly, giving a short glance around at all the new faces which were turned towards his.

“Ah, well then, welcome aboard Nicholas Turner.”

“You think he’ll make it past the first simulator boys,” a blond haired haughty looking officer said while tracing his chin with his thumb.

“That’s Kappa Balderdash.” Clayton looked slightly annoyed while saying this. “If he gives you a hard time just ignore him.”

“Well It looks like he’ll me ignoring me most of the time then,” Kappa said, a chuckle came form somewhere else in the hull. The Captain just rolled his eyes.

“I probably should introduce you to everyone else. London!” He called, and a brown haired young man with a fresh scare across his left eye ran in from the cockpit. “Time for introductions.”

“Oh, well he knows my name now, see ya.” The pilot said with a wink, and then turned and left.

“Well that’s London,” Clayton said.

“And his tempter can sometimes be just as quick as his leaving,” another dark haired figure said to his left. “I’m Allan Idris, the guy who’s help you once or twice already. I work mechanics and tech for the team. My brother is Ehyo,” he pointed to a short red haired figure who’s armor was covered in straps and extra pouches, “he’s the firepower of the team. Keeps track of our bombs, big guns, you name it.”

“I keep track of them all right, but I rarely get to use any of them.”

“That’s because he’s the most reckless member of the group,” Allen said, giving his sibling a jesting punch in the shoulder.

“I like the sound of that,” Nicholas said sheepishly, remembering Jacklin’s last words to him.

“I like the kid,” Ehyo laughed.

Kappa shook his head and snorted with a smirk. “You’ll change your mind in at least an hour.”

“Anyways, back to the others” Allen said, apparently stealing his Captain’s job of introducing the crew. “You know Drogan already, but the other two are Parker and Norvel. Parker is the bald guy, our medic, and Norvel is just your everyday boring cop.” Most everyone laughed at this, and Nicholas observed that this was probably untrue.

“He’s joking,” Parker said, “Norvel is our stunt monkey and daredevil. He scouts out anything we’re unsure of.”

“He means I do all the fun stuff while they sit back and be the boring ones.” He stepped forward and shook Nicholas’ hand, followed by a few others who suddenly felt rude that they hadn’t.

“You forgot about me,” the last figure said from the corner of the room. His helmet was still on, and his voice more distinct than all the others.

“Oh,” Clayton mused, “this is RK-12, our droid.”

“He’s the only fella who’s died here.” Ehyo said.

“Good to know.” Nichoals didn’t feel like shaking his hand, worrying that RK’s grip might be too much for him to handle.

“I’ve actually died 12 times,” the droid boasted, “and after each time I’ve been rebuilt differently.”

“Yeah, he’s had some cool bodies before,” Allen said, “but we decided to just give him a standard cop body this past time, mostly because it was cheaper than a redesign.”

A few more brief things were discussed, and then everyone settled down in their own places and waited. Nicholas took note of things he hadn’t before, small personal items and clutter than made up the ship. Kappa had a small rectangular tile on the wall where he sat and wrote something out with chalk, Allen fiddled with some kind of small machine that needed fixing, Ehyo sat on the floor tampering with some kind of fuzzy green ball, and many other small and seemingly random things he noticed. After about an hour London came in and announced he’d set them on a steady course back home, and Clayton then stood up and called for a debrief of the mission. Nicholas listened for part of the time, taking note of their side of what had taken place, along with other bits of news and things he couldn’t decipher or understand. After a while though his interest was lost, and he walked over to a small stack of crates near a window. He sat there, gazing out at the quickly passing stars. He’d never been to space before, and it’s vastness seemed to shake him. He suddenly felt the urge to be alone and grieve, to hide himself from all the change and trouble.

“Get your elbow off my book,” the steady voice of Drogan whispered. He’d been sitting by the window himself, so still that Nicholas hadn’t noticed his presence. He also hadn’t noticed the black leather-bound book seated on the stack containers. He’d set his elbow down on it without even realizing.

“I’m sorry he said,” pulling his arm away and wondering why Drogan wasn’t with the others.

Taking the book away Drogan dusted it off, looked at its cover intently, and then set it down beside him. “You’re going to go a long ways,” Drogan said quietly, keeping his gaze forwards and away from Nicholas.

