Inhabitable | Invasion Survivor Book Two | Chapter Twenty-Three
Paige’s mind raced as she watched blue spheres force the black wave to completely retreat.
“AJ!” Paige screamed at the top of her lungs.
AJ was standing in front of the tourist space shuttle, the word Genesis painted on its side. AJ signaled for her to run to him.
Paige felt her heart beat faster as a feeling of pure happiness washed over her. Amid this nightmare, something good had to happen. AJ survived! If he did, so did Dave!
Without a thought, Paige moved away from her family and ran towards him with all her might, Peter still in her arms. Paige had to know if Dave was ok.
“Where’s Dave?” she asked.
“He’s going to be alright. Fortunately, we got a ride,” he added, pointing to a smaller spacecraft.
A girl was standing in front of it.
She didn’t have to wrack her brain for long as her mother started screaming. “Brooke! That’s my Brooke! That’s my girl!” Angela cried, running toward her.
“Yes, she gave us a ride after we crash landed the escape pod. She thought I was one of them. Brooke looks just like you! Which was lucky, knowing you saved our lives,” AJ said, nodding. “And for a moment,” he added with a strange glint in his eyes. “I thought it was you.”
Too stunned to speak, Paige simply looked at Brooke. She looked exactly like she did on the day she left. The same hair, the same smile, the same eyes as the day she disappeared ten years ago. Paige looked at her and realized how much she’d missed her older sister. Her sister was alive, and it took Paige a few moments to fully take that in.
Paige had to look away from her sister. Is this really happening?
She stared at AJ, then remembered why she’d rushed to him, “What about Dave and the black mass inside of him?”
AJ nodded. “Don’t worry. Brooke said they can remove it.”
Paige let out a breath of relief. Dave was going to be alright. Suddenly, Paige felt so happy and grateful that her whole family was complete again.
“Brooke!” Willow yelled as she wiggled out of her dad’s hold and ran toward their sister.
Paige’s Dad, on the other hand, was stunned, rooted in place, just like Paige. He never believed she was still alive and had given up hope of ever finding her, just like Paige, even though Angela told them for years that she was, in fact, alive and well. Fighting for a good cause.
How could Paige have known that when her mom said Brooke was fighting for humanity that she was telling the truth? Even now, it sounded ridiculous to Paige, despite living through the last week of her life.
Obviously recovering from his initial shock, Paige’s Dad ran toward Brooke. He still looked shell-shocked, but he was overjoyed.
Angela jogged toward Paige and AJ. “We’re leaving with Brooke now,” she said.
Paige nodded, thinking that was probably a good idea.
The wave behind them started to gather itself and roared to life again as the spheres died down, and people began to run towards them. A stampede of people was created, and Paige was completely unprepared when it hit her. The mash of hysteric bodies pushed Paige and AJ into Genesis.
“Get out of my way!”
“Move!” people yelled as they pushed Paige forward. She was momentarily disoriented but became very much aware when her feet hit the metal platform that led into the ship. Angela ended up at the back of the crowd, unable to move forward against the force of people rushing in from all sides. She was trapped even deeper into Genesis.
“Let us out! Let us get out!” Angela started to scream. She even punched a couple of individuals, but that changed nothing.
People who rushed in didn’t care. It was like fear had turned them blind and deaf. They were screaming and pushing everyone in their way as they tried to get on board.
Paige couldn’t really blame them. All of them had been through enough, and this was the last chance at survival. They all deserved it!
“AJ!” Paige shouted. The crowd had almost separated them, but he got a hold of her. “Are we the only ones here?” Paige asked.
AJ quickly understood what she meant. She was referring to their little gang of people.
AJ looked around, and Paige heard a voice that topped all others.
“AJ!” Tilley called out.
He disappeared for a second, wrestling with people, but finally returned with Tilley.
Paige sighed in relief, as she held on tightly to Peter. They pressed together against the wall, and Paige could look out through a window.
She gasped, seeing the madness outside. The black mass captured people, trying to take them away.
Paige gasped as she saw her dad and Willow trying to outrun the wave. She glued herself to the window inside the Genesis as if that would help in some way.
