National Anthem

“What do you want us to do?” Jade asked, wringing her hands and looking about as chaos began to overtake the Promenade. Jay looked on as helplessly as Bruno had, as a handful of pilots sprinted towards the turbo-lifts. A hideous combination of Bagpipes and Hammond Organ music began to blare out of the speakers’ ship wide.

“What is that God awful racket?” Jay grimaced, putting his hands over his ears.

“If I recall my history correctly.” Jade said, having swatted up on the crew files “It’s the Ffionian national anthem.” She cringed as the anthem segwayed into a more mellow section that was like Peruvian flute music having sex with rhinoceros.

“Cass can’t you lock out their control of the system?” Jay asked, as another console nearby exploded in a shower of glass and smoke.

“Don’t you think I’m trying?” She hissed at Jay. “Someone keeps locking me out of the system. None of my access codes are working and Holly is being annoyingly stubborn about letting me in.” The ship rocked and the small group slid across the decking towards the stairs to the lower level. Jay lurched forwards, trying to grab for Jade as he saw the disaster occurring but was beaten to it. The man thundered along the promenade and swept in, grabbing Jade as she began to topple over the lip of the stairs as if he had perfect action movie timing.

“You should get somewhere safe.” He frowned at the group, his chisled jaw practicly radiating American hero charisma.

“You should get fu…” Cass began but was interrupted by Jade.

“Thanks. We will.” She smiled at the man as he nodded, noting the name on the uniform read ‘Major Harris’. He nodded curtly, and began yelling orders to the security forces in the area. Jay scowled, folding his arms. They were ushered away from the edge by some well-meaning security forces, Cass shrugged one off angrily as they tried to take her tablet off her and advise that she pay more attention to the crisis going on around them.

“Tom. Dick. Harry. Get these people out of here. And for the love of God someone stop this smegging noise!” Harris growled with a callous anger to match Cass on a bad day as the anthem kicked back into bagpipe and Hammond organs again.

“We can’t just stand here like second rate no-body’s we have to do something!” Jade said with a frustrated sigh. The turbo lifts that the groups of people were being herded into gave out an angry squealing protest before grinding to a halt, with a noise like a pig was yelling in a room full of people drawing their fingers down chalkboards and polystyrene.

“I got it.” Jamie said, working his way through the crowd of people as only a man used to fighting through touch undergrowth could.

“Yeah, don’t you touch that Slick.” Came a derisive voice as Jamie approached the control panel with a screwdriver.

“What? Who?” Jamie said, looking around as he was approached by a cocky looking engineer.


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