“What do you mean?” Nicholas asked in confusion, and surprise.

“I’ve lived in this galaxy over a thousand years, and I can tell a hero when I see one.”

Nicholas sat stunned. He’d never heard of anyone living a good ways past a hundred years, but a thousand? Surely Drogan was using some kind of figure of speech here. “How old are you?” He found himself asking, not sure what else to say.

Drogan smirked. “Technically I’m 22, but because of preservation and a few strange unexplainable wormhole like experiences I’ve been around for a long time. I lead Commando Squad Beta during the Third Interstellar War, and after that we were preserved until needed. I’ve gone in and out of preservation, and am currently on a run with these fellas until the Talon is taken care of.”

Now Nicholas was truly stunned, his mind filled with volumes of questions and almost no explanations. “If you fought in one of the Interstellar Wars, then does that mean you’ve been to Earth?” He asked. He’d often thought about Earth, the distant planet that Human life had supposedly emerged from. History stated that the place had been abandoned, and even lost over time, but it was no less real.

“I’m from Earth,” Dragon said, a weary smile on his face. “I’d give a lot to return, it’s where I got my book.”

“Can I see it?” Nicholas asked slowly, unsure if he’d be welcomed. To his relief though Drogan slowly, and with some reluctance, handed him the object. It felt weighty and slightly delicate, so he handled it with care. “I can’t read it,” he said after flipping through a few pages. “It’s an older language isn’t it?”

“Yes,” he took the book back as he spoke, “It was called Russian, one of the many I speak. The book is the only thing that keeps me sane. It shows me the purpose of my life. Some people don’t need to see their purpose, only live as they please and forget about the future. I can’t though. I wasn’t made to live like most people Nicholas, I was born to fight, and I won’t ever see an end to that until I die. Knowing your life is destined for war and strife isn’t easy, but this shows me to look beyond what I can see and find hope in what I know.”

“What do you know?” Nicholas’ interest was already at a high level, and each word which Drogan spoke only intrigued him more.

“I know of a god who created all things, and who gave his life for my soul so that one day, whether I die in battle or live to see the end of time, I’ll live in a life without war, pain, and death. My life isn’t found in this universe, and so if I have to live the entirety of my time here fighting for whatever cause may come, so be it. It’s my calling to stand up to justice.”

“I know this too,” Nicholas said, a sense of comradeship between himself and the mysterious warrior. It was for the first time he noticed a surprised look in Drogan’s eyes, but a pleasantly surprised one.

“That may explain what I see in you,” he whispered. “I’ve met few who tolerate this, and even fewer who hold to it. Don’t expect to find yourself welcome in this world kid, but don’t let it shift your focus. You don’t have to be excepted by the others, just do what you know is right. This is the Way after all.”

Nicholas smiled. Drogan had shown himself to be more of a friend than he’d imagined, and he hoped he could rely on him more in the future. A sense of purpose settled on his heart, and though the grief still remained, it remained to push him forwards and into the unknown. Grief wasn’t the only thing though, but Jacklin’s words also prompted him. He felt a strong desire to match whatever her expectations had been of him, or even exceed them. Whatever the case, whatever push or pull he had, he felt that it was and would be enough to carry him through.

Goodbye, God bless, Greenflame24.!
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4 months ago
Epic chapter, Greenie! This series is turning out to be amazing!

also, "Get your elbow off my book is totally something I would say
4 months ago
@Guitarman2 Thanks

*places elbow on Gman's book*

@Fire Blade 2<8 Thonks!

4 months ago
@KingofAce people may accuse me a stealing a Mando reference, but hey, Christians have been saying that for like about 2,00 years now
4 months ago
Nice writing!
I love the interaction with Drogan telling Nicholas about his faith at the end. You wrote that really well, not on-the-nose at all.
3 months ago
@Dragon Thank you! I'm glad it came out okay, because it took a while to get to where I liked it. I really want to make all my stuff purposeful, to some extent. Hopefully after I've died someone will hop on here and see Christ in the stuff I've done.
3 months ago
@Zecker Don't worry, he'll show up
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