“Come on,” she urged.
Dad scooped Willow up and ran towards Brooke’s spacecraft. Brooke was shouting at them, probably something encouraging, but Paige couldn’t be sure. Brooke took out some kind of weapon from a holster and started shooting at the wave. It slowed it down a bit, but Paige still felt like it was moving too fast.
“We’ve got to get out of here! Let us out of here!” Paige started to scream at the top of her lungs.
That didn’t faze the frightened crowd since everyone was screaming.
“Have you got any more spheres?” Paige asked AJ frantically.
“Sorry, all out. Used the last one to save you,” he replied a bit apologetically.
Paige felt hopeless since her family had once again been separated from her, and she wanted to throw a tantrum. She quickly started to panic. This can’t be happening to us again!
The people pressed her against the wall, as an even larger number tried to get in, but she didn’t care. Page watched in horror as the wave moved toward her Dad, Peter, and Willow while they ran toward Brooke’s spaceship. The wave was far away from them, but it was gaining on them fast.
“AJ, please do something!” Paige said, banging against the window. “We need to get to Brooke’s spaceship!” She pleaded, even though she was aware that AJ couldn’t do anything either. They were both trapped.
“Paige, what’s happening?” She heard her mother’s voice.
“Mom!” Paige cried out, looking for her in the sea of people, but she couldn’t find her.
“Paige! Tell me! Where is your father and sister?”
“They’re trying to get to Brooke’s ship!”
Suddenly, Paige could hear a beeping sound, and the doors slammed shut. Genesis had just closed its doors. Paige started pounding on the door and pushed any button she could find, but the doors remained closed.
My family is separated again, and I can’t do a thing about it.
“I don’t want to be on this spacecraft!” Paige kicked at the door angrily, not caring if she tore this whole spacecraft apart. Suddenly, there were arms wrapped around her, restraining her.
“There’s nothing we can do now, Paige,” AJ said, trying to calm her.
Paige shook her head stubbornly and wiggled away from his hold. She started pushing back through the crowd to their previous place and arrived by the window. She looked out from behind the thick glass. Paige watched as her Dad, Tilley, and Willow succeeded boarding Brooke’s spaceship. With them or without, Paige hoped with everything she had inside of her that they would be safe. That was what was most important to her.
Angela appeared next to her, and she pressed her face against the glass, waiting to see the fate of the rest of their family. Paige felt an abrupt jerk, and the roar of the engines. Looking out of the window, she could only watch as their spaceship lifted itself off the ground.
She pressed her palms against the window as they made a sudden turn, and she couldn’t see her loved ones anymore.
“Survive,” she commanded to the rest of her family on another ship. She looked at the black ground below with her mother, Peter, and AJ by her side.
Within seconds, the ground where the spacecraft had been moments ago, became completely covered with the black wave.
We made it out just in the nick of time, Paige thought.
AJ hugged her. “We made it, Paige,” he said with a smile.
“AJ,” Paige said softly. “Do you think I will ever see my Dad and sisters again?” she asked. That moment of weakness passed just as quickly as it appeared.
Of course, she would see them again.
“I’m sure you will, Paige,” he replied with confidence.
Angela took her arm. “Paige, don’t worry. Brooke will know what to do.” She gave her a reassuring smile.
“I didn’t see them take off,” Paige realized with dread.
“Look over there,” her mother pointed in the sky as they flew towards space.
Paige concentrated hard and looked to where she was pointing only to see a small spaceship identical to Brooke’s flying away.
“Do you think it’s Brooke?” Paige asked, needing to make sure.
“Who else?” Angela replied, smiling. This time, Paige felt reassured.
Angela watched the small spacecraft, and her smile grew bigger. Paige knew she was proud of Brooke.
What was left of humanity was safe, at least for now. Paige grinned as she looked at the people she loved.
“So, what are we going to do now?” she asked.
“Netflix and chill?” AJ deadpanned, and they laughed.
It was so good to be able to do that again, laugh, without a care in the world.
We really made it, Paige realized, and that made her laugh even harder.
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